Jul 22, 2015 - Travel & Leisuring    No Comments

Where the Locals Are: Places to Visit in Petaling Jaya, Selangor

A large city on the Malaysian Peninsula, Petaling Jaya (known as “PJ” to the locals) was established by the British in the 1950s to alleviate overpopulation in the surrounding cities. It is now most well-known for its shopping, business districts, and areas for residents. One of the townships within Petaling Jaya is Kota Damansara, best known for its dining and chic cafes.
Below are the must-have experiences when you visit Kota Damansara.

You must. . Have a durian buffet.

Durian is a thorny, brown fruit with a distinctive taste and smell, which is native to Southeast Asia. It’s rumored that subways in Singapore banned people from eating it in the cars. Now that’s a powerful scent! The smell of durian has been likened it to sewage and onions. The taste, however, is said to be somewhat like ice cream or another sweet dessert. It is one of those foods you have to try for yourself to find out whether you enjoy it.

There are several durian buffets in and around Petaling Jaya, but they are often moving or closing based upon the season. The establishments are simple stalls, rather than brick and mortar buildings, so it is a casual dining atmosphere. One of the most reliable durian buffets is called Durian SS2 located at Jalan SS2/75, Petaling Jaya (North), 46300. For a certain price, many of the buffets are all-you-can-eat; however, the quality of the durian tend to be higher when you purchase them individually.

You must. . .visit chic cafes in Kota Damansara.

Just as in many other countries, the hipster style and trend is on the rise in Malaysia. Hanging out in cafes and hopping from one to another has also become a cool trend. There are a variety of cafes throughout Petaling Jaya that a fantastic coffee selection within an artistic, instagram-worthy setting.

If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee, this map of cafes in Kota Damansara will whet your appetite for the wondrous, artsy little nooks and the smell of coffee beans roasting in the background.

You must. . .visit a local kopitiam.

Southeast Asia is known for its kopitiam cafes. In Malaysia, such cafes serve Chinese cuisine and coffees. There are both traditional kopitiams and newfound cafes. The new establishments were created out of the Malaysian community seeking a piece of their past and wanting to reintroduce kopitiams as a cultural center for social gathering. Uncle Lim’s Cafe is a good example of a revival kopitiam and is located in many areas around Petaling Jaya and the local malls.


You must… stay where the locals are (because you’ll want to stay so long!)

There is a great variety of hotels to choose from when staying in Kota Damansara. Among the budget hotels are Best View Hotel, i-Hotel, Sun Inns Hotel, and one of the most preferred budget hotels in Kota Damansara, Tune Hotels. All offer free wi-fi and are convenient to restaurants, shopping, and other tourist activities. All cost around the $20 USD mark.

Overall, Petaling Jaya is a wonderful city filled with immersive culture, food, and activities. The question is, where will you start your journey?

 

4 Tips to Rent Property in Singapore on a Budget

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Finding an affordable property in Singapore to rent may seem like an impossible feat. After all, rental rates are rather high in many areas. While you should be prepared to pay a reasonable amount for your flat or apartment rent in Singapore, the fact is that you can more easily find the right property for your budget when you follow a few important tips.

 

Pay Attention to the Location

Initially, you should focus on trying to find the most affordable area of Singapore to live in. The average rental rates will vary considerably from one area of town to the next. For example, some areas of Singapore are highly cosmopolitan, and apartments and flats in these areas may have a much higher rental rate than those in communities more oriented toward families, students and others who may be on a more fixed budget. You can research different areas of Singapore today to learn more about average rental rates in each of the areas. This will help you to narrow down your search so that your efforts are more productive.

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Think About Related Costs

Keep in mind that there is more related to the cost of housing than the rental rate. For example, in Singapore, it is common to pay one month’s worth of rent up-front as a security deposit with a 12-month lease. A 24-month lease may require you to pay two months’ worth of rent as a deposit, but it may also lock in your rental rate for a full two years. In addition to the security deposit, the location may impact the cost of your commute. A condo near MRTs may be more affordable than those that require you to drive your own vehicle into work. Utility costs and other related fees should also be considered. For each unit that you are thinking about renting, consider preparing a new budget to determine which may be most affordable for you to live in.

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Compare With Other Properties in the Area

A smart idea is to actively research the rental rates for properties that are located close to those that you are thinking about moving into. Some landlords and property owners will raise their asking price on rent without justification, and because of this, you may be able to save money by simply inquiring about vacancies in neighboring properties. The rental rate may vary slightly based on the size of the unit, amenities in the building, if utilities are included with the rent and other factors. However, the overall cost should be very similar after you have made adjustments for these factors.

 

Consider a Subsidized Unit

If you are on a true budget, you may consider HDB flats. The Housing and Development Board in Singapore has created a scheme to make property ownership more affordable, and these flats are designed to help you own your property at an affordable price rather than rent it. When you own your property, you may enjoy the ability to have a fixed monthly housing payment for many years to come. Ensure that your payment is manageable now, and you may expect the payment to become even easier to manage going forward as your personal level of income generally increases over the years.

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The bottom line is that rents in Singapore are rather high, and this can make it more challenging for an individual to find a great property that meets their needs and that conforms to their budget. While renting is one option, purchasing an affordable property may be an ideal option for some due to the high rental rates. You may consider fully exploring all of the options available so that you make the best decision about your housing.

Mar 13, 2015 - Orthopaedic Care    No Comments

Orthopaedic Advice That Will Help to Keep Your Spine Healthy and Strong

Your back and spine provide a large amount of support for your body. Small problems with your back can lead to immobilising pain and other complicated issues. You do not want to have to deal with this type of pain every day. A few pieces of orthopaedic advice will help to keep your spine healthy and strong.

Practice Good Posture

The first piece of advice is to practice good posture at all times. This includes when you are walking, sitting or just standing still. This means trying to keep your spine and back as straight as possible. You want to straighten your shoulder and keep your head aligned with your spine. Avoid slouching or leaning forward for long hours while using a computer, driving or watching television.

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Use Ergonomic Furniture

If you spend a long amount of time at a desk or in a specific chair, then make certain it has an ergonomic design. Some basic chairs are uncomfortable and encourage you to sit in awkward positions that will harm your back and spine.

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Ergonomic Design of Chair

Look for a chair that can be adjusted in several different ways. Lower the chair so your feet touch the ground comfortably. Use a chair with lumbar support and adjustable arm rests. This will reduce back problems.

 

Be Smart When Wearing A Backpack

Adults and children need to be smart when wearing a backpack. Find a backpack that fits properly with thick straps. Backpacks with extra straps going across your chest or waist will help to distribute the weight throughout your whole body instead of just your back.

bh3Additionally, lighten the load in the backpack whenever possible. This is especially important for children because heavy and improperly fitted backpacks can result in visits to a specialist in paediatric orthopaedics to deal with back and spine problems.

 

Lift In the Right Way

There are always times when you will have to lift something from the ground or a lower surface. Lifting in the wrong way can immediately result in back and spine injuries that leave you in pain for weeks or longer. These injuries could be serious enough to require orthopaedic surgery.

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You want to always lift using your legs. Reach down by bending your knees instead of bending at the waist. Use your legs to stand back up.

 

Use Extra Pillows While Sleeping

You spend a significant amount of time sleeping every day. You want to protect your spine during this time. The easiest way to do this is by using extra pillows while lying in bed.

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Place a single pillow between your knees if you are sleeping on your side. Place a pillow underneath your knees if you sleep on your back. This will relieve stress and tension on your spine at night.

 

Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Weight

You want to exercise and maintain a healthy weight in order to protect you spine and back. Being overweight places an extra load on your back that can seriously harm your spine even while doing normal activities. Not exercising allows your back muscles to grow weak so they cannot support your body. Incorporate a healthy diet and regular exercise into your lifestyle.

 

Know Your Limits

A final piece of important advice is to know your limits. Pay attention to your body and your back. Do not continue doing something if you start to experience back or shoulder pain. Limit the weight you lift and carry to what you can handle comfortably. If you start to feel your back getting sore, then stop and rest for around ten minutes to prevent injuries.

Do not ignore the health of your back and spine. Bad habits that seem to have no immediate effect can slowly cause damage that requires professional attention later. You want to take as many precautions as possible to keep your back and spine strong.

Mar 9, 2015 - Healing Skin    No Comments

Think Preventing Wrinkles Is Impossible? Check Out These Three Simple Tips.

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procedures that can reduce or eliminate wrinkles as you age. However, experts agree it’s much better and much more effective to prevent the fine lines and crow’s feet in the first place. These three simple tips can help keep your face looking younger for much longer.

1.Wear sunscreen

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Your parents, teachers, and doctors are probably always reminding you to put on sunscreen. Far too many young adults ignore this important advice. Besides being one of the best things you can do to prevent skin cancer, sunscreen is also the best way to avoid wrinkles as you age. Dermatologists recommend that you apply at least SPF 20 broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face on a daily basis.

 

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You can’t just put a thin film on either; use at least a quarter size amount of the product. If you don’t like the feeling of sunscreen on your cheeks and forehead, then make sure you’re purchasing a product designed for your face.

2.Moisturize

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You probably know that your body needs hydration to function well, but your skin does too. This shouldn’t be surprising if you take a minute to think about everything your face goes through each day. All that wind, sun exposure, and movement can really zap the moisture right out of your skin.

To replenish it, make sure you’re applying a good moisturizer at least one or two times a day. If you want to shorten your beauty routine, find a sunscreen and moisturizer combo. As an added bonus, you may find that regular moisturizing helps reduce acne problems. Many people don’t realize that frequent breakouts are from your body producing too much oil; applying moisturizer reduces this.

 

 

3.Exercise

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There’s a reason your doctor is always hounding you to get regular exercise; it’s just that good for you. Besides giving you a healthy heart and helping you maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise also makes you look younger. After all, nothing says youth like a healthy glow, trim body, and plenty of energy. However, if you’re going to exercise outside, please put on sunscreen before and after. Otherwise, you’ll be eliminated some of the wrinkle-preventing effects of exercise.

 

 

 

 

If the fine line and wrinkles that come with aging send a chill up your spine, then do something about it. You can proactively prevent age lines with some smart but simple lifestyle changes. While it will take some work at first, you’ll be thankful you put in the effort for years to come.

Feb 24, 2015 - Healing Skin    No Comments

Can Organic Skin Care Keep Your Skin Young Better than the Others?

With so many skin care options to choose from, both organic and synthetic, how do you know which products will result in younger looking, healthy skin? More and more women are discovering their answer in nature. Organic skin care takes the best of Mother Nature to add life back into your skin and offer protection from harsh environmental and man-made chemicals.

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Organic Skin Care

Keeping your skin healthy is best achieved when you tackle the process from the inside and from the outside. What you put into your body and what you put on your skin will determine how youthful and healthy the results are.

As they say: garbage in, garbage out. Most often this refers to what you eat, but it also applies to your skin.

If you are living off a diet of fried and processed foods, the results will show up on your skin. Likewise, if the skin care products you use are laden with chemicals, or the ingredients are grown using chemical pesticides and herbicides, your skin will know it and show it.

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However, when you steer clear of chemical-laden skin care products and choose what’s natural, organic, and pure you will notice a big difference in how your body responds. The ingredients in your skincare creams and oils matter; however, how the ingredients are grown matters too. This is why the line of skin care products by Dr Hauschka is primarily grown from biodynamic and organic sources.

It’s important to remember your skin is the first line of defense between you and all the negative factors from the outside world such as the sun’s rays, chemicals, and environmental pollutants.

It’s also important to remember your skin is a living, breathing organ. As such, it has the ability to absorb everything you put on it. When you use non-organic products that have been manufactured with chemicals in the lab, it could be the equivalent of rubbing gasoline on your skin.

Keep that in mind during your daily skin care routine.

The natural ingredients found in top quality organic products such as Dr Hauschka Skin Care products serve to nourish your skin with vital nutrients that allow it to work in harmony with nature giving you healthy skin. Your skin is amazing and when it has all the proper “tools” it will naturally balance.

Skin needs to be protected. Once you have fed your skin with the best nature has to offer, be sure to protect it with sunscreen. It’s easy to remember this on sunny days; it’s just as important to remember it on other days as well.

If your goal is to age gracefully with the healthiest looking skin, then it would be wise to take a page from nature. In the most natural state, what grows around us remains vibrant and beautiful no matter how much time has passed. It’s only when nutrients are depleted, the quality of the nutrients is less than optimal, there is external damage, or there is a lack of water (which is vital for every living thing) do we begin to see what many believe is “normal” aging.

Using quality organic skin care products provides a nutrient-rich, balanced approached for coaxing your skin to optimal health by working holistically with its natural abilities, giving you the best skin of your life.

Feb 12, 2015 - Business    No Comments

Public Transport? What A Disgrace

My car broke down the other day. And for the first time in over a decade, I had to take public transport. Since I couldn’t get a taxi on the first day that I needed to go to work without my car, I was forced to take a bus. And boy, what an experience that was!

Despite all the public service videos aired on television, Malaysians have still not learned to queue up for the bus. Hmm, maybe it’s because nobody had seen those videos aired on TV1 and TV2, preferring Astro instead?

Never mind what the reason. Fact still remains that we do not queue up for the bus. And if that is not bad enough, we push and shove each other just to get in, especially during peak hours.

Ok, so here I was riding the bus, and I must say public transport vehicles have improved over the past 10 years or so – its comfortable, the air conditioner worked well, and I had a really good ride with no bumps or creaks along the way. Now, this is where the good stuff ends.

More Inspiring Story: Petra Group

What annoyed me about my experience is the serious tardiness of our bus system. The bus arrived 45 minutes later than scheduled. How are commuters expected to rely on a bus service that is always late?

I reached my office 1.5 hours later than usual, and thank God I did not have any appointments on that first and only day of taking a bus.

Next, I tried the taxis. They were filthy! The fabric seats had designs obviously made from spilled drinks. At least I had hoped they were spilled drinks rather than human fluids!!

On one occasion, I couldn’t close the door as a previous passenger had left tissue with nasal discharge in it. So I had to wind down the window to close the door. Aren’t our taxi driver expected to ensure their rides are clean and smell nice?

See Also: Datuk Vinod Sekhar

That evening, I took another taxi home. This one was a little better inside the cab, but the tires were bald. I took it, praying all the way that it won’t rain, or that I will reach home safely and not be involved in any traffic accident.

Well, needless to say, I am now a two car household. I bought a second car for the wife and this decision was prompted solely because we just cannot rely on our busses and taxis. They are just a disgrace.

Even Indonesia has taxis that anyone would be proud of! So the next we want to put down any of our neighbouring countries, we should just look at their taxi services first.

Recommended Reading: Green Rubber Group

Feb 11, 2015 - Healing Skin    No Comments

Don’t Let the Sun or Heat Destroy Your Beautiful Skin

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No matter how diligent you are about your beauty regimen, the warm season can do damage to even the healthiest skin. Hot, dry weather can cause water retention and swelling of the skin’s surface. The heat also generates perspiration, so oil and dirt can become trapped and clog the pores. When the extra sun and warmth threatens to destroy your skin, it’s time to fight back.

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The first step in any skin maintenance routine is to create a layer of protection from ultraviolet rays.Before soaking up the sunshine, apply sunscreen on your exposed skin.Use approximately one ounce for the entire body. Reapplying every hour or so will ensure adequate coverage. Make sure you thoroughly rub in natural or organic products, and replace your sunscreen annually.

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Exfoliating your skin is another great way to maintain a healthy glow during the warmest months. This is the process of removing dead skin cells. Limit exfoliation to once per week, and use only mild products on your face.

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Olive Oil Sugar Scrub

Sugar mixed with olive oil is a great natural scrub, and it’s gentle enough to use on any skin type.

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Tea tree oil also has exfoliating effects and is good for polishing dull skin.

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If you want a fresh, youthful appearance, clean skin is a must. Cleanse your body daily and your face twice a day. Use a gentle cleanser with a microfiber cloth to avoid tearing the epidermis. Follow with a cooling toner or rose water to seal the pores shut. You can also pamper yourself weekly with a 15-minute facial treatment. A mask made from papaya, honey and egg whites or a yogurt and cucumber face pack will brighten the skin.

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When it comes to hydrating the skin during the warm season, choose quick-absorbing gels, water-based moisturizers or natural oils. Coconut oil is light and can be used on dry skin, but it can clog pores. Guest Advertiser: Have you ever try New York Skin Solutions?

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Jojoba oil mimics the natural sebum of the skin and provides a protective layer. If you want a noncomedogenic option, argan oil is perfect for deep hydration.

Finally, hydrating the inside of your body is equally as important as it is for your skin. To replenish the moisture your system can lose in the heat, drink plenty of water or sugar-free, caffeine-free liquids. Ultimately, the best way to achieve supple, smooth and radiant skin during the sunny season is to commit to pampering yourself, which is a rather painless pledge to make.

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