5 ways to help keep your shoes in good condition

Every walk of life needs tools to do just that – walk their chosen path in life. Whether in business or in any other field, we have to literally make our path and our mark. In each day we spend at work, we have basic needs and one of these is clothing. What punctuates our outfits are the shoes we pair them with. We have to make sure that not only are our shoes stylish, they have to be comfortable as well. They need to be both efficient and pleasing to the eyes.

Just meeting these requirements has our work cut out for us. So here are a few tips to help you keep your shoes in good condition:

1. Remove stains immediately
There are just some times when we can’t avoid getting stain on our shoes, no matter how careful we are. So to make sure they don’t stick around longer than they’re supposed to, make sure to clean your shoes immediately. For different materials used in our shoes, they also have different ways to clean them. Canvas shoes are actually the easiest to clean. You can readily put them in the washer and set in a gentle cycle to put out those unwanted marks. However, if your shoes have different material along with the canvass, don’t even think about putting them in the washer. For leather shoes, use a soft washcloth to remove the stains. With suede shoes, remove stains using a suede brush or rubber stone.

2. Add color
In time, our shoes also grow old. Their color, for one, isn’t like it once was. To remedy this, you can polish them. For leather shoes, they dry out as time flies. You may use a conditioning product to help restore the leather’s oils and also to keep it soft. For polishing, you may use cream formula. Stay away from those with wax as they actually remove moisture from the leather.

3. Minimize moisture damage
Once you purchase shoes, get on with your moisture damage control plan immediately. Spray your shoes with water protector to ward off rain and other moisture from the environment. Do this again every season, for a total of four sprays every year. When your leather shoes get wet, let them stand to dry instead of using blowers or any other heat sources. They usually shrink leather which in turn makes your shoe-life shorter.

4. Store properly
The key to making shoes last is to store them properly. It is advisable to keep shoes in covered storage to keep them in good condition. You can also opt to use cotton or felt shoes bags since plastic can actually dry your shoes. When using shoe racks, leave spaces in between them to avoid mixing up their colors since they tend to bleed to the other pair. Make sure to store them in room temperature as hot conditions shrink leather shoes. Most importantly, don’t store shoes when they’re still damp as they may develop odors, mildew or even molds.

5 Signs that Need a Licensed Plumber

A leaky faucet might seem harmless compared to life-threatening electrical problems, but water can cause as much property damage as fire, too. Extensive repairs and additional renovations to the damaged structure can rack up your plumbing cost, that is why you should not ignore the tell-tale signs that indicate you need to contact the best plumbing services in Singapore.

1. Pipe Leaks. Some leaks are very difficult to detect especially because the pipes are hidden in walls and floors. Usually you will see leaks in the joints of the pipes and faucets or see moisture on the walls or ceiling. In apartment complexes, sometimes the leaks can come from the ceiling if the unit above has an extensive leak in their plumbing system. Solving leaks, however, can be complicated if the building is old and has not been inspected by a PUB licensed plumber for quite some time. To fix broken pipes, you can hire an HDB plumbing contractor here in Singapore to perform a thorough inspection and know the cost of water pipe work throughout the building before new water lines can be installed.

2. Faucet Drips. This might seem harmless but dripping faucets can add to your water bill, not to mention waste a lot of precious water. In fact, some plumbers can even give you can accurate computation of how many gallons of water you waste in a month with a dripping faucet. This can be avoided through regular maintenance and repair by a reliable plumber. Some fixtures need to be replaced every few years after all.

3. Clogged Drain. This is a sign that your home has not had plumbing maintenance for a long time. If you experience this often, it might be time to call an emergency plumber to perform a thorough inspection of the drain lines, especially if the building is old. You might need to request the landlord to hire a plumbing contractor if the drain lines are clogged or worn out and need to be replaced. If the clog is limited only to your apartment, the plumber might recommend that you install a sink or a new bath or sink drain.

4. Runny Toilet. A clogged or runny toilet is an emergency that needs attention from a 24 hours plumber. If not addressed soon, the problem can cause not only inconvenience and embarrassment, but can even damage the floor of your apartment unit. A toilet bowl choke, quite a common household problem, can be fixed easily by a plumber, so don’t attempt to fix it by yourself using chemicals if you have no idea what has caused the clog. Regardless of any problem, you can call cheap plumbers to fix toilet bowl.

5. Broken Heater. You can also rely on the plumbing services company to install, maintain, and fix a broken heater. There could be a lot of issues that can cause the water heater to fail, such as sediment buildup, poor power supply, low water pressure, pilot light failure, thermostat problems, and others. Hire only the best plumbing workmen to extend the life of your water heater.

10 Signs of Air Conditioner Problems

Aircon maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of your cooling systems, but even with regular aircon servicing, there are still some minor problems you need to watch out for.

Call the nearest home ac repair in Singapore if you see one of these warning signs.

• Strange Noises. Any unusual noise coming from your air conditioner is a cause for concern. There might be a loose or broken part that needs to be replaced. Turn off the unit and call an aircon repair.

• Blocked Air Flow. If you notice that the air flow is low, there might be a blockage in the ducts or the fan motor is not working properly. Leaving this problem for weeks can cause your air conditioner to use more energy. Call a maintenance crew to upkeep AC.

• Reduced Cooling. Lack of air flow is the cause for air conditioner not cooling. The aircon will have to work twice as hard to be effective and cause more problems as a result. Regular air conditioning services will prevent issues such as insufficient coolant levels, leaks, and overheating.

• Blowing Hot Air. When your poorly-maintained air conditioner finally starts to blow hot air, call an aircon repair crew immediately because the defective compressor may have failed, or a fuse has blown. This can be avoided, however, if a licensed technician in Singapore can fix cooling system as soon as problems start.

• Bad Odors. Lack of aircon conditioner cleaning not only leads to mechanical problems but will also make the unit a health hazard. The stink can be a sign that bacteria and molds are thriving in the dirty coils or ductwork of the air conditioner or that it has a clogged air filter. Clean AC to prevent these from happening.

• Signs of Moisture. The only liquid that should come out of the air conditioner is the condensation that collects in the drain pan. If there is moisture around or from the unit, then it is probably caused by a clogged air filter or a broken tube. Either way, call a professional contractor to service AC leaks and faulty aircon pipes here in Singapore. These experts are equipped with the right experiences and tools to get the job done in a timely manner.

• Failing Thermostat. The thermostat should be calibrated by a technician occasionally especially if it is a digital type because it is also prone to problems. In some cases, the technician will advise a replacement of the faulty thermostat because it is cheaper than buying a new air conditioner unit.

• No Blowing Air. If the air conditioner still produces cool air but there is no air coming out of the vents, then the compressor needs to be checked by a technician. Air conditioner cleaning might work, but it may also be a sign that the unit needs to be replaced especially if the air conditioner is over 10 years old.

• Humidity Issues. Not only is an air conditioner supposed to keep the room cool, but it must also keep humidity low. If the air conditioner is not working as it’s supposed to, it is time to call aircon servicing.

• Aging Unit. A well-maintained air conditioner can last up to 15 years, but some old models use freon instead of the modern refrigerants. The cost of aircon servicing becomes higher with an old unit. Perhaps it’s time for a replacement.

Why You Should Take Your Dog to the Vet More Often

Your veterinarian is more important to your dog’s well-being than you think. There’s really no excuse to slack on taking your dog even if it’s for a simple routine check-up, and are available most of the time if you want to schedule an appointment over the phone.

A “wellness exam”, or a check-up, is just a routine visit where your veterinarian will look over your pet to see if it’s healthy, from checking its gait for normal movement to checking the teeth for dental health.

Here are a few reasons why you should get your dog to the vet other than that routine check-up:

Your pet might be sick
There are many indicators that will let you know that your pet is sick, and here are some of the most common:
• lethargy and/or changes in behavior
• loss of appetite
• significant weight gain
• blood (in stool, urine, and vomit)
• constipation
• cloudy or irritated eyes
• vomiting or diarrhea that lasts more than a day
• constant scratching or itching

There are more indicators, too – if they’re drinking more water than usual, for instance, it could be the sign of a kidney problem or diabetes. Even though you think your pet is otherwise healthy, these are signs that you obviously shouldn’t ignore.

For all you know, it might look like a simple fever for a day but it might actually be something life-threatening. Don’t hesitate to call your vet when you notice these signs.

Your pet got in an accident
Accidents happen all the time, even if you try your best to make sure your pet doesn’t run into them. Puppies, in particular, are extremely inquisitive and will explore the different parts of your house – that means they might run into and taste substances that could be really harmful for them.

You want to know how to better take care of your pet
Apart from the routine visits to know whether your dog is fine, you should also take this time to ask how to better take care of your pet. Though the internet is great for added research to know what kind of breed your dog is and how to better take care of it, not everything is true.

The best way to know is by talking and asking questions to your vet, as they are the ones who have the most experience in taking care of animals.

The Pros and Cons of Neutering Your Dog

Neutering a male dog sterilizes him and makes him unable to have puppies. However, there are numerous health benefits from “the big snip at the vet’s”, with some of the biggest including decreased risks of certain prostrate diseases and testicular cancer.

De-sexing or castrating a dog is a simple surgical procedure where under anesthesia, the testicles are removed through an incision in front of the scrotum, and the incision is stitched up afterwards.

So should you neuter your pet? Before you do, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of neutering your dog.

A lot of pet owners all over the world are choosing to neuter their dogs. These are some of the advantages neutering has to offer.

• Neutering reduces dominance and aggression. Seeing your pet calmer means you’ll be a lot calmer too.

• It reduces leg-lifting. Dogs will mark their territory by spraying it with urine, and the more territory they mark, the more impressive they will seem to other dogs. This means they will also do it all over your furniture.

• It also reduces the risk of your dog being attacked by other dogs, as intact dogs are often seen by other intact males as a potential rival for mates.

• Reduced testosterone thanks to neutering also leads to reduced sexual aggression, which means that your dog will finally stop humping everything in sight, even other people’s legs, especially when disciplining alone doesn’t work.

• Finally, neutering your pet minimizes the risk of the following conditions that would be more likely to occur in intact dogs: testicular cancer, perianal fistula, and prostate disorders.

However, neutering should not be seen as a silver bullet that can solve all problems. There are also some disadvantages that neutering can bring.

• Having your dog neutered makes him more likely to be obese. Because your dog is less active, that means your dog will burn less calories. Remember to check your pet’s diet regularly.

• While neutering decreases the risk of certain conditions, it also opens the door to increased risk of other conditions, such as hemangiosarcoma and hypothyroidism.

• Apart from the previously mentioned conditions, neutering can also lead to other complications post-surgery, from abscesses to allergic reactions to the anesthetic used.

• Neutering can cause severe growth impairment for your dog if not done at the right age. For instance, early neutering can cause the leg and hip bones to grow unevenly, and even make them four times as likely to get bone cancer.

Would You Dare to Watch These Long Operas?

Tired of your usual lineup for a weekend movie marathon? Why don’t you watch these long operas to test your endurance?

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg by Richard Wagner
It tells about the guild of master singers, poets, and musicians in Nuremberg who were also skilled at other crafts and trade.

Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
This four-part opera clocks in a total of 15 hours and is made up of the following operas, usually performed separately: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. It is based on the Nibelungenlied and the Norse sagas connected to it.

Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
The story is based on Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan about two people who fell in love despite unbelievable circumstances. You might also be familiar with the story of Sir Tristan of the knights of the round table.

The Fairy-Queen by Henry Purcell and William Shakespeare
The is the operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and is perhaps Purcell’s final work as a composer.

Tannhauser und der Sangerkrieg auf Wartburg by Richard Wagner
The story, sometimes shortened into Tannhauser, is inspired by two tales, the story of the poet Minnesanger and the Wartburg Song Contest.

Tamerlano by George Frideric Handel and Nicola Francesco Haym
The story features Tamerlane, the Tartar emperor and is taken from the story Tamerlano by Agostin Piovene.

Semiramide by Gioachino Rossini and Gaetano Rossi
Maybe you’re heard of the Assyrian Semiramis and Voltaire’s work Semiramis, which both inspired this opera, Rossini’s final work.

Radamisto by George Frideric Handel and Nicola Francesco Haym
This opera was based on two stories and was also inspired by the Annals of Imperial Rome by Tacitus.

Pelleas et Melisande by Claude Debussy and Maurice Maeterlinck
Based on the play of the same title, it is a tale of three people, Pelleas, Melisande and Golaud, locked in a love triangle.

Matilde di Shabran, o sia Belleza e Cuor di Ferro by Gioachino Rossini and Jacopo Ferretti
Sometimes shortened into Matilda di Shabran, it was inspired by Euphrosine by Mehul and Mathilde by J.M. Boutet de Monvel.

Lohengrin by Richard Wagner
This opera is inspired by another knight from the Arthur tales, Parzival, and the sequel Lohengrin, which was taken from the epic Garin le Loherain.

Linda di Chamounix by Gaetano Donizetti and Gaetano Rossi
In this story, the Marquis of Boisfleury is attracted to Linda, who was in love with a poor artist named Carlo.

La Cenerentola by Gioacino Rossini and Jacopo Ferretti
This opera was inspired by one of Charles Perrault’s stories, “Cendrillon,” better known as Cinderella in popular culture.

Giulio Cesare in Egitto by George Frideric Handel and Nicola Francesco Haym
It is partly based on the events of the Roman Civil War and centers on the exploits of Julius Caesar at that time.

Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi, Joseph Mery and Camille du Locle
From the title, the story is based on the life of the Prince of Asturia, Carlos, who was supposed to be married to Elisabeth of Valois to end a war.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is often mistaken for acne because the symptoms appear similar at first glance, however, rosacea is a different skin condition that needs a different type of treatment from acne.

Who is At Risk of Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that usually affect individuals in their 30s or older and may recur over time. The first symptoms usually appear on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin like that of acne. Other parts of the body such as the eyes, scalp, ears, neck, and chest can also be affected. The skin of the affected individual will appear red, bumpy, and swollen. In some cases, bumps or pimples also appear. In severe cases, rosacea can deform a person’s nose in a condition known as rhinophyma, making it appear lumpy, red, and bulbous.

What are the Symptoms of Rosacea?
You need to consult a dermatologist if you see the following signs: flushing or blushing that comes and goes, redness or sunburnt-like appearance especially on the face, appearance of pimples and bumps that look like acne, stinging or burning pain on the bumps and pimples, and the blood vessels that appear visible on the surface of the skin. You should also look out for the following signs: dry or rough skin, itching and tightness of the skin, eye irritation (bloodshot or watery eyes), skin thickening, swelling of the face or edema, and plaques on the skin.

What are the Types of Rosacea?
There are four types of rosacea that must be identified during your checkup; these are, phymatous rosacea or the thickening of the skin and enlargement of the nose; ocular rosacea that causes dry or swollen eyes and may lead to blindness; erythematotelangiectatic rosacea or redness of the skin; and papulopustular rosacea or redness of the skin and the appearance of pimples and bumps. Some individuals can have one or more types of rosacea at the same time and the severity of each will differ as well.

How is Rosacea Treated?
Before any treatment is recommended, the doctor will have to make sure that the symptoms are not caused by another illness or medical condition. There is no test to determine if it’s rosacea, but the doctor might recommend tests for allergies, lupus, and other conditions. Unfortunately, rosacea cannot be cured, although most treatments are effective at reducing the symptoms. You will have to work with the doctor to find and avoid the triggers of the symptoms, observe the recommended skin care routine, and to protect yourself from the sun because it’s more sensitive than others’ skin. If you want to clear up the marks left by rosacea on your face, the doctor can also recommend several treatments depending on the severity and the location of the symptoms. There are different methods for addressing ocular rosacea, redness, skin breakouts, and thick skin.

How Can You Avoid Maternal Obesity?

Pregnant women are encouraged to eat more than their usual share, that is why they are excused from indulging food cravings and overeating. But these can have consequences on both the mother’s and the baby’s health because obesity increases the risk of pregnancy problems and childbirth complications.

What can you do to avoid gaining too much weight when you’re pregnant?

Complications of Maternal Obesity
Despite the trend of downplaying the effects of obesity among expectant mothers, there is a greater risk of suffering from complications throughout the pregnancy and even during childbirth. Some of the complications include gestational diabetes, overdue pregnancy, infections, preeclampsia, problems during labor and the use of pain medications, C-section complications, and miscarriage. Even if there are no complications during pregnancy and childbirth, the baby will still be at risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Overweight and Obese
A person is considered overweight if she has more body fat than she is supposed to have for her height. There is a chart called body mass index which uses a person’s height and weight to determine if she has excess body fat. Overweight and obese are two different categories although some people confuse the two terms all the time. A woman is considered overweight if the body mass index is between 25 to 29, but she is obese if her BMI is 30 and higher. Although there are some contentions to the use of BMI to detect obesity, because some athletes and weightlifters can be classified obese, it is still the most reliable measurement tool.

Your Weight Affects the Baby
Studies show that a person’s birth weight will also affect the body mass index later in life, because as a fetus, the body will try to adapt itself to the supply of nutrients by changing the metabolism and physiology. This is called fetal programming, and it affects the person even into adulthood; that is why it is common for overweight or obese parents to also have overweight or obese children.

Getting Pregnant When Overweight
It does not mean overweight women are discouraged to have children, but they need to be aware of the risks involved in the process and to be prepared to address the issue. A pregnant woman must be given advice on diet and exercise for weight control. You are not required to lose weight suddenly, but there is a guideline to how much weight you’re supposed to maintain during your pregnancy. The focus instead is on not gaining extra weight and to avoid the complications listed above.

Care During Pregnancy
Obese women can still have healthy pregnancies through careful monitoring and guidance from a team of doctors. To monitor your health, you will need occasional testing for gestational diabetes, fetal ultrasound, fetal echocardiography, and a diet program from a dietitian. Regular prenatal care is a must, along with a healthy diet, safe workout routine, and a prescribed list of medications and supplements recommended by doctors.