Winding mountain roads, flower-laden valleys and refreshing sea breezes might be calling your name as spring comes to life. But if you are staying home to curb the spread of COVID-19 and can’t get outside anytime soon, nature can still provide you with some much-needed respite from the doldrums of social distancing as well as the stresses of working at home and having children from school. See some amazing live feeds that will connect you with nature. See the world close-up in the comfort of your home.
Take comfort in the magic of character in your TV or laptop with scintillating footage from such livestreams and webcam feeds, many of these powered by Explore.org. Go ahead and bookmark them to have a live feed operating for soothing background sounds as you work.
Airports and train stations are vacant, restaurants and pubs are closed, and major events are postponed, but Mother Nature marches on. New leaves emerge, tulips and daffodils brighten yards, and birdsong fills the air. Throughout our national parks and forests, animals begin their spring migrations, gushing waterfalls put to a show, bears come out of hibernation, and it’s business as usual from the organic world.
Social distancing introduces a challenge to psychological health, as it disturbs people who might become lonely when separated from loved ones and friends. While addressing mental health within this time is an issue in itself, melancholy, anxiety, and stress can lead to facial breakouts and premature ageing. Taking care of your mental health first is a fantastic way to start your skincare clinics.
Rather than relying on medication, your aim should be to maximise your relaxation before going to sleep. Make sure that your bedroom is a tranquil oasis with no reminders of the things that cause you stress. Avoid caffeine during the evening, as well as excessive alcohol if you know that this leads to disturbed sleep. Stop doing any mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed so that you give your brain time to calm down. Try taking a warm bath or reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that worry you.
1. BALD EAGLES AT DECORAH, USA
This bald eagle nest is located near a trout hatchery in Decorah, Iowa. After two of this pair’s nests were destroyed, the Raptor Resource Project team began constructing this nest with the hopes that the eagles would take it over and build upon it–and they have! Watch as they come back each year to raise another brood. The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that. These regal birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate-brown body and wings. Look for them soaring in solitude, chasing other birds for their food, or gathering by the hundreds in winter. Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.
2. PANDAS AT WOLONG VALLEY, CHINA
The Wolong Grove live cam at the Shenshuping Gengda Panda Center in China’s Wolong Valley Nature Reserve provides views into 11 different panda yards. Watch as these giant pandas go about their day in this lush bamboo oasis. China Conservation & Research Centre for the Giant Panda conducts research on panda ecology and population dynamics. The organisation is responsible for artificial breeding, genetics, disease prevention, conservation training and release of giant pandas from captivity. The Research Centre also assists in the development of cooperation between other panda organisations in China and abroad.
The giant panda, also known as the panda bear or simply the panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is characterised by large, black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The name “giant panda” is sometimes used to distinguish it from the red panda, a neighbouring musteloid.
3. ANIMAL WATERING HOLE, MPALA RESEARCH CENTRE, KENYA
Welcome to the watering hole at Mpala Research Centre in the highlands of central Kenya! Watch elephants, hippos, giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, gazelles, crocodiles, leopards and many other species take a drink (or a quick dip). The Mpala Research Centre (MRC) receives hundreds of students, educators, and scientists from around the globe each year, conducting research on everything from parasites to elephants. The unique set up of Mpala allows for researchers to use the land as a ‘living laboratory’ in which to conduct experiments and answer pressing questions on conservation and wildlife.Mpala is also strongly committed to using this research to benefit the surrounding communities, the nation of Kenya, and global conservation efforts as a whole. Mpala hosts multiple educational outreach programs in order to tackle issues of human-wildlife conflict and thus ensure that both conservation and human-livelihood goals are met.
7 Expert Tips for Getting the Best Results from Your SHR Hair Removal Treatment
So you have decided to give it a go and try hair removal in Singapore. After reading about the various kinds of hair removal, you have settled on SHR hair removal as it is a newer form of hair removal technology and more effective and less painful than IPL hair removal. A quick search on Google brought you to Wellaholic as one of the leading SHR hair removal treatment chains in Singapore. Congratulations! We look forward to helping you with your hair removal objectives. Nevertheless, how can you fully maximise your SHR hair removal treatment to achieve the best possible results? Based on various scientific journals on SHR hair removal technology and expert panel discussions, we share with you 7 expert tips for getting the best results from your SHR hair removal treatment, including some unique to Wellaholic.
1. AVOID THE SUN. ALWAYS.
We have said this to our customers too often. Always avoid full sun exposure (to the treated area) before and after the SHR hair removal treatment. While you might want to go to the beach to show off your nice and smoothly body, we would caution you from doing that. This is because the treated areas would have been subjected to strong SHR energies in order to affect the hair follicles to stop hair growth. By exposing your skin to the sun, you would be over-stressing your skin, and this may lead to skin complications such as hyper-pigmentation. Always try to give at least a week or two of gap between treatments and sun exposure, and if you really, really need to be exposed to the sun. Use a reliable sun protection, such as our award-winning Wellaholic Daily Sunscreen, Winner of Best Skincare for Best Face Sunscreen (Reader's Choice Awards) by Beauty Insider Beauty & Wellness Awards 2019.
2. YOU NEED TO SHAVE BEFORE TREATMENT
Contrary to what your friends might have told you, you actually need to shave before your SHR treatment. By shaving, you allow the SHR energy to be fully absorbed by the hair follicles, thereby improving the effectiveness of the treatment. Ideally, shaving a day before treatment (most customers do that in the evening prior to their treatment). Nevertheless, there are always difficult-to-reach areas such as the back and the private areas. At Wellaholic, we have our bestseller WellaSmooth Ultimate Plan which includes not only unlimited full body SHR treatment, but also unlimited shaving and post-treatment whitening or hydration with AfterGlow.
3. THE OPTIMAL HAIR GROWTH CYCLE STARTS FROM 28 DAYS
This is one of the most common misconception about hair removal. We do have many customers thinking that after their first session, their hairs will stop growing. This is actually not the case. This is because what happens is that when one follicle dies, there might be another one next to it that may regenerate itself. Hair grows in different cycles so at any time, 30 to 60 percent of the hair is in the anagen growth cycle stage. The laser is targeting the hairs in the growth stage. The dead ones that are dead will shed after a few weeks. By the time you go for your next appointment (recommended 28 days later, to time with the hair growth cycle), the hairs that were in their growth stage will now by in their dormant or dying stage. This is also why we always advise customers to stick to a strict 28-day treatment schedule to see the best results.
4. UPDATE ON YOUR SKIN COLOUR AND ETHNICITY TO DETERMINE THE RIGHT SHR SETTINGS
Lasers work differently on light and dark skins. People with fair skin will fall under Type 1, 2 and 3 and responds best to shorter wavelength (755 nanometers), which is easy on the skin and also effective on light hair. On the other hand, people with dark skin will fall under Type 4, 5 and 6 (where Type 4 is Indian, and Type 5 and 6 being African American). In this case, we will use a wavelength that bypasses the epidermis and has a long pulse like the 1064 nanometers and safe on their type of skin. In short, always sharing with our consultant your hair type and colour, as well as your skin type and colour to allow the consultant to adjust the setting that's best suited for you.
5. YOU WILL NEED 6 TO 12 OR MORE TREATMENTS TO SEE MAXIMUM RESULTS
Laser hair removal is a procedure where a specific beam of light bypasses the epidermis and targets the follicle. This disables the reproductive cycle of the hair without hurting the skin. As laser hair removal destroys the follicle, the hair shaft becomes weak and limp, and with repeated treatments - about 6 to 12 treatments - the follicle dies and no hair grows. For areas with a dense hair follicles, there are more hair follicles to treat, and hence more treatments are necessary to target all hair follicles with varying hair growth cycles. Based on our experience, facial hair and hair at the private areas require 12 or more treatments to fully stop hair growth.
6. CHECK OUT OUR PTT WITH AFTERGLOW IF YOU HAVE HYPERPIGMENTATION ISSUES
If you are suffering from hyperpigmentation issues (common at the underarm areas or the private regions), you might want to consider our PTT with AfterGlow. Further enhance the tone and suppleness of your treated skin with our PTT or Post-Treatment Therapy with AfterGlow. Choose from either Whitening Therapy for hyperpigmented or darkened skin, or choose our Hydrating Therapy for accelerated skin repair from the harsh SHR energy rays. Then end it off with our AfterGlow™ red light treatment which helps to repair and rejuvenate your treated skin.
WHITENING OR HYDRATING? YOU DECIDE
7. SEEK OUT A PROVIDER THAT CAN TAKE CARE OF YOUR HAIR REMOVAL NEEDS FOR A LIFETIME, LIKE WELLAHOLIC
While SHR helps to permanently remove hair after 8 to 12 sessions, we have a small number of customers that see hair growth in specific areas after some time has passed. This could be due to their genetics (specifically hair gene Lhx2). We felt that it is not fair for customers to pay a full price again to treat the area again. Our proposed solution: a LIFETIME MAINTAIN MODE for these customers. This Lifetime plan is unique to Wellaholic, and we have not seen any other providers able to offer this to their customers.
If you qualify for Lifetime Maintain Mode, you get to enjoy >50% discount off per-session SHR hair removal treatment rates for the rest of your lifetime! This is our way to taking care of customers who might have completed the SHR hair removal regime but find hairs growing back again some time in the future. With this Lifetime Maintain Mode, you will never have to pay full retail prices for maintenance treatments with Wellaholic!
Beneath the colorful facade
I stood, flanked by two sides of the dark
With a sliver of effulgent light
Shining the way in the day of night
Was this the passage that I should take
Was this the choice that I should make
But yet there was nowhere to go
Just a cul-de-sac of sunlit glow
I paused, pondered and pursed my lips
Into the darkness I made my leap
For I have awaken; samadhi exists
In the midst of darkness, light persists
All the Lovely Cats (and furry ones) that I have Taken Care of Before
Having spent much time (and love) with all the furry ones, I thought I should dedicate a blog post to all the cats and furry ones. All of them hold special meaning to me in one way or another, and for most of them, I have grown closer to them through the house visits, and I certainly hope that I would have the chance to meet them again! I try to help cat sitting and cat visits, and you can find me on Pawshake.
It was difficult to snap a photo of Zorro cos he's always moving around. Rather friendly, Zorro was kindly adopted by Shilpa into her family and is now a happy and loving member of her family. While some Singaporeans shun black cats (because of bad luck?), Zorro is a fantastic case of how we should not be prejudiced by the colour and breed of a cat. All cats are affectionate and are deserving of our love, and Zorro (and Shilpa) is a fine example of this!
Poppy and Winston
Poppy and Winston are two really adorable and beautiful ragdolls of owner Kate. Poppy (the one with the white "socks") being the more friendly one would come approach me while Winston usually hides on the upper level. As their fur require a lot of grooming, I bought a brush so that I could help keep their fur in good order and prevent matting. This wasn't easy, especially for Winston, hence after my catsit period, Poppy was the one with the nicer looking coat. Also, over time, she has gotten closer to me -- and I do look forward to meeting them again. Nice ragdolls!
Doufu is a shy ragdoll with a really beautiful coat of fur. She's a little shy initially and would hide inside her little cot, but once she's adjusted to my scent she would come out to play. Doufu requires much grooming due to her coat, so when I visited her I always make an effort to brush her fur to prevent any matting.
Tiberius is one of the most affectionate (and manja) cat that I've house visited so far (except for Markiz, which was another really affectionate cat). Tiberius would be waiting for me by the door for my arrival, and then from the time that I enter the apartment, till I depart, Tiberius would be all over me, following me wherever I go. Tiberius is a very sociable cat, and when he realised that I was about to leave the apartment, he would rush to the door to block my departure. Such an intelligent cat!
Chi and Gandalf
Chi was a really shy cat and took several days to get familiar with me, and initially I couldn't even get close to Chi. I also helped take care of Gandalf, the Chinchilla living in the glass tank. Fortunately both Chi and Gandalf could get along rather well (as long as they were not left alone in an open space!). Chi has a really demure and gentle character which made her really unique in her own catty way.
Bubba and Padgett
So far, for all the numerous cat visits that I have undertaken, I have always been able to get close to the cat(s) and form a connection with them. The only time that I've failed was with Bubba and Padgette (lol!). Both Bubba and Padgette were really shy cats, and once they hear me arriving, one would hide under the sheets while the other one would make a beeline to the back of the fridge. Because they were rather fearful, I took gradual steps to engage them, but the closest I managed was to take a photo of them without scaring them away. I would definitely like to meet both Bubba and Padgette again.
Chesterfield, Mittens and Paolo
Unfortunately, I was unable to get very close to either of the three cats, as one of them had the tendency to make a dash out of the house. Hence there was great care needed to handle this family of cats. (btw, Chesterfield is a Rabbit).
Boo and Max
I spent a fair bit of time with Boo and Max as well (about two weeks?). Max (the black and white one) is the more friendly and sociable cat while Max is the more wary one. Fortunately, after about four or five days I managed to get closer to Max. They had a tendency to choose on the carpet slippers so I had to keep them out of their sight. Both cats love grooming time and would come to me once I had the brush in my hand.
Nheo, Tho and Ginger Sooke and Meng
I did a short cat visit for 5 cats across 2 homes. As this was a really short cat visit, I did not have the chance to spend quality time with all the cats, and while some were shy and wary as usual, a few curious kitties did come out to greet me, which was nice.
DD, Ah Mei and Orb
This cat sitting assignment was a special one as I was requested to take care of DD, a 20-year old cat (not in the picture, out of respect for DD). DD lives together with Orb (left) and Mei Mei (right). As DD was getting senile, the really caring owner wanted to find someone who was able to come between 2pm and 3pm during weekdays to help feed and care for DD. I decided to take on this responsibility for an extended duration, all the way until DD passed away. This experience of cat sitting was a very special one, as I had built a special bond with DD over the many weeks spent together. When I heard of DD's passing, I did cry uncontrollably, and this is a reminder to myself to never take my cats for granted, and to spend quality time with them.
Trotster and Talent
Occasionally, I do take care of dogs as well. Here, I was requested to take care of Trotster and Talent - both Miniature Pinscher. It was an interesting experience for me as I realised that different skillsets were required for taking care of dogs, which was somewhat different from taking care of cats. In particular, Talent was rather territorial and aggressive to a point too, so I had to be very careful in managing both of them.
Luna and Naomi
I did repeated house visits for both Luna and Naomi. As usual, one of the cats, Luna, was the more gregarious and friendly one and greeted me from the moment I stepped in till I left the apartment. On the other hand, Naomi was the really shy one, and it was so difficult to catch a glimpse of her, that I took me a while to make her warm up to me.
The Best of the Best Wanton Noodles in Singapore
Hence, if you are an avid wanton mee lover, or if you are seeking out the best of the best wanton noodles in Singapore, you might want to check out Makanholic. They also have the rankings for the best Chicken Rice, the Best Roti Prata and several other rankings too. Check them out!!
Wakeboarding is a tiring activity!
Second outing attempt and still enjoying it, albeit a bit pricey!
Happy Birthday Tigger Boy!
Celebrated Tigger's Birthday on the 7th of November. Tigger just turned 7, and it's really amazing that he's spent seven years, or two thousand five hundred and fifty five days with me.
The amazing thing is the fact that Tigger has been sleeping right by my side, with his little square pillow right beside mine, day after day, night after night, without fail. With the exception when I would be away for my vacation.
Hence, if anyone were to ask me, "who's the closest to you?". My unequivocal answer would be "Tigger". Happy Birthday to you Tigger Boy, and may you have many more years of good health and happiness!
In this age of consumerism, and augmented with ecommerce, it is so easy for everyone to make a purchase as soon as we have some money in our wallets (ewallets count). With each purchase, we feel a little happier, but more often than not, that happiness or satisfaction dissipates within a week or two.
It turns out that the cause of this (dissipation) lies with adaptation. As soon as the stuff that we buy becomes ordinary, the satisfaction that we get with it diminshes. Then we are back to square one - pursuing that momentary pleasure with the next purchase.
However, research carried out at Cornell University has found a way around this vicious cycle. Psychology professor Thomas Gilovich revealed that we experience the same increase in happiness when we buy something (we want) and also when we travel. The more significant finding -- was that the amount of happiness that we get from our buys diminishes over time, but the memories of our travelling experience continues to linger and persist, and this makes us more fulfilled and happy over a prolonged time.
Deriving Joy from Experiences
Making plans for events and experiences, travelling and going on trips, and trying our new things -- all these manifest as new sources of joy and happiness for all of us. While a new toy or device will become normal, every new memory will contribute to the happiness bank that will make us really really happy for the rest of our lives.
DD is a 20-year old granny cat that lives in Towner Road area. I was contacted by Cindy to help house-visit DD. This was because Cindy has just started work, and she was unable to do her regular feeding of DD. At 2pm to 3pm range, DD would rouse from her sleep and then look for food. But because DD was already very old (in cat years), she had difficulty lumbering over to the food area. In fact, when I first met DD, she was laying still and did not want to move at all.
Over the past week, I have been making long visits to her. I would check if she was awake. I would then prepare her meals, and then using a small teaspoon, help and assist her with her eating. Initially, she did not eat much, but over the course of the few days, I could see that her strength came back, and she was definitely more energetic than when I first met her.
Here's wishing granny DD all the best of health, and a long life!
Introduction to Pawshake
I have been using Pawshake since a couple of years back. For the uninitiated, Pawshake was started in 2013. Pawshake cofounder Dries Coucke's life was turned upside down in 2009 when his father Luc Coucke (who passed away in 2012) was diagnosed at the age of 60 with lung cancer. During the numerous chemotherapy sessions, Dries and his two brothers tried their best to support their parents. Yet, it soon became clear that his parents' labrador Ibeau would need someone to take care of him. Unfortunately, Dries couldn't lodge Ibeau because the dog didn't get along with his dachshund Brownie. Moreover, Dries' two brothers had just become fathers and were couldn't take responsibility for Ibeau either.
Dries knew that somewhere in his community there must be a dog lover who would lodge Ibeau temporarily. Yet, the difficulty was finding this person. And so, in 2010, Dries started the idea of Pawshake with a post on the Facebook page of pets.be, a not-for-profit website to rehome rescue pets, he founded in 2002. (You can still read here the original post).
How I use Pawshake
I use Pawshake in two ways:
So just last week, the owner Emily reached out to me via Pawshake to take care of her two Pinschers, Troster and Talent. Troster is the elder one, already 15 years of age, blind in both eyes, and having difficulty in digesting food. Talent, on the other hand, is the young chirpy one. I did a "meet and greet", which allowed me to meet both Emily as well as the two dogs. After the initial touch-base, I decided that I was able to accept the assignment.
Troster and Talent
While Talent (the younger one) was friendly with me when I first visited, he started to become rather aggressive when I visited on Day 1 (it was a weekend assignment). I quickly cleanup the all the poo-and-pee mess left by the duo, and fed them. As Troster was not able to see his dish, I had to guide him to his food bowl. I was also careful to separate their eating area so that there is a safe space for both of them to eat. Now, Talent, being the younger one and the bully, then tried to bite Troster (!) to eat his share of the treats. Poor Troster then yelped and struggled helplessly. Fortunately, Talent did not continue with his bullying.
It did leave an impression on me though. First of all, I thought about the fact that cat behaviour and dog behaviour is really different. I used to own dogs, but that was a long time ago. I realised that cats are generally cleaner and groomed themselves more eagerly whereas dogs, being pack animals, are okay to leave their mess around as a mark of their territory. Another observation that I had -- was that there's always a pecking order, whether for animals or humans. The strongest always survive and the weaker or weakest ones will ultimately suffer. That's the theory of evolution - the strongest survive.