4 Rules at Work You Can Absolutely Break

Many of us think that we know the secret to career success: always say ‘yes’ to your boss and avoid emotional and personal subjects. Well, think again. Here are four unspoken office rules that are sometimes worth challenging.

1. Avoid Emotional Topics at All Cost
Unless it is non-work related, it should be okay to bring up any problem in the open. Say, you and a n officemate have clashed over a project, resulting to a tension between the two of you. Avoiding the issue may only cultivate the tension and min result may affect your productivity. Talk about it in a professional way by opening up with something like “You seem to disagree with every idea I suggest, and I don’t quite understand why. Did I do anything wrong to upset you?”

2. Only Do Work-Related Tasks
It’s no secret that many people are pursuing a job that isn’t really their passion. So, it is essential to also pursue your interests—both for your creativity at work and happiness in the office. Remember that amazing ideas often sprout when you’re tinkering on something. Plus, hobbies give that sense of calmness, so have a 15-minute cross-stitch break or just listen to your favourite playlist during a coffee break. Once you have relaxed and cleared out your mind for a bit, the answer to a work problem you may have will simply reveal itself.

3. Do What You’re Hired to Do
You may not be hired to make photocopies of documents or encode product details, which you need to complete a task, but no one else would if you won’t go the extra mile. Your boss is constantly looking at the bigger picture, and he’ll admire if you have the initiative to do the same as well. If you focus on doing some small tasks that’s related to your job, you might see things in a better perspective and possibly come up with ideas to help the company.

4. Join Event to Build a Network
Cocktail parties and events can be inefficient for some—not to mention the awkwardness of having to mingle with random people you barely or don’t know at all. Other way around? Build your own network through social media. Get in touch with people who interest you, whether they are in the same industry or not. Retweet some of their posts, strike up a conversation and ask questions by messaging them. From there, it’d be easier to get them to meet you for a coffee or lunch—where you can connect with them in a real and personal way.

These four work rules and the ways to challenge them generally work, but may not be applicable to every situation. It still depends on personal choices, the factors present in the situation and the necessary things you need to do to get to a place you want the most career-wise.

6 Breathtakingly Beautiful Natural Pools in the World

With the scorching heat of the sun here in Singapore, it’s tempting to go elsewhere to relax and cool off. How about taking a dip into a pool? We’re not talking about the swimming pools we often find in hotels and resorts, but those designed by Mother Nature amidst the glorious natural backdrops.

1. The Devil’s Pool (Africa)
Nestled on the edge of the world’s largest waterfalls the Victoria Falls, the Devil’s Pool is intimidating as it is enticing. However, it’s impossible to go there on your own. You need to go through tour organizers as you will need someone to lead the way.

2. Grotta Della Poesia (Italy)
This stunning turquoise sinkhole sits on the Adriatic Coast. The contrast of the clear turquoise waters contained in a rugged surroundings creates an extraordinary feel and look to this mesmerizing destination. There’s also an underground cave here that leads you back to the ocean.

3. Dudu Blue Lagoon (Dominican Republic)
Does swimming in a 100-feet deep clear cobalt blue pool sounds like a perfect getaway for you? Then head to Dudu Blue Lagoon, located in the northern coast of Dominican Republic. This natural pool also boasts numerous underwater caves, making it an ideal destination for scuba divers.

4. Cenote Ik Kil (Mexico)
You can find so many cenotes (natural swimming holes) in Mexico, but there’s none quite like Ik Kil. Located near the ruins of Chichen Itza in Yucatan Peninsula, this 85-feet deep cenote hides in the middle of rainforests, lush trees and handing vines.

5. Havasu Falls (Arizona)
In a place chock-full of natural splendour, Havasu Falls stands out. This blue-green waterfalls is so stunning that it is basically made to be Instagrammed. However, getting there is not as easy as you think. Only those who are willing to hike 10 miles will get to experience this Arizona marvel.

6. Blue Lagoon (Iceland)
A God-given treasure to Iceland, Blue Lagoon gives you a spa-like experience in a bigger, better and more natural way. This naturally heated pool with mineral salts, blue-green algae and fine silica mud will not only relax you but also nourishes and exfoliates your skin. Apart from this beauty benefit, the place is just enormous and truly spectacular.

Let these destinations convince you to dive into the waters. Instead of heading to just another ordinary swimming pool, these natural beauties provide more than just cooling off from the hot and humid weather.

Grooming Kit Essentials for Men

Feel confident all the time with these grooming kit essentials that you should carry in your bag wherever you are.

Comb or Brush
Find a comb that can easily fit in your bag’s pocket for convenience or a brush that will work with curly hair. Stylists recommend a comb with both coarse and fine teeth for precision, or boar hair bristles for the brush that are gentle on the scalp.

Nail File and Clippers
If you don’t have time to get your manicure and pedicure done, you should bring a compact nail grooming kit with you that includes a nail clipper, tweezers, and nail file.

Razor
Some people have hair that grow so fast that they have to shave once every two days. If you’re one of those people, you should always take a safety razor or an electric razor in your bag. You never know when you need to meet a client or attend a meeting late in the day. Some shaving kits come with extra razor blades, shaving cream, and shaving brush for convenience.

Tissue or Moist Towelettes
What if you need to freshen up but the restroom is a mile away? Even if you do manage to reach the restroom when you have an upset stomach, there might not be enough paper towels for you to use, that is why you should always be prepared for the worst. Moist towelettes can be used as substitute to clean your hands, while compact tissues can be used to wipe oil, sweat or dirt from your face.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste
You’ll never know if you will be invited by a client to have dinner or your friends to party after office hours, so you should always bring a compact toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag. Purchase a toothbrush that comes with a removable cap or a plastic receptacle for easy storage. If you can, you should also bring a mouthwash and floss.

Shower Gel and Facial Wash
If you travel a lot, you need to take a pouch containing all the essential toiletries, including a shower gel for easy use. It’s more practical than taking a bar of soap for bathing or washing. The facial wash is also essential especially if you need to spend more hours at work or outdoors, because it will help keep your face clean and oil-free whenever you’re dealing with a client or customer.

Who says only women should carry around grooming essentials? If you want to stay fresh, clean, and presentable all day, it’s important to bring grooming items wherever you go. You don’t need a large bag to make all of these fit, because you can purchase compact travel kits with all the essentials you will need for a challenging day at work.

How to Find and Prepare Baby’s First Solid Food

Preparing the baby’s first solid food can be an exciting but stressful time for first-time parents. How do you determine if your baby is ready for solid food? Which food can you safely prepare for your baby? And how will you introduce different solid food?

When to Feed the Baby
Most babies can be given their first solid food between 4 to 6 months. They are supposed to feed on breast milk or formula while still young because they do not have the capacity to chew and swallow solid food yet. Ask your pediatrician for advice when introducing the baby to solid food, because some doctors argue that babies should not be fed yet until they are about 6 months of age.

Your baby will also give you signs that he/she is ready for solid food. He/she might be ready if you see the following signs: baby can keep his/her head steady; baby can sit upright; baby is curious about food; baby has gained weight; and baby can use his/her tongue and mouth properly.

Recommended First Solid Food
If you think your baby is ready to eat his/her first solid food, you should look for food that can be safely digested by baby’s sensitive tummy. Most babies can easily digest pureed single-ingredient solid food, such as squash, potato, banana, pear, peach, avocado, sweet potato, and brown rice cereal. Some doctors also recommend beef or chicken if the baby is still breastfeeding at 6 months.

Do not add salt, sugar, and other ingredients yet. Observe baby’s reaction to food and signs of allergies. Later, you can introduce known allergens, such as wheat, fish, eggs, soy and peanut butter, to determine if baby reacts to any one of them. If a family member, however, is known to be allergic to some food, you should ask the pediatrician about coming up with a feeding plan and blood tests for the baby.

Introducing Solid Food
Most parents start by preparing the food themselves to make sure that there are no additives to the food, although commercial baby food is generally safe if you read the labels properly. Spoon-feed the infant with the puree, limiting each feeding to 1 to 2 teaspoons.

You can also let the baby feed himself/herself by placing the food in front of him/her after nursing or bottle-feeding. Cereals should be diluted and mixed with milk or baby formula when introduced for the first time. If the baby does not seem interested, just let him/her smell it then try again later.

One feeding daily should be enough to allow the baby to practice chewing and swallowing. Remember to place the food in a feeding dish separate from the jar or container of baby food to prevent bacteria from accumulating. Leftovers from the feeding dish should not be stored and open food containers should be disposed one or two days after opening.

7 Treats for Everyone in Singapore with a Sweet Tooth

Most people would agree when we say that there’s nothing a sweet treat can’t cure. It lifts up moods, it’s a good reward after a long day, and it bonds relationships. In short, it’s what life basically is: sweet in just the right amount.

Singapore also has its local sweet indulgences and here’s a list that’s sure to leave you mouth-wateringly searching for your own source of sugar rush.

1. Peanut Paste
Made from what its name suggests, this is a popular dessert in Singapore. Known to have originated from Hong Kong, this treat has other varieties such as walnut paste, almond paste and sesame paste. With its smooth texture, it will give you the sweet boost for a long day.

2. Sago Gula Melaka
Palm sugar or typically known as Gula Melaka in Singapore is paired with sago and coconut milk in this treat. With its rich caramel flavor, it has that right mix of chewiness provided by the sago and the right amount of silkiness courtesy of the coconut milk.

3. Sugee Cake
A dense cake made from samonlina flour, a generous amount of butter, egg yolk and crushed almonds, this treat definitely satiates the craving for textures of the pastry kind. It’s basically a pound cake usually served at Christmas feasts shared by families.

4. Tau Huay
Served either hot or cold, this treat known as soya beancurd is made from boiled soy bean milk and a coagulant. It is cooled to a certain extent to achieve its pudding form, ready for serving.

5. Tau Suan
Basically made from split mung beans, this treat proves to be an efficient comfort food. Served hot, this treat has fried You Tiao or dough fritters complementing it with texture. This treat is prepared by boiling split mung beans with pandan, condensed with potato flour.

6. Pulut Hitam
Prepared by simmering black glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and Gula Melaka or palm sugar, this treat is sure to have captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Known for its nutty flavor, it will sure give you that crazy kick of energy after a great meal.

7. Orh Nee
The main star of this treat is yam paste, which is first fried then blended. A smooth consistency lets you know you’ve blended it just right. Typically, ginkgo nuts and pumpkin accompany this treat to enhance its flavor and texture.

It goes without saying that almost every great meal needs a dessert to punctuate it with. No matter how tasty the main course is, the dessert always has the final say. So for those looking for the sugar rush they crave for, Singapore has local delicacies ready to tickle your taste buds giddy.

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