Guest Post: Things to do on a Family Trip to Singapore

Friday, July 28, 2017

Singapore is one of the most family friendly destinations in Asia and it’s no surprise that it is so popular with tourists all around the globe. Traveling to Singapore is usually hassle-free and quite possible the reason why many prefer to spend their weekends and family visits in Singapore.

The streets are spotlessly clean, the sky is clear and the grass is always fresh and green, the spacious hotels and the great malls and landmarks, not to mentions with the exciting theme parks and resorts - Singapore is the hub of arts, fashion, culture and events. Street vendors line the roads selling everything from food to tiny gadgets. This small island consists of a friendly and safe environment with a variety of ethnic groups coexisting in perfect harmony. All these make Singapore perfect for a family vacation.  

Here is a guide to all the great things you can do on your trip to Singapore with your family.

ETHNIC QUARTERS

The three main ethnic groups in the country offer areas like Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam (the Malay quarter), which are filled with traditional shop houses and a large variety of products ranging from furniture, various spices, snacks and toys, all inspired by the culture they represent. Even if you don’t plan on shopping for anything, you could still stroll around these parts and explore the richness of the different ethnic groups represented in the tiny little area in the streets of Singapore.



SENTOSA

Hop on a cable car and take your entire family to this lovely trip down to Singapore’s playground Sentosa. A previously deserted tropical island, Sensota now hosts a multitude of attractions like Fantasy Land, a fantastic waterpark offering incredible rides, Volcano Land and even the world famous Universal Studios Singapore. This place has it all for everyone, be it for your children or for some quality family fun time. 

BOTANIC GARDENS 

Away from the everyday noise and dirt of the streets outside, the Botanic Gardens offer a safe haven that gives you a break from the concrete jungles of the city. Available to the public since 1859, these gardens are filled with lush trees and plants filled with beautiful and aromatic flowers. You can explore the various species of plants while resting in for a picnic on the lawns. A perfect getaway afternoon for your whole family.

JURONG BIRD PARK
With over 8000 birds of over 600 different species, it’s a haven for birds and bird lovers alike. You and your children are bound to fall in love with the beautiful parakeets and macaws. You may even get a chance to carry one on your arm! The main attractions here include the Bird Discovery Centre, Lory Loft Aviary, Southeast Asian Birds Aviary and the award winning African Wetlands. Different sections showcase different species of birds found in different parts of the world. A part of the money you spend on the ticket goes to avian hospital and the Breeding and Research Centre to ensure the
welfare of birds and endangered species.

BATTLE BOX

Take a trip down to history in the Battle Box where you can explore the bunkers that made up the underground command centre beneath Forth Canning Hill in WWII. The tour guide will assist you through the 26 bomb proof rooms that have all gone through restorations to make it more accessible to the public. Meanwhile audio-visual effects and animations will create the atmosphere that persisted during the Battle of Singapore at the time. This would be an exciting as well as education trip for you family. 




SNOW CITY

Looking for some snow in a tropical region? Head over to Snow City where its cold 365 days a year, making it a great escape from the heat. If you are up for some adventurous activities, you can give snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding a try. Although you may consider safer alternative activities if you have small children with you. You can even explore igloos and have snowball fights with your kids in the play area.

NIGHT SAFARI

This is perhaps the most exciting and favorite adventure for all age groups. The night safari takes visitors on a tram ride through a park containing only nocturnal animals roaming around in the jungle. You can travel through the rainforest, savannah and jungle where you will spot exotic creatures, many of which are endangered species that live by night.

These are only a few of the many great things you can do on your trip to Singapore. So start planning your family trip to Singapore this season!

About the Author: Isabele is Silly and observant can be quite contradictory natures to have, but not impossible! Name's Isabele and someday, I want to be the greatest social analyst in the world! Till then, find me here and there, everywhere!"

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Adulting 101.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Happy Friday Friends! How was your week? Tell me everything. This week was one of those weeks that make being an adult a pain in the butt. We had a great weekend last weekend and then the week hit hard.

My in-laws come in town tonight and are our saving grace after a long week. Ya know those weeks where you set out Sunday night with the best, most well planned intentions, and before Monday at noon hits, all your plans have gone down the tube? Welcome to our week.

Henry had to go to the vet last minute to get more heart-worm pills. Lola peed on our bed (!!!!), duvet to the dry cleaner, I double-booked plans, I left files at the office when I was at court. I dropped a glass vase. I forgot to pay our HOA bill. Life happens. Being an adult is tough and even the most well thought our plans don't go as planned.


Saving Money Made Simple

Being the one in charge of the needs of your family can be a headache and a half. If you are not always on top of all of the different household tasks that have to be accomplished each day, it can throw off your entire system. One of the easiest ways to feel like you are not doing your best is when you notice that your budget is off. This can become particularly difficult during times when you are trying to work on some especially important moves for your life.

It can be impossible to find the right local insurance plan, for example, if you do not have any funds in your budget. Luckily, all hope is not lost. It is entirely possible for you to rise to the challenge and find all of the funds you need to take care of your insurance goals. All you have to do is take a moment to consider how you can do better with planning for your financial future. Follow a few of these simple steps and see if you can get off on the right foot.

Stop Paying For Simple Services

There are some jobs that will come up in life that you are going to need to turn to the help of the professionals for. If a pipe bursts in your house in the middle of winter, you’ll definitely want to spring for a plumber. Of course, there are hundreds of services that people wind up paying for on a regular basis that are a waste of money. If you are trying to save for your future, the best thing to do is cut back on the services that you have to pay for yourself.

The services that you should stop paying for are the ones that you can easily handle without professional assistance. If you tear a hole in your favorite pants, for example, you might want to rush out to the local dry cleaner and have the hole repaired. This might not seem like a big expense but the costs add up. Grab a needle and some thread and get to sewing your clothing for yourself. It might take some extra time but the money that you save can be used towards much more important moves for your future.

Give Up the Coffee

Putting an end to paying for services that you can take care of yourself is just the beginning of your journey. There are tons of helpful ways to cut back on your daily expenses and see impressive results. If you are someone who drinks a lot of coffee, it stands to reasons that you grab a cup or two of java each day while you’re out in the world. Coffee does not seem like a big expense due to the inexpensive nature of the drink but each small purchase of a coffee will wind up costing you over time.

Instead of buying coffee while on the go, you are going to be doing yourself a big favor by learning to make it at home. Start your day by brewing a big pot of coffee and filling a travel mug that is designed to keep drinks the desired temperature. If you have a big enough travel mug, you could be sipping on a hot cup of coffee throughout your entire day. All it takes is an investment in the right mug and you will start seeing the savings add up in your account.

Find the Best Methods

There are hundreds of ways to cut back on your spending so that you can balance your budget a bit better. If you are trying to find the perfect insurance plan, then it is important to discover ways to save. Find the best methods that work for your lifestyle and get started on this plan as soon as possible.



Happy Weekend Friends!

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The Everyday Posie + Co Giveaway!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy Thursday friends! We've officially made it over the hump. Can you believe it? I know it sounds like I live for the weekends, but it's true, I kinda do. This week I've been trying to get myself to actually enjoy the week, even if it is full of work, busy schedules, errands and all that adulting stuff we often complain about.

One of my 2017 goals (and life goal in general) is to live a life full of intention. Even if I don't like my current season of life or I'm struggling with it, I'm trying to find it's purpose. That includes Tuesdays. Don't get me started, but Tuesdays are the worst.

This week has been a week of friends supporting friends, women supporting women and I'm digging it. In the last few days, I've felt super encouraged by the friendships I have. I have the most incredible girlfriends and they are doing amazing things. I've always considered myself a girls-girls. I love my girlfriends more than most humans.

From nurses to loan officers to attorneys to teachers to entrepreneurs to moms raising bad-ass little ones. My friends are kicking butt.

Today I'm telling you about one of those spectacular friends of mine. 

My bff Whitney started a blog, Positively Posie a little over 2 months ago. If blogging (being a mom to a 16-month old and a wife) isn't a tough enough gig, she decided to start her own company, Posie + Co (get the blog heading now?). It's a graphic tee shirt company with all the t-shirts you need for everyday.

Whitney and some of our friends came up with these darling designs and Whitney is doing it all by herself. She's marketing it and handling all the business side. She's a boss.
ITS GIVEAWAY TIME! Today and for the next week we will be hosting a giveaway! This is your chance to win any tee you want! We can all thank Whitney for her generosity in giving away not only the shirt of your choice, but if you do all the entries, you could win a Posie + Co tote.

Thanks Whitney, not only for being a bad-ass at all you do, but for your kindness.

PS. Sharing is caring, make sure to repin this pin! 


REMEMBER if you do all the entries, you will be entered for a special giveaway to win a Posie + Co TOTE. This tote is brand new and isn't even on the website yet. You guys are getting special access to all the good stuff Posie + Co has to offer.

Guys, this is huge. Tell your friends, tell your spouse, you do not want to miss your chance to win. Plus, who doesn't love free stuff.

If you love social media, make sure to give us a shout out with the hashtag #EverydayPosie


Look at this mom babe! 
I mean, who doesn't LOVE champagne? 

I live for a good prop. 

Don't forget to use the hashtag #EverydayPosie -- Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Recipe: Paleo Mushroom Ravioli

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

You asked, I answered.

I am amazed by the response I got to my Instagram stories about the paleo ravioli. I didn't know what to expect when I ventured into this recipe. It could have been a total dumpster fire. But, ladies and gentleman, this recipe was soooo delicious.



This recipe was not super easy and not super quick. Please don't leave me yet. I promise, this recipe will be your show stopper recipe. Make this for your friends, they'll think you're a professional. Make this for your husband, he'll love you even more.

A lot of you asked about the dough I used for the ravioli. I hate to tell ya this, but I didn't make my own dough. I used Capellos lasagna noodles. I thawed them out a bit, and used them to make my own ravioli! It turned out so much better than I expected. Yes, there are recipes for paleo ravioli dough, but honestly, it takes even longer. Capellos is incredible.

The inside was just something I kind of made up. Before I left to go shopping, I meal planned everything and when I got to Whole Foods, I realized I had meal planned everything except the inside of the ravioli. Adam is mushroom obsessed, so I just kind of made this up. I figured with my own sauce, some delicious insides, this ravioli was going to be delish.

The sauce was a mixture of my favorite homemade sauce and a little secret ingredient. It will be my go-to from now on. Overall time, one hour. Eating time, five minutes. Guys, we scarfed this recipe. Mmmmhmmmm. Let's get to it, shall we?

Look at those delicious little balls of mushrooms
Mmmhmm... 

Ingredients:
Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves gargle, mined
  • 1 can (24 ounces) diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon truffle salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
Guys, this sauce. The balsamic vinegar in here is everything. 

Mushroom Filling 
  • big handful of mushrooms (about a cup), diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 dried ground sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
How to Make: 
  • For the filling, saute all the ingredients over medium heat until they are nicely browned and softened. 
  • For the sauce, saute the onion and garlic with olive oil or ghee until nice and sodt. add the remaining ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth. Add back to the sauce pan, stir into the onion, garlic combo. 
  • For the ravioli; 
    • Like I mentioned, I used Capellos lasagna noodles. 
    • Make sure you have a small cup of water nearby. 
    • I laid the noodles out and took about a teaspoon of filling and spaced them about 6 inches apart. I made two rows of filling. Once all the filing is set, wet the edges pretty well. 
    • Take another sheet of noodles and lay it over the other, press down on all sides. 
    • Then I just used wet fingers to make the squares around the filing. Pizza cutter to cut the squares and set them aside. I made all the ravioli before I put them in the boiling water. 
    • When they're all made, boil a large saucepan of water. 
    • Once it's bubbling, add the ravioli in. 
    • I cooked mine for about 90 seconds! That's the joy of Capellos. You don't want them mushy, so make sure to check! 
  • Cover with sauce, top with fresh parm and dive in! 
 The more mushrooms the better. 

Happy Wednesday friends! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (Early Access!)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

It's finally here, the day we've all been waiting for. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. First things first, today starts early access. Meaning any of you out there with Nordstrom cards (credit or debit) can shop all the new fall everything before the rest of the world gets their chance.

Don't worry, if you're not a card holder, access starts next week. Which means, this blog post will totally prepare you for your shopping debut next week. There is so much good stuff this year. It took me about 4 hours to dig through the pages and pages of new items.

But, to help ya out, I've narrowed it down in easy to shop categories! Wanna splurge? Got it. Wanna save? I got that too. Man in your life need a wardrobe update? Girl, I got you covered.

Let's get shopping!

NORDSTROM -  Nordstrom Credit Cardholders: Shop Anniversary Sale Early Access through July 20!

3 TIPS:
  1. Nordstrom is constantly adding things throughout the sale. If you like it, buy it. It may not stick around. And, keep checking back! You don't want to miss all the new stuff.
  2. Remember, we're shopping for fall. I know it's 80 degrees out and the beautiful wool winter coat doesn't sound like a good idea, but when it's December and freezing and you have to pay full price, you'll thank me. 
  3. Don't forget, Nordstrom is the ultimate at returns. If you hate it, send it back for something new. 
Are you ready? The Nordstrom Sale is here. I'm pretty sure every blogger out there is blogging, so thanks for picking me! I hope I helped you dig through the masses and find some the best stuff out there!

FAVORITES UNDER $50: The best thing about this category? Everything is under $50. Get these quick because they go quick! Remember, you can always return, but be honest, would ya? Graphic tees, right? I love this saying. I even have it framed in my office. I probably need the shirt too. Last but not least, the duster? Comes in like 7 colors. I need them all. 




FAVORITES UNDER $100: Got a little bonus at work? Feel like spending a titch more? This category is for you. Guys, I am obsessed with velvet this year and this velvet duster is giving me everything. 



BEAUTY: If you're like me, not only do you buy clothes at Nordstrom, but you buy all your beauty products. Living Proof is the BEST dry shampoo in the world. Also, if you haven't tried Mario Badescu, this is your chance. His stuff is life changing





SPLURGE: You got a huge bonus at work? Get it girl. I am dyinnggg over this Cole Haan wool wrap coat and those boots?! Swoon. Save those bonus' you are going to want everything in this category. 


THE MEN: I didn't forget about you guys. I am living for this royal blue wool blazer. It's perfect for a nice dinner out come fall. 

Shhh don't tell Adam but I got him that Herschel bag for his birthday. He's in the market for a new weekend bag and I think he'll love it. Throw in some Jack Black and I'm winning wife of the year :) 





Happy Thursday everyone! This weekend Adam is running in the tough mudder  - make sure you're following on Instagram, you do not want to miss these stories! 

We're almost to the weekend. Let's finish it out strong. 

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Guest Post: Does Opening Up to your Dog Affect Your Mental Health?

Friday, July 7, 2017

If you are a dog lover, it has probably happened to you at least once: you are sitting with your dog in some random park conversing with him or her about the joys and sadness of everyday life. Suddenly, you come to the realization that you are not in the privacy of your own home, but rather in a public place and the folks walking by you have been giving you a weird look as you and your pup have been having a heartfelt chat.

Those strangers may think that you are crazy. However, does opening up your heart to a dog adversely affect your mental health in some way or another?


Our Human Need for Companionship

Dog lovers will almost unanimously attest to the fact that having a furry, four-legged friend in the home is good for your health. Studies have repeatedly shown pet owners to have lower blood pressure and better overall health than their “pet-less” peers. However, a recent article in Time Magazine shows that there are also mental health benefits to owning a dog as pets have been shown to lower stress and anxiety.

Sitting down on the couch with your pup after a long and stressful day of work is a great way to
unwind. In fact, petting your dog can even cause your body to release certain relaxation hormones that help to get rid of anxiety. Dogs are usually great listeners and you can rest assured that your dog will never offer some sort of snide remark.

Furthermore, dogs have a resilience and strength of character that is inspiring, to say the least. Even when confronted with a threat to their survival, dogs find ways to overcome the challenges that they face. This resilience and positive outlook on life can often help people find the determination to
improve their own situations.


The Need for Human Contact As Well

While confiding in your dog as a strategy to unwind after a long day of work is a perfectly acceptable coping mechanism and a good way to get rid of the stress and anxiety that too often characterizes our lives, we humans also need to have human companionship.

A person who is experimenting with a new haircut might ask his dog for opinions on his new look when it would obviously behoove him to get feedback from a person who might be able to offer some constructive criticism. Being able to accept criticism is something that we will never be able to get from dogs, yet it is a fundamental part of being human.


Balance is the Key

As with everything in life, finding the right balance between time spent confiding in your dog and sharing your innermost feelings with human counterparts is the key to good mental health. Let your dog listen to your everyday work frustrations, but make sure to find a human listener when you are in need of some good advice.

Bio: Aron James is the founder of StubblePatrol.com. He loves to write about his personal experiences.

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