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Most people would frown at or feel horrified at the idea of having insects as pets, but insects are not only interesting creatures, they also require smaller space to live in and minimal to no socialization or interaction, which is ironic, because there are more insects in the world than humans.

Insects are also ideal for individuals who do not want pets that need a lot of attention and care. Like all living creatures, however, insects also need the same commitment from their owners. So, how do you choose which is the right insect for you as a beginner?

What Does It Need?

Research about the insect’s unique requirements. One tedious part about keeping insects as pets is finding the right food. Expert insect owners, for example, raise other bugs to feed their pets, a task that can’t be handled easily by a beginner. You should be ready to provide the appropriate housing as well that will mimic their natural environment as close as possible.

Who Can Own One?

As a general rule, first-time pet owners should pick insects that are relatively easy to care for, are docile and not dangerous, and hardy. Insects should be handled with great care, that is why it’s not a good idea to have a small child look after it. Make sure that your family will agree on keeping an insect as a pet, so that everyone learns how to handle and care for it properly because they’re fragile.

Common Insect Pets for Beginners

1.  Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Only 25 species of over 4,000 roaches are considered suitable as pets, but the hissing roaches are the most ideal for beginners because they docile and will easily get used to being handled by human hands.

2.  Praying Mantis

If you don’t like the idea of roaches, why not try its relative, the mantises. A lot of people find them interesting not just because of their appearance, but also for their hunting capabilities.

3.  Tarantula

This insect is low-maintenance, but is considered fragile, that is why it’s not an ideal pet for a family that has children. Choose species that are docile and are less likely to bite if you’re a beginner. Tarantulas also live longer than most insects on this list, and with the right care, can survive up to 30 years depending on the species.

4.  Scorpion

A lot of people find the scorpion fascinating, but they are also a challenge to handle because they have claws and a sting. There are scorpion species that are recommended for beginners, but make sure to research about the species’ natural habitat and needs. Those that live in the forests have different needs than those that live in the desert.

5.  Millipede

A millipede is also an ideal beginner’s choice because they are easy to handle. However, like all the others on the list, you need to know what the species specifically needs to give it the best possible care, such as food and housing.

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  • The different varieties of orchids make them ideal for any gardener of any skill level. They come in different shapes, colors, and are hardy plants to boot. There are orchids, however, that are ideal for those who are still learning basic gardening skills.

    Cattleya Orchid

    This orchid is known for its fragrance and distinct colors of orange, pink, red, white, and yellow. It blooms twice a year and produces large flowers that will look great on a balcony garden. Remember that cattleya should be watered once or twice a week only.

    Dendrobium Orchids

    These orchids are used for flower arrangements because they can last for nearly 4 weeks. It doesn’t need regular watering, only once every other week or once weekly, but it should be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent wilting.

    Oncidium or Dancing Lady Orchid

    If you like plants that can produce a lot of flowers, the Dancing Lady Orchid is for you, because each cluster can have as many as 50 flowers. They are also known for their fragrance and their ability to tolerate bright sunlight and hot weather. Remember to water oncidium weekly or every other week.

    Paphiopedilum Orchid

    This type of orchid doesn’t need to be exposed to a lot of sunlight, so it can be grown indoors. The large flowers and the distinct mottled leaves give it an unusual appearance, making it an ideal decoration in the living room.

    Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchid

    This is the most common type of orchid you can find in shops in Singapore. They come in different colors and are known for their lengthy blooming season and durability. The moth orchid can be placed indoors with low lighting.

    Tips for Growing Orchids

    Orchids have different care requirements that you should observe, that is why if it’s your first time to grow orchids, you should stick to one or two types first to learn the basics.

    1. Do not use mixes or potting soils that are sold for other plants. Instead, choose potting mixes made specifically for orchids in flower shops in Singapore.
    2. A potting mix for orchids may contain any of the following: perlite, bark, vermiculite, moss, and others, to imitate their natural habitat in the wild, such as trees and rocks.
    3. Before purchasing an orchid, examine its roots, stems, and leaves for signs of diseases, insects, and rot.
    4. Make sure that the stems are strong, leathery and not brown or dark green in color.
    5. Place your orchids where they can get sunlight either during the early hours of the morning or the afternoon. Never place them in areas where they are hit directly by sunlight.
    6. If you choose to keep them indoors in your apartment, you can substitute sunlight with fluorescent lights.
    7. Do not overwater your orchids and make sure that the soil has proper drainage.
    8. Orchids are given water-soluble fertilizers only once a month or as needed.
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  • So you finally have your passport packed, your visa ready, a plane to catch, but nothing to wear. We’d recommend that you avoid overthinking about it too much, but let’s be real – we’re the kind of girls who’d live for any excuse to dress up. Still, airport fashion should be comfortable. With that in mind, we listed down the top six pieces that you should never wear on a long flight – especially if these pieces are only bound to add to your inevitable travel pains.

    Poplin Fabric

    Not a huge fan of wrinkled clothes? If so, then we recommend that you steer clear from clothing pieces made of poplin fabric. This classic fabric may look polished and prim before boarding, but after six hours of flight, you’ll only end up looking like crumpled piece of paper that’s lurking at the bottom of your carry-on luggage.

    Rompers

    If you still want to us to elaborate on this one, allow us to ask you one question: how will you pee comfortably during your flight? Remember, cabin lavatories are not the best place to wrestle with a wardrobe malfunction.

    White Pants

    Wearing white pants can be risky in almost any situation, and even more so when you’re riding a plane. A jolt of mid-flight turbulence could cause you to spill your drink all over your clothes, and you could accidentally sit on something you shouldn’t have. Surely, you wouldn’t want to deal with this kind of trouble mid-flight.

    Skyscraper Stilettos

    You will never know when you need to do some panic running, and you certainly wouldn’t want to try walking down that wobbly, narrow airplane aisles while wearing those heels. Trust us, it won’t be a pretty sight if you fall flat on your face, so spare yourself the embarrassment.

    Lace-Up Shoes

    Chances are you’ll be asked to slip off your footwear for pre-flight inspection, so save yourself the time and trouble of lacing up your shoes again. Instead, opt for a pair of kicks that’s easy to slide on and off.

    Perfume

    Avoid wearing this one for the sake of your fellow passengers. Some passengers might find your perfume offensive, while others might suffer allergic reactions to synthetic fragrances. If you really want to smell good upon arriving to your destination, simply pack a sample size of your cologne and apply it once you’ve landed. When it comes to airport fashion, comfort should always trump over style. As much as possible, opt for an outfit that’ll keep you cosy and relaxed, and you’ll likely look chicer than those travellers struggling with their carry-ons because of their four-inch stilettos.

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  • Filed under: Travel
  • Curating your Instagram feed might be one of the best past times you’ve ever had, but now it’s time for you to conquer your Instagram stories. Ever since Instagram released its Stories feature, we gained immediate glimpses into the lives of other people. Just like Snapchat, you can post photos or videos that will last up to 24 hours. But with its booming popularity, you’d definitely want your stories to stand out from the rest – and here’s how you can do just that:

    Layer Your Texts

    Choose text colours that would either contrast or complement your photo. All you’ve got to do is type in your text twice; just make sure that the second text is slightly skewed over the other. This’ll create a little dimension on your typography, elevating your text from its usual flat look.

    Overstatement is the Key

    Using overstatement is the key to letting your followers know that you’re passionate about the story you’re sharing. Use word repetition to your advantage by duplicating a phrase or word and overlaying it on your image. Pro tip: Make sure to hold down the swatch dot when you’re changing your text colour so you can customize your shade.

    Get Creative With Your Proportions

    This trick works wonders if you’re developing your personal branding, or just want to emphasize a keyword or a hashtag that you thought of. After all, you can upload photos you captured separately using your phone’s camera. All that’s left for you to do is use some Instagram story editing tools to make your photos look more natural and consistent.

    Use Your Brush Pen for Scribbling Texts

    If there’s a lot of things happening on the photo you want to share, simply create a solid background using your brush pen before adding a type- or handwritten text.

    Make Great Use of Your Emoji’s

    What the Instagram stickers can’t provide, the emoji’s on your phone can. So use and duplicate as many emoji’s as you can, or layer them using your trusty brush pen.

    Quick Tips:

    • Upload a video or photo captured in the past 24 hours to your story by simply swiping down.
    • To hide your stories from certain people, go to Settings then Story Setting and choose who you want to be blacklisted.
    • Save Stories on your camera roll by ticking off the Save Shared Photos under the same tab. This’ll help in keeping your memories alive.

    Along with your perfectly curated Instagram feed, you’d definitely want to share stories that’d wow your friends and followers – and to achieve that, all you’ve got to do is put the aforementioned tricks to work. So, happy posting and sharing!

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  • Filed under: Basics in Photography
  • Vacation is precious for any employed person in Singapore. Thanks to being chained to your work desk for endless hours every year, you’re able to afford a trip abroad.

    However, unless you are a visiting a familiar place or a mega-organized traveller with well-planned travel itineraries, travelling can get stressful. Here’s when Google Trips comes in handy.

    For all you wanderers out there, here are the reasons why Google Trips should be your new travel buddy on your next getaway.

    “Things to Do”

    This app feature offers suggestions of things you can do based on when and where you will be travelling. It allows you to filter the activities by outdoor, indoor, kid-friendly, etc. You’ll get reviews, the number of hour of the activity and other relevant information about the activities as well.

    Plus, you can save sites, too. When you see a place you like in the application, you can click the star on it to save it. You can view your saved sites in the “Saved Places” option whenever you need to.

    “Day Plans”

    This is one of the fun and most useful feature of the app. In the “Day Plans” feature, you can get suggestions for what you can do in a certain destination, based on where you are staying and how time you have to tour the place. You get several itinerary suggestions, too. If planning a trip to Bangkok, for example, you’ll get itinerary suggestions like “Beyond the Old City: Highlights,” “Bangkok Markets” and “Bangkok with Kids.”

    “Food and Drink”

    This feature provides an overview of the F&B scene of your destination. By checking the “Food and Drink” card, you’ll see a list of popular restaurants, local specialties and nightlife in your destination city.

    “Getting Around”

    From this feature, you will get transportation info of the place, from how to get to your hotel from the airport to public transportation options when heading to certain places. There is also useful info on walking or driving to certain areas.

    Basically, Google Trips combines all the necessary preparation you need to do for your trip. What’s cool about this is that it personalizes your tour with all your info so you can access everything in one place. You can make reservations, and plan your entire vacation through one app. You also have the option to use the app manually without having to use your into. But, of course, expect to get limited functionality with that option. Check out the app and see for yourself the fun and convenience that Goole Trips can provide.

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