Editor’s Picks


Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is getting ready for the opening of World of Frozen, the world’s first and largest “Frozen” themed land, on 20 November. Inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ films, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2’, which are among the biggest animated films of all time, World of Frozen will transport guests to the cinematic and living land – Arendelle. Guests will delve into this immersive travel destination, with its captivating stories, beloved characters, culture, stunning landscapes, enchanting music, and cutting-edge technology for the first time in forever by celebrating Summer Snow Day and enjoying the fun-filled attractions such as Frozen Ever After and Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs.

Explore the Living Land of Arendelle and Celebrate Summer Snow Day

Summer Snow Day commemorates the day that Anna saved Elsa and the kingdom with an act of true love. Guests are invited to visit this whimsical realm and rejoice in the lively festivities!

World of Frozen puts a number of iconic scenes in the ‘Frozen’ movies to life. Some of its signature spots include the North Mountain, with its peak as the highest point in Arendelle; the Ice Palace where Elsa unleashes her icy powers freely for the first time; Arendelle Castle, home of the royal family; the Bay of Arendelle, featuring the small fishing boat that Anna fell on when she met Prince Hans, Clock Tower where Anna danced with Prince Hans; and Friendship Fountain where Elsa uses her magical powers to freeze its water into beautiful snowflake ornamentations.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – Friendship Fountain

Guests can also immerse themselves in the joy of the Summer Snow Day celebration by taking a Frozen Ever After journey to meet Elsa at her Ice Palace that is open to all for the first time, embarking on a wondrous adventure on Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs, enjoying a unique interactive play experience with Anna and Elsa at Playhouse in the Woods.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs

To prepare for the Summer Snow Day celebration, guests can immerse in the enchanting festivities with a special outfit. Wear rosemaling patterned clothes, add glittering ice-inspired face paint, and style the hair like Elsa or wear a cape like Anna to show the love for the royal sisters.

No visit to Arendelle would be complete without indulging in its exquisite cuisine and exploring its charming shops, which are deeply rooted in Nordic history and culture. Do not miss Golden Crocus Inn and Bayside Wharf for a taste of local delicacies inspired by traditional Nordic dishes, grab a bite at Forest Fare or sweet treats at Northern Delights.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – Golden Crocus Inn Main Course

Visit Tick Tock Toys & Collectibles and Traveling Traders for a delightful shopping experience, where guests can find the perfect souvenirs to bring home cherished memories. Complete the magical Arendelle journey by staying at one of the enchanting resort hotels and participate in themed recreation activities that will make the Arendelle experience truly unforgettable

Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity to Bring ‘Frozen’ to Life
World of Frozen is the next level of immersive storytelling like never before. The world-class expertise of Walt Disney Imagineering pushed the boundaries of creativity to bring Arendelle, the home of Anna and Elsa, to life through extensive research with inspiration from Norway.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – World of Frozen Map

To promote the enchanting beauty of Arendelle, Olaf has been appointed as the global ambassador by Anna and Elsa to extend a heartfelt invitation to all corners of the globe for the Summer Snow Day celebration in Arendelle!

Key Highlights at World of Frozen

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland – World of Frozen
  • Perfectly Blends the Unique Natural Landscape of Hong Kong – World of Frozen seamlessly integrates with Lantau Island’s natural landscape and the design of North Mountain, providing guests with expansive views of both. The seamless transition between artificial landforms and natural surroundings embraces guests entirely in World of Frozen.
  • Integrates Inspiration from Norway to Create a Must-visit Travel Destination – Inspired by, Norway the themed land features a town that allows guests to discover Arendelle. The scenery, architectural design, clothing and cuisine, are all infused with rich Norwegian elements, including “Dragestil” (dragon style) architectural style, Balestrand’s asymmetrical architecture, and rosemaling floral decorative paintings.
  • Dances between Reality and Magic through Enchanting Music – The team worked with award- winning composer, Andrew Cottee, to rearrange the iconic music from the movies for World of Frozen, with various tunes played in different locations throughout the land, to tell stories with strong emotional connections. The cinematic music builds the perfect ambience for guests to feel the story of Frozen with different senses.
  • Re-creates Cinematic Features with Meticulous Craftsmanship and Extensive Research – Disney Imagineers spent over three years in concept and design, working in partnership with artists and storytellers from Walt Disney Animation Studios, to accurately depict cinematic features in World of Frozen. The team analysed ice textures, colours, and how these relate to Elsa’s emotions to recreate her Ice Magic. Attention was paid to every detail including various forms of ice and snow, and different materials were studied and experimented to truly represent the Ice Palace and icy ornaments.
  • Brings ‘Frozen’ Characters to Life through Advanced Technology – Frozen Ever After is the first attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort to feature Walt Disney Imagineering’s most advanced, all-electric Audio-Animatronics® figures, which bring to life characters like Anna, Elsa and Kristoff with amazing realism.

Hong Kong Disneyland Appoints Klook Travel as the Designated Booking Platform for World of Frozen Launch

Hong Kong Disneyland is thrilled to announce the appointment of Klook as the designated booking platform for the highly anticipated launch of World of Frozen themed products in the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. As part of this exciting collaboration, a series of unique World of Frozen experiences and products will be made available exclusively on Klook Travel. This collaboration will enable the resort to continue enchanting fans worldwide with Disney magic, inviting guests to embark on a journey to the kingdom of Arendelle, and become part of the beloved Frozen story, found only at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Guests who book through Klook Travel will have the exclusive opportunity to be among the first to explore World of Frozen with a special hotel package on 4 November 2023 before its official gate opens on 20 November 2023. In addition, guests can also purchase the “One-Day Ticket with Early Park Entry Pass” to enjoy a hassle-free experience. Passholders can enjoy early park entry, allowing them access to the park 1 hour before the official opening time.

Image Credits: Hong Kong Disneyland -World of Frozen In-Room Celebration

To learn more details, please visit hong-kong/ and book your trip to this whimsical realm now.

As the anticipation for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival builds, Tai Cheong Bakery, a legendary establishment with a rich history in Hong Kong and well-known for their delicious egg tarts, has unveiled a collection of Mooncake Sets that promise an unforgettable gastronomic experience. These meticulously crafted delights are a true embodiment of tradition and quality, reflecting the bakery’s commitment to excellence that spans decades.

The Essence of Craftsmanship and Flavours

Tai Cheong Bakery’s Mooncake Sets are more than just confections; they are the result of dedicated craftsmanship and the use of premium ingredients. One can immediately sense the dedication that goes into creating these masterpieces. The Mooncake Sets offer a selection of carefully curated flavours, each capturing the essence of the festival.

Golden Treasure Mooncake Set (SGD$86)

The Golden Treasure Mooncake Set introduces a luxurious experience with four meticulously handcrafted mooncakes, each weighing 80g. These mooncakes are not just desserts; they are expressions of culinary artistry.

  • Double Egg Yolk with White Lotus Seed Paste
    This timeless classic strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savory, with velvety smooth white lotus seed paste enveloping two golden egg yolks.
  • Wu Ren (Five Nuts)
    Embark on a nutty adventure with this blend of almonds, walnuts, melon seeds, sesame seeds, and cashew nuts, harmoniously bound by a sweet and aromatic maltose syrup.
  • Single Yolk with Black Sesame
    The rich flavours of black sesame are paired with a hidden single egg yolk, creating a delightful play of textures.
  • White Lotus Seed Paste
    A celebration of tradition, this mooncake embodies the essence of Mooncake Festival with its pure and subtle sweetness.

Divine Medley Mooncake Set (SGD$60)

For those seeking variety, the Divine Medley Mooncake Set offers a delightful array of flavours in both 80g and 45g sizes. This set beautifully captures the spirit of the festival through its diverse offerings.

Regular Mooncakes, 80g
  • Single Yolk with White Lotus Seed Paste
    Tradition meets innovation with the single golden egg yolk at the center, complementing the classic White Lotus Seed Paste.
  • Wu Ren (Five Nuts)
    Nut enthusiasts will revel in the combination of almonds, walnuts, melon seeds, sesame seeds, and cashew nuts in this 80g mooncake.
Mini Mooncakes, 45g
  • Custard
    A burst of creamy delight awaits as you savour the smooth and velvety custard lava filling.
  • Black Sesame Mochi
    The chewy texture of this mooncake harmonises perfectly with the fragrant black sesame paste, providing a delightful textural contrast.
  • Matcha with Red Bean Paste
    Delicate matcha meets the comforting richness of red bean paste, creating a delightful interplay of flavours.
  • Red Bean Paste with Dried Tangerine Peel
    Tradition takes a zesty twist with the pairing of red bean paste and dried tangerine peel.

Unveiling Tradition, Preserving Excellence
Tai Cheong Bakery’s Mooncake Sets not only preserve the essence of tradition but also exemplify the dedication to quality. With certifications that ensure the highest standards of food safety and quality, these mooncakes are a testament to the bakery’s commitment to its customers.

Tai Cheong Bakery’s Mooncake Sets will be available for the public to purchase at all Tai Cheong outlets from 16 August 2023 with the exception of Changi Airport Terminal 3. Don’t miss this chance to indulge in the authentic flavours of Tai Cheong Bakery’s legendary mooncakes and experience the rich heritage of Hong Kong’s culinary artistry.

There are many misconceptions and taboos surrounding the lunar 7th month and more often than not, the lunar 7th month has often been portrayed by the media (movies, dramas, news and etc.) to be a very scary month. Now, I must say this, there is no such thing as the, “hungry ghost festival”. If you do a literal translation of “hungry ghost festival” from English to Mandarin, it is 饿鬼节, and it makes no sense to have a festival whereby we celebrate “hungry ghosts”. Furthermore, many people mistakenly believe that the entire seventh lunar month is the Zhongyuan Festival 中元节, which is incorrect. The Zhongyuan Festival 中元节 specifically refers to the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, just as we wouldn’t say the entire eighth lunar month is the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节.

However, yes, hungry ghosts do exist but not the celebration of it. Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify and share some thoughts from a Taoist perspective.

The following is a literal translation from what a Taoist Priest has shared in Mandarin and I have taken the liberty to share it here:

The 15th day of the seventh lunar month is known as the Zhongyuan Festival 中元节 in Taoism. It marks the birth of the Earth Official Deity 地官大帝, one of the Three Officials 三官大帝 in Taoist belief. In Taoism, it is believed that the Heavenly Official 天官大帝 bestows blessings, the Earth Official 地官大帝 forgives sins, and the Water Official 水官大帝resolves difficulties. Therefore, Taoist priests usually offer vegetarian meals on this day to pray for forgiveness for departed souls. In Chinese folk tradition, there is also the custom of ancestral worship and seeking forgiveness from the Earth Official 地官大帝 for the sins of ancestors. It is a day to honour all departed spirits.

The custom of worshipping the Three Officials 三官大帝 dates back to ancient China when the emperor performed rituals to worship the heavens, the earth, and the waters. However, over time, this tradition has taken on a more eerie and terrifying tone, perhaps influenced by the popularity of horror movies in the 1970s and 1980s. Thus, tracing the origins, you might find significant differences between the ancient and contemporary observances of the Zhongyuan Festival 中元节.

What is the belief in the Three Officials 三官大帝 about?

The birthdays of the Three Officials 三官大帝 in Taoism are the 15th day of the first lunar month (Shangyuan Festival 上元节), the 15th day of the seventh lunar month (Zhongyuan Festival 中元节), and the 15th day of the tenth lunar month (Xiayuan Festival 下元节). Their status is highly revered in the hierarchy of Taoist deities because they are believed to oversee the three realms of heaven, earth, and water, maintaining balance and dispensing rewards and punishments.

The Zhongyuan Festival 中元节 also has its roots in ancient worship of the heavens, earth, and waters, which were considered essential elements for sustenance.

Hence, the Three Officials 三官大帝 were seen as the deities governing human fortune and misfortune.

As early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 CE), there existed the “Three Officials Handbooks 三官手书” for confession and repentance in the Zhengyi Dao of Taoism. The “Records of the Three Kingdoms: Biography of Zhang Lu” 三国志·张鲁传 explicitly states: “Write the names of the sick, express the intention of confessing sins, make three copies, send one to the heavens, place one on a mountain, bury one in the ground, and sink one in water; these are called ‘Three Officials Handbooks’.” “书写病人姓名,说服罪之意,作三通,其一上于天,著山上,其一埋于地;其一沉于水,谓之三官手书。”

This practice involved writing three confession letters, asking for forgiveness from the heavens, and hiding them on a mountain, burying them in the ground, and sinking them in water. These documents, known as “Three Officials Handbooks,” 三官手书 were offerings to the Three Official Deities 三官大帝.

During the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), there was a saying that “Zhongyuan 中元 sweeping is even better than Qingming 清明.” Families made various types of offerings to their ancestors during this time, while Taoist temples held rituals to rescue spirits and light lanterns to guide them.

In essence, during the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), the focus was on ancestor worship and salvation of souls. However, Chinese folk culture evolves over time, leading to complexity and changes.

Influenced by horror movies and drama shows, many individuals are unfamiliar with the Zhongyuan festival 中元节 and might even find it frightening. This fear of the “ghost month” in the seventh lunar month has led to a variety of “tips for good luck and avoiding misfortune” and related merchandise. However, whether these are based on religious texts or rooted in culture requires a wise interpretation.

In reality, the Zhongyuan Festival 中元节 is more about Chinese people honouring their ancestors and remembering them. It’s a day for chanting scriptures, offering food, and praying to the Earth Official 地官大帝for forgiveness and transcendence of sins. In Buddhism, the Ullambana Festival 盂兰盆节 is also significant for practicing filial piety. Buddhists make offerings to the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) and dedicate the merits to the well-being and longevity of their parents and ancestors. It’s a ceremony to help the departed find their way to a better afterlife.

Regardless, it’s essential not to forget the spiritual significance behind these festivals. For instance, the Zhongyuan Festival 中元节 is a day to honour the divine and ancestors, and we should approach it with reverence, not fear.

The seventh lunar month also features the beautiful story of the Cowherd and Weaver Girl 牛郎织女, so July isn’t necessarily ominous; it can even be considered a romantic month.

How Should One Make Offering During the Lunar 7th Month?

  1. Be considerate towards our environment and neighbours when burning offerings.
  2. Burn smaller amounts of joss paper to reduce smoke and ashes.
  3. Please clear up your offerings after prayers.
  4. Consider joining communal prayers in nearby temples.
  5. Burn responsibly, please don’t toss or scatter the joss paper.

As Smartphones continue to play an expansive role in people’s everyday life, deciding on the right unit and carrier plan becomes ever more critical. Should you invest in the latest smartphone unit? What services would be non-negotiable in a carrier plan? With an increasing number of phone brands, models, and mobile plans offered by different companies, narrowing down the options and ultimately deciding which one to purchase can be agonising. 

As always, it’s a good idea to consider needs and budget when setting the standards for the device. If you’re particular about the monthly upkeep of the phone and the price of the services you can enjoy through it, you can purchase a carrier plan subscription. Through this arrangement, you can pay for the device as well as the bundled voice, messaging, and data services in monthly instalments. It’s such a popular means of getting smartphones that people are using metasearch engines to scrutinise different subscription plans. By comparing the cheapest data plan Singapore has to offer, for instance, buyers based in the city-state can find smart devices with data plans that match their needs and budgets. 

Should you subscribe to a mobile phone service plan to get your hands on the latest smartphone model? Avoid buyer’s remorse by doing your homework before deciding on a mobile plan. Know the benefits and limitations of your options, weigh them, and then make an informed choice.

Advantages of a Phone with a Carrier Plan

Access to the Latest Devices at a Lower Upfront Cost

Buying a smartphone with a bundled plan allows you to access the latest devices at a more affordable upfront cost compared to purchasing them outright. Carriers often offer subsidies or monthly instalment payment options, which spread the cost of the device over the duration of the plan. As a result, a more expensive high-end phone becomes affordable to a wider range of consumers, some of whom can’t afford to pay for the phone outright. 

Benefit from Bundled Services and Promotional Offers

Carrier plans often come with bundled services and promotional offers, providing additional value to consumers. These may include discounts on voice, text, and data services. In addition, more and more telecom companies are offering access to exclusive features or content, or special perks such as free streaming services or additional data allowances. Bundled services and promotions can enhance the overall value proposition of buying a smartphone using a subscription plan.

Automatic Inclusion to Warranty and Device Protection Programs

When purchasing a smartphone with a mobile phone service plan, you often benefit from manufacturer warranties and device protection programs. These can provide coverage for device malfunctions and accidental damage or loss, offering peace of mind to you. Should you run into issues while using their devices, you can rely on the carrier’s support channels for repair or replacement services.

Good Network Coverage and Better Quality of Service

Carriers invest heavily in building and maintaining robust networks, ensuring widespread coverage and reliable service. By buying a smartphone that’s bundled with a plan, you can take advantage of the provider’s network infrastructure and enjoy good network coverage, faster data speeds, and enhanced call quality. This is a particularly beneficial feature in areas where network coverage from other providers may be limited.

Limitations of a Phone with a Carrier Plan

Contractual Obligations and Early Termination Fees

Buying a smartphone that’s bundled with a mobile plan often involves entering into a contractual agreement with the carrier and the mobile network. These contracts typically have a specified duration, and if you wish to terminate the plan early, you may incur early termination fees. This can prevent you from switching networks or carrier plan providers and upgrading their devices before the contract term ends. People who want more freedom and flexibility may find these conditions limiting. 

Cost of Ownership Over the Long Term

When deciding on a smartphone with a carrier plan, don’t just look at the cheaper upfront cost. Consider the overall cost of ownership until the contract ends. Monthly service fees, data plans, and potential additional charges can add up, making the total cost of the device higher compared to purchasing it outright. That’s why it’s important for you to have a critical eye and evaluate the whole package for the duration of the contract. By doing this, you can determine if you are getting a great deal that aligns with your budget and needs.

Limited Customisation and Plan Options

Mobile plans may have limited customisation options, particularly in terms of voice, text, and data allowances. You may need to choose from predetermined plans that may not perfectly match your individual usage patterns. Because you don’t have a lot of options, you can end up paying for services or features that are not fully utilised, or you may need to upgrade to a higher-priced plan for additional flexibility.

Potential Carrier Restrictions and Network Limitations

Some plans may have certain restrictions or limitations imposed by the carrier. These can include data throttling or reducing data speeds after reaching a specific limit, network prioritisation or giving preference to certain customers during peak times, and specific usage policies that may impact user experience. It’s important to review the plan provider’s terms and conditions to understand any potential limitations or restrictions that may affect the usage of the smartphone and its bundled services.

To make informed purchasing decisions when selecting smartphones with carrier plans, you should consider several factors. These include their usage pattern, the different bundles and plans in the market and their respective features, and the terms and conditions of the contract you need to sign. By knowing exactly what you need and making a thorough comparison of the options at your fingertips, you have a better chance of getting a plan that matches your budget and lifestyle. 

At present, around 7.2% of children and adolescents aged 18 and below—approximately 129 million individuals globally—are living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in some form. In spite of this mounting prevalence, however, many stereotypes and misconceptions still surround the condition. These unfounded myths remain an unfortunate problem in conservative societies like Singapore, for all that concerted efforts on the part of concerned groups have helped lessen the stigma around ADHD and other mental health conditions over time. 

Myths about ADHD not only misrepresent its true nature but also fuel harmful biases that can lead to discrimination. As a result of these misconceptions, people with ADHD may be singled out or excluded at work and school. They might also face difficulties in their interpersonal interactions and their relationships with others. The traumatic influence of such experiences—which can range from emotional hurt to physical violence—is protracted in many cases and even lifelong in some. Thus, it’s important for people without ADHD to be mindful of their language and to challenge stereotypes in order to foster a more accepting environment for those living with the condition.

Unsure of how to speak about ADHD or how to hold a conversation with someone who has it? Here are five things you should never say—and some more constructive things you can say instead.

ADHD Isn’t Real

Though many skeptics still assume ADHD is a made-up condition, it is in fact widely recognised by medical professionals and backed by decades of scientific research. These studies indicate that ADHD has biological origins and can significantly impact various aspects of an individual’s life. Most frequently, it impairs their concentration. ADHD individuals may also struggle with social interaction and impulse control.  

Furthermore, abundant literature is now available on how ADHD can be diagnosed and treated. By pursuing a professional ADHD assessment in Singapore, individuals who suspect they might have the condition—or people who might suspect that their child or another loved one could have the condition—can even access a wealth of clinical interventions and resources that they need to manage it.

Dismissing the existence of ADHD undermines the experiences of those who live with this condition daily. Instead of contributing to this myth, it’s crucial to educate oneself about ADHD and understand it as a real neurological condition. A more considerate way to converse with someone who has ADHD might be to admit that you don’t know a lot about it and ask them to tell you about their experience. This shows respect and a willingness to learn and understand.

ADHD Isn’t a Big Deal

ADHD manifests differently from case to case, but there’s no denying that it can severely compromise an individual’s well-being and ability to function. It can hamper their capacity to focus, regulate their emotions, and manage their time. It can also interfere with their academic performance, work life, and even personal relationships. To minimise it undermines the struggles and challenges that people with ADHD face daily.

When interacting with someone who has ADHD, rather than trivialising their experiences, it’s more supportive to acknowledge the difficulties associated with the condition. Acknowledging that ADHD can be hard to navigate and asking about how it impacts the person personally can help facilitate a more understanding and empathetic interaction.

ADHD Is Overdiagnosed

Many people without ADHD may look at rising diagnosis rates in recent years and come to the conclusion that the condition is overdiagnosed. At baseline, it is true that people suspected to have ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed today than in previous years, when the condition was less well-understood. However, this precisely indicates that knowledge and awareness of the disorder have risen over time. Diagnosis and testing methods for ADHD have also been refined over the years. Diagnosing ADHD today involves a thorough evaluation process, usually requiring input from several sources, including parents, teachers and medical professionals.

Jumping to conclusions about overdiagnoses perpetuates disdainful attitudes towards the condition and those who have it. It’s ultimately more compassionate to focus on the individual experiences of those diagnosed. If someone shares their diagnosis with you, a thoughtful response might be, “I understand that getting an ADHD diagnosis involves several steps. It must be a relief to have clarity about what you’ve been experiencing.” This acknowledges the complexity of the diagnosis process and validates the individual’s experience.

People with ADHD Are Just Lazy

One of the most detrimental stereotypes about individuals with ADHD is the assumption that they’re simply lazy. This belief wrongly reframes ADHD as a character flaw rather than a neurological disorder. People with ADHD often struggle with to manage their time and work in an organised manner, but they are almost never ignoring their responsibilities or putting off their tasks deliberately. These individuals often have to put in extra effort to accomplish tasks that others might take for granted.

Instead of furthering this misconception, a more supportive stance would be to acknowledge the hard work that those with ADHD often put into everything they do. Try a comment such as, “I can see you’re working hard. How can I best support you in your tasks?” It provides a platform for them to voice their needs and reassures them that their efforts are recognised and valued.

ADHD Is Just Boys Being Boys

ADHD is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls and nonbinary individuals, particularly in childhood. However, this discrepancy may reflect differences in behaviour between the sexes and diagnostic biases rather than an actual prevalence. Girls with ADHD, for instance, may exhibit less perceptibly hyperactive behaviour, leading to them being underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Assuming that ADHD is primarily a boys’ condition perpetuates gender biases and insinuates that individuals of other genders are less likely to experience severe symptoms. It also minimises the challenges faced by boys with ADHD and chalks them up to simply being “bad kids,” which can be immensely damaging to their self-esteem. Instead, it would be ultimately more productive to comment on how knowledge and awareness of ADHD have improved over the years, leading to more diagnoses and access to treatment for affected individuals.

Constructive conversations about ADHD require all participants to remain open, understanding, and supportive of people with the condition. Proceeding with this attitude in mind, it’s entirely possible to eliminate harmful misconceptions and create an environment that validates and supports those with ADHD, one respectful discussion at a time.

I honestly believe that in life, there is no way you can avoid interacting with another human being.

Humans come in all shapes and sizes, with different personalities, preferences, interests, motivations, and behaviours.

I always tell people that, “our emotions drive our actions“. How we feel about something influences the way we react or act, even in the case of non-action. Non-action does not simply mean doing nothing; it refers to consciously choosing not to do something. Therefore, the decision-making process to not take action is, in itself, an action.

The reason I decided to further my study in the area of developmental psychology is to unravel the mysteries of human behaviour at every stage of life.

The way a child acts and thinks is vastly different from how a teenager would, just as it differs from an adult or an elderly person.

At each stage of our lives, we have different needs, wants, and priorities. Some of these are shaped by our upbringing, the place where we live, our personal and family beliefs, religion, culture, and interactions with friends and other people.

If there’s one takeaway from this article, it would be that, “every story has two sides, just like a coin“. Whether you are left-brained or right-brained, left-handed or right-handed, there are varying degrees to which you lean towards one side. The ideal position is finding balance and harmony in the middle or center. Is it always possible to achieve this? Yes, but it requires time, effort, and a little bit of mindfulness i.e. being aware of your emotions and acknowledging the thoughts that arise.

Let’s consider some examples, if you’re feeling happy because you just received a promotion, you can either choose to indulge and reward yourself with a good meal, or you can choose to express gratitude to the people (colleagues, bosses, family) who made your promotion possible. If you’re feeling sad because you’ve been laid off, you can either choose to wallow in sorrow or see it as an opportunity for positive change.

Life is full of examples where our emotions and actions intersect. Understanding and embracing our humanity means recognising that there are different perspectives and choices available to us in every situation. It’s through self-awareness, empathy, and open-mindedness that we can navigate the complexities of human interaction and find the balance and harmony we seek.

Being human means acknowledging and embracing our emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, as well as recognising the diversity and complexity of others. By striving for balance, practicing mindfulness, and being open to different perspectives, we can enhance our relationships, personal growth, and overall well-being. Remember, it’s all about being human.

This article is written by Melvin Lee, an accomplished education management professional with over 11 years of experience in leadership roles. With a strong academic background, he holds an EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) and possess relevant credentials in adult training and education, as well as career coaching. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in developmental psychology, he brings a unique perspective to understanding human behaviour at various stages of life. His expertise in education management, coupled with his passion for personal and professional development, enables him to offer valuable insights into fostering harmonious interactions. Through his thought-provoking writings, Melvin encourages readers to embrace their humanity, find balance, and navigate life’s complexities with mindfulness and empathy.

In today’s fast-paced world, prioritising our health and well-being has become more important than ever. As the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to shape our lives, it is encouraging to see a growing number of people in the Asia Pacific region, including Singapore, aspiring to improve their overall health. A recent survey conducted by Herbalife highlights the changing health priorities and challenges faced by consumers. In this blog post, we will delve into the key findings of the survey and provide valuable tips for individuals looking to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Shifting Priorities and Health Consciousness

According to the Herbalife Asia Pacific Health Priority Survey, a significant 77% of consumers in the Asia Pacific region have become more health-conscious due to the pandemic. Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam topped the list, with an overwhelming majority expressing increased health consciousness. Singapore, while relatively less health-conscious, still witnessed 69% of respondents acknowledging a shift in their health priorities after the pandemic.

Aspirations and Obstacles

Singapore consumers expressed a range of health aspirations for 2023, with improved overall health, better sleep, and weight loss emerging as the top three priorities. While 82% of Singaporeans are taking steps towards their health goals, the survey identified “a lack of motivation” as a major obstacle for 45% of respondents. Overcoming this challenge requires a support system, as recognised by the majority of survey participants.

Here are some tips for embracing a healthier, more active lifestyle!

  1. Set Clear and Attainable Goals
    Start by setting specific and achievable health goals. Whether it’s improving overall health, losing weight, or getting better sleep, having a clear objective helps you stay focused and motivated. Break down your goals into smaller milestones, allowing you to track your progress effectively.
  2. Find an Exercise Routine You Enjoy
    Physical activity is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Engage in activities that you genuinely enjoy, be it walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Experiment with different forms of exercise until you discover the ones that bring you joy. This way, you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine in the long run.
  3. Prioritise Balanced Nutrition
    Good nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Focus on consuming a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, excessive sugar, and saturated fats. Consider consulting a nutritionist to create a personalised meal plan that suits your needs.
  4. Cultivate Healthy Sleep Habits
    Quality sleep plays a crucial role in overall well-being. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Create a sleep-friendly environment, limit screen time before bed, and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or reading to unwind and prepare your body for restful sleep.
  5. Build a Supportive Community
    Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share similar health goals. Join fitness classes, online communities, or local groups that promote a healthy lifestyle. Having a support system provides motivation, accountability, and the opportunity to share experiences, knowledge, and valuable advice.
  6. Seek Professional Guidance
    Consider seeking guidance from experts in the field of nutrition and wellness. Professionals can provide personalised advice and support tailored to your specific needs and goals. Whether it’s a nutritionist, personal trainer, or mental health consultant, their expertise can help you navigate challenges and stay on track.

The Herbalife Asia Pacific Health Priority Survey sheds light on the evolving health consciousness in the region, with Singapore consumers expressing a desire for a healthier, more active lifestyle. Overcoming obstacles such as a lack of motivation requires a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of well-being.

By following the tips mentioned above, individuals can pave the way towards embracing a healthier, more active lifestyle.

It is important to remember that small steps can lead to significant changes over time. Celebrate every milestone achieved and be patient with yourself throughout the journey. Remember that adopting a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment, and the goal is to create sustainable habits that promote overall well-being.

Remember, your health is your most valuable asset. Invest in yourself, prioritise self-care, and take proactive steps towards a healthier, more active lifestyle. Together, we can create a healthier and happier future for ourselves and those around us.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Having a maid take care of household chores gives you more time to focus on more important things, like working on your personal and professional improvement, spending time with your family, or enjoying leisurely pursuits. However, finding a good maid that suits your household’s needs can be a tedious process. 

Many Singaporean families struggle to find a helper who’s a good fit with their household, and as such, they tend to rely on a maid agency Singapore families trust to help them with the task. That being said, it’s important to have awareness of some of the mistakes that could get you stuck in the hiring process in the first place. Here are some of them:

Not Complying with the Rules Set by the Ministry of Manpower for Employers

In Singapore, there are two primary ways you can hire a maid: hiring a maid directly or through a maid agency. Choosing to hire a maid directly has several benefits; you have more control over the hiring process, you don’t have any agency fees to pay, and you’re able to build a good relationship with your maid from the start. But before you can even start the process of hiring a maid, you need to comply with the requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) first.

According to the MOM, you’re qualified to be an employer if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re 21 years old and above
  • You’re not an undischarged bankrupt
  • You have the mental capacity to fully understand your roles and duties as an employer

Since maids in Singapore must live with their employers, you’re given a large set of responsibilities to ensure the safety and well-being of your maid. As such, you need to be of sound mind and have the financial capacity to support your maid’s compensation and basic needs.  

If you’re hiring a maid for the first time, you need to attend the Employer Orientation Programme (EOP). This 3-hour programme is designed to help you understand your role and responsibilities as an employer of a foreign domestic worker. Attending the EOP in a classroom will cost you around 35 SGD to 60 SGD. Attending the programme online, on the other hand, will cost you 35 SGD.

Being Unfamiliar with a Singapore’s Work Permit Requirements for Maids

The MOM also created a list of requirements maids need to fulfil for them to receive their work permits. The requirements are as follows:

  • Maids have to be female (male maids are allowed under extremely rare cases and are usually hired to take care of the male elderly)
  • Maids must be between 23 and 50 years old
  • Maids must at least have eight years of formal education
  • Maids must come from approved nations, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand.
  • Maids must not be on a tourist visa or sponsored by another employer

If you plan to hire a maid directly, you should familiarise yourself with these requirements. Otherwise, you could be fined between SGD 5,000 and SGD 30,000, imprisoned for up to 1 year, or both if you’re caught employing a foreign domestic helper without a valid work permit. 

You should also be knowledgeable about the basic duties of a foreign domestic helper. Generally, a maid is tasked to do the cleaning, shopping, cooking, and washing and ironing of clothes. They can also take care of children, elderly family members, and pets. If you deploy your maid to do work that’s outside their job description, you could face legal repercussions.

Choosing a Maid Agency That Offers Rates That Are Too Good to Be True

Working with a maid agency is a more convenient solution if you don’t have the time or experience to hire a foreign domestic helper. Agencies have a large selection of highly trained and skilled maids who can perform their duties with great efficiency. As such, you’ll have an easier and quicker time finding a maid. If you’re having trouble choosing a maid, the agency will gladly match you with a maid that fits your requirements. However, most agencies will charge you between 1,000 SGD to 3,000 SGD for their services. This fee usually includes the cost of your maid’s insurance, airfare, and application.

To save money, some Singaporeans would rather look for an agency that offers cheaper rates. Though there’s nothing wrong with finding ways to cut your expenses, choosing an agency that offers services for a price that’s too good to be true isn’t the ideal compromise. Agencies that charge lower fees typically don’t have the best candidates to offer or have a history of providing their clients with inefficient applicants. They also might not provide their domestic helpers with proper training, medical care, insurance, or security bonds. 

You want to hire a maid because you want your home, kids, and elderly family members to be well taken care of. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to work with a dependable agency that can help you get your money’s worth. To find a maid agency that offers excellent services at a reasonable price range, it’s good to do some research. You might also want to visit the agencies’ websites to check their legitimacy and to read comments from their previous customers.

Hiring a maid in Singapore can be challenging, and many Singaporeans may find themselves making mistakes that can lengthen the hiring process. However, if you familiarise yourself with these three common mistakes, you can save yourself the hassle of encountering problems when hiring directly or through an agency.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to have your website hacked? Unfortunately, we found out firsthand when our website fell victim to a malicious intruder. In this post, we want to share our harrowing experience, how we managed to recover from the incident, and the valuable cybersecurity lessons we learnt along the way.

With over 12 years of operating A Winsome Life, we never expected to face such threats, but we now understand the importance of staying vigilant in the face of increasing attacks from malicious hackers.

How We Got Hacked
Regrettably, we experienced a successful hacking attempt, during which the attacker gained access to our website’s backend. They changed our password and the email address associated with password recovery. While we cannot be certain whether it was a result of brute force hacking or SQL injection, we suspect the latter because we had implemented measures to mitigate brute force attacks, and we observed a rise in SQL injection attempts.

Our Recovery Process
Upon receiving the alarming notification that our password and recovery email were changed, panic set in. We tried various methods to regain control but were met with frustration. To regain access, we took the following immediate actions:

  1. We blocked all access to our .htaccess file and implemented stringent security measures for sensitive files, folders, and directories.
  2. We meticulously retraced the steps taken by the hacker. By reclaiming ownership of our account and changing the password, we were able to regain control. We owe our successful recovery to our access to the server, which enabled us to override the hacker’s actions. This highlights the vital importance of securing server access alongside website security.

Securing Our Website
Following the ordeal, we swiftly implemented additional security features to fortify our website. We installed the Wordfence plugin for our WordPress platform, which provides robust protection against anomalies and threats from unknown IP addresses. Furthermore, we implemented a two-factor authentication method as an added layer of defence, safeguarding against unauthorised access even if the initial security measures fail.

The Significance of Cybersecurity
It bewilders us as to why our website, devoid of payment processing or commercial transactions, became an attractive target for hackers. Nevertheless, we feel compelled to share our story and emphasize that cybersecurity threats are real.

If you operate a WordPress website with e-commerce features, it is crucial to frequently update your plugins and implement additional safeguards to secure your platform. The prevalence of fraud and phishing scams in the news serves as a stark reminder. As technology continues to permeate our lives, exercise caution when encountering anything that appears too good to be true.

Experiencing a website hack was an alarming and stressful ordeal for us. However, we emerged stronger and more knowledgeable from this experience. By sharing our story, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and help fellow website owners avoid a similar fate. Should you have any questions or comments regarding this topic, please feel free to leave them below or contact us directly.

The job market nowadays is faster-paced and more competitive than ever. With the different ways and the speed at which technology evolves, entire industries can transform in the blink of an eye. If you want to be able to keep up, then you need to invest more in yourself. Specifically, you need to make sure that your skills and knowledge are up to par with the latest trends, standards, and requirements of your industry.

One way to do this is to pursue lifelong learning. After all, learning doesn’t just happen within the classroom, and it certainly doesn’t stop after you finish school. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up new skills and hone what you already know. For example, if you live in Singapore, you can enrol in SkillsFuture credit courses in a variety of fields that include engineering, business, infocomm technology, and even culinary arts. You can also take up new hobbies, learn a new language, or get certified in first aid.

Apart from keeping up with the times, there are many more reasons to embrace lifelong learning. Here are just a few:

Future-Proofing Your Career

As mentioned earlier, industries evolve at a breakneck pace nowadays. The best practices today may not necessarily be the best practices tomorrow; the same can be said about in-demand skills. If you aren’t consistently working towards improving and increasing your competencies, you’ll definitely be left behind by your peers.

Through lifelong learning, you’ll be able to future-proof your career. Besides making you a valuable asset to your organisation, your commitment to continuous self-development also shows your employer that you are someone who’s worth keeping around.

Broadening Your Job Options

After working for years in a specific field, there may come a time when you feel like it’s time for a change. However, hopping from one role to another might not be as simple as you think it is. For one, there are plenty of qualified individuals vying for limited positions; this can make it difficult for you to stand out.

If you enrol in training programmes to learn new skills, especially industry-specific and transferable ones, it will be easier for you to transition into a new job. You’ll also have an easier time exploring opportunities in other industries, should you want a completely new career.

Expanding Your Professional Network

When you invest your time in lifelong learning, you’ll get to know more people outside of your usual circle of coworkers and industry colleagues. From your instructors to your fellow learners, you can expand your professional network considerably through continuing education. This will be quite valuable for your social life, as well as your future job prospects.

Getting to know other people can also help you in cultivating new ideas and encountering fresh perspectives. Both of these can further broaden your horizons, not just in terms of your career but also life in general.

Acquiring and Developing Soft Skills

Most jobs require highly specific skills, such as operating heavy machinery or writing a computer programme. However, if you want to truly advance in your chosen career, you also need to develop a variety of soft skills like the following:

  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Conflict management
  • Leadership
  • Communication

Through lifelong learning, you can acquire and develop plenty of soft skills. These can then help you build character, as well as help you achieve your professional goals. What’s even better is that all of these soft skills are also transferable. As such, if ever you want to change career paths sometime in the future, your transition will be much smoother.

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

While the human brain isn’t actually a muscle, it still requires exercise to keep it in good shape. You can do this through many different ways, including solving puzzles or reading more books. If you want to hit two proverbial birds with one stone, however, you can enrol in a certification training course or any other lifelong learning programme you prefer.

By doing so, not only will you be able to improve your memory and strengthen your cognitive function, but you will also be able to boost your career prospects.

Feeling More Confident, Fulfilled, and Motivated

Last but certainly not least, lifelong learning can help you feel better about yourself. First, mastering new skills and learning new things boosts your self-confidence and sense of self-worth. When you know you can do your job well and exceed expectations, you’ll feel more confident and become a better, more efficient worker.

What’s more, lifelong learning can increase your sense of self-fulfilment and satisfaction. When you finish a course and are able to apply what you’ve learned at work, you feel proud about what you’ve accomplished. This feeling can then spill over to other aspects of your life, helping you feel even happier with your life progress.

As the saying goes, it’s never too late to learn. No matter how old you are or how far along you are in your career journey, there’s always room for growth. Consider all of the above benefits and you might just be convinced to start harnessing the power of lifelong learning today.