Stylish Alternatives to Leather

Leather is not for everyone, not because some people don’t look stylish with it, but because processing of the raw materials from animal hide or skin contributes to animal cruelty and pollution. While not everyone will agree with such reasons, the chemicals involved in processing leather should not be set aside, that is why alternatives to leather have been promoted in recent years so people can have more choices without compromising style.

Here are some eco-friendly, cruelty-free materials to consider.

Cork. It is considered natural because of the sustainable cork oak forest industry that is tied up with preservation and the protection of endangered animals. What’s great about it, is that it’s waterproof and recyclable. Famous designer brands have been using this material, so it’s not like it’s cheap either.

Paper. Yes, some designers have been using paper to create bags, and are valued not just for their durability but also for their finish. If you’re not sure about the durability part, consider this: paper has been used in constructing buildings such as the Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral.

Waxed Cotton. Organic waxed cotton is used for a variety of clothing and bags, because they’re waterproof, washable, and pliable, unlike authentic leather.

Recycled Rubber. The texture of rubber, which mimics the look and feel of leather, makes it ideal for creating bags. The materials are taken from used rubber products, like tyres, a bonus that you will never get when purchasing authentic leather.

Tree Bark Leather. This is made from sustainable timber (which means the trees are grown again), that are prized for their natural grain, durability, flexibility, and eco-friendly processing. Not only is it used to create bags, but trousers and coats as well, because the material can be made as thin as leather.

Coolstone Leather. You’ll love the texture of this material made from slate stone, especially when it ages. The color and finish make it almost indistinguishable from authentic leather, but the texture feels like paper and stone.

Pinatex. As the name suggests, the materials come from pineapple bush, and look like authentic leather. It’s known for its durability and watertight properties, plus you’ll also be helping pineapple farmers indirectly when you purchase one.

MuSkin. This beautiful alternative to leather is made from mushrooms and are biodegradable. The only problem is that it must be waterproofed, but it’s also versatile so that you can change the shape and size of the material to create a design.

Faux Leather. This alternative to leather is commonly used in upholstery and is made either from polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PU is more flexible, softer, and has breathable qualities, while PVC is used for its moisture-resistant properties. Both are durable, low maintenance, and are cheaper than leather.

7 tips for a hyped adult sleepover

If you’re in your 20s or even just barely past it, those sleepovers might be well out of the picture. Those stuff are for teens and in-betweens right? You’re way past those awkward, pucker-faced nights and pajamas just don’t work for you anymore.

But sometimes the heart wants what it wants. That teen in you screams for another round of those nights when you spend with the platonic love of your friends. Because as you pass that line between adult and teen, platonic is as rare as your before 5am waking time.

So here are a few tips to make your adult sleepovers one of the best in your history of sleepovers:

1. Prepare DIY desserts
What better way to start your stay-in night with a good dessert? All the experimenting and shuffling in the kitchen for ingredients you hope you have will surely make you reminisce all those earlier days with your friends. Nothing like a task to keep you busy, and actually have a reward of sweet sugary goodness right after. You’ll need a good kitchen with the right equipment for the baking, as well as a good stock of ingredients and a whole lot of patience. Since recipes are readily available online, resources aren’t an issue. So start choosing between brownies, crepe or waffles and get your mini cooking show started.

2. Drink up
If you and your mates are of age then there’s no stopping you from enjoying a night in with just the right amount of booze. Take your pick and a quick trip to the store will give you a good night of booze, friends and stories.

3. Dance parties
Since you’ve already had a drink or two, you might want to turn up the volume and just lose yourself in a good song. You may want to choose the era and hype up those moves. Nothing like a good dance with your mates to shake off the week’s stress at work. If you have the facilities for this, the better. An xbox session with your friends could surely bring in a flood of nostalgia from when you just did this on the streets or in the hallways after school.

4. Mini spa session
There’s just something appealing with a little pampering time with your girls. Whether it’s a complex procedure like a footspa or just as simple as a moisturizing mask, you and your girls could surely use a little freshening up despite the late hour. Matching mani pedis could also do well for your incoming week.

5. Build a fort
Who says pillow and blanket forts should stay in our past? Our children might thank us for our skills in the near future. Keep the atmosphere cozy with a fort that’s sure to keep you warm throughout the night. If and when you actually decide to sleep.

6. Movies
This is a must in any sleepover. Keep those movies well-stacked and well-arranged because your friends might need a specific genre any night. Sleepovers are meant for binge watching, so make sure those tissues and snacks are well stocked too. From chic flicks to drama to action to horror, there’s nothing a relaxing night in front of a movie can’t fix.

7. Games
There’s something vulnerable as the night drones on, and what better way to catch up with all the goings-on with you and your friends’ lives than to play a game for it. Hang on, this is the part where it gets real. Your sleepover might just be the glue to keep you and your mates for another decade or so together.

6 ways to manage stress

Regardless of the field of profession you are in, you can’t get away from stress. It’s ever-present and the sooner you accept it as an inevitable, the more resilient you are whenever it strikes.

So take a break from all those rants about to burst from their seams. Here are a few ways to help you finally tame those stresses that just can’t seem to stop:

1. Exercise
Not many people are aware of this, but exercise is an effective stress buster. It actually makes you happy as you sweat those stresses out. When you exert effort and actually sweat, your brain produces neurotransmitters called Serotonin which stimulates a happy mood. It helps keep your mood in neutralizing levels, making your stress tolerable and at bay. So make sure to keep your exercise routine active and well within your regular schedule so you stay psychologically healthy as well.

2. Sleep more and sleep well
Not only is the number of hours you sleep important, but even the quality it has. Doesn’t mean you slept 8 hours is a good indicator in itself. Whether those 8 hours were uninterrupted and well-slept sets the distinction altogether. So make sure to get good quality hours of sleep and you’ll find your stressors manageable and conquerable. Your brain sees perspective of things way better when it has a good night’s sleep.

3. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and sugars
There are some type of food you should refrain from, no matter how strong the urge is to stress eat. You might want to hold off on one more cup of coffee or a few more cigarettes than your usual. Both contain substances that are stimulants by nature and could worsen the stress you feel. Alcohol is also tricky when you’re stressed. Contrary to what most people do, alcohol is actually a depressant when taken in large amounts. Refined sugars are also a no-no when you’re stressed. These are mostly found in manufactured and savory food such as salad dressings and bread. They cause energy crashes which cause you to feel irritable and tired.

4. Write it down
Most of our stresses just need a good outlet with which we can find our long-wanted release. So to take the burden out of other people, we might want to write them down instead. Find a nuke free from disturbances and you can release your stress one word at a time.

5. Talk to someone you trust
You may or may not seek professional help when you feel you’re about to drown from all the stress. But more importantly, talk to someone you trust, be it a professional or not. Sometimes we just need to vent out the pressure and just someone to be there for us.

6. Let go
If you find yourself saying yes to tasks you barely have time for, then hold up that nod and think twice. You only have one body, and time isn’t always on your side. So let go of some burdens you unnecessarily take upon yourself. Manage your time well, and if some things just don’t make the cut then let them go. If people stress you out, the same principle applies as long as you don’t put your life at stake by doing so. Endure the discomfort of the temporary change, and in the long run you’ll find yourself much more relaxed than before.

What Does a Locksmith Do?

Ever wondered what a locksmith does to unlock the door to your apartment, duplicate a key, or fix broken locks? Here is a brief overview of the processes and techniques included in locksmith services.

• Bypassing or Picking. If you need to unlock the door to your apartment without damaging the locks, you can call a locksmith to either bypass or pick locks using warded keys and alteration of the mechanism, respectively. Warded keys are similar to skeleton keys which are bypassed in the lock mechanism. While combination locks can be bypassed by recording resistance points. Later, the locksmith will be able to repair a lock with less damage. Picking alters the locking mechanism completely but there is a higher chance that the locks will be destroyed. This is done through the use of a pick and torque wrench.

• Key Cutting. The primary locksmith service you will find in any locksmith shop is the cutting of keys for virtually any type of mechanical lock. A key maker can cut keys through the following methods: machine cutting, hand-cutting, and creation of restricted and security keys. Additionally, they can also be relied upon to make locks for windows and doors and to change broken door lock in Singapore that has been damaged through forced entry. They can also perform home key cutting and even do lock installation for UPVC windows and doors commonly found in small apartment units. If, however, the locks have been damaged by a burglar, the locksmith will usually recommend a new set of locks to avoid further tampering.

• Safe Installation. A trusted locksmith services company in Singapore can also install and fit any type of security safe for your home or office. To make sure you get quality work, look for a professional locksmith who specialized in safes and vaults of any size and type. The same locksmith should be able to help with the repair, supply, and relocation of the safe if needed.

• Auto Locksmith. A trusted car locksmith can not only help you unlock car doors in case you lost of forgot your keys, but they are also equipped to cut, program, reprogram, repair, and replace any type of mechanical or digital car key. Modern car keys are very difficult to replace because each is programmed and designed for specific models, even down to the specific unit. Only a professional 24 hour locksmith have the technology to bypass such standards.

• Impressioning. Another method to bypass a lock without destroying it is to use impressioning. A cheap locksmith will insert a blank key and manipulated so as to leave impressions. Then, the blank key is filed and inserted several times until the correct impression is achieved.

• Access Control. Professional locksmiths are also licensed to install security systems for residential complexes and offices. These include pin, card, and biometric door access systems that might be difficult to install, specify, supply, and troubleshoot without the help of experts.

• Emergency. Locksmith services can help with emergency situations such as car lockouts. A professional has all the tools to unlock car doors if you have left your child or pet inside, or if you need to unpick your lock to the apartment without damaging the lock through forced entry. Always keep the contact details of a trusted 24 hour locksmith for such situations.

A Guide to Commercial and Residential Painting

Looking for the best painter in Singapore to complete a condo painting project? Or is your office in need of the best painting services for exterior and interior makeover? Check out the different options you can enjoy from HBD painting service, the best painting contractor in the country.

Professional Preparation
Painting services should always include professional prep right after the inspection and estimation. Any furniture and item that can be removed must be covered and relocated, including outlet and switch covers, down spouts, and shutters. Commercial buildings in Singapore might also include parts such as metal surfaces, steel panels, paneling, siding, cladding, roofs, framing and support structures. The walls must also be prepared to make sure that the paint will last for years. Scraping, caulking, sanding, and priming are part of the painting preparation.

Professional Cleanup
Exterior painting projects take more preparation time than when doing interior painting. Commercial buildings in need of repainting will need power washing (hot or cold), treatments, sandblasting, and repairs before any work can commence. For large-scale projects such as these, you should only contact a reputable painting contractor. They will also make sure to take precautions when safeguarding other areas in the building such as gardens or landscaping, so that the daily operations can continue. Most commercial buildings have different services rates compared to a residential paint contractor.

Interior Painting
Condo painting for interiors can be done room by room. A good house painter in Singapore, however, has more considerations to keep in mind when doing interior versus exterior painting. The occupants and the property must be protected, and if possible, daily routine must only be minimally interrupted while the interior house painting is ongoing.

Several steps are taken to ensure that the interior painting project is a success. These include the moving of furniture, removal of outlet and switch covers, drywall repair, sanding, taping and back filling, priming, drywall review, finishing coat, and cleanup. Commercial buildings need not worry about having their business interrupted by the HBD painting contractor, because they can work around the business hours to finish the project on the agreed schedule.

Exterior Painting
Condo painting for exteriors is a bit more complicated than interior painting projects. That’s because the preparation can take some time before the crew will start to paint the wall. The painter ensures that the following steps are followed: power washing of the exterior surface, scraping to reveal solid edge, removal of the down spouts and shutters, caulking (for seams and cracks), masking and covering of landscape and features that cannot be removed, and painting. The type of paint applied, the cost of paint, and the paint colours appropriate for the building depends on the material of the surface and the effect the owner wants to achieve, especially if it’s a commercial painting service job.

Project Follow-Up
A good painting contractor will guarantee that the result of the work will last for years. They will ensure this through inspection and follow-ups in case retouches are needed. Before a project is completed, the painting services company will schedule a final inspection and walkthrough of the building. Always hire a painter if you need touch-ups and to enjoy more options for a cheap house painting service.

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