11 Things to Do When You’re Alone in a Quarantine

There are a lot of things you can do at home even when you are alone during the quarantine instead of just scrolling through social media. Here are some activities homebodies and nerds do to stay sane that will help you get through the quarantine.

Read that book you’re planning to read. If you have a stack of books you hoarded last year, now is the perfect time to read them. If you do not have books, you could still sharpen your mind by getting the e-book or audiobook versions. Remember to get them from legit sources so the writers get compensated for saving your sanity.

Tackle your backlog of games. Remember those cheap games you bought during the holidays? Now you have plenty of time to play them before other new games come out. As long as there is electricity and internet, you will be fine.

Make art. Turn this opportunity into making your masterpiece or just honing your skills. You will also have access to plenty of resources online if you need to improve your techniques. For those without art skills, try the adult coloring books you bought last year.

Practice playing that musical instrument. If it does not bother your neighbors, it is time to start playing that musical instrument again. Or you could try to learn a new one. There are a lot of tutorials you can find online nowadays.

Watch those 3-hours plus movies. Remember those old classics that you have been avoiding because you don’t have enough time? Now that you are stuck at home, you might even be able to watch Lawrence of Arabia, The Ten Commandments, and some Bollywood and experimental films.

Learn a new language. You do not need to enroll for a class to start learning a new language. Put your internet to good use.

Try home workouts. You will still need some physical activities to keep fit during a pandemic, but if going out is not an option, there are home workouts you can try. Yoga, aerobics, and Zumba are some of your options.

Use the solitude to write your masterpiece. Maybe being forced to stay at home is just the inspiration you needed to finally start writing that story.

Find stuff at home to fix. If you have a set of tools at home, you can do minor repairs while in quarantine. This can also be a good workout.

Clean your apartment. Remember when you used to tell yourself you do not have time to clean because you’re busy? Well, now you have time to make your apartment livable.  You do not have to do everything all at once; clean a different room each day.

Try virtual tours. If your trips got cancelled this year, you can still visit some famous tourist spots using the virtual tour.

Practical Bridal Makeup Tips

You would want to look your best on your wedding day, but does that mean you should try a different style? Do you need to use another makeup product to achieve desired results? Or do you need to follow the latest makeup trend to look good in the pictures?

Below are practical makeup tips for the bride-to-be.

Don’t try to look like other people

Just because you need to look your best does not mean you should do more than what is necessary. The latest beauty trends like contouring might look nice in some photos, but if it is not something you would usually do, there is no reason to try it on your wedding day. If you look at your wedding photos years later, you will want to see a person you can still recognize.

Stick to what works

It is also not a good time to try other products on the day of your wedding. If this is your plan, you need to do a trial days before the wedding to see how it will turn out. That way, you will still have plenty of time to find other options. Remember to take photos of yourself after doing your makeup trial, because you might not like how you look in them.

Don’t skip the skin prep

You need to practice good skin care weeks leading to your wedding to improve color and texture. Makeup looks better on healthy skin and provides a better base. Talk to your dermatologist about improving complexion and scheduling treatments before the wedding.

Pick the best foundation

This should be the focus during your trial makeup sessions because most brides miss this. Sometimes the foundation will look cakey when you wear it for several hours. Because most weddings last for half a day, you have to make sure that your makeup does not look like it is melting after two hours. It will be noticeable in photos, too.

Use natural light

When applying makeup, you should sit in front of a natural light source such as near a window. Natural light makes it easier for the makeup artist to see the effect of makeup on your natural skin tone and undertones. Your photos will look better too even if there is flash.

Use waterproof mascara and other makeup

Waterproof makeup will stay longer, which is crucial to events like a wedding. A waterproof mascara in particular will stay on longer even during an emotional moment on your wedding.

Go for a natural look

Having dramatic makeup is fine in certain circumstances, but it does not always work with a wedding. Styles like smokey eyes make you look older in photos, while some types of lipsticks that look good initially do not last long.

Some brides also make the mistake of wearing the wrong lashes. It is understandable to want to look beautiful but remember that your groom wants to be with you because he loves you for who you are. You will be the envy of everyone in the room because you will be the prettiest in your wedding.

4 Easy-to-Make Cookie Recipes

Do you love cookies but don’t have enough time to make them? Try these very easy cookie recipes that you can make in minutes.

Tahini Cookies

Ingredients: 2 cups flour, ¾ cup tahini, ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¾ cup unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons honey, and ¾ cup sugar

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350° while whisking flour with salt and baking powder in a bowl. In a mixer, beat butter with honey and sugar for 3 minutes. Gradually add tahini and the flour mixture until the mixture forms a slightly sticky dough. Form dough into small balls then dip in sesame seeds. Line balls in a baking sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, making sure to rotate the sheets when halfway done.

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies

Ingredients: 2 cups oats, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup pecans, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¾ cup unsalted butter, ¾ cup light brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation: Preheat oven to 425°F then spread oats in a rimmed baking sheet, Toast for 6 minutes before adding pecans and toasting again for 6 minutes. In a bowl, whisk flour with nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the toasted oats and pecans. Set aside. In a mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for 4 minutes then add vanilla, egg, and maple syrup. Gradually add the oat and pecans mix until combined. Let for an hour. When ready, preheat oven to 350°F and scoop cookie batter not parchment-line baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, making sure to rotate the sheets when nearly done.

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ¾ teaspoon salt

Preparation: In a bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt then set aside, In a mixer, beat sugar and butter for 3 minutes before adding egg yolk, vanilla, and egg. When combined, add the dry mixture gradually. Next, knead the dough into small disks, wrap in plastic, and chill for 2 hours. When ready, preheat oven to 325°F and let dough sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Cut cookies shapes from the dough then place in lined baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, making sure to rotate the sheets when halfway done.

Salty Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients: 8 ounces semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate, 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ cup sugar, ¾ cup light brown sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter, and flaky sea salt

Preparation: Preheat oven to 375°F while whisking flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a mixer, beat butter with powdered sugar, brown sugar, and sugar for 3 minutes before whisking in vanilla, egg and egg yolks. Beat for 5 minutes until combined, then fold in chocolate with a spatula. Spoon dough into lined baking sheets, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure to rotate the sheets when halfway done.

Foot Risks Resulting from Diabetes

One of the most common complications of diabetes is the damage done to the nerves caused by poor blood circulation. The condition is called peripheral artery disease, which narrows the blood vessels in the legs.

When this happens, the extremities, usually the feet, do not heal quickly and become prone to ulcers. With improved healthcare in recent years, there are fewer amputations among diabetic patients in Singapore, but some people are more likely to undergo one for several reasons.

Risks of Foot Amputation

Fortunately, some foot ulcers can be treated to avoid amputation. However, the ulcers might not heal if you have a high blood sugar level, nerve damage, high blood pressure, foot deformities, corns or calluses, and poor blood circulation. If you are also a smoker, you have a higher chance of getting foot ulcers than others because smoke can damage the nerves.

Wounds from injury can also lead to amputation because they might not heal within 2 weeks. That is why diabetics are advised to be careful because they might not be able to feel the pain in their feet right away.

Foot Care

Foot care therefore is important in preventing development of foot ulcers, along with maintaining an ideal blood sugar and blood pressure level. Make it a habit to wash your feet daily and to keep them dry and moisturized.

Avoid injuring your feet by wearing ill-fitting shoes and trimming nails properly. Never ever go barefoot even when you’re at home because you’ll most likely get injured. You should also inspect your foot for cracks, selling, sores, and blisters and to report changes to your doctor. Only a podiatrist should remove lesions, even calluses from your feet.

Foot Ulcers

Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is at risk for developing ulcers, and this increases with age as well. Even a mild injury to the foot can cause foot ulcer, sometimes without the person even feeling any pain because the nerves might be damaged.

Make sure that you look out for these warning signs daily: blisters, ingrown nails, plantar warts, fungal infection, redness, swelling, discolored skin, foul odor, and warmth in specific areas. Ulcers that do not heal for two weeks or are bigger than 2 centimeters should be checked by a doctor.

Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the size and severity of the ulcer, but the recovery depends on how your body can quickly heal the wound. The doctor will first clean the wound to make sure that there are no debris or dead tissue. You need to have it checked every week or once every four weeks depending on your doctor’s advice.

Amputation may be the only option if there is an infection or if the foot has lost a lot of tissue. The goal of amputation is to remove dead tissue as much as possible to help it heal. Depending on where the wound is located, the toes or feet may be amputated. Sometimes a major amputation below or above the knee is required.

5 Mango Recipes You Should Try

Mangoes contain vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, and dietary fiber that is why it’s good for a low-cholesterol diet and improving bone health, digestion, and complexion. Here are some tasty mango recipes you should try.

Mango and Pineapple Salsa

  • Ingredients: 2 cups diced mango, 1 cup diced pineapple, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, ½ cup minced red onion, 1 seeded and minced jalapeno pepper, and salt
  • Preparation: A bowl, mix all of the ingredients together then season with salt. The salsa can be served with chips right away or stored in the fridge for up to two days.

Mango Ice Cream and Chili Sea Salt

  • Ingredients: 2 cups of pureed ripe mango, 2 eggs, 1 juiced lime, ¼ cup honey, ½ cup white sugar, 3 cups cream (halved), 2 Thai red chili, and 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • Preparation: Place the mango puree and lime juice in a blender and puree until the consistency is smooth. While blending, whisk eggs and sugar in a saucepan, then add honey and two cups of cream. Cook in medium heat while stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove pan from heat then add the remaining cream. Cool the pan in ice to create a custard. Once it cools, whisk in the puree, then chill overnight in a separate container. Next, pour the custard in an ice cream maker while preparing the chili sea salt separately. Mix chili and sea salt in the food processor. Serve the ice cream with the chili sea salt.

Mango Shrikhand

  • Ingredients: 4 mango slices or 3 peeled/whole ataulfo/champagne mangoes, 1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt, 8 to 10 strands of saffron, 4 teaspoons confectioner sugar, ½ cup heavy cream, fresh lemon juice, 5 to 6 halves pistachio, and powdered seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • Preparation: Blend the mangoes, sugar, saffron, cardamom powder, and whipped cream in a food processor. While processing, add the yogurt, then the lemon juice. Process for an additional 30 seconds until all the ingredients are mixed, then transfer the mixture in a bowl and garnish with saffron strands and pistachios. Chill before serving.

Mango Lassi

  • Ingredients: 1 cup chopped ripe mango, 1 cup plain yogurt, ½ cup milk, 4 teaspoons sugar or honey, and a dash of ground cardamom
  • Preparation: Mix mango, milk, yogurt, sugar, and cardamom in a blender until the desired consistency is achieved. Add ice or serve drink with ice cubes. Sprinkle with ground cardamom before serving.

Maanga Pulissery

  • Ingredients: 2 chopped mangoes, 2 green chilis, 2 cups grated coconut, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 slit red chilis, 2 cups curd, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 8 to 10 curry leaves, salt, 1 teaspoon oil, and water
  • Preparation: Mix coconut, turmeric, green chilis, cumin seeds, with water in a blender to create a paste. Then, add the paste to a heated pan and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes. Next, add curd, water, and salt. Add the mangoes and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. In a separate pan, heat the red chilis, curry leaves, and mustard seeds, then pout this over the mango curry.

Separating Myths and Facts About Aging

Most of modern society is afraid of getting old. People often associate aging with disease, senility, and immobility but that does not mean that the elderly can no longer contribute to society, have fun, learn something new, and stay healthy.

Here are some common myths about aging that we need to correct.

The elderly are sickly

Bad habits can catch up on you even when you are still in your 20s, so that doesn’t mean that if you’re old you will automatically get sick. Not everyone can live up to the age of 60 years even with the advances in healthcare and science, and this is determined mostly by genes and lifestyle. Some seniors who live up to 90 are certainly healthier than the younger people who live stressful, unhealthy lives.

Old people can’t do sports

Not having to worry about going to work everyday actually gives you more time to explore other interests or start a new hobby. Most sports are accessible even to the seniors as long as they have been active and healthy all their life. Some seniors even find new life in learning new activities such as jogging, cycling, trekking, water sports, golf, and martial arts.

Seniors are always moody

Stress will make anyone moody, especially if the person cannot handle day-to-day challenges very well. When you’re a senior, you have fewer problems to worry about because all your children have graduated and are earning for themselves; plus, you don’t need to go to work every day. In fact, the most stressful time of a person’s life is between the ages 20 to 35 when the combined pressures of family, work, and society can be felt at full force.

The elderly can’t learn new tricks

The brain does not shrink as you get older even if your movements and reaction are a lot slower. Seniors can still enjoy the things they love and discover new things. It is also the perfect time to learn a new skill because you have all the time to spare.

Staying at home and wondering when you’re going to expire will not be good for your mental well-being. In fact, staying active after retirement can help stop dementia and other degenerative illnesses from developing.

Old people suffer the effects of aging

There is so much pressure given to people to stay and look young. Just look at all the age-defying beauty products sold in Singapore and the rest of the world. But getting old is not a disease. It’s natural to have bald spots, graying hair, and wrinkled skin.

It is a natural process that everyone must go through at some point, that is, if you’re lucky to even reach 50 years. Instead of feeling like you’re being left out, look at aging as a blessing. The older you get means the more time to spend with family and friends and to enjoy the things you love longer.

5 Red Wine Recipes to Enjoy

Did you know that the red wine you love so much can be included in tasty meals for the family? Here are 5 recipes with wine that you should try.

Red Wine-Poached Chorizo

Ingredients: Two pieces of 4-ounce dry Spanish chorizo, 10 peeled garlic cloves, 4 bay leaves, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 6 cups dry red wine

Preparation: In a skillet, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for not more than 15 minutes until the chorizo become plump. Slice the chorizo diagonally and simmer again for another 5 minutes before transferring to a bowl and pouring the liquid on top.

Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients: 3 pounds of boneless chicken breast halves, 1 cup red wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 minced garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 cup brown sugar, and salt and pepper

Preparation: In a skillet, sauté garlic until tender then place the chicken. Cook for 10 minutes on each side then remove the heat and drain the oil. Sprinkle paprika, sugar, and pour red wine around the chicken. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes while basting with wine sauce.

Salmon in Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients: 4 salmon steaks, ½ cup red wine, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon oil, salt and ground black pepper, and 2 scallions with tops and bulbs separated

Preparation: Preheat oven to 450° then place the oiled pan for about 5 minutes. Season the salmon with salt and pepper before placing them in the pan. Cook for 8 minutes then drain the excess oil. Use the oil to saute scallion bulbs and wine for not more than 2 minutes. Next, whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. On a plate, place the fish and sprinkle scallion greens then spoon the sauce around the salmon.

Red Wine Mascarpone Risotto

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, 1 cup alborio rice, 3 ½ cups chicken stock, ¾ cup dry red wine, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 finely chopped shallots, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1 juiced lemon

Preparation: In a saute pan, melt the butter and saute the shallots and garlic for three minutes. Add the alborio rice and cook for about one minute before pouring the wine. Let the wine evaporate before adding chicken stock. Stir constantly until the rice absorbs the stock. Remove from heat and add the cheese, chives, lemon, and lemon juice. Season with salt then serve.

Red Wine Portobello Burger

Ingredients: 4 portobello mushrooms, 4 toasted hamburger buns, 2 teaspoons grill seasoning, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons red wine, ½ cup grated cheddar, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 4 romaine lettuce leaves, and 1 sliced tomato

Preparation: Combine the grill seasoning, garlic, oil, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Coat the mushrooms in the mixture. Heat a grill pan and place the mushrooms with the gills downwards for about 5 minutes on each side. Before flipping, coat each side with cheese. Combine 2 tablespoons of the mixture with mayonnaise and spread these on the hamburger bun. Serve the buns with the mushroom, tomato, and lettuce.