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What You Need to Know About Recessed Lighting for Your Home

Also known as can lights or downlights, recessed lights are metal housings usually installed above the ceiling line, and are generally not visible except for the thin trim and part of the inner baffle.

While they do need extensive ceiling wiring, their junction boxes allow light-to-light connections, which means that you only need to run one cable instead of several.

Trim and Baffles
The most visible sections of recessed lighting come with their own moving parts:

• Trim – This fits flat onto the ceiling and into the housing itself, and can either be made of plastic or metal.

• Baffles – These can either direct or reflect the light depending on their shaped. For instance, ridged baffles direct light downward to prevent side reflection, while reflective baffles extend the light’s diameter.
These two parts both make the light what it is, and everything else around the light is simply made out of formed sheet metal.

Why You Want Them
Here’s why you might want to have recessed lighting for your home:

• You don’t see the fixtures – The strongest advantage of ceiling recessed lights is their ability to hide and not appear to take up much space compared to other types of light fixtures.

• You have a low ceiling – When it comes to rooms with low ceilings, recessed lighting is a great way to keep fixtures from grazing people’s heads or sticking out visually, which creates the illusion of more space.

• Complete room coverage – When aligned the right way, recessed lights can completely light up a room much better than an ordinary light fixture.

• Waterproof – This feature is especially great for the most water-intensive environments of your home.

The Best Places to Use Recessed Lighting
The following places in your home, whether it’s an HDB flat or condo unit, will definitely benefit the best from having recessed lighting:

• Kitchen – Since recessed lights are directional, they will be great for kitchen task lights when cooking.

• Shower stalls – Water-intensive environments can mean disaster for light fixtures since droplets can splash and damage the light bulbs, but with recessed lighting, this doesn’t have to be an issue.

• Rooms with low ceilings – If you have a smaller space and want to get as much of it back as possible, you will definitely want to invest in them.

Because recessed lighting can come in different configurations, it’s important that you pay attention to where you plan on directing your light.

If you’re not sure about the location for your hidden fixtures, the best way to do it is by asking your electrician on where it should be installed in your ceiling.

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How to Repair Loose Recessed Lights that Keep Falling Down

While recessed lights are especially great in low-ceiling environments, getting them to stay in place can sometimes take a lot more work than what you would initially expect.

Some clips can work pretty well and hold the light bulb (and its fixture) in place. However, when two or more clips fail to provide the adequate support, your recessed light will start to hang down.

The good news is that there is one permanent way to fix your recessed light, and you can do it by following these steps:

1. Find a heavy-duty staple gun
The first step to any repair is in finding the right tools, and with a recessed light, you only need one – a heavy-duty staple gun.

This is because there isn’t much to most recessed light fixtures other than thin sheet metal, wiring, and a lamp base, and that its structure is more likely to weaken the more you try to mess around with it.

With a heavy-duty staple gun, you can make a quick, decisive fix that will keep your lights in place.

2. Jam staple in the recessed light housing
Inside the ceiling plenum, the clips that secure your light are supposed to move upward at first before moving downward, with four of them working in total to hold your fixture in place.

The clip will lock in place when it’s properly engaged. However, if the clip rattles, then it means it’s not doing what it’s supposed to.

There are a few types of repairs usually recommended for this:

• Bending – Bending the clips outward can help them better engage when pushed into place.

• Rapping – Sharply rapping the clip once with a small, heavy object can fix it. However, if rapping it once will not fix it, then neither will any subsequent rapping.

• Jamming – Another method to securing the clips is by keeping them in place with small items jammed between them and the light housing, and this is where the staple gun comes in.

3. Staple between the clip and the housing
Adjust the staple gun and fire the staple in a way that one “leg” of the staple itself is jammed between both the clip and the housing. The other leg will bend over to form an arm to secure the whole clip.

Alternatively, you can also puncture the housing using a staple leg, and it will hold in place because the housing itself is made of weaker material than the staple used to keep it in place.

Once your recessed lights are secure, they should be best left alone – the more you fiddle with them, the weaker they will get. At best, they have a lifespan of one or two re-stapling procedures before you need to replace the housing with a new one.

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Parenting Styles: Which One Are You?

Parenting style seems like a never-ending evolution. One hundred years ago, children’s opinions are often left unheard. But in the recent years, parents have become more attentive to their children’s needs, thoughts and feelings.

Nowadays, parenting experts categorized parents into four types: authoritative, controlling, permissive, and uninvolved. Know the differences of these parenting styles and find out which one are you.

1. Authoritative
These parents have rules, and they often take the extra mile of helping their kids understand why these rules exist and should be followed. They respond to their children’s thoughts and have realistic expectations for them.
Authoritative parents invest so much time and energy on their kids to prevent behavior problems as they age. These parents also use positive discipline, like reward system and praising to reinforce good behavior.

2. Controlling
They often do not take the effort to understand the reason behind the child’s action and are usually unresponsive to their child’s desire to know and understand the motive of the rules. Controlling parents believe that children should always follow their directions, with no exception.

If you often say “Because I said so” or believe that it’s “my way of highway” when it comes to your rules, then you may be this type of parent. While this can be effective for some children, others can be at risk of self-esteem problems because they are so used to existing in an environment where their opinions are not valued.

3. Permissive
Parents who fall under this category do not have many rules for their kids and also have low expectations for self-control and maturity. These parents are responsive to their kids but have the tendency to take on the role of a friend, instead of a parent.

Do you think you are one of these parents? Permissive parents feel so much love for their children, but may not realize love without limitation can be detrimental.

4. Uninvolved
These are the “you are on your own” type of parents. They have very few rules for their children and meet only their most basic needs. Uninvolved parents expect their children to be independent and learn things on their own. They do not invest much time and effort into nurturing and providing guidance to their kids.

Sometimes, uninvolved parents do not have enough knowledge about taking care of children. There are also times that they are just overwhelmed with other responsibilities, like work, managing household and paying the bills. Because parents of these types are often sidetracked by other things, children may grow with low self-esteem, may perform poorly in school and even may not be as cheerful and happy as most children

There may be different types of parenting, but studies show that authoritative is the best parenting style. However, even if you have the tendency sometimes to be controlling or permissive, as long as you commit to be the best parent you can be, you can develop and maintain a positive relationship with your children.

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4 Mom Decisions You Shouldn’t Be Guilty About

It’s common for new moms to question your choices and doubt your decisions for your little angel. Despite the advices you hear from your friends and family and the amount of information you get from the internet, it’s tough not to doubt your choices along the journey of motherhood.

But you really don’t have to feel guilty because regardless what people say, you are the mom and you know what’s best for your child. Here are the most common mom decisions you probably had made (or you will have to make) and why you should not be guilty about them.

1. Breastmilk or Formula Milk
After giving birth, you’ll be encouraged by your doctor and perhaps everyone around you to breastfeed your baby until his sixth month, but you have probably read somewhere that it’s easier said than done. Some moms can effortlessly produce breast milk, but there are also others who probably have medical condition that would not allow them to breastfeed or just can’t produce enough milk. Regardless of your option, both breastmilk and formula milk aims to give babies the nutrition they need, so there’s no reason to be ashamed of choosing either.

2. Your Baby Care Products
Keep in mind that a baby’s skin is delicate, and every child may react differently to the same baby products. No need to worry if you are not using the same brand as everyone else or if you want to try a trusted baby care brand that your mom has also used on you when you were little.

3. Your Baby Food Choices
When your child start eating solid food, your family and friends can be quick to judge when you feed your baby with bottled food instead of homemade mashed veggies and fruits. As long as you’re aware of your child’s medical condition and you listen to his doctor, you’re doing it right. Welcome food advices and suggestions, but it’s still up to you to make the final decision according to what’s good for your baby.

4. The Clothes That Your Child Wears
Comfort is key when dressing your child. If your baby can move around comfortably in sleeveless top and shorts, then let it be his go-to outfit. Also, whether you opt for disposable diapers or washable ones should not be dictated by other people. It all should depend on what is best for your baby, and you are the only one (along with his doctor) who can decide on that.

All mothers only want what’s best for their babies, and each mom has their own way of taking care of their little one. Take it easy on yourself, but when you feel that inevitable guilt, simply remind yourself that you are feeling it because you are an amazing mom who loves her kids.

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4 Amazing Health Benefits You Can Get from Drinking Tea

Tea is an amazing beverage that be served hot or iced, depending on the season, but there’s always more than just the refreshment and the calm, yet alert state of mind when it comes to enjoying a cup at any time of the day.

In fact, studies show that drinking tea is actually good for your health, and there are a lot of reasons why you should start (if you haven’t already). Here are a few out of the different benefits you can get from drinking three to four cups a day:

Catechins in found in certain tea varieties increase muscle endurance.
Catechins are a type of polyphenolic compound that are found specifically in green tea, and not only increases muscle endurance capacity but also promotes the use of stored lipids in the body.

In many studies, subjects who consume tea regularly are also found to have lower body mass indexes (BMI), as well as a lowered risk of cholesterol-related diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Another type of tea, oolong tea, not only helps dissolve fat in the bloodstream, but also introduces antioxidants that bind to free radicals and get rid of tooth decay.

Drinking tea helps protect against many different kinds of cancer.
Various antioxidants that can be found in your ordinary cup of tea do this by binding against free radicals that increase the rate of rogue cells in the body, which can lead to cancer in the long term.

Aside from cancer, polyphenols and antioxidants found in tea extracts (i.e. green tea and black tea) also helps against the formation of blood clots and cholesterol build-ups that are the two biggest causes of most heart diseases.

Despite the caffeine, tea actually hydrates the body.
Though commonly believed, caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee don’t actually dehydrate the body on their own, and tea even contains flavonoids that promote hydration in the body.

For those who need four or more cups to start their day, there is good news. Tea is also credited with having less caffeine than coffee, which lessens the upsetting effect of caffeine’s acidity on the stomach.

Tea improves bone strength and density.
As much as we like to credit bone strengthening to milk, studies have also shown that the polyphenols found in green tea have a positive effect on the body in terms of overall bone quality.

Aside from improving bone quality and body composition, it also prevents against cellular degeneration (i.e. due to radiation exposure) and restore the skin’s elasticity, as well as the onset of certain neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

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Morning Practices That Will Give You a Boost Throughout the Day

Our mood when we wake up can affect the way we feel and function for the day. For us to be more productive and motivated, we should start the morning right. Here then are some things we can do to achieve just that.

Wake up early
Waking up early isn’t a very easy thing to do. But, it’s actually essential to having a positive mood throughout the day. When you wake up early, you’re able to do a lot more things and have more time for yourself as well.

Take a shower
Taking a refreshing shower in the morning helps you wake up, too. Try showering with cold water, it might sound like torture in the morning but once you get out, you’ll actually feel more alert. You might even find that your laughing at yourself for actually doing this.

Make your bed
Start your day by making your bed. This sounds like a command to a child, but it can do wonders for adults too! This is especially good if you’re not used to making your bed at all because once you do you can take it as your first success for the day. Having this in mind, you’re setting yourself up to be more productive for the day.

Have breakfast
Having a healthy breakfast is also essential in the morning because it gives you more energy. Having a good meal, with rice, fruits, and more, can give you enough fuel to stay energetic throughout the day.

The first ones mentioned are the more obvious morning routines that we can do, but here are others you can start doing as well.

Listen to your favorite upbeat music
As long as you don’t disturb others, feel free to sing and dance to upbeat music. You could even do this while you’re in the shower. This is a great way to start the day because it puts you in a fun and positive mood. If you do this, you’ll find that you’re actually feeling happy all throughout and rarely will you have a bad temper for the day.

Talk to yourself in the mirror
Looking at your reflection and saying words of motivation can greatly increase your confidence. “You are amazing and you stand out from everyone! The world is out there waiting for you!” say to yourself. Don’t do this to feed narcissism, of course, but as a way to psych yourself up for the day.

Go out early
In Singapore, when you go to work late, you’ll have to compete for commute. So going out early can save you the stress from the rush hour and morning traffic. Rushing or actually being late can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety and avoiding this can definitely put you in a better state.

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Time-Tested Techniques to Keep Relationship Problems at Bay

One of the most important things about being in a relationship is learning how to keep the relationship going even after the honeymoon phase is over, and all the small imperfections start to surface.

As the relationship goes on, you will run into disagreements, which will eventually lead into arguments and fights that could strain the relationship, or even hurt each other whether you intend to or not.

To prevent relationship problems before they get out of hand, here are a few techniques you can use with your partner:

1. Engage, don’t enrage
Most arguments between couples happen because of small things or annoying habits that a partner keeps repeating, rather than a disagreement over a big decision.

A healthy couple will try to dig deep in any emotional argument to find out what really is the reason why they’re fighting with each other, and to hear – and carefully listen – to what the other is trying to say.

To resolve issues with your partner, it’s important to keep a calm head since making criticizing comments or intentionally pushing buttons won’t fix anything, but instead make things worse.

2. Take the initiative, but don’t dominate
Taking the initiative and dominating the relationship are two different things – and the important factor that distinguishes one from the other is choice.

Rather than outright telling your partner to stop doing something or start doing something a certain way, try to encourage a conversation about it and open yourself and your partner up to possible compromise and alternatives.

Even though you are in a relationship, boundaries are still important, and you need to respect your partner’s if you want your partner to respect yours.

3. Avoid shaming your partner
Avoid using words or doing things that could shame or make your partner feel humiliated. Take a moment to think about what you want to say, and be sure to use words to focus on the action instead of the person.

In this same way, you also want to avoid taking your partner for granted – gratitude can be more life changing for you and your partner when you acknowledge and are thankful for the different things you bring to the relationship.

4. Practice being vulnerable to your partner
Being emotionally naked to your partner can be more terrifying than being physically naked, especially if it’s your first time. However, while being vulnerable can get you hurt, this is only the way that genuine connections and intimacy can develop with your partner.

Aside from openly communicating, expressing, and sharing your feelings with your partner, it’s also important to know your partner’s “love language”, which is how your partner gives and receives love and affection.

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The Key Benefits of Cuddling (And Why You Should Do It with Your Partner More Often)

Finding time to relax today can be really difficult, especially with a hectic schedules, long hours, and equally long commutes, but there are a few ways to wind down after a really long day – and the easiest way to do that is by cuddling.

Here are the biggest reasons why cuddling is amazing, and why you should cuddle more often with your partner:

1. It releases a feel-good hormone
Physical intimacy releases oxytocin, a neurochemical made by the hypothalamus in the brain, and plays a lot in helping you feel connected to not just other people, but also towards your partner.

If you’re feeling quite isolated after a significant amount of time at work, hugging your partner after long stretches of time can really do a lot to curb symptoms of depression, and life your spirits.

2. It relieves pain and lowers the risk of heart disease
Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone that reduces the symptoms of pain, which is great if you’ve been feeling discomfort all day, whether you’ve been feeling pain in your neck or anywhere else on your body.

And because it’s crucial in lowering stress, it also in turn lowers blood pressure, which means that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to combat stress and sickness. This lowers the risk of heart disease, and allows you to live healthier and for longer.

3. Cuddling reduces stress
The effect of oxytocin on the human body not just lowers heart and breathing rates, but in turn also reduces stress and gives you more confidence when dealing with social situations. It can even allow you to manage stress better.
Because it lowers heart and breathing rates, it also helps you sleep better with your partner, and you’re more likely to fall asleep faster when your breathing and heart rates are lower thanks to cuddling.

4. It deepens relationships
Communication is a lot more important in relationships than you think – and your partner’s meaningful touch after a long, stressful day can give you the much-needed break and give you time to focus solely on your partner.

This also gives way to a deeper and stronger relationship, and a hug or more is great for not just relieving stress, but also an easy way to keep having regular intimacy (and even sex) with your partner, which is always a plus.

The more frequently you cuddle, the more likely you also are to trust your partner and vice versa, as it fires up the neurons in your brain that tell you to trust your partner, which in turn leads to a deeper and more fulfilling relationship.