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With a lively, exotic, and mercantile history, Singapore has risen from the ashes of 20th century world conflict to become a global economic center- as well as one of the safest, cleanest, and most family-friendly destinations in Asia.

In many ways the recently deceased President Yew, who was the first President in Singapore’s history, helped usher in the changes that made corporate giants want to invest there and families want to come and visit. One of the most lasting things that was instituted under his government was a large number of rules and regulations governing daily life. Under that system, everything from not flushing the public toilet to queuing wrong for the taxi line could be the source of a ticket from the police. Although it was thought that it would detract from tourist visits, the strict set of rules has actually become a feature of tourists visiting Singapore, with many people snapping pictures and making videos of regulations that they do not have in their own countries

Enjoy The Urban Outdoors Year-Round
Given its close proximity to the Equator, Singapore is very tropical and verdant, making the wide avenues, many parks, and multiple shopping areas popular from dawn until late in the evening. One Singapore tradition that is fun for families to explore is at Hawker Centre, or a food court that showcases many different types of food from around Asia. As the sun goes down, you can enjoy dinner and the slight temperature drop as the stars begin to come out.

Get Lodging Fit for a Family of Kings
Part of the allure of Singapore is its reputation for providing the best customer service possible. You will likely notice right away how knowledgeable and courteous workers are. When you blend this great customer experience tradition with some of the most modern and sophisticated hotels in Asia, you will have a trip worth remembering. Of course your search for Singapore hotels should really start on an expert travel site like Hipmunk because when it comes to hotels, they are often able to showcase room deals that provide prices that are lower than normal in the cities that they focus on. Most hotels feature a pool. If you are bringing a family, regardless of your budget, try and ensure that you do get a hotel that does have a pool so that you can enjoy cooling off naturally during the heat of the day outdoors.

Explore the Zoo and Malaysia
The Singapore Zoo is one of the most complete collections of animals anywhere in the world. For families, there are a variety of shows that will amuse and amaze you. Their elephant trainers are able to coax very intelligent behavior from the elephants that make up the cast of their show. Eating breakfast at a table full of orangutans is another experience that none of your family will ever forget. Best of all, the zoo, like other Singapore attractions and parks are very affordable, allowing you to save money for eating out and shopping. Malaysia and more shopping are just minutes away as well across a narrow strait that make it the perfect day trip.

If you are considering taking a trip to Singapore, you are in the company of many that have found inspiration from its storied hotels, parks, and tea houses. From Somerset Maugham to Ian Fleming of James Bond fame, people have found that the city provides one of the most exciting, yet safest trips possible.

This article was written and provided by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the ultimate platform for all your travel needs.

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This post is brought to you for breast cancer awareness month by the Breast Cancer society

Breast Cancer Society logo

Breast cancer affects millions of women worldwide. This life-threatening disease is one of the most feared diagnoses someone can get. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop this form of cancer at some point in life. The good news is that you can prevent cancer by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or giving up processed foods. Although you won’t eliminate the risk altogether, you can lower your odds of developing breast cancer.

Stay Informed

The first thing you need to do is to learn about this disease and its symptoms. Join local organizations that fight breast cancer, read the news, and stay informed. The more you know about cancer, the easier it is to prevent it. According to the latest Breast Cancer Society reviews, there are several programs focused on education, awareness and prevention. You can join them online or contact your physician for more information.

Avoid Processed Food

Loaded with trans fats, artificial flavors, GMOs, and chemicals, processed food increases the risk of breast cancer. If you care about your health, eat whole, natural foods. Your diet should be based on fruit and vegetables, fish, lean meat, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. Choose products that are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential fatty acids. Antioxidants reduce free radical damage and enhance your body’s natural ability to fight cancer. Limit or eliminate processed food from your diet to stay fit and healthy.

Stay Active

Studies have found that regular exercise helps prevent breast cancer. Women who work out at least two and a half hours a week have 18 percent less risk of breast cancer than those with a sedentary lifestyle. Make exercise part of your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day. If you’re too busy to go to the gym, exercise at home. Climb the stairs as often as you can, go jogging in the morning, and stay active throughout the day.

Get Enough Iodine in Your Diet

Iodine plays a key role in the synthesis of hormones. This essential trace mineral should be a staple in your diet. Its deficiency can lead to hormonal imbalances, tumors, and thyroid problems.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol and breast cancer are strongly related. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk. If you can’t give up alcoholic drinks, limit to one glass a day.

(I know these are all tricky, but I guess we just have to try our best to get the right balance!!!)

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This post is thanks to Groupon

Party Nails, Elmo
Sparkle Sparkle!

How is it nearly the end of the year? With so many things already filling my calendar and taking the dollars from my bank account – $5 here for a Kris Kringle, $45 for a work dinner, $$$ for gifts for the kids, not even THINKING about the fact I won’t earn anything from private work during the down time(!) – extending my budget to prettifying myself for the holiday season isn’t looking that exciting a prospect. So we might as well see what’s available on discount sites like Groupon.

I had a browse, and five manicures with shellac for only $69 sounds pretty good. Worry free nails for summer? Yes please! Might be a slight step up from my DIY efforts with my $2 polishes :p (Though they come up pretty well, if I say so myself!) Add to that a full Brazillian and eyebrow wax for $19 and there’s no worries walking into that party ;) (seriously, I’m really not very organised when it comes to this stuff, which is why I’m so DIY – easier to do my hair dye at midnight than book myself in on a weekday!)

There is also the Mrs Claus Corsets on offer for only $24! I do have my own collection already (top, a few dresses, a top and undies set hats etc), but maybe you don’t?

(though, TBH, because I know I’m not going to make my lofty weight loss goals this side of Christmas, I’m tempted by these shapewear shorts…. you know get those couple of lumps and bumps flattened out if I don’t make it to enough fitness classes before the skimpy frocks come out :p )

What are you hoping to scrimp a little on in order to extend your budget to where you’d love it to be this Christmas?

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This post is for MyLife.com

When I heard about MyLife.com, I had to check it out for myself. My friend was going on and on about how she is able to manage all of her communications methods in one, easy-to-navigate website. I was referred to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2hb3trwY38, a video that provided a brief overview of all the features I’d been told about.

After seeing the video, I totally had to check it out for myself. When I logged on, I took an immediate liking to the web page setup. It seems that at MyLife.com you are able to see who has viewed your profile, a feature I am still wondering if Facebook will end up adding…

With the growing number of social media networking gaining higher levels of importance, utilizing the tools available at MyLife.com is the most efficient way to handle online business. Consolidating credit cards and other debt has proven a good solution to thousands struggling with debt. Why not use the same principle with online communication? This is exactly what MyLife.com has done. I love that I finally have the ability to consolidate my favorite networking outlets in a way that allows me to more easily keep in contact with the ones I care about.

I still really don’t know how to deal with the information overload I seem to be getting though! Any tips??

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Sponsored By Nuffnang

La Zuppa Soup

Okay, I admit, I got a little excited that I got to write a post for La Zuppa. I LOVE their soups – they’re awesome, stash in the drawer, gluten free (with some of them vegan) ready to heat up at work lunches. When I get back to work, I’m sure I’ll stock up again!

La Zuppa Soup

La Zuppa’s What’s Your Flavour? competition is calling on soup lovers throughout Australia to submit an original soup flavour they would like to see become part of the La Zuppa range. All you have to WIN a trip to ITALY (!!!!!), or weekly cash prizes is enter via their Facebook comp page with the flavour you would like to see in the next La Zuppa range.

I’d been procrastinating on entering this, but finally decided that I’d like to see them put together a sweet potato, rice, carrot and coriander soup, with a twist of lemon. You can head over to the Facebook Page and either vote for me or enter your own awesome recipe!

La Zuppa Comp

WIN a La Zuppa Pack and $50 Coles Gift Voucher with littlelioness.net
(Australian Residents only)

Want to WIN a La Zuppa Pack to try and a $50 Coles gift voucher?

Simply comment on this post with what new flavour combination you’d love to see La Zuppa come out with. Then confirm in the Rafflecopter to confirm your entry. For a second and third entry, like La Zupa and Littlelioness.net on Facebook via the Rafflecopter! yay!
Australian addresses only. Closes August 1 2012. Mwah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

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This post is brought to you by Choosi.

Rish and I recently changed health insurers, and saved about $20 a month on our hospital and ambulance cover. Nice (especially with my current lack of income, and impending 30th birthday). Below is an advertorial post from Choosi, a health insurance comparison website. I think it certainly pays to shop around!

Animal Cupcakes

If you’re in a relationship or newly married, you might want to consider taking out a couple’s insurance policy, as it can help save you time and money. However, there are a few things to take into account before selecting the right policy from comparison websites like Choosi:

Lifetime Health Cover for couples

A scheme created by the Government, Lifetime Health Cover encourages people to take out health insurance at an early age and keep it going for life. It rewards people who take out a policy before they turn 30 by offering the lowest base rate premium on the basis that they keep covered.
Those who don’t take health insurance out before they reach 30 have to pay a 2% age loading on hospital for each year of delay e.g. a 35-year-old will have to pay 10% extra if they don’t start till that age. To avoid paying an age loading, you have to take out a policy before turning 31 if you do so before July 1st.

If you and your partner didn’t take the time to compare private health insurance before the age of 30, you have to pay the average age loading, which is calculated by adding your combined loading and then divided in half: [partner 1’s age loading] + [partner 2’s age loading] /2 = average age loading.

Even if one partner has no age loading, if the other has one, it’s divided by two giving you an average age loading, which means having to pay for your partner. However, if one partner has held hospital cover continuously for a period of 10 years, their age loading will drop and the average loading will be recalculated.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge for couples

$160,000 is the current threshold for the Medical Levy Surcharge for the 2011-2012 financial year. Any couple earning more than that amount has to pay an extra 1% tax, which is the Medical Levy Surcharge, although it doesn’t apply if you already have hospital cover. It’s paid on top of the 1% Medicare Levy which couples already pay.

The advantages of private health insurance for couples

Like other forms of cover such as income protection insurance, having private health insurance can cover a lot including accidents, treatment for a serious medical condition or even having a baby. Among the things which private health insurance covers are:

• Extras both in hospitals and ancillary services such as dental care and physiotherapy
• Hospital accommodation in a private or public hospital
• Doctors’ fees
• Theatre costs
• Reduced waiting times for treatment

By comparing couples health insurance policies now, you’ll be able to find the plan which suits both you and your partner.

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Shh, my feet so aren’t on the train seat!

Yes, yes, when I go to the gym, I’m usually getting around in last year’s runners and something I picked up on sale, but it’s nice to see what pretty and comfory things are out there!

The following is a sponsored guest post by ASOS

Sports fans are in for a real treat this year with huge events just around the corner. Spurred on by the constant bombardment of athletes in adverts now is a brilliant time to get fit and healthy. One of the silly little niggles that often stops us from heading straight to the gym is the fear that we will look just a tad out of place in a sweatband that hasn’t seen the light of day for a good few years now.
But don’t worry, “sports luxe” as the designers like to call it, is firmly back on the fashion radar so you will have no problem finding an outfit that you feel comfortable and stylish in, which will boost your confidence and most importantly spur you on to lose weight, get back in shape after having a baby or just keep fit.
The first thing we need to think about when heading back to the gym is our footwear. If trainers haven’t graced your wardrobe in a long while well now is the time to invest in a brand new pair as ill-fitting and unsupportive shoes can lead to a serious ankle injury, and that wouldn’t be the best idea to make a good impression now would it? The great news is that even our favourite sports brands are becoming more fashion forward and running trainers can now be found in gorgeous pastel colours that are a huge hit on designer catwalks everywhere. (You will probably want to wear them all the time!)

So, our feet are sorted but what about the rest of our outfit? The dilemma is do we want to wear leggings, sweatpants or shorts? If you are self-conscious of your legs sweatpants may be the ideal solution for you as they will cover you up and will skim over any lumps and bumps you would rather conceal. Leggings are great if you don’t want your legs covered but don’t want excess material flapping about on the treadmill. For leg confident ladies shorts are great as they will keep you cool and cycling shorts are particularly on trend. To really stand out from the crowd neon is bound to get you noticed.

Nearly there now, all that is left is what to wear on top? A cropped sweatshirt is great if you want to run outdoors and the weather is a little chilly, although you may need more than a little body confidence to pull it off. For a more classic look choose a simple polo shirt or a camisole and you have your fitness look sussed.

Once you have your confidence boosting get up you will be ready to hit the gym, or even just the park for a purse friendly jog (when the weather permits), so get to it and let’s start the new season in a healthy style.

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This post is brought to you by ICS

Collection

So, I’ve been out of work awhile, and while I’ve been mostly thinking about things like looking for a job, or getting myself mentally to a point where I can take on the world, I’ve also been thinking about other options. Study, of course. wit my over-thinking brain, is always an option. Perhaps I enroll at a TAFE, or community college for something. Perhaps another masters. Or, maybe distance courses are a good option. No face to face, lots of reading, discussion through moodle. I loved that format through the masters I did, so I should continue it. Whether formally, through a uni or TAFE course, or informally, through a skeptic/atheist bookclub!

Maybe child behaviour is an area for study for me? I did several behaviour subjects through uni both under an post- grad… plus all my work with kids with a language disorder. Or Autism. Or kids with “just” a mild intellectual disability. So much we could do for those kids language wise, if we know how, and we had the backing from our “benefactors” (private, taxes and so on) to go ahead and help these boys to make their way through both the justice system and society when we throw them back into it.

Perhaps I have a passion for social justice issues, and should channel that instead? Surely that’s better to blog about than soy lattes? :p

What do you think?

Have you ever manage to study, for study or pleasure’s sake only?

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This post was brought to you by UDreamy Bridal

I’ve only been a bridesmaid once in my life, and us girls wore black ;)

(perhaps fitting as I believe I was threatening my Bro-in-law’s life in this photo)

The dress was a simple one, off the rack at Myer, bought a month before the wedding, because everyone was SO organised :p I think it worked out well enough, with our gorgeous silk flower bouquets (while still look just as awesome to this day, if a little dusty), and DIY makeup and hair at home. We all rocked up with our makeup bags and nail polishes, got out the hair curlers and straighteners, and took care of each others looks while nibbling on cheese and sipping bubbly. Oh and taking dorky photos of each other. No princesses here!

Of course we could have gotten all professional and fancy, but I think it’s great that we didn’t, and it fitted with my sister’s style much better. I love simple a classic styles for weddings, nothing to flippy or frilly. Of course I would have liked to have worn a colour other than black, but that dress has been worn many times since! Bonus! I’m pretty sure cheap bridesmaid dresses, or formal dresses, and DIY hair and makeup can be almost as special as forking out for some stranger to come in and do it all.

Given my attitude towards marriage in general, let alone the fact that I’d be unlikely to return the favour, I’ll be surprised if I’m ever invited to be in another bridal party, but I loved that I could be there that day for my sister. :)

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Coupon Code.

Where do you go to get the best deals online? Are you, like me, just plugging things into Google in the hope to find a code to get 5% off that online order? Only to find they’re all for free US shipping or not valid anymore?

Given that I’m no longer working, I’ve had to unsubscribe to those tempting tempting daily deals sites, but looking for other ways to get the best products at the best prices is more important than ever. As is getting those little bonuses, like how I almost always get travel sized products free with my skincare. This means I’m ready to go for weekends away in Newcastle, Melbourne, or Canberra! Further afield would be nice, but maybe once I have a steady income again, hey?

What's in my bag?
Never pay full price

I was just sent through some info on a new site with Australian codes, seemingly regularly updated. CouponCodes.com.au has a huge range of fashion and foodie deals, including Cookbooks online codes and of course, Wine Market coupon codes! ;) I’m yet to flick through all of them, but I’m sure there’s something there for everyone.

There’s a good collection building for Mothers Day shopping, too! (Yes, we all like to spoil our Mums, while saving a little on the final price – though the wine codes might come in handy for that too)

Where do you like to shop for bargains online?

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