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Flower Guide

What to Consider When Buying a Christmas Tree This Festive Season

December 22, 2016
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Christmas is all about family and love. But if there’s one thing that can make your Christmas special this year is a real Christmas tree. But how do you find the perfect one? We’ve created a short and concise guide that will lead you to find your dream Christmas tree.

Buy Local

Think about where the trees are grown. Although it’s real, a lot of the trees are imported from foreign countries such as the UK. Make sure to buy your tree from the locals, and you’ll not only support your community but significantly influence the reduction of carbon footprints on the environment. Go green!

Take Measurements

Although it seems irrelevant, measurements are quite important. When you go to a tree farm, it’s very difficult to determine whether your perfect tree will fit your room. Sometimes it’s too big or too small. So before you leave your home to go on a tree hunt, take measurements so you know which tree is actually perfect for you.

Check for Fallout

Pine needles fall off, and that’s inevitable, but when you’re choosing your Christmas tree, you need to go for the one that’s cut most recently. Make sure to ask when it was cut, and test it by giving it a firm tap on the ground. If there’s too much fallout, it is highly likely that it’s not actually that fresh and you should keep on looking. 

You can also gently stroke the tree branch and if the needles are flexible and don’t fall out, it’s a recently cut tree.

Which Type? 

There are many different variations to a Christmas tree, but you don’t have to go through an encyclopaedia to find out which one is the best. It all comes down to personal preference and look anyways, but you can choose from the traditional kind or the non-drop variety, which in essence means, there’s more needle retention. 

If you’re looking for trees with good needle retention go for a Scotch Pine or white pine. Noble fir is one of the most common Christmas tree and one that performs the best in Singapore’s climate, so if you’re in Singapore, A Better Florist suggests you go for the Noble Fir. 

It all comes down to choosing the tree that suits your needs. But, if there’s one thing we all can agree on, is that there are no bad Christmas tree, only different ones. May the hunt for the perfect tree begin!

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

Flower Guide

An ex-Googler is on a mission to deliver flowers and smiles in Singapore

December 8, 2016
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A Better Florist founder Steve Feiner is a pretty convincing salesman. He fixes his intense gaze on you and gesticulates wildly as he describes why you should take his business seriously. Then, as you get it, he beams a wide, satisfied smile. It’s the same reaction he wants to inspire in his customers with his service. “Smiles guaranteed,” the website claims.

A Better Florist as a company name probably needs little explanation. The Singapore-based startup aims to provide just that: a better flower delivery service. You go on the site, pick a flower arrangement (there are currently four different ones available), choose a time and place for delivery, and add a quick note. The startup will deliver the bouquet and throw in a hand-written card for a personal touch. It will also confirm delivery with a personalized photo on the spot (its Instagram account is a good indication of what it tries to do).

Better than the competition

“Florists suck,” Steve tells me. “And they suck for a number of reasons.”

He says too many middlemen in the process drive the prices up and bring profit margins down. Also, flowers are usually already 10 to 16 days old before they get to customers’ hands. And finally, the overall experience is lacking. “These are primarily family-run businesses who haven’t really evolved since the advent of the telephone,” he adds.

That leads to experiences like a particularly unpleasant one involving an ex-girlfriend. “Two and a half years ago, it was her birthday, and I wanted to get her flowers,” Steve recalls. It was a floral disaster. “The flowers arrived a day after her birthday, they died shortly after, she was not happy. It was scarring to say the least.”

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That was one of the contributing factors that spurred him on to found his company. “Giving flowers should be about sharing an emotion,” Steve says. So A Better Florist is trying to fix what’s wrong with flower delivery. The startup ships directly from flower farms in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands, and its flowers are only two days old, instead of 10. It also cuts out all the middlemen, so it can keep its prices about 20 percent lower than the competition.

“We fix the experience,” Steve says. “[We have] a mobile site that works, friendly customer service, order tracking.” One could argue these are the basics a business must take care of, but apparently there are those who ignore them – at their peril, he thinks. Pleasing the customer is his top goal at the moment, he tells me. His email address is front and center on the company’s website, and he does a lot of the deliveries personally, of course with a smile.

From SF to SG via Google

Steve first tried running his own startup back in college in the US, a kind of classifieds platform for local communities. Despite winning some competitions, nothing really came out of it. He went into consulting for another startup, and eventually joined Google in San Francisco to do ecommerce sales and business strategy. It was the big G that brought him to Singapore.

Once in Southeast Asia, the entrepreneurship dengue bit him again. He discovered that flowers were a particularly attractive space in ecommerce. He conducted customer and industry interviews and did some research to find out more.

The global flower market, he learned, is worth US$60 billion. In the greater region, excluding Southeast Asia, it’s worth about US$7 billion. In Southeast Asia itself, that’s US$2.5 billion. “I’d say it’s [a market] ripe for disruption,” explains Steve.

So with all this in mind, Steve returned from his sabbatical to Google, only to resign and go off to found A Better Florist. “I enjoyed Google, it’s a wonderful place to work,” he says. “But I wanted to take a risk. The regret of not doing this would be insurmountable [for me].”

The thrill of trying out his idea was also the reason he stayed in Singapore. “Singapore’s been amazing to me,” he says. “If you want to do something transformational in this world, it’s here. The world is evolving here far faster than it is anywhere else. It’s got a long way to go, it’s still the Wild Wild West, but it’s cool to be in the Wild Wild West,” he laughs.

Data-driven smiles

A Better Florist currently has a team of four, with a fifth recruit coming on board. Steve says he’s fortunate in having a team behind him that knows exactly what the company needs, even if he’s not always sure how to go about it. “It’s been amazing to be able to just trust my team,” he says.

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It’s still early days for the company, and no doubt it will need to think seriously about issues like logistics and capacity when it scales up and demand rises. “There’s going to be stuff that changes when 10 or 50 thousand people get on,” Steve says. “When you get on that level, you’re able to make more informed and optimized decisions. Right now we’re trying to bridge the gap [to that point].”

The startup makes sure to use data to inform its decisions, something that helps set it apart from competition. “We’ve done tons of customer interviews, tons of user experience testing,” Steve says. Even an initiative such as distributing advertising flyers for the service provides the company with information that allows it to optimize its offering.

The company is currently self-funded, with just a little external investment so far. Steve says the company’s goal at the moment is to grow 10 percent week-on-week, every week. The startup hopes to have perfected its product in Singapore by the end of the year, and it will also look toward expanding to Kuala Lumpur.

But whatever happens, Steve is sticking to his key mantra: “We want to make our users happy, we won’t sacrifice that,” he says. “At the end of the day, I choose to take action. I’m not searching for my next meal tonight, I have the opportunity to do this, and I feel fortunate for it. I’m not gonna waste that. I might as well take my chance,” he adds, flashing his winning smile.

This article was first published in Techinasia.

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

 

Flower Guide

There’s A Better Florist In Southeast Asia Now

December 7, 2016
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This article was first published on Forbes

A bouquet of flowers have had a timeless ability to convey so many different types of emotions like: ‘I love you’, ‘Congratulations!’ or ‘I’m sorry’. They have a magical way of changing a mood.

Florists are still the artisans making the flowers but the mobile on-demand era has changed the way they get ordered and delivered. With a goal to make a ‘thousand smiles a day’, a startup called A Better Florist is changing the florist market in Southeast Asia.

Founder Steve Feiner was motivated to start the business after an embarrassing and frustrating experience in the U.S. He ordered flowers for a special birthday, but they arrived the day after. He questioned himself, “How is this okay? How can companies still get away with it?” Other friends he talked to had similar problems. Then he saw an opportunity to do it better.

Feiner moved to Singapore with Google GOOGL -0.29% but left to start A Better Florist. Inside Google he could see that flowers were a very popular vertical. Search volumes were high and people spent a lot of money on ads. But he saw that the market was also fragmented, run by many family businesses and they were “leaving money on the table” by not always making people happy.

For someone looking to try it out, it works like this: You pick a bouquet from a limited selection of four types from any device, choose a delivery date, pay and it gets delivered on time for free. If you need it right away, the whole checkout process takes 2 minutes and the flowers are delivered within 90 minutes. Currently the service is only available in Singapore, although they have plans to expand into Kuala Lumpur soon.

All the flowers are sourced fresh from the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. A mother of two makes sure they are all perfect before sending them to the office in Singapore, where they are handled by a professional local florist.

Feiner says his service is better for four main reasons: First, their flowers last twice as long since their only two days; second, the price is 20-30% cheaper because they bypass wholesalers; third, the limited curated selection of beautiful bouquets makes the decision easier and lastly, amazing customer experience.

Feiner is proud of all the happy customers who praise his company’s dedication.“If you blow away a customer and create that WOW moment, that’s all that matters. Everything else will follow. I feel blessed to make so many people smile. I get to make people smile for a living,” said Feiner.

In Silicon Valley, Y Combinator backed BloomThat raised an additional $5.5 million earlier this year. Now, the business offers adding gifts to your bouquet to impress even more.

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. We aim to be the best florist in Singapore. Each bouquet is stunning, long-lasting and handcrafted by our professional florists. We make it easy to send love to the people you love with our same day delivery. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

Flower Guide

Express Your Love in Simple Ways

August 14, 2016
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Love is such a puzzling thing. We feel it, we’re crazy about having it in our lives in any form or shape, but once we actually have it, we’re not quite sure how we should express it. Everyone can say I love you, but we’ve learned so far that not every ‘I love you’ means love. I can say that I am a lion, but that won’t change the fact that I am a human. So, how do we go beyond words and show what’s truly in our hearts? Here are a few ways to show how to express your love.

We’re all for actions. It does sound cliché, but action speaks louder than words. Here are a few acts of love that you can include into your life routine, to make sure you spread the love.

  • Surprise Notes

Someone might say that notes aren’t that big of a deal, but have you ever shrugged your shoulders to a sticky note on the fridge left by your significant other, wishing you a great day? Didn’t think so.

  • Make Time For Them

How many times have you heard someone say, ‘No, I’m too busy for coffee now, but we’ll meet up?’ And then you actually never do. You definitely won’t hear these words from someone who really loves you, at least, not on the regular. Show someone you love them, by squeezing in ’together time’ in between your busy daily schedule.

  • Small Acts of Kindness

It can be something as easy as taking out the trash, doing the dishes or preparing their work clothes for the next day, if you see they don’t have time. It doesn’t have to involve any kind of spending on expensive or even cheap flowers and romantic gifts. It’s exactly these kinds of small acts like this that show them you really think and care about them.

  • Have Their Back

Love isn’t just for the better, it’s also for the worse. So show your love when hard times hit, and have their back. Show support even when they do something wrong. Support is the equivalent of unconditional love. Be there for your loved ones when they are not in their best mood or life situation. Don’t judge them, and you’ll show them your love is great and true.

  • Open Your Ears

Most people think they are showing love when they are giving their advice, but actually, you want to show that you’re all ears for what they have to say. Sometimes simply listening to them and paying attention to their words and feelings. Listening, and not just hearing is a priceless sign of affection.

Bearing your heart and soul to someone may seem like a tricky and overwhelming task, but you can see above that it’s really not rocket science. Start showing your love today.

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

 

 

 

Flower Guide

6 Floral Arrangements for Every Personality

August 5, 2016

You’ve probably heard of the Holland’s Six Personality Types, but do you know what floral arrangements they correspond with? Inspiration comes from within, as they all say — it’s time to get inspired by the perfect floral arrangement for you.

 

1) Investigative

You are highly analytical with the admirable ability to branch into several trains of thought, all at once. With your uncanny ability to take all details of any given situation into careful consideration, you’re best represented by flowers rich with history and meaning. Unleash the Sherlock in you by exchanging bouquets to pass on the hidden message – this would definitely be a process you’d fall in love with.

 

We suggest flowers with a wide range of colours and meanings: maybe the rainbow rose, if you’re feeling adventurous?

 

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Image Credit | pixabay.com

 

2) Realistic

You are a highly pragmatic person who believes in sticking it out and working hard to drive the change you want to see. Upon setting your sights on a goal, you’re unlikely to be wavered by opposing forces of temptation. Such great determination is best reflected by a single focal point in the entire floral arrangement – sprightly flowers rising above the rest, just like how your efforts blossom into fruits of your labour.

 

Experiment with colour palettes, such as warm, bright red tulips popping out against a cooler, neutrally-toned base.

 

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Image Credit | pexels.com

 

3) Conventional

Recall a time where an entire task was falling apart, but you rose to the challenge and turned the situation around entirely? These miraculous interventions of yours are probably countless in number to date! You are a systematic planner and a savvy strategist, so you should explore the well-organised, harmonious existence of flowers with vastly different characters.

 

Discover the best of flower combinations by interspersing them with neutral whites and off-whites.

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Image Credit: pexels.com

 

4) Enterprising

Unleash the innovative spirit in you through floral arrangement. You are a charismatic leader bursting with the new and novel, always ready to plant the first seeds of growth. As a smart risk-taker who challenges norms, why not go against the conventions of flower arrangement? Rather than potting, try presenting these flowers to someone or someplace as a simple bouquet or on their own.

 

Carnations carry a wide range of meanings, from spontaneity to fascination, making them perfect for any audacious creative.

 

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Image Credit | pixabay.com

 

5) Social

A great friend leaves no friends behind, and that’s what you are! You are likeable, trustworthy and easy to befriend. Your big heart can be depicted by the bold colours of multiple floral species. Always ready to lift up a friend’s spirits when they’re feeling down, you’re best represented by sturdy, climbing stems that give way to blooming flowers sitting atop it all.

 

Large flowers and warm colours are always welcome. We can’t think of a flower more appropriate than chrysanthemums, which symbolise happiness.

 

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Image Credit | wikimedia.org

 

6) Artistic

You’re the person everyone goes to for opinions on design, and the friend with the best Instagram feed. With an eye on a minimalist aesthetic 24/7, you are sure to exude this confidence in your artistry in any part of your flourishing portfolio. Apart from selecting flowers of uniform colour for a cohesive look, switching things up by putting flowers in a clear bottle or mason jar would be a great idea too.

 

Go with the flow and your instincts. You have it in you to turn simplicity into a masterpiece any day.

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Image Credit | pexels.com

 

With this guide, you’ll be creating masterpieces of your own with characteristic flair in no time. Get your creative engines up and revving by exploring Naiise and Megafash through ShopBack.sg today, and receive cashback while you’re at it!

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

 

Flower Guide

Why You Should Always Express Appreciation to Your Loved One

July 23, 2016
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Do you appreciate and love someone and yet not have the habit of showing it to them? It’s basically like buying someone a Christmas gift, wrapping it and not giving it to them. Seems kind of pointless, doesn’t it? When it comes to appreciation, we believe it’s all about the show and tell.

Showing gratitude to a loved one is equally important for relationships with loved ones as respect and trust. Getting and asking for emotional satisfaction is great, but giving it unconditionally  is even better. Appreciation means literally showing how valuable a person is to you, in such a deeper way than what one call to 0nline flower delivery can do. It gives them a certain feeling of security and belonging because they know where they stand in that relationship.

Makes Them Feel Special

Instead of taking everyone and everything for granted, turn the switch on for value in your life. Make sure to never forget how valuable and special someone is to you and above all, make sure to tell them and show them this, whenever you have the chance. This specific act will transfer onto the person in the form of positive feelings like self-worth, and if done repeatedly, it will instil a feeling of being special and unique. At least to you, and that’s all that actually matters.

Communication Becomes Better

Have you ever been around a person who awkwardly says ’Thank you’ or ’You are so great’? Some people have difficulties expressing gratitude or appreciation. But when you praise someone and show them love even if they feel awkward about it, it will give serve as a positive example, which they can follow later on. If you are surrounded by people who constantly show appreciation, you’re bound to start mimicking their behaviour and create a communication channel where appreciation is not strange, but pleasant.

http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/

http://theundercoverrecruiter.com/

Bonds Become Stronger

People who aren’t afraid to show their appreciation through their actions or tell their loved ones what they feel grateful for on a daily basis invest in their relationship. Those seemingly unimportant words can create a big difference in every relationship, making it stronger. In fact, even in relationships with friends and family, you’re more likely to argue less and connect on a deeper level, if you don’t hesitate to show what you feel. So instead of burning your bridges you will build them, and when a person feels appreciated they will always do more for you than expected.

They Feel Like They Belong Somewhere

If you are in a relationship with a person, how do you know you mean something to them? Is it all in the air and the romantic gaze in the eyes, or is there something about showing and telling? You’ve guessed it, it’s not. Life is not a fairy-tale where you magically feel and know that you are appreciated. You can only know how much you mean to someone if they express it in a means that’s comfortable for them. If you follow this pattern of behaviour, you will find yourself being more appreciated as well.

People Feel Happy

And after all, everyone feels fulfilled and happy once someone appreciates them, for whatever it might be. Making people happy by showing appreciation will in return make you happy as well, so it’s a double win! Lack of appreciation or lack of showing it literally breeds negativity, so instead of cultivating negativity, spread positivity around by baring your heart and soul without fear.

 

If you look back in your life, it appears that some little things you took for granted turned out to actually be big and important things. That’s why you should take positive action today and make a change. Mind the awkwardness and start expressing appreciation today, for a better and more fulfilled life for both you and your loved ones.

Do you feel like you should show and tell appreciation? Or just show? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Flower Guide

10 Romantic Wedding Room Decoration Ideas Singaporeans Should Know

July 20, 2016
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One of the biggest distinguishing factors between a good wedding and a great one is how effectively decorations are used to bring life, personality, and charm to the momentous occasion. Impress your family and friends on your big day with these romantic wedding decoration ideas:

 

  1. Cushions

Cushions

Source: hipvan.com

For a dreamy, soothing ambiance, add cute cushions to the dining chairs. This design is an effortless means to bring patterns to your space, and looks especially romantic contrasted against rustic or outdoor backgrounds.

  1. Hanging Flowers 

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Source: hipvan.com

Nothing says romance more than a sea of vibrant flowers. Instead of the typical floral centrepiece you see at mostly every wedding, try arranging your favourite flowers to dangle head down from the ceiling. This natural decor idea will surely make your guests feel as if they stepped into a magical, serene forest.

  1. Ambient Lights

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Source: hipvan.com

Good lighting is essential to any space as it captains the mood and atmosphere of the occasion. With lovely ambient lights, you are killing two birds with one stone: implementing good lighting with beautiful design. Ambient lights are an easy way to add visual variety in the day, and exquisite mood lighting at night.

  1. Coloured Glassware

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Source: hipvan.com

There are several different ways to add a pop of colour to your wedding reception tables, but rather than the standard flowers, tablecloths, or centrepiece, try giving coloured glassware a shot. This is a creative twist to the white, transparent glassware we see everyday without having to add superfluous embellishments that would clutter your table.

  1. Table Runner

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Source: hipvan.com

Whatever the shape of your reception tables, plants, flowers, ribbons and fabrics all work perfectly to create a ravishing table runner. This decoration will instantly bring sophistication, elegance, and tidiness to your guests’ tables, a place where they will be spending a considerable amount of time dining.

 

  1. Photo Frames

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Source: hipvan.com

Photos are a meaningful way to cement beautiful moments. Digital cameras are great for highly detailed pictures, but their photographs take a while to be developed. Polaroid pictures are interactive, creative, and immediate and have a much more intimate and authentic feel. Once they have been shaken, put up polaroid pictures in photo frames for all your guests to admire and add on to.

  1. Large Love Letters

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Source: hipvan.com

Not only is this an inventive photo prop, it is also a stunning statement piece for your wedding. Add lights to the letters for it to stand out at night and align it anywhere you wish. After all, a wedding day is a day of celebrating love!

  1. Wall of Flowers

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Source: hipvan.com

A lavish backdrop for your polaroid photo booth, this charming flower-covered wall will certainly be a hit at your wedding. Roses, peonies, carnations and daisies are just some of many potential flowers you can paste up. If not used for photos, this wall looks gorgeous standing on its own as a decorative piece.

  1. Personalised Bride & Groom Chairs

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Source: hipvan.com

Personalised bride and groom chairs are a special component in making the wedding day all about the newly weds, acting as their very own king and queen’s throne. Especially at a wedding, attention to detail goes a very long way!

  1. Handwritten Menu

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Source: hipvan.com

Just as handwritten letters are significantly more affectionate than emails, handwritten menus allow for an original touch and creative flexibility to an item that all guests will view. The added effort into crafting these menus by hand will surely work to impress.

And there you have it. With these ideas, the decorations of your dream wedding will be yet another thing to look forward to on your special day.

 

About HipVan

HipVan is an online store for designer apartment furniture & decor. Started in 2013, HipVan aims to help you create an inspiring home for you and your family without traditional retail mark-up. From over 5,500 quality products designed all over the world, our 24/7 store has served 64,615 customers and counting. We believe that having an inspiring home helps people lead better lives, which then helps us to create a better world for all of us.

A Better Florist provides same day delivery for fresh, hand-crafted flowers. Designed by our professional florist, each bouquet is stunning and long-lasting. We make it easy to send love to the people you love. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more promo codes and discounts off blooms!

 

 

Flower Guide

Passion Pays in Happiness – Here’s Why 

July 16, 2016
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They say that lack of passion in life can be fatal. And we agree. Passion in any area of your life is fundamental for happiness. All you need to do is become fearless and stay true to yourself and follow your inner gut. It might not pay in cash, but it’ll pay off in something you can’t put a price tag on. While a bouquet of cheap flowers can make you happy for a couple of days, does it make you content every day all day? Probably not. You can’t buy fulfillment, but you can find it in yourself. Here’s how you can pay yourself in happiness, through passion!

Sense of Security

Passion is energy. Passion is the vibe that keeps flowing. It’s not something that has an ending, which is great because you can always rely on it to be there. Passion is steady and from steadiness comes security. And when we feel secure, we feel more content and inspired to achieve great things.

Ownership of Something Priceless

Skills are great, but having passion is priceless. And because you’ve got such a strong motivation and love for something you are in possession of something that nobody can put a price on. The great thing is, everyone has a passion. You might not know what it is yet, but it’s inside of you which means you’re ready for ownership of something priceless. Aren’t we all just seeking to have something priceless?

Energy to Succeed

And success makes you happier, which is the most real truth. Why is this? Passionate people go all out of their way to succeeding. They are happy when they are doing what they love, and usually, strive for excellence. And then some more. They will do all that it takes and find the right solution, or even more than what’s asked of them, which usually results in success. Which is why it pays off to stay passionate.

Feeling of Power

Doesn’t it feel amazing to do something that you and excites you to your core? That feeling when you decide to follow your gut and take control of your own happiness is priceless and so powerful. A passionate person is determined and inspired enough to do things that no pay cheque could enable them to ever achieve or buy.

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Freedom of Spirit

Simply put – there’s nobody forcing you to do anything. Your mind, spirit and body are free to follow their own path. Pursuing a passion for any aspect of your life can be so liberating. It feels as if all shackles have been taken off and you’re able to run without being dragged down by heavy weights.

Sense of Direction

And once you decide to follow your passion, no matter what it is, you can never get lost or side-tracked again. Let’s not get confused, passion doesn’t guarantee you a multi-millionaire business, or a fairy-tale love story, because whatever you do, there will always be ups and downs. However, passion guarantees you that you’re on the right track. And if you know why you’re doing something it makes you feel content and whole.

 

Think about one thing you’re really passionate about. Like a hobby, or a sport or a job, you like doing. Sure you can buy a pair of shoes or a new gadget that will make you feel ecstatic for a while, but it won’t last long. However, when you’re pursuing something you love, you feel complete all the time. Start feeling great today.

Flower Guide

7 New Hobbies for the Highly Creative

July 9, 2016
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Let’s face it, we all get bored of what we’re doing once in awhile. On days when our patience wears thin faster than usual and inspiration eludes us, it’ll probably be a good time to divert our attention to an entirely different activity. However, no matter who you are, we’re sure that you’d be excited to explore these new creative hobbies that are bound to ignite passion and brew creativity.

 

  1. Handlettering

 

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Calligraphy, brush lettering, typography – the growing prominence of handwritten typefaces in recent years has united lettering artists worldwide. After all, who doesn’t love a well-executed cursive against a watercolour background and floral motifs crafted by hand? These artistic feats have inspired budding calligraphers to document their journeys toward improvement and prompted professionals to contribute guides, tips and tricks to online communities for learners, making it a prime time to delve into the art of hand-lettering.

 

  1. Baking

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Tinkering around the kitchen tends to be viewed as the ‘same-old’ past-time, but the truth couldn’t be farther from that. If you’ve seen videos of patissiers laying down the perfect galaxy cake glazes, or self-taught enthusiasts piping the most intricate buttercream roses you’ve seen on a tray of cupcakes, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about. It isn’t easy to tear your eyes away from the screen once the video begins and the masterpiece starts to unfold – so why not try your hand at making your own confectionery?

 

  1. Zine making

 

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If you’ve always associated zines with pulp fiction, staple-bound pages and general nerdiness, you’re actually right. Zine-making has roots in fan-made material and informal publishing, which explains the association of zines with dissent and nonconformity. Zines can be a great medium for the exploration of thoughts and ideas without the pressure to perform or publish. A photocopier, paper and staples are all you need to get started!

 

  1. Making art

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When the creative juices run dry, working in an ambience and setting you aren’t familiar with may just be the key to getting your engines up and revving again. Art jamming is a great alternative if you’re the kind to shut yourself in when working on a brand new piece. Alternatively, take it outside – urban sketching can be a refreshing activity for seasoned illustrators. Or if you’re looking for warmups, adult colouring books are great exercises to start your day.

 

  1. Bookbinding

 

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Finding the perfect notebook for your needs can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be when you can make it yourself. Bookbinding is a great hobby to pick up – the repetitive tasks of folding signatures, punching holes and sewing spines are highly comforting and calming. More importantly, these notebooks are highly useful and customisable to one’s personal preferences. If you’re exhausted from hunching over your desk and pouring over your notebooks, why not spend the time creating one for yourself?

 

  1. Risograph printing

 

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Initially viewed as a cheap format of printing, artists have increasingly put a spin on conventional tools to produce great artwork. If you’re looking for a new medium to explore, this could be it – risographs are well loved for their sprightly colours as well as the process of making a print. Beyond creating the artwork, the onus is on the artist to coordinate its execution, such as the gradation and overlay of the colour palette.

 

  1. Floral arrangement

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Floral arrangement has been gaining popularity amongst creatives in recent times. Apart from learning about the different species of flora you’re working with, you’ll also get to further hone an eye for design and aesthetics in the language of flowers. Floral arrangement is a therapeutic hobby which is great for refocusing a turbulent mind and centering scattered energies.

 

If you’re seeking new inspiration in life, these 7 creative hobbies would be great additions to creative lifestyles like yours. With their heightening popularity and growing communities worldwide, now’s the best time to hop on board and expand your interests in these pastimes.

 

 

Discover new hobbies through ShopBack when you book workshops through Naiise, Groupon and 500 other online stores. Earn up to 30% cashback and more this Great Singapore Sale!

 

Flower Guide

7 Taboo Gifts to Give During A Birthday

July 1, 2016
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There must have been at least one birthday present in your life that you thought was utterly inappropriate or insensitive. Some gifts just make you scratch your head and wonder what you did in life to deserve this.

Whether it’s because of absolute cluelessness of the giver or lack of attention, certain gifts can deliver the wrong message, and should be avoided. Stay tuned for 7 that you should never give to others and why it might be the worst gift idea ever.

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Self-Help Book

You might think that books are great gifts, and they are. As long as they don’t deliver secret messages, especially messages that might look like you’re hinting that someone needs help. Even if this was true, birthdays aren’t the right situation to remind someone how damaged they might be.

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Re-gifted Gift

There might have been a lousy gift you received at some point. It could have been a book you’re not keen on reading, or a perfume whose scent is not exactly your cup of tea, but re-gifting is one of the greatest taboos when it comes to birthdays. It’s tacky, and it doesn’t really show a lot of care and love towards the person who’s celebrating the birthday.

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Framed Selfie

Narcissism might be a common thing nowadays, but it’s definitely not something to show off in someone’s birthday gift. No matter how gorgeous you think you turned out on that picture. There is literally no single excuse for gifting a framed picture of yourself.

Think about it like this. The love towards your best friend could be endless, but there’s no actual reminder of that love if your bestie gives you herself framed as a birthday gift.

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Anti-Aging Products

Although it might come in handy once you pass the age of 25, nobody needs a reminder that they’re getting old on one of the most special days of the entire year. Let them worry about wrinkles another day and try giving them something a little less blunt.

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Socks

Most people say that socks become an awesome birthday gift passed a certain age, but I believe that if anyone were to choose between socks and getting something else for birthday, everyone would pick option number too. Nobody can be overly enthusiastic about socks, especially during birthdays. After all, what meaning does it carry?

’Here you go, a pair of fuzzy socks. All of your socks have holes in them, and plus we had some spair left from Granny’s Christmas stocking stuffers. Happy B-Day.’

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Coupons & Vouchers

No matter how frugal someone likes to be, coupon books are not exactly the gift that screams love. Although this is a thing of personal choice, as anything else in life, coupons and vouchers aren’t exactly the best representation of best wishes.

People usually love to feel special for their birthdays and feel like a million dollars. Coupons aren’t exactly a dream gift of someone who wants to feel special.

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Pets

Make someone feel alive on their birthday, but don’t gift them something alive. You never know how they will react, and even if you do, it’s something that needs to be discussed in advance, so that the surprise puppy or kitten don’t end up in a shelter a couple of weeks later.

 

This gifts are taboo not simply because they show lack of attention and care, but because they can actually disturb someone. So make sure you put some thought into each and every birthday gift, no matter how close that person is to you.

It’s their special day, and the least you can do is take some time to avoid a gift catastrophe.