I really need a day in between Sunday and Monday.
The crafty mood has struck. There are so many crafts that I want to do, thanks to Pinterest. Y’all know how addictive Pinterest is. Sometimes I wish there are more than 24 hours a day. I have a few projects up my sleeve and gotten ready all the material but just not enough time. March is here and it is a busy month for me. Can’t wait for some quiet days so that I can begin my project.
Any crafters out there? Are you like me?
Yesterday morning we decided to head to the park at around 9am. It was drizzling earlier and luckily it stopped so that we can get some exercise there. Once we reached the park, we realized that there was a running event being held, hence there were many people. We saw some stalls being set up which consists of one selling Brooks running shoes, a refreshment stall, a coffee stall and one with lots of bananas. The food and drinks stalls were for the participants of the run.
As I haven’t had any coffee yet, I decided to approach the coffee stall and asked if I could buy a cup of coffee. To my surprise, the lady said you can have a cuppa. It’s free. Hurray!
Thank you Boncafe for the good cup of coffee.
Then as we were running at the other side of the park, we came across these good people from McDonalds.
They were handing out free orange juice for the park-goers. How lovely is that? We stopped for a drink after our run.
One of them handed us a stash of discount vouchers for our next visit. We love McDonald’s Breakfast. Hurray!
It was indeed our lucky day. Thank you very much for all the freebies.
When I was invited by A Cut Above in Mid Valley Mall to try their Shiseido Colour Treatment recently, I was so excited and jumped at the chance because it is not every day that one gets invitations to give their hair a makeover at a prestigious hair salon. So, I went to A Cut Above last Saturday afternoon to get my hair coloured.
I was greeted warmly by their Senior Stylist, Mr. Davies Lee. When he asked me what colours I like, I told him that I wanted a colour that would hide my gray hairs which are sprouting like no tomorrow. Yes, I am at that stage right now. He then showed me the colours that are available and what would suit me.
Since I already have some highlights on my hair, he recommended that I chose YBe7 which is brown base and the lighter tone would be the colour of my highlight. This colour combination suits me better.
Here are Davies and Yuki doing the highlight on my hair first.
Another staff (I forgot to get her name), applying the base colour to the root area and all over my hair.
Time to blow dry my hair while waiting for the colour to set in. The whole treatment process was very fast and it took about 20 minutes. One thing I noticed is that there is no stinging sensation on my scalp at all. Whenever I go for hair colouring, I can feel my a burning sensation on my scalp during the hair colour application. It is something that I do not look forward to. I am surprised that I did not experience this at A Cut Above.
When the time is up, I was ushered into the washing area for a good hair wash. The shampoo smelled very nice and I was given a good head massage by Yuki. One of the highlights (pun intended) of this session is the Special Scalp Renew treatment that they gave me. As soon as the formula was massaged onto my scalp, I felt a refreshing minty sensation. It was as though 100 tubes of peppermint toothpaste were applied onto my scalp. It was such an awesome experience. My head immediately felt so much lighter. I wished the treatment would go on for an hour. This is such a wonderful treatment that I truly recommend. So out of this world! I could still feel the tingly mint sensation when Yuki was blow-drying my hair.
Here is me with the new hair colour.
I love that the brown base shade has covered my gray hair and the highlights are now in ash colour. According to Davies, it is better that I do not bleach my hair too light as it is not suitable for me. This look is more natural and the colours are balanced. I love it!
This is my ‘before’ look. The highlights on my hair were in light shade and looked dry.
Thank You Very Much A Cut Above, Davies and team for this wonderful experience. I really appreciate it.
My friends asked me out for dinner last Tuesday and since it was Valentine’s Day, I decided to make something for them Popped over to the store and got some Ferrero Rochers’ chocolates. I made chocolate flower bouquets for my friends
I also used the red doily papers and skewers. Insert the skewer into the middle of the paper doily, followed by the chocolate. Then fold the paper doily into a small flower bud shape and secure the paper doily with tape. I used 3 Ferrero Rocher chocolates in one bouquet. Lastly, wrap the flowers with my favourite kraft paper.
Tadaa…here are the Chocolate Flower Bouquet in kraft paper. I also used the red/white twines to tie the bouquet. This is a very simple DIY and I think I am going to do this again for Teacher’s Day gifts.
Hello there! Notice anything different to my little blog? Yes it has gone through a facelift Nice? I have been wanting to change the theme of my blog for a while but I dare not make any changes myself because I do not have the expertise to do so. One fine day, the awesome and creative people from The Techy Hub popped over to help me with a new theme. I was given a few choices to choose from and I selected this simple, feminine and pretty Marykate wordpress theme. The Techy Hub team wasted no time and got to work immediately. They are meticulous and fast. They are very careful and made sure that the revamping of my blog is done properly i.e. all the posts, widgets, photos and comments are uploaded and running properly. The team is also very patient with my endless questions and is ever ready to assist.
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Yup, it is the time of the year where people go crazy proclaiming love for their loved ones. For restaurants, florists, jewelers and chocolatiers, this period is the most lucrative moment of the year. It is getting too commercialized. Actually I don’t understand why celebrating love is only dedicated to one day – 14th February. Why not celebrate your love every day of the year? Funnily, I saw this video on how to prepare a Valentine’s Day related breakfast with a few simple ingredients. Decided to try it out over the weekend and surprise the fam.
I cracked an egg into a heart shape cookie cutter and fried it. Then cut cocktail sausages diagonally into half and hold them together with a toothpick. Did the same with some little tomatoes. Don’t they resemble hearts?
When hubs saw his breakfast, he asked, “why so many hearts this morning?”. When missy saw her plate, she said, “Mom, next time please make stars. Heart shapes…err…noooo”. Everything that has got to do with love and kisses is a no-no to her at this stage.
So much for Valentine’s Day. Meh.
According to 2015 research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore is one of the most expensive city in the world. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a house in this expensive city, chances are that you will require a home loan. However, since buying a house is not something that we do regularly, you can excuse yourself for not knowing enough about mortgage loans in Singapore.
To help you understand the basics of home loans in Singapore, here is a beginner guide and tips to help you get the best deal on your home loan.
Consider what you can afford
Even with a loan, the amount of money you can borrow depends on many factors, which include:
• Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)
This is one of the latest government concept introduced in Singapore. Basically, it is a safety net to ensure Singapore citizens do not strain themselves financially by taking too many loans that they cannot afford. The latest ration that was implemented in 2013 imposes a 60 per cent borrowing ceiling of an individual’s monthly income.
This means that the total monthly liabilities should sum up to 60 per cent of the monthly gross income. The liabilities include credit card debt, car loans, home loans, personal loans among other debts.
For example, a person earning an average monthly income of SGD 10,500 in Singapore, he or she can only borrow 60% of that which is equal to $6300. It is then up to the person to decide whether to spend less or utilize the full extent of the TDSR limit.
• Mortgage servicing ratio (MSR)
This is yet another government concept that limits the amount a person’s monthly income can be used to buy Executive condominiums and HDB flats. Similar to TDSR, it helps to prevent Singaporeans from spending more than they can afford to pay for a property.
Currently, this limit is set at 30 per cent of the borrower’s monthly gross income.
For example, an individual earning SGD 30,000 every month can only dedicate 30% which is equal to SGD 9,000 to borrowing any type of property.
This limit applies regardless to whether the home loan is obtained through HDB or through the bank.
Again, a person can decide to either utilize the maximum amount or spend less.
• MSR Exemptions
Mortgage servicing ratio does not apply to refinancing of loans for executive condominiums and HDB flats:
– That are occupied by the owner
– That were purchased before 10th Dec, 2013 for executive condominiums purchased directly from the property developer) and 12nd Jan, 2013 for HDB flats.
• Loan to value (LTV) limits
Having money to put down as deposit also determines the amount of loan you can borrow. Both banks and HDB requires you to put down a certain amount as deposit failure to which you leads to disapproval of your application until you can build up the required capital.
For example, if you are looking obtain a HDB loan, you should be able to make a down payment of not less than 10 per cent of the market value of the property you intending to purchase.
On the other hand, to buy a property with a bank loan, you will need to put down 20 per cent of the property value provided you do not have other outstanding home loans.
However, loan to value limits vary according to the type of property you want to buy as well as the situation.
With that in mind, you still need to be certain that you can actually afford to repay the loan you borrow instead of fully relying on the set limits to determine for you. For example, if you have additional personal commitments, it may not be wise to borrow the maximum that the government calculates as your allowance.
Applying for a Housing and Development Board (HDB) Loan
Housing and Development Board offers housing loans to eligible property buyers at an almost fixed interest rate which is usually 0.1% above the prevailing CPF interest rate. The current HDB interest rate is 2.6% per annum and has not changed for a long time.
To qualify for a HDB loan, at least one of the buyer should be a Singapore citizen and the average monthly gross income should not exceed SGD 10,000. Other documents that you should submit together with the application letter include:
• HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter
This is the first step in the process of applying for a HDB loan. The letter includes vital information such as the maximum loan you can borrow, the monthly instalments you can afford to pay monthly as well as the maximum repayment period of the loan.
Once a HDB loan is approved, the HLE letter is valid for six months from the date of issue which is enough time to finalize a loan agreement with the housing and Development Board.
• Pay slips from the last 3 months
You can also ask for a letter from your employer clearly stating you job title, the period you have worked there as well as proof of the last 3 months salary.
• CPF contribution history
You are required to submit your CPF contribution history for the last 15 months. This can be obtained from the Central Provident fund board using your SingPass.
In case you are employed without CPF contributions, you will need to provide your passbook or the last 12 months bank statement.
• Credit Bureau report
Sometime, an up to date credit bureau report may also be required when applying for a HDB loan. It can be obtained at the Singapore Credit Bureau.
• If you are self employed
You will need to provide a valid license of trade or business or a valid (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) ACRA business profile as proof of self employment.
You also need to submit the most recent notice of assessment by IRAS but you can also choose to provide a Certified Annual Statement if Accounts from a certified audit firm.
Apart from the above documents, self employed Singapore citizens should also provide a bank statement for the last 12 months as well as a credit bureau report.
Applying for a bank loan
The advantage of taking a bank loan over a HDB loan is the lower interest rates which translates to reduced monthly installments.
Typically, the interest rate on bank’s home loan has been about 1.7-1.9% since 2008. This means that people with private properties have paid lower monthly installments than HDB borrowers for the last nine years.
However, bank loan rates are determined by the spread as well as the index which is variable and keep on fluctuating from time to time.
How to apply for a home loan
In order to secure a home loan from the bank, you should first get an In-Principal (IPA) as a conditional approval for the loan.
IPA indicates how much you are allowed to borrow and the available loan packages to give a clear understanding of which properties are within your budget.
After signing a particular loan package with the bank, you are given a letter of offer stating all the important information such as the interest rates, loan amount as well as the lock period for the loan.
With the letter of offer, you can exercise your options to purchase the property.
Tips for applying for a home loan
• Do your research
Before committing to, ensure that you get all the relevant information about the home loan so that you can make the correct decision. Ask information about the interest rates, the standard terms and conditions attached to the loan as well as any other costs. Obtaining this information means spending time doing research across banks before taking the plunge.
You can also consider sitting down with bank agent who will break down such matters for you at a fee. This research process will help you identify the most affordable loan for you.
• Do not sign the documents without understanding all the terms
When asked to sign any documents by the bank, first confirm its purpose and read it carefully before signing. You can confirm the unfamiliar terms form the bank or find a lawyer to advise you accordingly.
There you go, hope you can now have a better understanding of how to apply for a mortgage loan in Singapore and what are some of the things that you need to take heed of. Wish you all the best in getting your loan approved!
If you are trying to find a great present for someone for a birthday or Valentine’s Day, then shop at an online store that offers food gift baskets. While some gifts are unneeded and never used, everyone has to consume food, and they will appreciate a fun assortment of items such as cheese, crackers or fruit. In addition, you can order a theme-based basket of food so that your best friend or sister can make a complete meal.
Help Your Brother Make Tasty Homemade Pizza
When you know that your brother loves pizza, select a special basket of foods that are designed for creating a tasty cheese pizza. This gift basket will include all of the ingredients to make the dough. It will also have oil for the pizza pan and an assortment of toppings such as delicious tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and spicy Italian sausage. Instead of needing to call a local delivery service, your brother can make his own pizza.
Your Uncle Can Have a Gourmet Food Basket
Alternatively, you might want to send your uncle a gift basket of gourmet foods that are not available at his local supermarket. The basket that you send might have an assortment of truffles, caviar or seafood that will make a gourmet meal such as shrimp scampi. Your uncle won’t need to find additional ingredients such as garlic or mushrooms because those items are included in your gift.
Send a College Friend a Chili Recipe Gift Basket
There is nothing better than a warm bowl of chili on a cold winter evening, and if you have a friend in college who is having a birthday, then send her a gift basket filled with the ingredients required for making chili. When your friend opens the gift basket, everything is labeled to make it easy to prepare fresh chili. The package includes pasta, beans and diced tomatoes.
Buy Special Gift Baskets for Cats and Dogs
Don’t forget to buy great baskets of foods for your favorite pets. It is easy to order a basket of puppy snacks, canned pet food and other special treats for your dog or cat. If you have a relative or friend who has recently purchased a kitten or puppy, then send them a gift basket with some of the items needed for caring for the new pet.