Hospital Epiphanies: 5 Life Lessons to Ponder while Bedridden

Wilson and Amber in House

Though defined as a place for healing, hospitals are sometimes perceived as a dreaded place as it’s associated with loss, sickness, and sometimes, even hopelessness. But hospitals teach us a lot of lessons about ourselves, our family and friends, and our life values. Being in the hospital challenges our values as a person – where you get your hope from, who your true friends are, how much your family loves you, and so on.

If you’re lying in a hospital somewhere and just happened to stumble upon this post, here are five lessons you ought to ponder about:

“You’re a mere human.”

“BWAHAHAHA,” the viruses and bacteria laugh.

No matter how healthy you live your life, you’ll end up in the hospital for reasons you will never anticipate. But fear not, for being hospitalized doesn’t automatically result in a crippled life. Actually, it is a proof that you have the determination to survive and do the things you want and need.

 “You’re luckier than 90% of the world’s population.”

If you were in an era hundreds of years ago, you won’t be reading this post right now. It is not unlikely that your death came with unrelieved pain. No medicine to help you and no diagnosis to help your understand the nature of your condition.

Fast forward to present day and you’d quickly see that health care remains a prevailing global issue. Did you know that while you are bedridden in a hospital, one billion people lack access to health care systems? On another note, over 7.5 million children under the age of five die from malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases each year.

“It’s not good for man to be alone.”

The thought of having no one else but yourself in the entire world is depressing. The image of a lone, old, sick man with no companion to attend to his needs is just wrong, and lonely, and devious.

That’s why it is not good for man to be alone – both in a literal and figurative sense.

You should know how to have compassion on other people, especially to your family and friends. Visit and pray for them when they are sick. Encourage them when they are down. Offer them comfort during their time of loss. You will not strong all the days of your life. You need people to depend on and help you during the hard days, so learn how to welcome people in your life.

“They’re people, too.”

“Why you gotta be so rude, don’t you know I’m human, too?”

So sings the hospital staff assigned to you. If ever you forget, the doctors and nurses are vulnerable to the same fatigue and disease that knocked you down on your hospital bed. They are not just those who make rounds to check patients – they are also mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, brothers and sisters who have their own families and friends. What does this imply? Unruly behavior such as grumbling can hurt and demotivate them. Your pain is understandable, but you don’t have to yell at people or bash them publicly just to get the service you want.

Appreciate their service. Trust us, it can go a long way.

 “Do not take your body for granted.”

You know how the old scenario happens: The relationship fails because someone else is taking someone for granted.

The same goes for your body. Look around and see a lot of adults blessed with disease-free and functional bodies but choose to smoke, eat unhealthy food, and refuse to exercise. That lifestyle is just a disease waiting to happen.

Time is not a problem. If you can find time amidst your busy schedule to go in the verandah just to smoke, why can’t you have time to run or walk for your body’s shake? If you can develop that habit of playing video games every day, why can’t you develop a healthy eating habit? And if you can throw away useless things, why can’t you throw away that cigarette stick?

You only have one body. It is your responsibility to take care of it.

“SOFA-bulous!” 3 Simple Tricks in Making your Old Sofa Look New Again

Ironman

Don’t just be content with your sofa. Make it SOFA-bulous!

Your living room sofa is everyone’s favorite furniture – next to the bed of course. Sure, you’ve spent countless hours with this lovely polyurethane foam fellow in your television-binging, movie-watching, book-reading, marathon-napping and probably even your over-eating.

Heck, you may have even shared intimate things together like daydreaming about Adam Levine’s marriage proposal to you, or a walk in the long beach with Ryan Gosling. Even a simple giggling because of your sweetheart’s text message to you can be witnessed by this good ‘ol friend.

So why give up on it after a long time? It may look boring and old, but you can do simple tricks to make it look new again.

Dec the Sofa

An old sofa is not a problem if you know how to strategically place accents on it. Do some shopping for throw pillows and blankets to make your sofa lively once more. Choose pillows with interchangeable covers and have fun experimenting with prints, shapes and colors! If it’s summer, why not dress the pillows in bright colors and beach-feels? If you want good vibes to cover you, change pillow covers into a blue bright sky and flowers. In love? Oh, pillow covers adorned with hearts will definitely fill the room with romance.

Picking a right throw blanket can also do the magic. Match it with the design and colors of your rugs and curtains. Perfect decorations for your sofa will impress everyone coming to your house, so I encourage you to experiment with designs. Some patterns you tend to avoid before may give the unexpected burst of life to your old furniture!

 Judge a Sofa by its Cover

Measurements are usually consistent for the typical sofa despite the changes in foam and fabric. So what’s keeping you from shopping for sofa covers? And no, I’m not talking about those crisp, noisy plastic cover that our grandmothers are so fond of. I’m pertaining to bold, vibrant sofa covers. Slip them on your sofa to make it SOFA-bulous. ‘Cause why not?

For fun, try to compliment or contrast it with your pillows. You can also swap sofa covers depending on the season or weather. Love the cloudy day? Dress your sofa in a cover designed with green grass and comfortable breeze. Surely, you’ll have no trouble imagining yourself lying down outside on a green hill of grass. Remember, the first thing your visitors will notice in your house is your sofa, so help them have a good judgment.

I Like To Move It, Move It

How long it has been leaning against that blank wall?  Move it now near the window so you can enjoy both the breeze and sunshine from outside. Or how about painting that blank wall with a variety of colors? Sofa experts like Amanda Brown say that shades of turquoise, jade green and yellow-green give your living room elegance. Traditional neutrals clam you while relaxing on the sofa. The classic color palette of pink and green, particularly shades of lime and fuchsia, can uplift your spirit.

While you really won’t do anything to your sofa, giving the room a new feel will likewise do the job. But, if you want to maximize the effect, consider reupholstering your sofa first before applying the above tips. Repaint the walls, reposition some furniture, put some new decorations and change the curtains – all these can give you another kind of atmosphere.

So what are you waiting for? Go and bring back your sofa to life. It is incredibly fun and inexpensive than buying a new one. All you need to do is unleash that creativity in you. Have a happy day with your sofa!

“SOFA-bulous!” The Homemaker’s Guide to Buying the Ideal Sofa

Homemaker

Are you guilty of spending the whole day lying down on your couch, spending almost 99.9% of the time channeling your inner potato and the other 0.01% pretending to be a Game of Thrones character your medieval self was always meant to be? If yes, then welcome to the club!

Oh, what a wonder it is to have a perfectly dressed polyurethane foam as the centerpiece of your living room. Yes, I’m talking about the sofa. I know you want a good one – something that can turn ordinary TV-watching into a respectable habit or a simple nap into a heavenly slumber. Good news for you buddy, because that’s what this article is all about: getting the ideal sofa.

Behold the following tips that DIY Expert Amanda Brown is sure to approve.

Know what type to buy

Have a good idea of what sofa you want or need. The variety of sofas out there come in different shapes, sizes, fabrics, materials and prices. Ponder on where you’ll put it by first acknowledging the color and size of the room. Of course, it won’t be smart to purchase a sofa which won’t fit your living room, or even a sofa which makes your color scheme awkward. Once you have a good idea of your ideal sofa, then you’re ready to do some sofa shopping.

Kid on Sofa

Check the frames

Now that you’ve already pictured the type of sofa where you want to lie down on, it’s time to check the framework. Sofas made from soft wood like pine costs less, but it probably last in the long run. If the frame is plastic or metal, it will eventually crack or chip. On the other hand, a kiln-dried hard wood like beech, ash, or oak will cost you more, but its potential to get damaged is very low, provided that you maintain it properly.

Another thing to remember: check if the legs of the couch are attached to the frame by screws and pegs, and not just by glue alone.

Check the filling

As mentioned earlier, a sofa is basically polyurethane foam dressed to perfection. But what does it mean? Well, polyurethane foam is the most common filler for sofa. Aside from the fact that it’s easy to maintain, PU Foam also costs less. In comparison, high-density foam is more durable but can feel hard while low-density foam is softer but deteriorates faster.  Furthermore, polyester fiber and down-polyfiber blend are both inexpensive, but flatten quickly.

You can opt for more comfortable and long-lasting high-resilient (HR) foam if you are willing to pay for a slightly higher price. Another reasonable choice is polyurethane foam wrapped in polyester batting.

If you want luxury, invest in top of the line sofa filling: goose down (the soft undercoat of birds) mixed with feathers. That’s a heavenly sofa with maximum comfort… and money (about double the price of foam) which needs optimum maintenance. Though they are comfortable, goose- and duck-feather fillings can clump, and therefore needs frequent fluffing.

Baby Photography

Check the springs

If you want a cool, bouncy couch, check for springs. Most sofas or couches have it for sturdiness and comfort. There are two types of springs: sinuous and hand-tied. Also called serpentine, sinuous springs are preassembled units of snaking wire. They are cheaper but can easily damage the framework if they are too heavy or sag if they are too light. Hand-tied springs are more expensive, but don’t sag or harm the framework.

How to check the springs? Sit down firmly on one corner of a sofa and feel the springs through it – they should be tight and close together. If you hear squeaks and creaks, expect misaligned springs.

Check the joinery

Go for a sofa or couch with a frame connected by any of the following: wooden dowels, double wooden dowels, wooden corner blocks, or metal screws and brackets. Those materials are strong and solid. Glues, staples and nails can be used for extra reinforcement but not as main joinery, or else you are wasting your money. Ask the salesperson information about the sofa’s joinery.

Check the fabric

The best tip for sofa fabric is finding the right style that is also durable and worth the price. How a couch looks is one thing, but the strength of the fabric is a whole different story. If you want a reasonable price for an easy-to-clean sofa, purchase cotton and linen. If you want a stain-resistant sofa, microfiber blend is your friend. Looking for the best-looking sofa? That’s what leather is for. There are other materials you can choose from, but it’s always smart to consider your budget.

The Geek’s Guide to Setting up the Perfect Gaming Room

Gamers

It’s finally the weekend and you want to relax with your sweet new console. You want to invite the boys, but they’d rather play in their own homes, and you know why—your game room’s as empty as Silent Hill. But you also know what you need—a makeover to make sure your friends play and stay. Here is everything that will help you make that room the Super Mario World of game rooms:

Acoustic Foam

Keep the music and sound all to yourself by soundproofing the room. Have acoustic foam installed, so you won’t have to worry about mom running into your room and pulling out the cords—of your fun. Now you can play all day long, and loud.

Gaming Characters

Sounds

When things go boom, your friends jump to their feet and hide behind the seats. With the best speakers installed in each corner of the room, this can happen! You’re sure to feel like a true marine being bombed and shot, and maybe even have your friends running away to the surround sound of incoming zombies.

Screen

The best screens are the big screens—in HD. It’ll seem like you’re in the game itself! You won’t have to imagine Drift anymore, because with a screen half your wall, you’ll be drifting in your own room. You can also try asking dad for a 3D screen for a better experience. With one, you’ll definitely question if you’re still in a game.

Pacman

Router

Not enough controllers? That’s fine. Your buds can bring their Alienwares and you can all play online! Better then to have an Internet connection running in hyperdrive with a router that caters to only your gaming consoles. Ask the family to connect to their own router, because this one’s yours to enjoy. Control your own router, and the days of lagging are sure to be behind you. You’ll be the lords of scoreboards worldwide!

Decorations

With the basics set, all you need are decorations to give your game room an extra oomph. Maybe hang Alduin on your ceiling, mount two elven maces on your wall, or stand a life-size Assassins Creed statue on one corner. Give your room an identity! Make it into a whole new world.

Mario

Chair

With everything overhauled, why keep the old ketchup-stained and sweat-smelled chair? Wouldn’t you want to feel like you’re in your own Starfighter? Sure, you’re attached to this weave of polyester, but wouldn’t you want a sleek leather-clad seat that says you’re the boss, or one of an F1 car that says you live for speed? You’re going to be the king of your lair anyways, so why not opt for a throne?

With these tweaks to your lair, you’re sure to attract your buds every weekend. Maybe even in their dreams, your game room is where they visit! Boys’ night out? Nah, more like boys’ weekend out—in your gaming room. You may be a geek, but you’re the king of geeks.

Single and Ready to Travel? Here are 4 Hacks for an Unforgettable Solo Flight

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Find inspiration and beauty in Zurich by marveling at its astonishing landscapes. Or swim in Vietnam’s Halong Bay while enjoying the magnificence of bioluminescence. You can also opt to check the celebrated home-turned-museum of prominent poet Pablo Neruda in Chile.

Whatever destination your preference leads you, don’t you forget to enjoy the native cuisine, the delightful culture of the locals, and the luxurious comfort brought about by the service and mattress of your chosen hotel. If you’re single and nervous to travel alone, you’re only depriving yourself on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery. So shake those nerves off, pack your backs, and prepare yourself for an awesome adventure!

Walter Mitty

Choose the Right Hotel

Followed by comfort, safety is your utmost priority here. Remember, you are traveling alone. No one’s there to (1) look after your valuables or (2) help you in the midst of unfortunate events. It’s always wise to invest in your security, so if you can afford a rather luxurious hotel, then go ahead and check in on one!

Make sure the hotel has positive reviews, like those Dubai hotels that are ridiculously tall. You wouldn’t want your adventure to be hampered by lack of sleep thanks to bed bugs or poor air conditioning. Do some research about the local hotels and find the friendliest brands to solo travelers like you.

What else should be on your hotel list? Free and unlimited in-room Wi-Fi access! And for obvious reasons, right? To avoid any unwelcome surprise fees, ask the receptionist if the hotel has a limit to their Wi-Fi access. Aside from being able to immediately post the photos of the scenic landscapes you just visited, you can also connect to your family and friends to update them that you’re still alive and breathing.

Ben Stiller

Play Spontaneous

If you’re planning to skirt the streets of a foreign city alone, everyone else will check your plans and critic it. Just be sure to guard your heart of those harsh comments that will make you doubt about your dream solo flight.

Plans are always helpful, but every once in a while, it’s better to play spontaneous. Getting lost in a city does not always lead to kidnapping, robbery and other crimes; it can be hilarious, too! Imagine yourself in a saga of driving, wandering, and following your wild trip whims, and meeting a handful of good, interesting people as you go your way.

If you suddenly want to do something not on your original plan, do it anyway. Unless you plan to return in the near future, you’ll never know when you can ride that ATV in Cambodia again.

Simply unleash your inner adventurous vibe. There’s more to travel than following an itinerary.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Poster

Take Lots of Souvenirs

And by souvenirs, I don’t mean photos. Sure, photos are good. They are able to freeze your precious travel moments and frame them eternally. But how about that authentic silk scarf from Thailand’s well-known floating market? Won’t you love to take it home? And how about that cute panda baby that would look so cute hanging out of your backpack? Adorable, right? Actually no, because that would be illegal.

But you get the point. So travel safe, have fun, and don’t forget to bring home some “pasalubong”!

Old yet Gold: 5 Hotels Older than the United States of America

It’s the most important holiday for Americans – a day filled with grilling and barbecuing, ending the festivity with fireworks. The celebration? The fourth of July 1776, when 13 colonies announced their separation from Great Britain and adopted the Declaration of Independence.

But hundreds of years prior to that, the following hotels are already operating, offering the weary travelers comfort and rest from the tiring day through hotel mattresses and roofs above their heads. Though hotels and inns are already playing a crucial role since the ancient times, these hotels has withstood the test of time.

And yes, they are hundreds of years older than United States.

Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan

Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan (Japan)

According to Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest hotel is Japan’s Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, a hot-spring hotel, which has been operating since 705 AD.

You can soak in the same hot springs that were relished by iconic samurai patrons like Japan’s military leader Takeda Shingen of the Sengoku period (1467-1573) and Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first generation of the shogunate which controlled Japan.

Keiunkan has been operated by the same family for 52 generations, which is a fact that suggests the notion that they should also open a school for business administration. What do you think?

Hoshi Ryokan

Hoshi Ryokan (Japan)

Also in Japan, Hoshi Ryokan was built in 717 AD, when Taicho Daishi ordered his disciple, Garyo Hoshi, to build a spa around a miraculous spring that would serve the people forever.

Taicho, one of the greatest Buddhism teachers in the history of Japan, dreamed about a spirit who spoke to him of a miraculous underground spring in Awazu village that can cure all illnesses.

1,300 years later, the Hoshi Ryokan is run by the 46th generation of the same Hoshi family. The hotel can accommodate up to 450 guests in its 100 rooms. It welcomes its guests with the traditional tea ceremony and cloth them with “Yukata”, the Japanese traditional cotton Kimono.

The Olde Bell (Berkshire, England)

The Olde Bell (Berkshire, England)

The Olde Bell is considered the oldest coaching inn in England. Coaching inns were crucial in England especially hundreds of years ago. The oldest parts of the building were dated all the way back to 1135, a time where cars where still not an option for transportation.

This hotel not only provided accommodation for travelers for it also had a station where carriage horses were exchanged.  There weren’t many places large enough to accommodate a high number of horses and other modes of transport, making it an essential stop for travelers.

The Old Bell (Wiltshire, England)

The Old Bell (Wiltshire, England)

Another old “Old”. This time without an “e”.

The Old Bell is considered as the “oldest hotel in England” with its mainly Edwardian architectural structure. You don’t have to be confused between this “Old” and that “Olde” because this didn’t welcome horses.

Abbot Loring built this in 1220 for visiting dignitaries to Malmesbury, Abbey – a powerful and important seat of learning during that time.

Inside the hotel are historical structures like a hooded stone fireplace in the Brasserie and 33 individually designed bedrooms, each overflowing with classic charm and elegance.

Staying at The Old Bell will also allow you to enjoy the renowned Malmesbury, Abbey and Westonbirt National Arboretum, which are both just a stone’s throw from the hotel.

Gasthaus Zum Roten Baren

Gasthaus Zum Roten Baren (Germany)

Also known for its English name “Red Bear”, this hotel has been standing in the historic town of Freiburg since 1120. Originally a manor house, it was converted into a guest house in 1311 by Johann Beinger, its first landlord. Red Bear Hotel is so old that even documents dating from 1387 mentions it.

What’s more amazing is Gasthaus Zum Roten Baren suffered no damage during World War II, and as history moved on, its owners continued to renovate it with modern luxury.

Today, you’ll enjoy private bathrooms, wireless Internet, cable television, and sauna in this remarkable hotel.

So, the next time you travel around these countries, make sure to spend the night in these hotels that made history.

5 of the Tallest Hotels That Even King Kong Won’t Climb

King Kong

You wake up from your beauty rest at the magnificence of sun rays shining upon you. You pick up that glass of Pinot Noir wine, sip a little and look out the dazzling glass windows. Truly, there’s nothing more splendid than spending time in a lofty place, where your eyes can wander as far as it can, past beyond skyscrapers and sea of clouds. You’re in a hotel so high that even King Kong won’t climb to get you.

Everything that surrounds you spell comfort, and style, and elegance – the couch, the hotel mattress, the pillows, and many, many more. Where on this earth could this place be? Surprisingly, the most gigantic hotels mankind has to offer are all located in Dubai. Read on to find out where exactly you can visit them!

JW Marriott Marquis

JW Marriott Marquis

A must-try for every hotel-lover and travel enthusiasts, JW Marriott Marquisisthe world’s tallest hotel, a 72-storey, 1,165 feet twin-tower skyscraper complex, and it costs about 1.8 billion AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham) to make.

Want a superb view? Choose among its 1,608 rooms split between the two identical towers. A lifetime’s not enough to fully experience the awesomeness of this luxurious hotel.

JW Marriott Marquis’ postmodern architectural jagged style is inspired by the date palm, one of the most precious symbols in Arabian culture. Its twin towers are symmetrically placed on the 7-storey high podium, providing the most spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa, Business Bay and the sea.

Al Yaqoub Tower

Nicknamed the Big Ben of Dubai, it’s easy to see why this 1,076 feet hotel draws comparisons. The Al Yaqoub Building bears a strong resemblance to the UK’s Big Ben, but rumor has it that London’s Westminster Council refused to grant copyright permission for the hotel to have the actual Big Ben clock face. Despite that, this superb tower is still able to spark an aura of romance.

Rose Rayhaan

Rose Rayhaan by Rotana

Standing at a dizzying 1,093 feet, Rose Rayhaan was former title holder of The World’s Tallest Hotel until JW Marrioot was built in 2012.

The hotel offers maximum comfort for business travelers, families and couples after a tiring trip around the central Sheikh Zayed Road where you can have a taste of everything Arabian.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

Also known as Emirates Tower Two, this 56-storey hotel is one of the stunning structural heights in Dubai skyline. Its 1,014 feet altitude is home to 40 luxury suites, fit for your stellar corporate travel.

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

As the world’s only 7 star hotel from 1999 till 2008, Burh Al Arab stands at 1,053 feet on an artificial, private island, connected to the mainland only by a private curving bridge.

The 60-story sail-shaped hotel was designed to be a national icon. Indeed, it is an icon. Where else can you find a hotel as magnificent as this? Almost impossible to top indeed, especially if you consider the treasure within it: a nearly 600-foot-tall atrium—the world’s tallest!

Despite the risk of extreme vertigo, I would love to visit these hotels and treat my eyes to those once-in-a-lifetime views. You should, too! So the next time you book a flight to indulge in its cityscape, include hotel accommodation in your budget. You wouldn’t want to miss the luxury of sleeping on a deluxe hotel mattress inside a lavish hotel.