Stay-home guide for Monday: Feed your wanderlust with Netflix, make scented candles and more


1. Watch: Stay Here on Netflix

Stay Here combines the makeover appeal of a home renovation show with the enviable vistas of a travel documentary. PHOTO: NETFLIX

By this point, the itch of wanderlust has surfaced numerous times.

Attempt to scratch it again with this zany American reality television series, which first aired in 2018 and combines the makeover appeal of a home renovation show with the enviable vistas of a travel documentary.

Its likeable hosts, American interior designer Genevieve Gorder and British real estate guru Peter Lorimer, travel to vacation rentals across the United States to transform home owners' tired, short-term rental homes into lucrative cash cows.

Not just a makeover show, the eight-episode series also offers practical tips to aspiring short-term renters on how to be a host with the most - such as using 10 per cent of the nightly rate to spend on welcome treats, or designing a photo opportunity within one's space for an instant social media moment.

The show has done a good job of curating unique vacation rentals - from a historic firehouse in Washington, DC, to a cosy houseboat floating along the marina in Seattle - so no two transformations feel the same.

It makes for a delightful binge-watch as you rue the mustiness of your own home life. And of course, you get a peek at the sights and sounds of various cities in the US - to bookmark for the future, perhaps.

Info: Netflix's Stay Here

2. Make: DIY scented candles

Go online to find recipes for beginners in candle-making. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

Last year's circuit breaker birthed many bonafide candle-makers - some of whom have gone on to launch small home-based businesses selling scented wares. But you do not have to be an enterprising soul to learn how to make your own candles.

The Internet is full of recipes for beginners, although the basic steps are:

1. Measure and melt the wax (which can be purchased online).

2. Add your desired fragrance oils once the wax has cooled.

3. Prepare your candle container by gluing a wick to the bottom.

4. Pour the candles and allow to cool at room temperature for at least a day before burning.

You can source for supplies separately or buy ready kits online. The fun comes in choosing what containers to use - go green and repurpose jam jars or flowerpots - and personalising your own fragrance.

And who knows? After some trial and error, you may get good enough at it to launch your own home-based candle brand after all.

3. Learn: A new language on Udemy

Udemy has a tie-up with SkillsFuture. PHOTO: UDEMY.COM

How many times have you declared you want to pick up a new language but had no time for it? You may have put it off twice before, but now you have to stay home for a third time, give it another shot.

Online education marketplace Udemy offers more than 32,000 online courses ranging from self-improvement to sign language to Web development.

Most courses are for a fee, but there are also a number of free ones, including learning Russian, Arabic, Sri Lankan Sinhala and other languages for beginners.

While the free courses do not typically include a certificate of completion, the online video content comprising lectures and quizzes should give you some linguistic bragging rights.

The platform also has a tie-up with SkillsFuture, which allows Singapore students to take select Udemy courses and be reimbursed.

Info: Udemy's website

4. Tar Pau Nation: Birds Of A Feather a good catch with free delivery

While it is great that many hawkers now provide islandwide delivery, the high price for the convenience often makes me pause before hitting the order button. It's hard to justify paying a $12 delivery fee, for example, for a $5 bowl of noodles unless it's something I have a strong craving for.

There are also stalls that require a minimum order of $40. What am I going to do with eight bowls of noodles that are not going to keep for more than a day? Even with a family of four, every member would have to finish two bowls each.

So thank goodness for places that waive the delivery charge, especially if it's a lauded restaurant like Birds Of A Feather in Amoy Street. The six-year-old eatery serves Western dishes with a Sichuan profile, but many of the offerings in its delivery menu are more Asian.


5. Shelf Care: Words of solace in Matt Haig's The Comfort Book

This book seeks to do exactly what it says on the tin.

It is, by its author's admission, a messy book - a haphazard collection of quotes, stories and loose thoughts that have at some point supplied him with comfort.

A lot of things in these pages read like truisms: it is okay to be who you are, do not judge your self-worth by social media, there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so - to quote Shakespeare's Hamlet - and so on.


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