It Takes One Bruha to Know Another Bruha….

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My mum is the patient and soft-spoken one. Even when she is super upset, she calmly approaches the situation and oftentimes, she nails it! I secretly admire her for this because I am her exact opposite.

Now that I am in Australia and mum is in Manila. We would catch up through Facetime and she will share with me all what has been going on with everyone we know. Recently, her mum who lives with my aunt 3 hours away from my place asked her to deal with legal and financial matters. Which is normal as grandma is 92 years old already. Unfortunately, it is not a walk in the park as my mum had to deal with characters that somehow replicate the Stepsisters of Cinderella trapped in the bodies of her 2 sisters.

My history with these aunts is not Hallmark moment worthy. I grew up being scrutinised and judged on every life decision I make. Somehow they have some hidden grudge against me. When I first meet them in Bruha Aunt 1’s house, Bruha Aunt 2’s welcome salvo to me was… ” oh finally you made it here in Australia, your mum lost her chance when I gave it to her because she chose to be engaged to your dad”

Ladies and gentlemen, that is the way to welcome your niece to a family lunch. I snapped back at her and said, “well, a wise decision my mum made, because, I was born and I was raised by her and my dad well enough to have a happy life.”—- hidden Bruha activated.

Her white hubby hushed her and said to let the topic rest and it is not a good way to start a conversation. My husband luckily was busy chatting with the rest of my relatives and was spared from the banter of the Bruhas.

When my Grandma was diagnosed with tongue and mouth cancer last year. The Bruhas wanted me to so my mum to be a temp caregiver for grandma. Because Bruha 1 lives on the South Coast and Bruha 2 has a job. So, mum came last year and became a carer for gran s she recovered from surgery and accompanied her for the 9-week radio therapy. Did theBruhas treat her well? If allowing my mum to visit visit me 4 times in 3 months is a normal thing well, I shall save my comments on judgement day.

Skip to recent events where my mum would have to take time off from her work and process the documents for the bank in Manila and pay the post to be sent over to Bruha Palace. So they basically need to have gran sign and send back and provide evidence that my 92 yo gran is alive. It would take them weeks to comply and have my mum wait in vain deal with their sarcasm, rudeness on messenger and seen zone moments. I am keeping my inner Bruha sleeping and waiting for the click to kick in. However, I passively drop hints on my mum to speak.up and say something to the Bully Bruha.Sisters she has. I am the tiny spoon of salt that rubs to the small wound.

Alas, the day finally came! My mum’s inner dragon has arrived! This morning in our usual Facetime session. She interrupted my dad and told him that she has a news for me. Oooooh… Aggressive! Dad stepped out and went into his morning cycle and mum told me the news that Bruha Aunt went ballistic on her. Why? Apparently, the Bank wanted additional information. The birthdate of Bruha Aunt 1 and 2. ( manila banks are full.of red tape)

So the Bruha aunt screamed at her saying she doesn’t have this information!!! Seriously??? What the flying F”@&? You dont know your freakkkking birthday and gone crazy on my mum?? Who had to do and deal with all the shitty stuff you B@&$)” are too lazy or uninterested to do anyway and just appear when the storm had passed or when they know it will fill their purses up.

So I became the heaping spoon of salt and told mum that screw them and I will help her with gran. It took me 3 phone calls because gran had to check her documents for her deceased parents birthdates. Also, I looked at my old documents and found the birthdates of the 2 Bruhas. Done in half an hour. No dramas, no need to deal with the monstrous attitude of the Bruhas. Called my mum back and then before the business day had ended . The bank called my mum to say all is settled.

I called grandma to relay the message and she was happy. I have anti Bruha powers . Because I can be one too but , I chose not to be. There is no need and I somehow think of them as my relatives at least. But maybe I will just keep my distance. Less talk, less mistakes.

Sometimes, I think about what is the root of their unpleasantness towards us ? Is it because we did not fit in when it comes to money matters? Should there be standards on whom you should like as your family? I am not perfect but I respect my elderly and other relatives. I have 3 uncles back home who were never married and are a bit on the low social status. One had passed away due to illness and the 2 are struggling with loneliness and old age. But I do speak to them politely even if they may look unpleasant sometimes. They can be annoying because they like to ask of I have extra money for a cig or so but I just tell them kindly that “sorry uncle, not today.” And then we talk about something else and when it is time for them to leave, my mum would send them some food and toiletries to live a dignified life even if they are alone.

Meanwhile, My Bruha aunts will attack them endlessly whenever there are reunions . Yes, they send help but when they are back here in Australia, they will talk and say how miserable their brothers are and they deserve it because they were foolish and careless when they were younger. Unlike them who studied , and left the motherland for and have a better life over here.

I am not spared too, they always rub in me that I should be working again to earn more money. Buy a house! Get 2 cars! Look at your cousins, they work and have children too. Well, me being an SAHM is a decision I made with my husband and it is because He CAN support us too. We rent a house and have one car and there is nothing wrong with that right?

In few weeks will be Christmas. And it will be equivalent to parties and get togethers. But I have already told my aunts that My family preferred to celebrate on our own this year. It may sound rude to some but I prefer to celebrate with my true family.

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My Learning to Drive Journey


Today is one of the happiest dayof my life!

I never learned to drive a car. We do not own one growing up and I am cool with the art of commuting. 

However, now that we moved to Australia , I have no more excuse not to learn and get my license. Last year, I signed up for the Learners Theory test to get the Learners Id. It is quite a process to get the license here in Australia but I think it has really good reasons why. 

Now, I have to be honest that I failed the first theory test. Geez 30 items u can only make 4 mistakes. Well, in the end I got it. And the lessons begin.

Lessons are not cheap. It costs around 45-70 dollars an hour. Or, you can have someone you know teach you. As long as they are full license holders . But, I tried it with my DH and I chose the path of paying the instructor. Why ? Because my husband And I wanted to stay happily married. Thank you. 

My lessons, due to my hubby being at work, can only be done on weekends or night. Which is challenging because it means I do not have a lot of momentum or continuity of driving and being confident. Well, it is fortunate that we found instructors who are kind and adaptable to my schedule. Also, my LO started daycare so I got Fridays free. 

Driving teachers…..

You do not commit to the first teacher you meet. Go for an hour session and see how you feel. I had 5 teachers to give a go. 

Teacher 1: Female, stocky , grumpy.

She drives an apple green hyundai getz. When i first met her, she asked me to drive in a parking lot . Just basic skills . It was ok but she kept on doing it and always scolding me and she kinda hates non Aussies. Ok missy, bye.

Teacher 2:

It was short and sweet. Unfortunately teacher 2 only meet me for a test drive. He was actually good. Calm, and took me straight on the roads of Gosford. But we moved to Newcastle a week after I meet him. It was a shame I had to let go. 

Teacher 3:

Salesman? surfer? real estate agent? 

Non stop chat! I like to chat but later, it was turning out that he is also losing his patience on me. Dunno? Stressed? Wife busy all day at work? ( i got these info from his chattiness) or maybe because Im bored of his surfer stories and what real estate property is good around. After Easter , he disappeared. 

Teacher 4

An older man. Doesnt talk much but really straightforward and honest. He asks me to sign sheets about my progress too. Like a teacher, dad should be. He is good. And really takes safety seriously. 

My backup:

Rockstar: teacher 4 has a friend who owns a driving school car and when T4 had his car serviced , Rockstar helped me a bit. He is like T4 but a bit scruffy and likes to hum…. And bust a line Breakdown tenenenen. One session was not bad but I am happier with T4. 

The Test..

I asked my T4 if I am ready last Aug 25. He said why not? So we went , and the assessor was a lady. She has a serious face and a squeaky voice. She is alright but I was just fffn nervous. I did not do my reverse park well and I miscalculated another vehicle coming from my right so she had to hit the brakes. FAILED.

I didnt cry or anything . i was hopeful actually. So my t4 said.” Let’s go again” I said yes. So Sept 8

My daughter was unwell that week. Damn! I did not sleep well but she was better on my test day. So I went on. However, the mind speaking  about how is my daugheter in school got me.. no major fails this time but , the assessor thinks I am not doing my headchecks at the beginning and was better at the last few minutes of the course. ( by the way I got same lady assessor) So if you have 4 missed observations. Failed.

I am not gonna give up. This P license had to happen. So I booked again. 22nd Sept. so boom booked. The day came and behold…… the paper is actually 25th Sept. Bloody Monday. I cannot make it. So quick think. Go to website and change. Darn! It is fully booked till Oct. so I decided to go for the Newcastle testing area.A mum like me took her test there and she passed at one go. It is a busy place and T3 took me there too but It was too crowded. I found a suitable time for me and day… 29th Sept 1.15.

I know I am a freakkin nervous driver. So I became more vigilant and signed up with another teacher ( lets call him, back up) to teach me on monday,got t4 to teach me tues and thurs night and backup on friday morning and t4 on an hour before my test ( i paid t4 ‘s car for test which is always the best way when you go for test) .

I was desperate. I google map the routes we go and remember the signs and possible hazards. Laugh all you want but that is the way I can only think of passing this test. Post pregnancy and being a full time mama and housewife can tangle your nerves and brains. 

Test day:

My assessor is a tall , bald but cheerful man. He smiles , jokes with my instructor. We did the papers, and off to the parking lot. 

The test goes like this : 

Check the cars lights, indicators, brakes and tires . 

Start the car and listen for his instructions. 

Breathe, focus, relax, focus breathe.

The course has 25 zones it is around 30-40 mins. Now, since my assessor is a happy bloke, I told him straight about what kind of driver i am. I am nervous and i mess my right and left sometimes so perhaps a hand direction guide may help. He is absolutely fine and said” i will be okay with that”. 

It was different from my previous 2 tests. It may be the time, road condition and perhaps i had somehow learned from my mistakes too. But iI felt that the assessor has a contributing factor too. 

I was not overspeeding, in fact i had only 1 mark for being slow. Few hits on road positioning ( forgive my lefthandedness) a bit slow on decision ( nerves guys come on).

The verdict:

When you return after the course you need to park the car and make sure the assessor can get out of the car. He will ask you to wait on the comfy seats of NSW- Roads and Maritime Services corner. 

T4 asked how it went and I said I was ok. No interventions or anything. But we cant guarantee that. 

The assessor called me and said  the feedback. I was looking down the paper and because he put an x on the pass box i thought I failed again. But he said, i passed . I PASSED! 

So he handed me the red P plates . Damn it is the most precious plastic red P !  He took my green license ( learner) and I have to pay 57dollars for the new one which will arrive in 5-7 days. 

T4 was proud of me. Like a dad who has a daughter who keeps on failing Math tests and finally made it. 

I finally made it! I am 35 and I can drive. 

T4 drove me home and reminded me of the things a new P license holder like me should remember. The best advise: Practice and be focused. 

Watch out… I am gonna be driving! Beep beep! 

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Random Things … 

Special thanks  to spacekoto for tagging me. It is one of her Award Nominations—- space, you are a pop star on WP!!

Anyway , like previous Awards circulating around the wp.I am not forcing anyone to join but if you feel interested, the rules are

1. Thank the person who nominated you

2. Share random facts about you. Sorry spacekoto, i cant think of 14 at the moment. 

3. Answer the 3 questions  

4. Pass it on  with same rules and tag as many bloggers you like. 

So spacekoto here are the answers and 14 random facts .

Q and A

1. If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you ask for?

A.  A healthy life for me and loved ones

B. A drivers license

C. Im gonna be shameless… money and lotsa money

 2. If asked between me and your friends, who would you choose? 

Seriously! 

 3. If you were a tree, what would be carved in your trunk?

Don’t fuss… eat more bacon

Random stuff about me:

1. I am left handed. I have the tendency to mix up my right and left especially when giving directions to cabbies.

2. I like music from the 50s-70s. My favorites are Misty, You are my Special Angel, Someone to watch over me.
3. Recently I am hooked into old or period series. Particularly from BBC. I just finished Downton Abbey and now cruising along Call the Midwives. Something  about English series that I like is the straightforwardness of the plot. 

4. I cry easily watching drama series. Too much makes me catch fever. Lol

5. My hubby and I like to cook and eat… and we love our wine and beer but we know our limits. 

( my tomato and roast pepper soup) oops coke at the background from my Lil one’s party over the weekend)

6. I do not have friends here in Australia. Or maybe I havent met them yet. But I do not really care. I believe that even my good and true friends are scattered around the globe. I am happy. 

7. I recently learned crocheting and I am addicted to it. I am not the fastest but I have completed few projects. 


8. My first overseas job was in Bahrain . january 1 2005. I was very excited because I was given a job to be a tutor to a boy with special needs. But the society had seen me as a nanny during my stint there. I sorta  lost my self esteem there but I got the hang of it. 2 years after,  I left and I was back to teaching and I am grateful for that exposure because my employers had given me a very good reference letter. I had also learned a lot from them as a Jewish family, and also how to be independent. Too independent I never settled in the Philippines and had always been on the move.

9. If I were to choose a country to live and settle it will be Germany. I admire their lifestyle – rustic, simple and humble.

10. My favorite scent is Chanel Chance. Very feminine. 

11. I like to wear boots. The army kind. My trustworthy ones are my grey canvass Palladium and Doc Marten’s .My husband thinks I must have been a soldier in my past life. 

There. If you wish to join. Here are my 3 questions.

1. What is food item ( it can be junk lol) can you indulge all day?

2. What era would you like to re live again?

3. What  song you hated most? 

Posted in Newbie Blogger | 3 Comments

Hammer Time

Last week, my DH had been experiencing a great deal of stress at work. I really felt bad for him because he had been facing all sort of crap from clients, backstabbing colleagues and an MIA team leader when shit hits the fan. He was contemplating to stay on or just quit. 

As his wife, my duty is to talk to him and pray for him . Trying times at work can really make a person lose hope on themselves and just throw in the towel. Thank God that my DH is a man who is also prayerful and believes to letGod  be in control . A few days after, things got bearable at work and DH is coping well.

So one afternoon,DH decided to drop by at the grocery to get stuff for the house plus some bonus. He wanted to cook dinner. Now, in our 6 years of knowing each other. Food and cooking is one of our channels to cool down. So I let him take the kitchen duties that night…partly. 

DH decided to cook Beef Schnitzel , or Fried Chicken Steak … in Egypt they also call it Boeftek – im not sure if i wrote it correctly in English  -sounds like biftek.

Ingredients: 

Rump steak 3 pieces( it’s on specials)

Salt ,pepper, paprika, chopped onions, mixed spice seasoning, steak seasoning ( DH likes to play with  the spices bottles)

Hammer lol! Meat tenderizer 

2 Beaten eggs, flour breadcrumbs

Procedure:

Wash hands

Prepare your workstation by wrapping a big chopping board with a cling wrap. 

Lay the meat and bash it! The angrier or stressed you are, the better! It will make u hit the hammer harder and the meat will be flatter! The meat will be bigger though. You may cut it in half if you think the size wont fit your pan later.


( DH in his work clothes! Bashing his stress away)

Season the meat with the spices and chopped onions. Set aside for 15 mins.( adding onions on the meat marinade is how my MIL in Egypt does so my DH follows it too. ) 


Dip the meat in the bowl of flour coat it evenly , then beaten eggs and bread crumbs. 

Frying time: heat the pan with oil that is enough to cover the pan’ surface. Do a sizzle test … not to hot or the meat will be burnt. 


Fry the meat approximately 2 and a half mins on each side. Turning it twice until you achieve the golden brown colour. 

Place the meat on a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil. 

Serve it with lemon or any condiment you fancy. 

DH cooked a risoni and chorizo with mushrooms too but it was a bit salty.  However , it still worked . You may pair it with potatoes or onion rice. ( will share the recipe next time ) 

Then paired with a bottle of Campfire Red by De Bortoli Wines . ( you can get 6 for 60) at Hunter Valley.

After the meal. DH had his motivation back and his work week was bearable. 

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Monday

Good day readers and bloggers!

How was your weekend? Mine was not too exciting. Hubby had to work on Saturday and Sunday and my lil girl had a fever reaction from a flu shot . She was well and happy but her temp suddenly rises and we are monitoring it and thank God she is back to the normal and stable toddler body temp. Thanks to Braun Exactemp thermometer. One of the well used items since babyhood till now of my lil one. 

Anyway, my Monday is usually hectic with my LOs Gymbaroo classes at New Lambton at 9.30 so we leave the house at 845 to walk to the venue. ( mommy brisk  walks and pushes the pram , LO sits like a duchess! Lol) and it ends at 10.15 and we usually walk back to shop if needed or just run at the park . Today though was a bit gloomy so we chose to stay home and chill. I also decided to cook lunch early . 

So the fridge needs replenishing of items but I found  half cauliflower head red capsicum, a carrot (single and ready to mingle) . I thought okay, it may be a good idea to roast it. A good batch for lunch and dinner tonight. 

So I washed, and cut them up in chunks, dunked them in a mixing bowl seasoned with….( i have no rules here) olive oil,salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary, steak seasoning.Also, i have sliced red onions into chunks and 2 cloves of carlic mashed with skin on. 

I have read that parmesan and garlic also works. So it is really up to you and what you have on your spice rack. 

Then call your assistant. 


The assistant may have been lurking around the house, demanding from popcorn, chips, chocolate( yes ! My kiddo is a junkie 😂) so I routinely ignored and counter offered with apple, orange, fruit cup, but of course she said no. ( very popular for toddlers!) So we agreed on yoghurt. After few minutes, LO is doing a Jackson Pollock masterpiece on the  floor with banana yoghurt leftover! Awesome. 

So , after cleaning the artwork, washed the LOs hands and asked if she wants to help me. Of course! My LO is keen on these. Anything that she can touch, mix, manipulate, and throw is a win win! So here comes me being a former preschool / childcare worker, CIA special ops agent , did some incidentant vocabulary work on naming the veggies, sensory on textures and smell, fine motor activity on scooping and transferring( hello Montessori) and practical life- supervised of course as the oven is being pre heated in 200deg cel. 

After the apprentice had enough , I intervened to assist on placing the tray in the oven. After 40mins, it was looking good!time to take it out of the oven and rest it for a bit , away from the LO. 


Tadaa! Now, you may try other sturdy veggies like potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, whole fresh mushrooms, brocolli, zucchini and you may add chicken, chorizo , italian sausages ( hmm, good excuse to buy and try it again) if you feel to do so. just a note on watching the raw meat to cook well .slicing it into even slices ( esp chicken breast) will be a good idea. 

I am not a food blogger and I cook, I serve  and eat. You will see in my future posts on how my husband also contributes on our weight gain err I meant culinary activities at home. 

So, there goes half of my Monday. The LO is snoring on my belly as I type this one. I have to move her and carry on with my crochet. 

Have a lovely week ahead. 

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Crochet for Lefties


I am bad at craft and needlework. In the Philippines circa 1990s it was part of our Home Economics curriculum to sew and crochet. I dreaded it because I am a left handed person and I am no good on reading patterns. So to pass the project requirements, my mum who has basic knowledge, right handed superhero will make the stuff for me. Crochet a chain and few rows of stitches, sew a basic pattern blouse etc. The teacher, still accepted and passed me . My sewing improved and I can mend by hand running stitch and hem stitches but that is it. 

On the other hand, the other side of Home Econ which is cooking… I think I am quite good at it. Will post on cooking next time with pictures.

Crochet seems to be my fave past time now. I have been a youtube follower of good crochet how to vids and I am glad that technology had made me rekindle my interest on picking the yarn and trying out simple and useful projects out there.

My fave crafters out there:

1. Bella Coco http://www.bellacoco.co.uk/

2.the crochet crowd

3. Amigurumi to go by Sharon Ojala

http://www.bellacoco.co.uk/

4. studio crafti

5. Melanie Ham

6. You can signup for apps like loveknitting, pinterest, craftsy  and they do offer free tutorials and patterns too. 

They are my suggested vloggers and crafters . All easy to follow and what is best about youtube tutorials is that you can save, make a playlist, rewind, forward etc… also, if you read their sites, you can also download the patterns and save kn your file for future reference. I am a bit old school so i kinda jot down some of the basic terms. 

As for materials to use. Following the suggestions of the experts . I started with simple and inexpensive yarns. The dollar shop has 2.50dollars  acrylic wool and they work well with 4.5 sizes hook( ace 3.50-4.00dollars) . Also, get a knitting or yarn needle( 2.00 dollars) to sew in finished products. Later on you can add on pins, to help secure smaller parts of your project like a toy cuddly( amigurumi) buttons or safety eyes( i keep on forgetting to buy lol) , fiber fill( not necessary unless for amigurumi projects. 

So since I started crocheting in March 2017, here are some of the items I tried making and some have finished and some are still WIP .

1 granny square stitch blankie (wip)

I bought a double knit acrylic yarn and this is my second blanket project using granny square stitch.

2 round blanket my first finished project using rounds and rounds of double crocehet stitch. My LO loves to play with it.


3. Amigurumi toy – it is meant to be a bunny but this is my first attempt to try following  studio crafti’s video site. 


4. Applique – i want to try to create xmas tree decos using finer threads ( probly cotton … and finer crochet needles) so here’s a star


5. I have experimented a bit on tshirt yarn. It is a yarn made of old tshirts. They are a bit bulky and can be bought per kg. It uses a size 10 crochet needle. I bought the yarn from a shop called knotknitting based in West Australia. But I also found that my nearby craft shop Lincraft sells ot for 10 dollars a kg.

You may notice that my multicoloured yarn is prominent. Do not laugh, I overstocked . Hahaha. But that is why I am aiming to use it well on my next granny square stitched blanket and perhaps a mulit coloured amigurumi project. 

On my birthday last Aug 9. My order from iloveknitting came of cotton yarns. I am too busy and up to now I havent opened the parcel. Lol  

I am still a newbie to this craft and I just doing this as a hobby to remain sane  and relax my mind from the busy life as a SAHM. However, I recommend that you give it a try if you are interested. 

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The Awesome Blogger Award


How creative  is this! Thank you to  spacekoto for nominating me. Honestly, I am flattered that even we are thousand miles apart , we managed to have this witty connection on blogging about anything. In Filipino or English … it is awesome. 

So how does this work. Let me see if I remember this right from the rules of the madamme spacekoto.

1. Thank the blogger who tagged you,

2. Answer the questions posted by the person who nominated you

3. Nominate 5 bloggers and why you nominated them

4. Post 10 questions for your nominees 

5. Tag your post as awesomebloggeraward

6. Let the blogger know tou have nominated them

So here are the questions from spacekoto and my answers. If it is in Filipino, I will translate it for those who are not familiar with our mother tongue. 

1. Kung mananalo ka ng 1 million, ano gagawin mo?( what will you do if have won 1 million – do your own monetary rate exchange)

I will share to my family , save for my LOs fund and then go on a cruise.
2. Nanunuod ka ba ng Game of Thrones? Kung oo, sino ka sa mga character? Kung hindi, eh di next question. ( do you watch Game of thrones? If yes , which character has similarities to you, if no, next question) 

Nope
3. Anong mapapayo mo sa mga baguhang bloggers na katulad ko? Awuw bago. ( what is your advise to new bloggers)

Keep writing but be tactful
4. Ano ang dream job mo?( what isyour  dream job)

Australian Border Police officer( the type that checks luggage for prohibited stuff at the airport)
5. Sa lahat ng blog post mo, alin dun ang favorite mo?(in your previous posts on your site, which  is your fave ?) 

Tales from the Buffet spread
6. Sino inspiration mo sa pag susulat? ( who inspires you to write)

barney Stinson hahaha .  

Actually it is Joy Tanchi mendoza . She authors Teaching with Joy.
7. Eto nabasa ko lang… Would you rather go back to your past and change it or see your future?

See my future
8. August na, how’s your 2017 so far?

It is getting better by God’s grace

9. What makes you blush? Bawal isagot ang blush on.

Red wine. Lol. 
10. Kung isasa-pelikula ang buhay mo, sino gusto mong gumanap?( who will portray you , if there is a movie about your life)

Hmm, amy adams 

Filipino: mylene dizon

My nominees are actually I wanna read the envelope of the winners:

spacekoto For her humour, honesty and creativity . Living and working in Singapore is not all roses and blooms ( i can relate as a former OFW in Sg too) but this chic is strong  and resilient in her posts. 
Love, Amielle – being sensible as a young foreign woman in the UaE. Her posts are nice and enjoyable to read too. 

Girls, spacekoto and Love, Amielle continue loving life. Embrace challenges with wisdom, poise and grace. I can see my younger self in you as I also left our Motherland in 2005 to be an OFW and also to see the world. Our journeys may not be smooth sailing all the time but I know you gals can make it big too. 

Here is my crocheted star for you gals!! 

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The Good , The Bad and the Ugly of Renting

Hello readers! I have been quiet because I have been busy and to live by the name of my blog, WE HAVE MOVED AGAIN! Yes, last Saturday, we had our suitcases, boxes and other thingamajigs packed , transported and settled in our new rented house.

Our new place is smaller compared to the place we rented from Feb-July. I honestly prefer smaller places because as a SAHM, I would like an easy to clean and organise household. I am glad that this 2 br home with a storage/garage was approved when we applied for it. 

Renting is what works for us new families in Australia. Since we are still adjusting to the new life as residents. We get to know which suburbs are good or dodgy, also the proximity of shops and recreation spots for the lil one. I like to take LO to the park and let her run around or push her on the pram on safe trails every morning. For the past year, we have had our share of dealing with house inspections, applications , logistic planning and execution, condition report making, reporting maintenance issues, escalating issues and vacating reports and learning that there are Real Estate agencies out there that are mediocre, tacky and substandard. 

Our last transaction was with Love Realty( wtf is that name) Anyway, since my DH needed to move us here in Newcastle for his new job last summer, we were in a rush to look, apply and just get whoever approves us. We got a decent home, but it has a massive yard , full of steps and located in a steep cul de sac area where you have to endure a 15 min climb uphill with DH on a carrier ( 12 kg plus backpack) to catch a bus that only comes every hour. I endured it for 6 months because I am trying to be the Wife and Mum of the Year( lol).  My issue was with the realty agents, whenever we report anything, it would take ages for them to reply, when we filed the comments on the initial Condition Report, the manager called me and was not happy about our house comments. They always give you the condescending tone and as if you are at fault all the time. 

The worst part was this, when we vacated the place. I organised a housecleaner, a gardener to set the house clean. As an experienced Tenant from Perth and Central Coast, I know the drill and we have been successful in satisfying the vacating premises conditions.  NOT WITH LOVE. Their so called inspection specialist emailed my husband and said that the house was grubby and dirty. Now , that ruined my night! When the cleaner had the house cleaned, we checked and it was done well as expected. I was outraged and showed the email to the cleaning lady. She had cleaned end of lease houses and was mad too. She offered to get the keys and do the job and show them the photos to slam them. 

I am glad that the new agent I found is better. They are not perfect but at least they try their best to communicate with us and address our questions. As a tenant, we have rights too same as the landlords and owners. We co -exist together with real estate agents. I am sad that there are businesses like Love Realty, unfortunately they do not deliver in the game of real estate. They are as dirty like their “expression wall” in their office in Boolaroo. ( where tenants, sellers, buyers can write on the wall their feelings of Love to Love realty) I should have written something on that wall but I am not tacky nor low- class like them. I will be more creative and write about them here. 

So there, a tenant family’s life must go on. I still have to unpack . 

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The Struggle is Real


Last June 15  we celebrated out first year of arrival in Australia. We arrived at Perth Airport via Qatar Airways and the time had just flew by up and now we are here in Newcastle.

To give you an ifea, we arrived here as Permanent Residents. It means, my DH and I took the steps of complying to the set of rules and requirements of the Australian Immigration. We had our English proficiency checked ( IELTS score band of 7.5) , our university credentials assessed, criminal recordbackground checked and health assessed too. It took us 2 years to get the visa as we had to add our LO on the list too. 

When we came here, we are very excited to experience on what Australian lifestyle is. It was a lovely start although we had to face the reality of looking and finding a place to rent, find a job , get the paperwork for government stuff etcetera. But what really hit us hard was the job hunt. I have seen how my DH struggled and also at times frustrated when he gets turned down by one company after the other. When we all had thought that before coming here, out professions have been recognised and suited for the local market. It was not that easy. Perhaps, we came at a wrong time? Due to the downturn of mining , and oil and gas. 

So 3 months have passed and finally a SME offered a job to DH in Central Coast. We moved to Gosford and we are still keeping the fight that we will thrive to the demands and expenses of everyday Australian life.  January 2017, my DH got another offer with a company here in Newcastle. It pays leass but it is a larger company that can help my DH learn more about the industry and better exposure to the so-called “Australian Experience”. 

As for me, I am carrying on my duties as a SAHM and had taken time to take my HLT004 Certificate ( first aide , anaphylaxis and asthma mgt) getting my driving lessons done( unfortunately 2 of my teachers have been in an accident so I am still waiting to get my test) I am also applying for jobs and volunteer positions.

Last week , I was called for an interview for a post in a Childcare. However, I just got a call today that I did not qualify. For reasons that I did not ask anymore. ( I had my qualifications assessed and granted by ACECQA, I have a First Aid Check, a Working with Children Check) so I am just saving myself for further heartbreak by not asking why I failed to get the job. I should be picking up myself and carry on and see what else I can do to hopefully snag the job. 

I will just tell myself that because my LO is still young, It will be better that I stay with her and just be a mum. However, I also hope that soon, I can also get a chance to work and help my husband to provide for our family. 

Right now, I am going to seek possibilities to improve myself to be better and have a higher chance to pass the interviews. Failing is never a good feeling but I will try not to dwell on that. It is time to move on. 

To make things a bit cheerful, I am thankful to Newcastle and Hunter Toy Library for allowing me to Volunteer 2 Saturdays a month. This makes me feel accomplished at least a couple of hours and also giving back to the community where we are at . 

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The Hashtag

I am not going to wash my hands clean and say that I have never used this sign in some of my social media posts. However, I will be very honest to tell you that I have not really understood the concept of hashtagging. I merely just followed a trend because everybody in the damn social media world is doing it. 

And then, I have somehow gotten irritated by this trend. Why? It is because , some of the people I know, have just been hashtagging everything they do and post that most of the time it is either not making sense, super long and worse….spelled wrongly! 

Let me give you some examples of these categories:

1. OTT hashtagging- 

an ott hashtagger will do this:

#lighthouse #summer #newcastle #beach #summer #australia #rocks #scenery #weekend #water #sand #sun #bluesky #whiteclouds #beachlover #nofilter #randomwalks #amazing

…. ok what else ? The whole elements, particles that probably have been in the photo. Also let us not forget the overly used #blessed. 😂

2. Loooong hashtags with CAPITAL LETTER mashups

It is long and makes me cringe . Let me make use of my LOs photo to illustrate it further

#mylittleartistinthemaking

#Iamgoingtobetheonecleaningupthismessafter

#IlovePINTERESTkiddoecraftideas

#creativitykickinginmybabygirl

…… i have seen others that are longer , it can be a paragraph 

3. spelling bee fails hashtag

Okay, the worst of them all is the hashtag with misspelled words. This is common on travel , food and leisure posts. Best advice to share to these peeps is that, research or doublecheck what you hashtag and post. 

#lavandar — 

#validictorian

#wronggrammer

#mindgrain

……. ok enough . that reached my tolerance level . 😆

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