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Friday, April 15, 2016

How To Wash Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering seems like rocket science and leave many first time users confused from choosing the type of diaper to use and then to washing it. I use pocket type diapers and I would like to share how I wash them.

1.Used diapers should be washed after 1 to 3 days of use.I place the used diapers in a dry open pail.

2.On the day of washing, remove the inserts from the pocket.

3.For diapers soiled with poop, remove the poop first by spraying before mixing it with the other diapers.

4.Place the used inserts and pockets in cold water. Do not put detergent. Wash it first in water through hand or machine.

5.Drain water and then fill it up again and this time you can add in the detergent. It is advisable to use all-natural and enzyme free detergent such as Human Nature's Tough Love and Calla. I prefer the latter since it is cheaper and available in supermarkets.Also, use only a little amount of detergent, half the amount of what you normally use.

6.Wash in normal cycle.

7.Rinse and rinse until all the suds and bubbles disappear. I normally wash it twice or thrice. 

8.Hang to dry. You can use hangers with clips for the inserts. For the pockets you can use hangers or place directly in the clothesline. Just make sure that you hang it parallel to protect the garters from loosening.

9.Let Mr. Sun do all the work. He can make those stains and smell disappear! :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Australian Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 Application Journey

Before I started my application for any Australian Visa, I checked http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1 to know what are the possible visas I could apply for. 

Based on my reading I have decided that the best Visa that I should apply for is Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189
This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government. It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

I read the point system on that page and learned that I need 60 points. Point are awarded based on Age, English language ability, Skilled Employment, Qualifications, Australian Study Requirement and Other Factors.

Next is to find if my course is in the Skilled Occupations List which would mean that I could apply for Visa 189 and that I can nominate my occupation and get points. Fortunately, my course Industrial Engineering is in the List:

Occupation ANZSCO Code Assessing Authority
Industrial Engineer 233511 Engineers Australia
Based on the list, the assessing authority for my occupation is Engineers Australia. So I checked it out and downloaded the Migration Skills Assessment booklet and read it to know the steps and requirements to get my assessment. I then registered for an account online.

One of the requirements for assessment is proving your proficiency in the English Language and the most known type of exam is the IELTS. As per Engineers Autralia, I need to take the IELTS General and have a score of at least 7 in all bands. I paid P8,990 and registered for an exam under British Council. I have no time to attend review classes so I did a self study for 3 months and last May 30, 2015 I took an exam at Grand Regal Hotel Davao.

After I got the IELTS result, I completed the documents required by Engineer Australia or EA, paid 1,120 AUD and submitted it on their website using my EA account last January 16, 2016.

February 2, 2016- I received my positive EA assessment as a Profesional Engineer with 14 year plus relevant skilled employment.

I immediately made an account at Skillselect so I can submit my Expression Of Interest. 
Skilled workers and business people interested in migrating to Australia can be considered for a skilled visa by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. An EOI is an indication that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa. An EOI is not a visa application.
I was able to get 65 points meaning I was able to meet the 60 points needed to apply for Visa 189. 

Age- 25
English language ability-10 (based on IELTS result)
Skilled Employment-15 (based on EA assessment)
Qualification-15 (based on EA assessment)

After filling up the EOI form online I submitted it.

February 3, 2016-  Immediately the following day to my great surprise, I received an Invitation to Apply for Visa 189 in my email. The invitation is valid for 60 days. It means I should be able to lodge an application for a Visa before April 3, 2016

I gathered all the necessary documents as evidence for the points I claimed such as Certificate of Employment, Payslips, School Diploma and etc. Most importantly I need to find money to pay the visa fee of 7,200 AUD for our family (plus husband and 2 kids).

The usual path is to pay the visa and upload documents then wait for the Case Officer to contact you and ask for Medical and NBI. However, I learned that you can have your Medical and NBI before lodging the visa so I did it.

February 6,2016-My family had our medical at Nationwide as they are the only accredited clinic in Davao. They performed urine test, blood test, chest x-ray and physical test with a Doctor. We paid P4,000 for adults and P2,000 for kids.

February 12, 2016- My husband and I applied for NBI clearance for International travel. We both paid P140. He got his clearance immediately while I got mine after 15 days because I had a hit.

February 26, 2016- Finally, I lodged our visa online thru www.immi.gov.au and paid using credit card.

March 19, 2016- After 22 days of waiting, we finally received the Golden Mail, our visa was granted. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

Ever since we got a Fuji Instax Mini 8 as a gift I developed a love for Instax.We really love it! It is great for capturing wonderful moments of our family and we get to have an instant print for display in our wall or store in our album. Now I am crushing on the newly released Fuji Instax Mini 70 which has lots of cool features.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Holiday Launch 2015

Last November 7, 2015 we were invited to the launch of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at their branch at SM Lanang. It is their first time to have a Holiday launch at Davao and it was truly an enriching experience. 

They launched the 2015 Giving Journal (you may check how to get it here) and we also had a Watercolor Lettering Session with April San Pedro, the crafter behind I Am Artisan blog.

I was very much interested to learn because I have such bad hand writing and I wanted to turn it into an art. Lettering and Calligraphy is becoming a popular hobby nowadays because it makes great decoration and gifts.

April taught us to practice the drills first which I think I did pretty well based on my seriousness to learn haha
Then we learned about the cursive and print fonts and the most important lesson of all is to "give your work some personality based on your own style". Then we were given a card where we should write using watercolor lettering our power word for 2016. In addition we cam embellish our cards with Fujifilm Instax Photo Prints which I think gives it more personal flavor.


I will not show my actual work because it is so blah. I forgot that you cannot erase watercolor and my letters were so cramped. My power word is "Australia '16" because I plan to visit it next year.

After the session we had some raffles and they all gave us the Giving Journal and I got to choose my favorite color Purple! I am so happy and excited to use the journal and plan to fill it with not just with words but with Fujifilm Instax Prints to capture those memorable moments that I'm gonna have next year.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Magic of Christmas

Even now that I am a mother with two kids I still feel like a kid myself during Christmas. Every time I hear Christmas songs I feel instantly transported to my younger years where I wake up with much excitement during Christmas morning to see what Santa has left for me. I would wake up early and hurry to the Christmas tree where I hung my sock. I would not immediately peek inside but I try to feel first with my tiny hands and try to guess the item inside the sock. It is usually apples or chocolates and I would feel very happy with that. There was a time I remember that the sock was empty and I felt really disappointed but my mother told me that the gift wouldn't fit inside the sock so Santa placed it underneath the tree. I squealed with glee to find a toy robot underneath the tree. Yes I wanted a toy robot then. I actually wanted Optimus Prime because the boy next door had one and I was really envious.The Transformer robot must have been pretty expensive back then because all I got was a small R2D2 of Star Wars but boy I do love that robot because it moves and lights up!

My parents and brothers all colluded to make me believe in Santa Claus. I only discovered the hard truth when I was in Grade 5 where I learned from my classmate who the real Santa Claus is. My world shattered then but because I still got presents from my parents I moved on.

Now as a parent, I also want my children to experience the magic of Christmas. My husband and I started the tradition of putting socks for them but we explained to Kulay that Santa Claus used us to give him and Lili presents. 

Apart from the magic of Santa Claus, I want them to experience a real kind of magic...the magic of putting a smile on other kids face. The magic of loving and sharing. I asked Kulay to sort his toys so we would donate those he doesn't want to play with anymore. 
Some of the stuffed toys we Donated to Naprey's The Gift Giving Project which we left at My Skin drop box
I hope through this we would instill in him positive values that would allow him to see the good and something magical in this world.

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