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Morning Reflections

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Good morning! I woke up at 2:00 am today. No matter how bad I want to get back to sleep, i couldn’t. I browsed Twitter and read some emails until 5:00 am, had coffee and started writing this blog. While sipping my coffee earlier, it made me reflect about what happened to me these past months. I mentioned on my previous posts that I left a 6 -year nursing career in Saudi Arabia and currently preparing for a new challenge else where. Guess what, I just got my visa yesterday and I’ll be travelling to the UK soon. Looking back, it wasn’t an easy process to get hired and get to this point where I am flying to London and be able to practice my profession there. It makes me smile remembering those days in Riyadh where I’m so bored with the routine and find my escape on hundreds of books. I will definitely continue reading once I’m settled in the UK. Right now though, I had to reduce my Goodreads reading challenge from 100 to 60 books. Anyway, I just find it amazing that things are working really well right now and I hope that this good fortune will continue. I am incredibly grateful to all the people who supported me all through out my application, specially to my family who have been patient and took care of me when I am going insane while studying for my exams. Exams aren’t really over though, going to the UK is just the beginning. I still have OSCE’s coming up, but I promise to maintain my positive outlook on any challenges ahead.

Above all, I’m grateful to the Lord for always guiding me and giving me strength when I needed it. For protecting me and loving me despite my flaws. Thank you so much.

I originally planned to blog about the entire visa application process, but I had to get this out of my head first. I’ll be posting about it shortly.

 

Novel

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Just my stuff

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What’s up guys!?! I’m sooooo bored. I should be studying, but, nahhh. I am just not in the mood. I need a distraction and here I am, blogging. Again.

I added a new tab on the blog menu entitled “New Things”, it’s all about stuff that I recently acquired. To start off, I want to show you the new notebook I got from Papemelroti. I’ve always loved Papemelroti because of their cute and unique designs. Plus, they are locally made and 100% recycled. They have all kinds of items that are perfect for giveaways and gifts. My personal favorite are their yearly planner. I got a notebook this time because I have lots of things to jot down lately. They celebrated their 50th anniversary last month, congratulations Papemelroti!

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Next, I got my new glasses the other day. It cost me an arm and a leg, just kidding. It was a lot more expensive than what I was expecting but, I like it. Honestly though, I made a mistake when I purchased the frame. I immediately started trying them on without checking the price! The sales lady was very helpful and even told me that there’s still a 20% discount, that should’ve been a warning sign. However, I forgot to ask the price until the last moment when they are asking me for a deposit. I paid it upfront though. I always get my eyeglasses from Good Vision Optical and all of my eye wear from their shop lasted for years. I just needed a new pair because I lost the last one while I was in La Union. The beach washed it away. My cousin accidentally knocked my frames out of my face while I was minding her in the beach. She had a lot of fun in the water, it’s just my luck that it happened when the waves reached us. It happened so fast, one moment everything was clear and then bam! My glasses fell off and it was gone. So sad. I’m legally blind, so, I can’t really go out without one. Luckily, I have a spare one (also from Good Vision Optical), but I decided to get an upgrade. It’s been more than a year since I had the lenses changed, the doctor advised me to get a new one before leaving the country again. So, I figured it’s time to get a new pair.

Lastly, I got a new bag pack! I will be travelling back to La Union this weekend and we might do some hiking. My cousin wants to see the falls somewhere in San Gabriel, La union. I hope it doesn’t rain so we can experience that. Well, I am dreading the hike but, I do like to see the falls. I am in no condition to hike. LOL. Anyway, I got the bag at SM Cubao for half the price. They were on sale, lucky me! It’s a Jellybeans bag. I really need it because my old bag is dilapidated, the zippers are falling off. It’s original price 499.75 PHP, I got it for 249.00 PHP. It’s a good deal.

So, there you go! I will try to post some of the free books I got from Amazon. It will be on a separate post but will be under the “New Things” category.

IELTS Tips: Is it possible to get a good band score if you self study?

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First of all, I will not recommend for anyone to book their IELTS too soon. If you’re not confident about your English proficiency yet, don’t book it. However, if you are on a deadline, go ahead and do it, but make sure that you give an ample time for you to study. In my opinion, two weeks should be long enough provided that you follow a strict review schedule.

To start of, you need to assess your strength and weaknesses. Do practice tests online. There are plenty of free youtube videos that provides listening practice tests. For reading and writing practices, you can check out blogs like ieltsliz.com or engvid.com, they have plenty of practice tests you can try. For speaking, try to speak for 4 minutes non-stop about a certain topic. Make sure that you record it. You can later listen to it and check for mistakes and how you can improve it.

After doing practice tests, evaluate the results. Which section did you find difficult? In my case, I find it challenging to write two essays within one hour. Also, I found out that I use a lot of fillers when I speak non-stop and my vocabulary is between average to above average. Initially, prior to doing the practice tests, I thought I wouldn’t have any problems regarding the listening and reading sections of IELTS because I am an avid reader and I watch a lot of BBC documentaries. However, It made me a little bit nervous when I stumbled upon True/False/Not Given questions in the reading section during the practice tests. I find them confusing. The matching type questions can also be tricky and time consuming. With the listening practice tests, my only problem is my lack of focus. My mind tend to drift away while listening to the recording.

After finding out my weaknesses, I planned a study calendar to help overcome them. Create a review calendar that you can use as a guide everyday. I followed the guide for two weeks, studying for 8-10 hours a day. I know it’s a little bit inconvenient specially for those who are working full time. In my case, I already resigned from my Nursing job that’s why I have the time to study. ┬áSo, it’s important to make a review guide that fits your schedule. My calendar is filled with subjects that I need to focus on such as practice writing and speaking. I also scheduled mock tests that mimics the actual test. The mock tests helped me improve my writing under time pressure.

Many people opt to go to a review center prior to taking the IELTS. That’s a pretty good way to prepare for the exam too albeit a little expensive. The advantage of going to a review center than self studying is that there are mentors who can correct your mistakes. If you self study, you have to figure out what’s the problem and fix it yourself. Again, if you are not confident doing it on your own, go ahead and sign up for review sessions at your local IELTS review center.

It is possible to get a good band score even if you self study. You just need to be well disciplined in following your review schedule and must be willing to sacrifice your time for studying.

If you have more UKVI IELTS questions and suggestions, please leave a message at the comment box.

Have a great day ahead!

Novel

IELTS, NMC CBT, UK Application

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It’s been a while… I know! I’ve been busy. I left Saudi Arabia for good on April 12 2017. Before leaving Riyadh, my last two months in the Kingdom was hectic. I never had the time to blog or read books. I’m at work for 12 hours straight, and when I’m home, I always sleep in. Anyway, I finally have time to blog today. Hello!

So, I arrived in Manila on April 13th and I’ve been busy since then. Weird right? I’m supposed to be resting after ending a 6 year nursing career overseas, but I decided to take my IELTS exam as soon as I can. At first, my plan was to take the exam two or three months later. However, I received an email from an agency I applied to that there will be an interview for a nursing position bound to UK. They also informed me that they will include me on the interview list IF I book my UKVI/IELTS. I was like, “Okay then, I don’t have anything else to do anyway.” Then I booked the earliest available schedule… Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking. I only gave myself two weeks to prepare for the exam. Luckily, I got the band score I needed and immediately registered at the Nursing Midwifery Council. I received the approval to take the exam at Pearson Vue and I booked another exam. Again, I made an insane decision to take the exam two weeks later. I studied 12 hours a day for two weeks. Crazy right? Fortunately, I got the result on the same day and I passed.

To complete my registration at NMC, I need to submit some documents and forms to them and I have to wait for the assessment period which could take up to 70 days. I just completed all the forms and I’m currently waiting for them to confirm that they have received my documents. I hope they receive everything by next week.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing these past few weeks. Now that I have time, I’m trying to catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge and I’m considering writing a fan fiction.

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Novel

April Weddings & a font nightmare.

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In December 2014, I made a post regarding my best friend’s engagement. Just recently, my sister also got engaged with her boyfriend. Now, they are going to have their weddings on the same date. Awesome, they have the same wedding anniversary! Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to attend either because I ran out of vacation leaves. I just got back from a two and a half month vacation. I do feel terrible about it but there’s nothing I can do. Also, my sister is getting married in California, my best friend’s wedding is in Manila, and I’m currently in Riyadh. Good luck with that. Anyway, I’m excited for both of them, I can’t wait to see the videos and pictures of their weddings!

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I am helping my sister out remotely. I made their wedding invitation using GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) 2.8. It’s a pretty cool photo editor software (and its free). It is a litle overwhelming at first because there’s so many tools and buttons to learn, but It wasn’t too hard to use. I finished the invitations in a couple of days or so. Which I think turned out really well. I had to finish it quickly because the fonts were haunting me in my sleep! I had a Font Nightmare! LOL. It’s so hard to choose the perfect font.  It didn’t help that I know several sites where you can get gazillion kinds of fonts for free. (1001fonts.com or dafont.com) I downloaded a bunch. I narrowed it down to 14 fonts and made my sister pick one. Anyway, I’m glad that part is over. I am currently helping my sister out with the wedding playlist.

Do you have any song in mind that should be added on a wedding playlist? Please leave a message on the comment box if you have any recommendations. Thanks in advance!

WHAT?!? No more Hunter and Bobby?!?

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I just finished watching Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 3 episode 13. I’ve watched and loved the show eversince it aired it’s first season and last night’s episode is probably one of the saddest. I can’t believe we wont see Bobby and Hunter in the next episodes anymore. I always thought that they were a great addition to the show. I love Hunter’s humor and Bobby’s bad-ass fighting skills. The actors also have an amazing on screen chemistry. I just can’t believe that they are leaving SHIELD. What a sad episode.

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But wait, does this mean that the rumored SHIELD spin-off featuring Bobby and Hunter will materialize?!? Well, I hope it will happen soon! Bye for now Bobby and Hunter!

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Back to work!

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This is what I returned to after 2 mos of vacation...

I’m back in Riyadh! I arrived last Monday at 5:00PM at King Khaled Airport. I thank all the crew of PAL  flight PR 645 for a smooth and safe flight.

I had a great 2 1/2 month vacation in the Philippines and I’ll try to post some of the places I went to, as soon as I can. As you can see in the picture above, I have tons of patient files to sort. I have no clue how my colleague finds our patients’ records whenever they visit, because her filing system doesn’t make sense to me at all. She’s supposed to arrange it according to the file number, but she didn’t and it just drove me nuts. What you see above are patient records that are completely filed out of order. I have so many things to do, so, I’m outta here!

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Off to work!

Thanks for dropping by!

Novel

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