Things I Don’t Buy or Spend Money On – Part I

Good morning everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well and ready for Easter, if you celebrate it. If not, I hope you’re ready for the weekend, after all, it’s Friday eve.

I’ve been seeing this topic a lot, both on blogs and YouTube channels and I thought I’d write about myself. I thought long and hard about the things I don’t spend money on (for different reasons) and I think I came up with a decent list.

Paper Towels

They’re too convenient, meaning I’d use them too much. They’re extremely wasteful and so I stopped buying them years ago because I’d never use something like a kitchen towel or cloth because the paper towels were right there and I could just toss them after using them.

Bottled Water

We drink tap water. I only buy bottled water if I’m out and about and forgot to bring water with me, which is stupid and wasteful. We do buy bottled water when we have guests because my mom and sister don’t like tap water. We also buy sparkling water because I drink it every day and you can’t get that from the tap, unfortunately.

Books

I own a few books, I’d say about 50, which isn’t much at all. I used to buy books all the time when I was younger but I don’t anymore. I’d love to have a huge library and I might someday but for now, I try not to spend money on something I can borrow from the library. Also, books take space and need to be dusted and I’m trying to keep less stuff. I used to be one of those “e-books are a crime” people but not anymore. I have a Kindle Unlimited subscription for which I pay about 10 dollars a month and I do use it a lot. I’ve read 42 books in less than 5 months, meaning about 9 books a month which makes those 10 bucks worth it for me.

TV Subscriptions/Movies/TV Shows

We don’t pay for Netflix or Hulu or HBO or whatever is out there these days. We download stuff illegally, like we’ve been doing for the past 10/12 years. We know it’s not the most ethical thing to do but we would end up doing it anyway. Those subscriptions are extremely limited and you may not find anything you like or the one show you want to watch and which you proceed to download anyway. Don’t call the cops on us, please. We do have cable, which is quite cheap in our country and we only have it because your internet is cheaper if you have cable and because Rui does watch TV.

 Music*

We don’t buy CD’s or anything on iTunes or any music at all. *Instead, we have a Spotify family subscription.

Pre cut fruit or veggies

No way. Not even a bag of chopped lettuce or salad mix.

Gym Clothes

Rui does because he runs and so he needs a few specific things. As for me, on the rare occasions I move my ass, I wear old leggings and an old T-shirt. I only buy gym bras and swimming gear.

Magazines

I used to by a Cosmopolitan every month but I haven’t for years. We don’t buy newspapers either. I get a few free magazines with my Kindle Unlimited subscription and we can always read news online. I do feel guilty because I don’t support paper publications but it’s either that or the environment. And my wallet, let’s not be hypocrites.

What about you? Would you care to share your list?

Even better if you write your own post and link it back here.

I’m sure we can learn a lot from each other so…

What don’t you buy or spend money on?

 Love, Chey

Arbor Day in Portugal – International Day of Forests: Ways to protect trees and prevent deforestation and wildfires

March 21st is International Day of Forests as established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. In Portugal we celebrate Arbor day.

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I do care about the environment but I must admit I care too much and do too little. This might have gone unnoticed, expect for the tragic events of last year. Our forests were devastated by wild fires on two different occasions, June and October. Fatalities: 111 people. Non-fatal injuries: close to 300. Homes were lost as well as businesses, cars, properties, animals, livestock, etc. We can think “at least those people are alive” and that is definitely true but imagine working for something your whole life, just a simple home, maybe a small business, and having it ruined in a matter of hours or even minutes. It was a very dark year for us and our forests. There were over 400 active fires at one point. Summer is coming and we’re getting scared and asking ourselves if enough was done to prevent a similar tragedy, if we learned something. I really hope we did.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2017_Portugal_wildfires

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_2017_Iberian_wildfires

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41648932

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/19/portugal-interior-minister-resigns-wild-fires-dead

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/17/wildfires-trap-2000-people-in-macao-village-in-central-portugal

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/world/europe/portugal-spain-fires.html

fogo

What can we do to help prevent deforestation?

  • Do you really need to print that? You sure? Maybe you don’t. Save your printer for when you absolutely need it. Less printing = less paper = fewer trees are cut down.
  • If you must print something, can you use both sides of the page? Do it if you can.
  • Get your bills digitally. Many companies and service providers are willing to send them by email instead of a letter in the mail. It’s pretty much the same for you. Just save them in a folder instead of printing them.
  • Read digital books. I know, we’re book lovers. We’re not going to stop buying or reading actual books anytime soon. But maybe, just maybe, sometimes we don’t need a physical book. When I was a student, we often had to buy books only to read two chapters and be done with them. What’s the point? Besides, you’ll be spending less money and accumulating less clutter.
  • Go to the library. You don’t always need to own a book. You can get it from the library. If we all share, fewer books are printed.
  • Read magazines online. Yes, I do feel bad about this one too. I know magazines make money by selling printed issues but too much paper is wasted if we all buy magazines, read them once and throw them away. Maybe get an online subscription for your favorites? Your still paying and contributing but not polluting as much.
  • Reuse gift bags and bows. Does anyone care if a gift bag was used before? You save money too, Christmas themed gift bags, for example, can be pretty expensive.
  • Plant trees. Not everyone has the chance to do this but, if you do, this is the best way to make sure we have plenty of trees. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Use reusable containers. Not only for trees and forests but for the environment in general. Same for cutlery. I understand that paper plates and cups can be really convenient but they’re not environment friendly at all. Just so wasteful. Maybe limit them for parties?
  • Avoid paper towels. Another very convenient item we should all avoid. It’s very easy to substitute, though. If you must buy them, get recycled ones. If you don’t mind parting with them, simply use cloth ones.
  • Same for napkins. Switching to cloth napkins which you can throw in the wash instead of in the trash is much better.
  • This is not for everyone and I understand that but many moms swear by cloth diapers.
  • Buy used wooden furniture. Cheaper and you help prevent deforestation.

How to prevent wildfires:

Sadly, most wildfires are caused by people. We should all be educated on how to prevent them. Here’s what we can and should do:

  • Never leave a fire unattended. This one is pretty obvious.
  • Always make sure you have put out a fire when camping. Using water or dirt, never leave until you’re certain it is out.
  • Obviously do not discard cigarettes or anything that might cause a fire from your car. Some people think it’s okay to throw cigarette butts through the window. This is more likely to cause a fire than you can imagine. All you need is a few dry bushes.
  • Be informed about local laws when burning yard waste. It is forbidden to do so in Summer when the hot temperatures might help in spreading the fire. Be careful about wind and make sure you have water at hand.
  • Clean around your property if you live near a wooded area. You need to protect your home against wild-fire.
  • Please follow local rules and don’t think it won’t happen to you. Things happen and there are circunstances you cannot control when it comes to fire.

Question of the day #19

Today I want to know:

How green are you? What do you do in order to live a more sustainable and environment friendly life?

I have been thinking about a few changes I would like to make but I’m not sure about some things so I would love to know your tips and opinions?

  • What menstrual products do you use?
  • Have you ever tried a diva cup?
  • Have you ever tried washable/reusable menstrual pads?
  • If you’re a mom, cloth or disposable diapers?
  • Does anyone use cloth napkins/serviettes instead of paper?
  • Do you use a lot of paper towels?
  • What about baby wipes?
  • Do you separate your trash and throw everything in the proper recycling bin?
  • Is there any general tips you’d like to share?

Thank you so much for reading!

Desenho sem título (4)

Why I’m no longer an “It Blogger”

When I started blogging I didn’t think my blog would have any readers. I was wrong and pretty soon I was at 1000 and then 2000 followers.

I was very present in the blogging community and most of you knew me well. Some people would call me the blogging godmother or the Jenna Marbles of WordPress.

I was getting up to 700 views on a good day and never less than 300 on a bad day. I was writing every single day, up to 4 posts.

Then, I kind of lost my blogging mojo for a while. I didn’t feel like writing or reading and answering comments was a burden, even though I really enjoyed talking with my readers. I took breaks, I began blogging less and less and got to a point where I didn’t even blog every day. I went back to work and, as I had imagined and even mentioned in a few posts, my time for blogging has significantly decreased.

I’m not the kind of person to have just the one job. I work 13 to 14 hours a week in my main job and that doesn’t mean I have all this free time to do all sorts of fun stuff. It means I have the time to take on other projects. Which I did. I was already working as a virtual assistant and writer in August, before I began working, and I have kept my clients and found some more. I work for a few people, doing different tasks, most of them related to writing, editing, online marketing and eBook publishing.

It takes up most of my day. I usually begin working on these tasks at 10 in the morning, sometimes earlier and I keep on it until I have to go to work, at either 4 or 5 p.m. So I can easily spend 6 or 7 hours working before I go to work, if that actually makes sense. Sometimes I work at home too, on Saturdays and Sundays or after we get home, during the week, if I have a deadline or an urgent task to complete.

Not happy with being that busy, I actually began selling things on Facebook, through local selling and buying groups. I plan on doing it through my Facebook store as well, but haven’t started. I am selling way more than I though I would be. I have sold up to 20 articles in a day, which means I need to talk to customers, take care of orders, invoices, etc. In short, I’m pretty busy and I’m happy about it. I thrive on it. I hadn’t felt like myself until my first day of work, after 6 months at home, recovering from my mental health issues. I don’t regret being home at all. My family, friends and doctor think it was the best decision I ever made. It allowed me to rest, relax and recharge. Now I feel better than I have felt in a long time.

However, I do miss my blogging glory days. I have come up with a list of reasons that are responsible for my decrease in views and I thought I’d share them, maybe to keep you from doing them if you want to keep your blogging going well and growing.

I no longer blog every day:

I used to blog every day. Of course, the more content you create, the more views you get. If readers like your blog, they usually make sure to come back every day, which means you get a bigger number of views, each and every day of the week.

I no longer write more than one post every day:

Again, if people like you and if you have faithful readers, they read all of your posts. The more you publish, the more you have for people to read, which means you’re most likely to get more readers each day.

I no longer reply to all comments like I used to:

I used to reply to every single comment almost instantly, which is pretty impossible for me to do now. I do reply to some of them, but I would say I can’t get to most of them. It breaks my heart and I really want to make time for my readers and to answer comments. I love talking to you guys and I definitely miss the interaction with other bloggers. If you “ignore” people, they’re likely to stop commenting or even to stop visiting.

I no longer read every single post my fellow bloggers publish:

Sad but true, some people will stop reading your blog if you no longer take the time to read theirs. It makes sense in a way. Why would you make time for me if I don’t do it for you? Everyone wants attention and everyone wants to have their work read. Even better if you leave comments, which I haven’t been doing lately.

So, there you have it. This is why I no longer get the attention I used to get. These are the reasons I’m not so well-known anymore. Do I miss it? Terribly. I loved the feeling of a successful blog, interested readers, views. Will I do something about it? I might try.

Thank you for reading.

Desenho sem título (4)

When you just don’t feel like blogging…

You know me. As a blogger, I mean. I’ve written every day for the past (almost) 6 months. Most days, I write or publish more than one post. What happens when such an active blogger doesn’t feel like blogging?

  • Take a break, for as long as you need.
  • Never feel guilty for not writing. This is, after all, a hobby. Not your job.
  • Look for a cause. Yes, there’s usually one. Maybe you lack inspiration, maybe you’re feeling lazy or maybe something about the blogging world is bothering you. You need to know why you feel the need to get away from it.
  • Don’t care about numbers. They will obviously go down when you’re not blogging. You can handle that. You can either have a couple of posts prepared for such situations or you can do what I did: re-post old posts. You are getting content out during your break.
  • Don’t answer comments if you don’t want to. Always answer them, your readers deserve that, but it doesn’t have to be an immediate task. They can wait until you’re active again.
  • Along with comments, don’t fell like you NEED to answer emails or social media related anything. You are on a break, you can take advantage of the blogging hiatus and do a social media detox. We need them.
  • Think of your break as a vacation. Don’t brainstorm ideas, don’t think about your blog at all. Once you get back at it, you’ll have plenty of time. And you will miss it, which will help with your blogging tiredness.
  • Don’t pick a date to be back. You shouldn’t feel like you have a deadline, because you don’t. Setting a date can cause stress.
  • Talk with your blogging best friends. Do you have some? It’s amazing to have a small group of blogger best friends to guide and give advice to each other. I have a group of girls that I trust, adore and talk openly outside of the blogging world. If you don’t have such “squad” I can teach you how to get one, by meeting people, interacting with them in different ways and develop a real friendship.
  • If you don’t feel like it, don’t even read blogs. Just say away from the whole thing. If you have a strong and supportive community they will understand.

What really happened in my case: I was busy and had a lot of my plate but, mostly, I was tired of blogging. For several reasons, I just didn’t want to do it. It was that simple. I didn’t want to write. So I didn’t. I just gave myself time, haven’t been active for over a week, just publishing old posts from my earlier months. I haven’t been answering comments or even reading all of the blogs I follow. I’ve been only posting on Instagram, because it’s easy and doesn’t require any writing (besides a small description).

We all feel the need to be consistent with our blogs and we all feel guilty when we aren’t. We even apologize, sometimes. But we shouldn’t. This is informal blogging, you owe nothing to anyone. You’re free to work on your blog whenever you feel like it. it’s your space, and you must enjoy it.

Has this ever happen to you? Just simply being tired of blogging?

I would love to read your stories/opinion.

Thank you so much for reading. I’ve missed you.

Love, Chey.

Day by Day – Health Journey (26.07.17) First to-do list in a while + movie update

Hey there,

How is everyone?

I should be doing a What’s Up Wednesday post today but I’m lazy and I don’t feel like doing it. It’s a very calm day, I feel well, just a bit tired. I’m spending time with my sister and Rosa. Even if I didn’t want to spend time with Rosa, I would be forced to, as she makes sure she follows me around all day, every day.

I have a TON of laundry to fold and a ton of laundry to do. I’m taking care of the latter, having a load drying and another one in the washer. I’m super lazy recently haha, what can I do? I still have a small to-do list for today:

  • Call back to know about interview results. It’s been a week.
  • Answer emails.
  • I was approved for one of those online projects as a freelance writer and I need to get the details straight and start working on the project. The other is almost settled as well, which is great.
  • I need to answer comments, I have so, so many.
  • I also need to read blogs, I’ve been lacking in that department.
  • I need to unload the dishwasher and then load it again.
  • I need to cook dinner.
  • I need to go and buy some medicine I finished yesterday.
  • I have to water the garden and take care of the plants.
  • I need to drink enough water and keep up with the healthy snacks.
  • I will listen to my relaxing music before bed, as I’ve done every day.
  • I want to read a few chapters of the two books I’m going through.
  • I’ll watch the last episode of The Handmaids Tale, and I’ll miss it. Have you watched it/read it?

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow for my back. I’ve had back problems since I was a child, so I need to pay them some attention.

I’ll now show you an updated list of the movies I was supposed to watch this month:

Day 1: The Godfather

Day 2: The Godfather: Part II

Day 3: Casablanca

Day 4: Memento

Day 5: Sunset Boulevard

Day 6: Requiem for a Dream (I’ve started but not finished, a bit weird for me)

Day 7: Before Sunrise

Day 8: Lion

Day 9: Les Miserables

Day 10: Babel

Day 11: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Day 12: Munich

Day 13: The Aviator

Day 14: Pulp Fiction

Day 15: Suicide Squad

Day 16: Inception

Day 17: It

Day 18: It’s a Wonderful Life

Day 19: Selma

Day 20: Apocalypse Now

Day 21: Cinema Paradiso

Day 22: To Kill a Mockingbird

Day 23: Rebecca

Day 24: Winter’s Bone

Day 25: Hotel Ruanda

Day 26: Mystic River

Day 27: Chicago

Day 28: Beauty and the Beast

Day 29: The Zookeeper’s Wife (I need to finish this one. I was watching it and it started to act funny. I need to “buy” another version)

Day 30: The Shack

Extras:

The Truman show

Many documentaries and YouTube videos on various topics

Poldark

Game of Thrones

North and South

The Handmaids Tale

I’m starting Upstairs, Downstairs today. Do you have any TV series suggestions? I’m especially fond of period dramas. That’s my thing as you can probably tell.

I also want to share the albums I’ve been listening to on Spotify, to relax before bed:

I go to “moods” and choose “sleep”.

Then, my favorite albums are:

  • Peaceful Piano
  • Jazz for Sleeping
  • Peaceful Guitar
  • Night Rain
  • Sleep Tight
  • There are several just called “sleep” which are very good as well.

These help me with anxiety and to unwind and feel sleepy. It has become a nightly ritual I look forward to, just being in the dark, earplugs, soft music and relaxation. I highly recommend it.

I’m off now. Which movie, from the list, do you think I should watch tonight?

xx

 

 

Let’s talk…

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has left sweet comments on every single post, despite my long absence and general neglect. Thank you so much for keeping up with me and I promise I won’t ever leave you for good. I just need my breaks sometimes.

I’ll need more breaks in the future, I’m sure of that. Things are not always easy, especially for someone who has to live with mental illness. Blogging (among other things) has been giving me anxiety lately, so I’ve been doing what feels right for me and staying away from it. I’ve told you this before so, no news there.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety over a few other things too. The fact that I depend on some people right now, makes me feel like I’m really failing at life and ruining theirs. If it weren’t for me, some people would be better. I’m not saying this in a suicidal thinking way. Not at all. I’m being literal. If I didn’t have this problem, my family and friends would be better off. It’s very hard to deal with someone who is really sick, because that’s what I am. For those who don’t believe in mental illness or don’t feel like it should be considered as such, I’m sorry but you are ignorant, misinformed and you should be ashamed of yourself. I recommend some reading on the subject, for those who might care. For those you don’t care about being ignorant and discriminating people who suffer from mental illness, well, all advice I can give is “Go fuck yourself and I hope you or a family member never have to deal with such health issues”.

Because I know the majority of my readers are not like that at all, I apologize for my words, but I needed to get them off my chest. Because I know you care, I’ll continue to explain what’s been happening to me.

Firstly, there’s the physical issues that come with mental illness and that I obviously endure from time to time. I understand them and I’ve learned to accept them, but they get in the way. Imagine what is like when you can’t work, so you can’t help financially and you can’t take care of what you’re supposed to do around the house, because you feel pain (yes, depression gives you general body pain) and exhaustion like you’ve never felt before. This is when people generally think their friend or loved one is lazy or is trying to get rid of laundry. Sometimes that can be true, but if they really suffer from depression, they’re most likely not faking it. So, you can’t pay for things and you can’t do the majority of the work around the house. You begin to feel useless. That’s the first feeling that overcomes you and me.

I’ve been trying to be positive and I think I’m becoming better at that. But there’s always a little voice bugging me and telling me what a burden I am. It hurts to think of yourself like that. But you can’t let it define you. People have needed you and they might need you again in the future. Now it’s just your turn to be taken care of. That’s what we need to keep in mind.

And now, I’ll tell you how I’ve been dealing with these difficult stage:

  • I’m trying to find a small way to contribute financially. I’m waiting for an answer on that job proposal, which my psychiatrist approves because it’s only 13 hours a week. And I’m signing up for online freelance work. (Nothing to do with the blog). I’m currently negotiating with two people from two different projects that I can easily work on at home.
  • When it comes to housework, I try the “bit by bit + sit method”, which I’ve just made up. I unload the dishwasher and feel exhausted, so I sit down. When I feel better, I hang the laundry, and then I sit down. I clean the bathroom and take a cat nap. That’s how I have (not) been managing. It’s as much as I can do right now. I’m really sorry about that but the strength is not in me. I wish it could be like a Sims game, where you can see your Sim’s energy level. Then people would be able to see how bad I actually feel and understand.
  • If I don’t feel like doing something, I just don’t. (That’s what’s been happening with blogging). This might be controversial, because doctors say you shouldn’t be in bed, depressed, all they long, but I disagree. You can spend your day in bed as long as:

 

  1. It’s not every day; You can take one day or two if you’re feeling really bad, but not a week.
  2. You get up, get cleaned up and out of pajamas (wear something comfy but not pajamas), eat well, and make your bed. This way it doesn’t seem like you never got out of bed, it seems like you’re just chilling in bed, doing something.
  3. Do something that you either love or that is useful. Read, watch movies, documentaries (my thing lately), educational videos, crochet, color or listen to music. You can even blog, just don’t caught up and spend the whole day pasturing around social media or Buzzfeed.
  4. Get up from time to time and do something small.
  5. Just because you’re having a rest day, it doesn’t mean you can eat bad food. No. You’re allowed to rest, not to indulge.
  6. Let people know you are in one of those days. If they don’t understand, that’s their problem. But you should be able to say to a family member or friend that you are having a really bad day, maybe you’re too tired or in pain.

 

Keep in mind that tomorrow will be a new day. It always is. No matter how bad today was, you have a new chance to start over every single day. How lucky are we to have that option? Just take every day as you go, according to your energy levels and mental ability. That’s the best (and maybe only) thing you can do right now, which is taking good care of yourself.

On another note, I’ve been doing something that I think is helping. When I go to bed, I use spotify on my phone (with earplugs and in the dark) to listen to relaxing soft jazz music, relaxing piano tunes, white noise (for me heavy rain or a fireplace cracking are the ones that work best), or guided meditation. I have to admit I’m not a big fan of the latter. The talking distracts me. I focus way better with soft music. I eventually feel very sleepy and relaxed and I put the phone down and sleep.

I really hope that this post is good enough to tell you how I’ve been feeling and to explain my absence, but that it is also helpful and that my experience and tips might help your or someone you know, in the same situation.

Please tell me if you like this post and if you would like to read more about this topic. How I deal with my down moments and symptoms, and how I cope in general. If it’s boring and depressing, just be honest, we’re friends.

Thank you so much for reading.

Cheila.

P.S. Don’t worry, the lists, and fun random posts and videos will come back as soon as I’m well enough to make them ❤

A job interview and how to rock it

Hi everyone!!

How are you? I’ve missed all of you so, so much! Say hi if you have the time ❤

Today I’m going to a job interview. I’m not actively looking for a job because I haven’t yet decided if I’m going back to my business (if I can handle the stress) and I have no idea when I’ll be alright and cleared to work.

I decided to send some resumes and see what kind of answers I would get. I answered to different ads from different fields and positions (all according to my experience and knowledge, of course). I was contacted by a lady who is looking for a tutor for her tutoring center. For middle school kids, I think. I have plenty of experiences with such ages and kind of hate them, but that’s not a problem.

So I’ll obviously go to the interview. Thank God I bought a few nicer and more formal pieces of clothing last week (you’ll get a shopping haul). I have a very good curriculum, because I have experience in many different fields: teacher, tutor, personal assistant, librarian, retail, food industry, call center, childcare etc. And I do, obviously, know how to run a successful business and combine that with school. I’m a good organizer in general but also with my time. Before I had my business I was actually doing 4 jobs, along with 5 courses each semester at university. I was working part-time at H&M, I was a nanny for two kids, 2 and 4, I was a teacher at a senior citizen university and I was tutoring.

One of my jobs as a private teacher was to prepare people for job interviews, in English. I acquired that knowledge from a wonderful English professor who taught us everything about such topics, presentations, meetings, etc.

Since I have a job interview today, I thought I might share my tips for a successful job interview. This is what works for me and most people. You are more than welcome to disagree or share your own tips in the comment section.

How to succeed at a job interview

 

  • Be very careful when choosing your outfit. If you’re not sure if you should dress formally (like wearing a suit) you are allowed to ask the dress code. It’s usually casual-chic, which means no jeans, no t-shirts and no sneakers.
  • Men should wear a button down shirt, pants and semi-formal shoes. If you feel like it, you can wear a casual blazer.
  • Women can choose to wear a shirt or a somewhat formal blouse, blazer or no blazer, pants, skirt or dress, heels or flats. They should, however, be very careful with their outfit of choice. Nothing too short (above the knee is acceptable), nothing that will show too much cleavage (your boobs shouldn’t be hanging out), simple makeup and just a tiny bit your perfume. (You don’t want to be known as the lady with lipstick on her teeth and that left the room smelling like Chanel number 5 for the whole afternoon). If you choose to wear heels, make sure you know how to walk in them.
  • In my opinion, neutral colors are the right choice. You don’t want them to remember you by your lettuce green shirt or bright pink blouse. While in the selection process, they should remember you by how well you did.
  • You should always carry your resume with you. Of course they have it, but it shows that you’re prepared. You should also carry a small notebook and a pen or two, in case you need to take some notes. You don’t want the human resources lady to think you’re not that interested or not prepared at all.
  • Don’t raise your voice too high or laugh like you’re having a beer with your mates and someone just farted. You need to be discreet, calm and collected. Be nice, but not overly excited. You can smile and laugh but in a more contained way.
  • Wait for the person to offer you their hand, not the other way around. Then, give a firm handshake (too soft and it will seem like you lack confidence, too tight and you might hurt someone and piss them off)
  • Be careful about titles. If you don’t know, prior to the interview, what form of treatment you will use towards the person you’ll be talking, make sure to ask right away.
  • Give confident and positive answers. Sell yourself a little without looking arrogant or entitled.
  • Don’t mention money or salary until they do. It’s okay to negotiate. They always offer a lower number than the one they can spend on you. Be brave and say “Well, according to my experience and background, I think it would be fair to raise the offer to xx”
  • This one is a cliché but really, when they ask for some character flaw or weakness, give a positive note to something negative.
  • Turn of your phone, it’ll be a distraction if it keeps buzzing on your bag or pocket.
  • If they offer you something to drink, always ask for water instead of coffee or tea. Even if you spill some it won’t be a disaster;
  • Don’t take too long to answer a question. Speak slowly and choose your words carefully but no “huumms” and “uhhhhs”.
  • Never, ever, show or mention political views, religious preferences and anything that might offend someone. You don’t know the person sitting in front of you.
  • Always look people in the eyes and never look distracted. Be focused at all times.
  • Never cross your arms. Hold your hands together in front of you and keep a good posture.
  • Be there about 15 minutes early and live home very early. If it takes you half an hour to get there, leave home an hour before the set time.
  • Don’t look at your watch. Are you in a rush? No. It’s not polite.
  • Make sure you have all of your hobbies (unless you collect vibrators or go skinny dipping every night) in your resume. They’re good conversation starters and make you look interesting and versatile.

So, these are my tips. I may have forgotten a thing or two or thirty, but I hope they are helpful anyway. I would love if you shared some of your interview rules, tips and tricks.

Thank you so much for reading.

See you soon.

Cheila

Study tips and time management tips for working students!

I thought I should do a post sharing my experience as a teacher, tutor and working student. I have learned a few things along the years, things that might be helpful to you, either if you’re still in high school or if you’re starting university or already there.

Topic I – Revisions and notes in class

  • You should always revise your notes after each class. You can do it at the end of your day, or at the end of the week but you cannot afford to look at those notes just the one time, or just before the test. If you’re trying to be super organized, I advise you to write them again, reorganize them, use colors, markers, schemes, post its, whatever helps you understand what was given in class.
  • Do not worry about taking cute little notes in class. Just pay attention to the teacher, write things fast, with just one pen or pencil, no need to be changing colors or to worry about your handwriting. You have time to fix that later, and make it into something more presentable;
  • If you cannot understand something that the teacher just said, write key words, anything you can remember. You can look that up later, or go to the teacher and ask what he meant when he mention those words;
  • For me, the best way to take notes is by writing topics and doing schemes. I use a lot of arrows to relate thoughts. For me, they’re more effective than using more words or connectors;
  • You should do revisions every day, even if you only have 15 minutes to spare. But every day is a must. Never go a day without doing a little work. Classes are not enough and the more you do each day, the less you have to study before the test. It’s better to read 5 pages a day than 100 in less than a week;
  • Share your notes with your colleagues. They might have heard something different or have picked up on more information. Just compare notes and make sure you have as much information as you can;
  • When I’m reading some pages of a coursebook, I like to divide things by paragraphs. I read each paragraph once, and see if I understood the ideas presented. If so, I take small notes on the side of that paragraph and go to the next. Only after I understand one paragraph can I move on to the next. If you divide things into small units you are less likely to find them boring or loosing concentration.
  • If you have a big number of pages to read, count the days until you need to be done and divide the pages by those days. As I mentioned before, you’re more likely to read it if you have 5 pages a day than 100 3 days before the test;

Topic II – Before class

  • You should always go to class as prepared as you can. It goes without saying that you should take all the necessary materials such as paper and pen, the books, worksheets or handouts the professor might have given you before (I always keep all of the materials for each class on a folder and take everything with me, even old worksheets. You never know when you might need them), dictionaries, calculators, etc. I don’t want to be caught without the necessary tools, do you? You should also always carry the syllabus with you, and make sure you know what the next two or three classes will be about; Make sure the teacher knows you are the informed one, that knows what it’s going to be discussed next, what is homework, test and exam dates, etc.
  • Being prepared also means reading the materials before the class, if you have the chance. You should never go to class unprepared. If you don’t read anything prior to class, you’re less likely to participate in class discussions. Make sure you know what your class is about and make sure you read about it, have questions to ask the teacher, comments to make, etc;

Topic III – Classes

  • First of all you should make sure you attend all the classes. Unless you’re a working student which we will talk about later. You are paying for them. Go. Attend and be there on time. Teachers hate those who come late or those who leave too soon. Try not doing either;
  • Be there; Don’t be on your phone, or drawing in your notebook. You should take advantage of the class. Listen to the teacher, participate, ask questions, take notes; You want the teacher to know you by name and to remember your face and the fact that you are active in class. There’s nothing more difficult than grading someone you have never see or have no idea who it is;
  • If you have the chance, sit in the front row. If you don’t like it you can go to the back, but be honest with yourself and only go if you know you can pay attention being back there, away from the teacher;

Topic IV – Homework

  • I don’t think I need to tell you to do homework. Everyone knows homework is essential. Is great for you because it’s the same as revisions. You are practicing what you’ve learned. It is also important that the teacher knows you always do your homework. If there is a chance, ask for extra and the teacher will love you, while you have a chance to practice even more;

Topic V – Tests and exams

  • You need to make sure you are prepared way before the test or exam. Not on the day before. You should study a bit every day but if you know a test is coming you should also study every day for that particular course. I always recommend two weeks in advance, to make sure you have time to cover all the materials, re-do all of the exercises and ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand;
  • Don’t come to the test pulling an all-nighter. This is a big no-no. Please study with time and make sure you sleep enough the night before the test. Eat a good breakfast, with something that will give you energy. Don’t drink coffee if you tend to be anxious or too nervous. It will make it worse. If the teacher allows it, eat something during the test, like some chocolate or chew some gum. That helps with anxiety;

Topic VI – The teacher

  • Once again, make sure the teacher knows who you are. Don’t be afraid to approach him/her to ask questions or discuss any issues;
  • You should keep their email in a place you can check easily, in case you need to contact them;

Topic VII – Organization

  • You absolutely need a planner, where you should keep class schedules, test dates, when homework or projects are due and everything you need to know in terms of dates;
  • You should also keep a to-do list and write your tasks by priority. If you know what you need to do and when you need to do it, you are less likely to become overwhelmed.

 

Time management and study tips for working students:

  1. Separate things well. When you’re at work, be at work and focus and give it 100% of your time and energy. When you’re at school, the same applies. Leave work behind, you’re just a student for a few hours;
  2. This doesn’t mean you can’t multitask. If you are waiting for class to start, you can do some reading for work or take some notes or write down some ideas or update your planner or to-do list; If you are having a slow day at work, of course you should take advantage of your time to study;
  3. Have everything organized and separate. I would even say different bags (this is what works for me), one with your work things and another one just for school, with all of your materials. You should also have one folder by course. By separating things, you can organize them better. This is especially important if you are also a parent, have a household to manage, etc. Divide things into small categories and separate issues;
  4. Always schedule study time in your planner. You should study a little every day and make sure you are up to date with the rest of the class. With whatever time you can find, write “studying time” on your planner and how much your can spare. Give more time to the courses that are more difficult to you. Example: Saturday 10 a.m – Calculus (1 hour), Biology (30 minutes);
  5. Make sure the teacher knows you and that you are a working student; If you can’t go to every class, make sure he knows it’s because you’re working. Be in touch with your teacher, send emails, ask for materials, for homework and always take advantage of office hours. If you can’t attend office hours, talk to the teacher so you can arrange a time when you can meet him. Most teachers are flexible.
  6. At work, make sure they know you are a student. They might be more flexible with your hours. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for the day of an exam or even the day before as a day off. You can compensate later.
  7. Have a good planner where you can write everything down. All your appointments, test dates, homework assignments, papers due, work schedule or shifts, everything. This is the only thing I don’t think you should keep separate. Buy a big planner with big pages and write everything down. You need to know you can’t schedule a dentist appointment for Friday at 6 p,m because you already have a meeting with a teacher.
  8. Always keep a to-do list. I always have a monthly one, a weekly one and a daily with. Write all your tasks or things you hope to accomplish, by priority.

 

Maybe there are other things I could tell you, that I can’t think of right now. Feel free to ask any questions and to add advice in the comment section!

xx

One Month Blogging Challenge – Day 24 (Handy tips I have learned)

Handy tips I have learned:

  • If you need a book for school or university, check the internet first. You can usually find it online to download. This is totally illegal but students are usually poor so I don’t care. After checking the internet, check online for used books and then ask around on Facebook, someone might have one to sell. If non of this works, then you buy new.
  • Always check if there’s toilet paper before you go. I mean it.
  • Always carry an extra cardigan or sweater with you. Even if it’s Summer. It might get cold at night or you might need an extra layer in Winter. I also carry gloves and a scarf and an umbrella with me during Fall and Winter, just in case.
  • Carry a phone charger or a power bank with you at all times.
  • Ladies, always carry and extra pair of panties with you. I’m sorry for TMI but accidents happen when you’re on your period. Also, carry baby wipes.
  • Make your mascara last longer by dropping a little almond oil in the tube.
  • After applying lipstick, place a finger inside your mouth, close your lips and pull your finger, the excess will end up on your finger and you won’t have lipstick on your teeth;
  • One positive test doesn’t mean you’re pregnant. Always take more than one or do a blood test. You can get false positives. Trust me.
  • You can eat most things way after their expiration date. Don’t waste food without trying it first.
  • When you’re writing an important email, always leave the recipient email for last. If you do this, you never send unfinished your the wrong email to anyone.
  • Always sneak food into the theater. No one is going to check and theater snacks are way overpriced.
  • Go grocery shopping after lunch and with a list.
  • If you’re at a party or event, be careful with the photos people take of you. You don’t want a photo you don’t like or that might be embarrassing to end up on someone else’s Facebook.
  • Wallets don’t belong in back pockets, neither do cellphones.
  • If you go to a hotel or a place where the bathroom is used by many, always shower with flip flops on.
  • Make sure you do frequent backups.
  • If you’re wearing new shoes (especially heels), carry a pair of ballerinas with you and band-aids.
  • Use a wet rubber glove to remove pet hair from your sofa.
  • Never drink from a can before you clean the top first. There are rats in warehouses and they pee everywhere.  Rat pee can make you sick.

I guess that’s it for now?

Don’t forget to check Maggie‘s and Angela‘s handy tips!!

xx