Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nescafe's new mixed pack


Nescafe have just released their new mixture pack and I bought some to try. It is a mixture of all of your favourite types of coffees. This is great for people that can't decide on which one to buy.

1) Vanilla latte- it smelt like vanilla biscuit. It was really sweet and didn't have a lot of coffee, hence its great to have late in the afternoon or at night.
I know that the latte hasn't been mixed in. Bbut after the shot, I remembered to mix it in.

2) Cappucino- just ok. It wasn't too sweet. But it was strong. Hence this is better to have it in the morning.

But it is great to have them with cake or for Breakfast

At Woolworths it is $11 for a pack of 20 so do buy some if you can't decide on a flavour, but love your coffees.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Begging and how to respond- is it right to say no


Students in Melbourne you may come across a beggar in the streets. So here's how we approached them.
Image of a beggar, courtesy of Flickr.

Many a time when I was walking along the lovely side of Bourke st I was on the odd occasion stopped by a beggar. I really did not like it at all and would just say no. Occasionally on the train there was a few beggars as well, especially late at night.

Usually it would be for drug deals or to support their gambling habits. But some of them are genuinely homeless. Some people want more money on top of their government benefits. Or they are just waiting for it to be approved. There are many reasons and the list goes on and on.

In Hong Kong and other Asian countries it was illegal. But in Melbourne a few streets are littered with beggars as they cannot earn a decent income.

When I was approached, I just said sorry I don't have any cash on me. And then walked away fast.



On the City of Melbourne's website it talks about how to deal with beggars and the like. It said that begging is a small offense.

But if you do feel threatened you can call 000. The police will just usually tell them to move on.

Have you had any encounters with them?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Money Saving 2/4- Clothing

Students you need some clothing to survive in Melbourne. Clothing is expensive in Melbourne so here are some of my tips. 
At the Vic Market


1) Are you good at sewing and making your own clothes? You could make your own clothes. You just need some material and patterns from Lincraft for the project. Be nifty.

2) Usually over the weekend there are many clothing sales. You can find out about these on Weekend notes etc.

3) Wait til the mid season sales as big places like Myer and David Jones often have them and you can save up to 50%.

4) You could buy some basics (such as a T-shirt) and decorate that. Are you good at decorating things? Sequins and things cost about $2 at the $2 shop. Or you can buy them at Lincraft.

5) Learn how to mend clothes yourself. Mending at the tailor is very expensive. There are many classes and workshops that teach people how to mend stuff. You'd usually find out about these via Weekend notes.

6) Do a clothes swap. Clean out your wardrobe and anything you don't want you can swap it for something else. There are clothes swap parties every now and then. Usually it is free, especially if it is on campus.

Have we missed anything? Please comment below if we have.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Basics of blogging

Students do you want to blog about your time whilst you are here? Well now you can. You can also earn a little bit of money whilst blogging from your ads. You can earn money just by joining Adsense and placing ads on your site. You can also join other programs such as Nuffnang and others. Some of these programs give away free stuff to their members.

Blogging is time consuming but it can be quite fun for those that are into media. Its a great chance to explore Melbourne.
An interesting place that I went to

Learning
We all make mistakes, but the good ones are the ones that learn from them. This team often makes mistakes but we learn from them.

There are many seminar and blog groups in which you should go to as they can help you to learn new skills, platforms and things.

Starting from scratch.
Which platform do you want to use?

There is Wordpress, Blogger etc. These are all free to use. Most people go with Wordpress as they have a lot more stuff.

Get to know your blogging platform really well as you'll be using this all the time.

Google +
Google plus is used for sharing stuff. It is quite useful in improving your rankings and getting people to read your blog.

Do I need to attend classes?
Most probably yes if you want to get ahead. Most blogging groups such as Nuffnang will have classes and tutorials of their own which are usually free for their members. RMIT has a few courses in online journalism which you could do over summer as an elective.

The boring stuff:
Stats- you have to check your stats on a regular basis because they say how well you are doing.

Criteria and goals- what do you want to do? What can you see yourself doing in one years time?


Sponsorship stuff (sponsored posts).
Occassionally someone will ask you to write for them. This is what we call "Sponsored posts". But if you do get asked make sure that it fits your criteria and goals before accepting to go somewhere or review a product.

Make sure that you research the place/thing before you accept any offer.

As for writing posts try and be positive as much as you can. You can have a few gripes here and there, but they should only be really small, fixable things.

Other good habits
* Check your spelling and your grammar before you post anything. Its a good idea to have a post sitting in the draft for a few days and then work on it.
* Get the facts right- if it is about a place make sure you get the suburb right. It is irritating for a reader to try and find a place that does not exist in that suburb.
* Do use Photoshop for your photos. There is nothing worse than having blurry pictures or scratches in pictures.
* Always post on the same day each week. That way your readers will know what to expect.

Good luck in starting your blog.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You have to pass through Hell to get to Heaven- stories about student life in Melbourne

 Students life in Australia may not be as easy as you think. We spoke to students at RMIT about this. Many students have asked us about life in Melbourne and here is the truth.



Devan from India

I came to Melbourne for a better life away from India's slums. If I were to live India I'd have to work about 18 hours a day for meagre wages in a factory.

For the first two years in Melbourne I had to work in low paid jobs just to get by. I am studying at RMIT in Fashion and textiles and it costs about $20000 per year.

On top of that I have to save money for visa obligations. I work as a cleaner in a high office building in the city and like others I am only paid a lowly wage of $14 an hour. Living in Melbourne has become a daily struggle. I have to work out whether I can skip meals to pay the rent on time. Or if I can have both.

My MYKI per year is over $1000. Local students can get concession, why can't we?




Dan from China
I came to Australia to pursue a degree in Business Management. It was here that I tried to find a job that pays the legal wage of $24 per hour. But no one was willing to do that for me. Everyone wanted to pay about $11 an hour.

When I asked my first boss, he said "$10 an hour is all you are getting". I thought wow that was a lot. In China I got virtually nothing from my parents as we were poor farm kids.

My parents wanted to send me overseas so that I can have a better life and future. The first few days in Melbourne I thought " Wow what a clean city compared to China".

I was very reluctant to report my boss so I tried to find another job.  But in the end they all paid the same wages. 

I wanted to get PR, but PR is very difficult to get here. The occupation list changes yearly depending on what the Government needs. This year they removed 5 of the occupations.

I live in Clayton which is in zone 2. Here there is cheaper housing in the area. But I still have to toss up between paying for my monthly or putting food on the table.

The practice of underpaying international students
It is quite common says the people of United Voice. The same can be said for the International Care Service who regularly sees a lot of students who are being underpaid.

We remember the cleaner case where many were being underpaid. I think this is still going on til this day.

High hopes
Through our Facebook findings a lot of students hope for a better life here. But what they don't know is that they can have a lot of problems with adjustment, rebuilding a new life etc. This was regularly reinforced in our tenure at the student union where a lot of students came for help. This was also seen in the play "Life's a Gamble".

The Compass service at RMIT regularly sees International students who have these sort of problems in Melbourne. They are a Student Union service which assists with all sorts of issues that students may have with their life.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Olive Oil from Spain

And a free tapas tasting session.

The guys from Olive Oil came out to Argyle square to promote their Olive Oils. They have been touring around Melbourne and Australia to promote this. They are also on Facebook.




The Olive Oil from Spain is at the supermarkets at the moment. You can make these tapas at home. They gave us some free recipe cards.

The event was at Argyle Square on a nice sunny day. Here a lot of people queued for the free tapas tasting session. This was a food truck. A lot of students like myself took the recipe cards home to try these out for ourselves.

The tapas were SO addictive that I couldn't stop at one. I just had to try them all. I loved the best was the Olive oil cake as it was such a delight on the senses. It was sweet but not too sweet.

I also loved the crostini. I wasn't too keen on the meatball as I'm more of a vegetarian.

There were also photos as well and you can check them out here.

Casa Del Gelato

I was in Argyle Square that day for Olive oil tasting when I found my favorite Gelato shop- Casa Del Gelato. They have had a number of mentions in Foodies Guide as well as the Age Shopping Guide.

The place is only a stone's throw away from RMIT Carlton Campus. It is also a stone's throw away from the Meld Offices.












This place has been around for years and years. They have participated in many festivals such as the famous Lygon st Italian fiesta as well the more recent Gelato festival.

Here they have three scoops for $5. You can choose from a wide variety of flavours such as chocolate, vanilla or the fruity flavours such as Lemon.

The lady that served me was lovely and she let me take my time in deciding. I couldn't decide on the flavours fast enough.

The lemon was a bit artificial in flavour but the crema and vanilla flavours- I loved the creaminess and the texture. It wasn't too sweet.

Next time when I come I'd like to try the Christmas pudding flavour. I would love to see more food bloggers come and try this lovely place out.
Casa Del Gelato on Urbanspoon

Chadstone VIP shopping day

Chadstone had their VIP shopping day and I was invited to attend.

Here there were lots and lots of samplings and VIP lists to sign up to. I signed up for the Loctaine one which means many more store invites and discounts and maybe some freebies for this blogger along the way.

Car parking at Chadstone is limited and doesn't cater for the huge crowds. There was a long queue of cars all waiting to get a spot at the car park. I was on the bus that day and saw it. Seeing as there is a lot of people visiting Chadstone at any one time there should be a train station at the shopping centre. Just my one and only gripe.







Handmade Christmas Decorations.
Some gift ideas from the Body Shop to assist customers in making decisions.





The matcha jar for $24.95.
Love the blackboard sign at T2. And this T2 is friendlier unlike the one at Melbourne Central. The one at Melbourne Central doesn't allow photos and this one does. This one is a lot bigger.










Also if you spend $100 you'll get a free gift at Loctaine. This is the free gift below.






There was free food sampling all day at the Fresh food market. This market was bustling full of people.

Oh and there the wonderful Christmas displays around the centre. If you have kids they could enjoy lots and lots of free Christmas activities such as balloon animals and photographs with Santa.

Like everywhere there is free gift wrapping.

I bought:
$1 nail polish from the Beauty clearance kiosk for a friend. This nail polish is from Rimmel.

$2.80- cap clip from DAISO. The cap clip is supposed to hold my cap on a windy day. You clip it to the back of your cap and the collar of your top to keep it from falling.

And

Nail glitter for $7 at Diva.

Many thanks to Chadstone for inviting me. As for the next shopping day I'd really like to see a Treasure Hunt and maybe a free film or two.  I'd prefer to go to this shopping day any day rather than the one at Melbourne Central which I heard, it was very unsuccessful this time around.

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