Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quick Note

Hello there. I just wanted to let you know that I'm currently working on my post about my graduation and I will be posting it next, on Tuesday. Thanks for being patient with me :-)

I hope you're having a great weekend!

Makers: Women Who Make America

I've been a lifelong PBS viewer, starting with Sesame Street when I was a kid. For those of you who don't know, PBS stands for Public Broadcasting Service and it is a non-profit public broadcaster based in the United States.  In 2011, a British pay-tv version of PBS, called PBS America, was created and I was thrilled when I found out that one of my favorite networks was coming to the UK. I've been able to pick back up with my loyal viewership now and that's enriched my television experience greatly.

Several days ago, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by PBS America and I was asked if I would give my take on their upcoming documentary series called Makers: Women Who Make America. I jumped at the chance to preview the series before it airs. So the series was sent to me and I really loved it!

Makers: Women Who Make America is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and it features such women as Gloria Steinem, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, and many more women from all walks of life. I love that even though it features many well-known women of our time, it also features women whose names we may not know, but they definitely have paved the way in the women's movement.

The series is broken down into three parts: "Awakening", "Changing The World", and "Charting A New Course". Each part highlights how the movement has changed over the decades.

Part 1: "Awakening" looks back at the 1950s and 1960s, in the postwar years when America began to emerge from its male-dominated comfort zone. Along with many other events during this time, it highlights the publication of the groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. This book challenged the roles that women were forced into playing in society and it raised questions in women's minds about what they wanted out of life. Since this era was before my time, I can only look back in amazement that women were so marginalized during this time. I've learned about some of this, but the documentary really depicts the time period very well. I found out something that I didn't know as I watched this part of the series...the fact that there were separate classified ads for those seeking employment. Women were not allowed to apply for 'jobs for men' whether they were capable of doing them or not. That just floored me. I knew that discrimination was rife, but I never knew about this blatant segregation between the sexes in job ads even though I knew there was segregation by color. There is so much contained within the first part that I'm sure viewers will be amazed at all of the happenings of this era.

Part 2: "Changing The World" picks up the story from the early 1970s and explores how the feminist movement affected every corner of life. The influences were clear from popular culture to politics. During this section of the documentary we are shown the impact of events such as the "Battle of the Sexes", which was a tennis showdown between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Also the impact of the pill on women's lives is explored along with many other societal changes that occurred, such as Roe vs Wade and the Equal Rights Amendment.

When I watched this section of the documentary, I thought to myself that even though the 70s are a while ago now, they aren't that long ago. It is so incredible to think about how heavy of a price these women have paid for me and all of us women who came after them. They dealt with this stuff so that life would be a lot more equitable for us and I can't thank them enough.

The final episode, Part 3: "Charting A New Course" starts in the 1980s and shows how women were making their way into corporate boardrooms and areas not accessible to them a few years before. This section highlights the stories of Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Sally Ride, and Geraldine Ferraro in her time as the vice-presidential candidate. There are a wide selection of voices represented in this section as they were in the previous parts. Even though things were changing for women, there was still a mountain to climb for many of them as they fought for equity in pay and opportunities. There is so much to learn from the whole of the episode, but among many things, a quote from Maria Shriver stuck out to me. She said that her mother told her years ago that, "Life is a marathon". And what I took away from that is that the fight for equality is not something that you do and then wash your hands of it. This quote reminded me that we must live our lives every day and relish them whilst we keep doing the work that needs to be done.

All in all I truly enjoyed viewing this series. It was very informative and yet it wasn't so heavy that it took away from the viewing enjoyment. I would highly recommend that everyone watches this series, especially women and young girls because it can open the eyes so much. Even if you think you know a lot of this stuff, you may be surprised to find out things that you didn't know.

Here in the UK, Makers: Women Who Make America will premiere on Friday, 4th October and will be shown each Friday through 18th October at 9pm on PBS America, channel 534 on Sky and channel 243 on Virgin Media.

I hope that you'll watch and enjoy. If you do watch, please come back to this post and let me know your thoughts on the series.

*Photos courtesy of PBS America

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Graduation Post Coming

Hi :) I just wanted to check in to let you know that I'll be posting about the London trip and my graduation this past weekend in the next couple of days. I'm a bit behind with things...aren't I always? Lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'll be sharing my experience here complete with distinguished people, broken heels, and cocktails ;-) My life is like a sitcom sometimes. Lol.

I'll be back....  ;-)

Living and Working in Australia

Today I have another guest post from my friend Archie. In this post he gives some great tips for those who are thinking of living and working in Australia. It's great to have some guidance on things to think about before making a big move to another country. Enjoy!
You’ve reached a point in your life where you are ready for a change. After talking with friends and family, you’ve decided you need to relocate for a fresh start. You’re seriously considering Australia, but is this the right decision for you? What do you need to know before take this major step in your life? Where do you even start? The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make this major decision.

How’s the Climate?

Australia runs the gamut of the climate rainbow depending on where you choose to hang your hat, so choose wisely. This is mainly due to its large size. Here’s a bit about what you’ll find:

Seasons. The summer season is from December to February. Australia’s autumn is from March to May. Their winter season is from June to August, and spring is from September to November. One season that is often overlooked is Cyclone season, which is from November to April.

Climate. Like hot weather? Head north to Western Australia, the Northern Territory, or Queensland. In Northern Australia, you’ll experience tropical and desert-like weather. Don’t care for the heat? Consider the southern states, like Tasmania and Victoria.

The Visa Process Demystified

First, figure out what kind of visa you’re going to need. Will you be moving on your own or as part of a job transfer? If you’re moving as part of a job transfer, you’ll need a valid Australian visa that provides you with “work rights”. Your employer will be your sponsor and, as such, handles that bit of it. If for any reason you change employers while there, that’s okay. It’s just a matter of changing your sponsor.

Is your move a temporary choice, or are you looking to make Australia your home of permanent residence? If you’re looking into permanence, the process is a bit more complicated because you have to do the work yourself -- unless you hire a professional, of course.

Necessary Tasks to Live in Australia

In order to live in Australia, you’ll first need to obtain a Tax File Number. It’s their way of keeping track of any money earned from things like your salary and wages. Don’t delay applying for one.

You’ll also need an account. Open one within six week of arriving in Australia. You’ll only need your passport to serve as identification. Procrastinating can cost you. After six weeks, you will be required to present additional identification. Don’t risk having to pay unnecessary fees or missing work because you can’t get motivated enough to take this step on time.

It’s also important to obtain an Australian driver’s license. Like in most areas, look forward to taking a written and eye exam along with a driving test. Pay extra attention to staying on the right side of the road!

Find housing. It’s not easy to locate a place to live in Australia, so it may be easier to use an agent local to the territory you choose to reside in. Once you pick an agent, decide together whether it makes more sense for you to rent or buy. Australia offers something called the First Home Owners Grant to help with the purchase of your first home. Ask your agent if you qualify.

Obtain proper immigration paperwork. If the thought of delving into the waters with the Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship scares you, consider hiring an immigration agent. In Australia, an immigration agent is called a Migration Agent. In order to find a qualified agent, contact the Migration Agents Registration Authority. You’ll find that it can benefit you immensely to have guidance for this process.

Learn the law. In order to avoid unintentionally ending up in legal trouble and possibly losing your visa along with your freedom, make sure to educate yourself on the local laws.

This post comes from Archie, an Australian expat living in Thailand. He has been compiling a list of nearly every Australian destination for his commercial travel website, Skedaddle Car Hire.

Friday, September 20, 2013


On Saturday, I'll be reaching a milestone in my life. I'm going to be graduating. I've completed my bachelor's degree after lots of studying and I can't believe that it's done. This is something that I've wanted to complete for a while and now the end of this chapter in my life has come.

I went to university when I first graduated from high school, but I left because I got bored and I just started working. I was lucky because things worked out for me. However, always in the back of my mind, I thought that someday I'd go back and complete what I started. It's been an interesting journey and I'm glad that I made the decision to go back to study.

I'm finding that it hasn't sunken in yet that this moment has come. I guess that it'll feel real when I'm there walking across the stage. I'll surely be thinking of my mom and dad at that moment and I'll be wishing that they were there. But I know that I carry them with me in my heart always, so they will be there.

We're on our way to London today in preparation for Saturday and I'll let you all know how it goes when I return home. It's always interesting to go to London, so I'm sure I'll have a story to share.

Until next time...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Broome: Australia's Pearl

Today I'd like to share a guest post from Archie. This is an interesting look at an area of Australia that not too many tourists have discovered yet. It's so gorgeous though, so I know that they'll soon be discovering all of its charms. Enjoy!

There’s nothing quite like the sense of discovery that comes from visiting a hidden pearl of a travel destination. Outside of the intrinsic value of experiencing a new place for the first time, there is the delicious benefit of bragging rights. One can say, casually, to friends: “We spent the summer in Broome, have you heard of it?” with a dreamy and nostalgic gleam in the eyes, gracefully pitying the uninformed.

Broome, Australia
Broome, Australia is the perfect destination to bring about this twofold pleasure. It is not yet a ubiquitous travel destination for beach-seeking world travelers yet has the goods to contend with the perennial summer hot spots. Additionally, its local culture is some of Australia’s most diverse, at once the native ground for the indigenous Yawaru people, and a melting pot for many world cultures that were represented by pearl divers that flocked to the town in the late 19th century. Japanese culture is one of the most strongly represented influences in Broome: every year Broome unites for the Shinju Matsuri (Festival of the Pearl) which is a favorite for tourists and natives alike.

Japanese Cemetery in Broome
While taking in the striking Japanese cemeteries or researching Broome's harrowing experience in World War II can be intellectually rewarding, nothing is more beloved and recommended in Broome than to hire a car and take a leisurely drive to one of its white sand beaches. Cable Beach is one of Broome’s finest, stretching fourteen perfectly flat miles beside the sweet blue tide. Four-wheelers are available for ambitious beach combers, and sunset camel rides are also offered daily. For those seeking to truly let loose and shake off the material burdens of home, Cable Beach also hosts one of Australia’s most famous nudist spots north of the main access road. Also, close at hand is Minyirr Park, a coastal reserve area ripe with exotic vegetation and wild life for the enterprising explorer.

Broome, Australia
Roebuck Bay is another of Broome’s most-prized beach offerings. Situated on the Eastern shore, the waters extend from Port Drive to Sandy Point and offers more white sand and idyllic ocean views. One of the most spellbinding attractions in Broome occurs here on “Staircase to the Moon” nights – when a receding tide and a rising moon collaborate to engineer one of Nature’s finer spectacles. On these special nights, there is a charming food and craft market operated on Town Beach, contributing further to the charged air. Bird watchers also rejoice in Roebuck’s incredible diversity of migratory shorebirds. Many tourists hire a car and head straight to the Broome Bird Observatory on Roebuck’s northern shore to take in the vast array of East Asian species.

Although the beaches are serene and scenic enough to justify a visit, Broome also offers immaculate golf courses, charming dining and endless local flavor. Already one of the fastest growing towns in Australia, Broome will continue to attract more and more international visitors. There’s no better time than the present to book a flight to Broome International. Get some culture, take in some sun, and notch an experience that will be the object of envy for years to come.

This post comes from Archie, an Australian expat living in Thailand. He has been compiling a list of nearly every Australian destination for his commercial travel website, Skedaddle Car Hire.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Catching Up

Hello there. I can't believe that it's been two weeks since I wrote anything here. Wow time flies! Well, never fear I'm going to get back in the saddle in the new week ahead. I've gotten some things out of the way in my life, so I can now make this site the priority that I want it to be again.

I guess that I'll offer a preview here, kind of like a movie trailer. Okay, well this week I'll be having a guest post on a great place to experience in Australia. Also, I'm going to resurrect a series that I've long ago let lag behind here. I don't know if anyone still reading remembers when I used to talk about foods that I eat here, but I've got a short post about that. And also I'll be sharing an achievement that is coming full circle next weekend.

So hopefully you'll come back again to see what I'm talking about. I hope that everyone is having a good weekend. Talk to you in the new week.

Until next time :-)