SONY DSC#6 Clothes maketh the man, or woman. Dress like you want the job, especially if you’re applying in person, or if you’re lucky enough to get an interview. First impressions last.

The easiest thing for women is a LBD (Little black dress) Keep the length of the skirt professional (near the knee) and add a black jacket to make the look more corporate. Minimal jewellery and natural make up. Use deodorant but not perfume.

Guys, you cannot go wrong with a nice pair of black or dark grey chinos, a freshly washed and ironed white or light blue collared shirt, and if you’re looking for a corporate job, add a matching jacket and tie.

Polished black shoes and an analogue watch work for both men and women.

*If you’re worried about being overdressed you can call ahead and ask what attire is appropriate for an interview.*

#7 A new thing I’d never heard of, but we’ll see if it makes a difference, is to undergo your own police check. They cost a bit, but if you can prove you’re employable, and save your next employer some money by doing the check yourself, it may have you head and shoulders above the other applicants. 

#8 Speaking of head and shoulders, haircuts, and manicures. Maybe not with nail polish for the guys but most of you could do with a shape and trim regardless. Girls stick to a French polish. Haircuts should be neat, tidy and professional looking. Guys keep the facial hair… you guessed it, neat and tidy.

#9 Be available, especially for retail positions. They want to know they can rely on you to turn up to work on time and not be fussy about the rostering process. Admittedly, this becomes complicated when trying to fit in school or university, but make an effort to be as flexible as you possibly can. Oh and don’t go planning six month tours of far off places if you’re seriously wanting a job. Employers aren’t likely to hire you if you’re going to be flitting off after a fortnight.

#10 Be their next employee. I’ve had the most response in my job search by solving a problem the company was experiencing and letting them know how to work around it. Sure, it’s a risk that by helping them someone else may take the job, but by using my initiative and all the tips above, as well as being a team player, who knows what could happen.

Cross fingers for me everyone. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Police check website (there are many others, and some cheaper, this is the one I used) 

How to tie a Windsor knot

How to polish your shoes




The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume 5th Edition

Kindle Edition, 304 pages

Published January 5th 2010 by Alpha



No-Nonsense Cover Letters

Published December 6th 2009 by Career Press, Incorporated

ISBN1601638167 (ISBN13: 9781601638168)



SONY DSCGoing on a job hunt?

I’ve been looking for a new job for over 2 months, and stepped it up a notch at the start of September. Here are some things I am learning whilst in the midst of all the craziness.

#1 Books on resume and cover letter writing are brilliant. (Everything I learned about job hunting in high school got me absolutely nowhere) The books I’ve found to be most useful are…

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume by Susan Ireland

No-Nonsense Cover Letters by Arnold & Enelow Boldt.

I looked at a bunch of others, but these were where I got most of my inspiration.


Oh, and remember to edit them both to suit every application.

#2 Websites like and are a wonderful starting point to look for jobs. Remember you can also Google the companies you see yourself working for and add careers into the search bar to see if they’re hiring or have an expression of interest button. Sometimes the positions may not show up on either of the aforementioned websites and it’s up to you to use some initiative.

resumes crumpled#3 Sew your seeds. If we spend all our time thinking about the one job application we made this month, it can send us bonkers… especially if  we don’t get the job, or worse, don’t hear anything at all. *Rude much?*

 Apply for as many jobs per day as you can. Even contract positions, or casual work will still give you experience. Expressions of interest count as applications as well, and you never know who will pick you from the hundreds of applications.

#4 It pays to personalise your cover letter, call the place you’re applying to and ask who to address the cover letter to, rather than having the universal opener of ‘to whom this may concern.’  Remember to be your most professional self on the phone.

#5 Go the extra mile, literally. You can drop your resume off in person as well as completing the online application. Use nice paper, and add a recent photo if you like. This step matters even more if the online application is experiencing a glitch. Show how much you want the job by handing it in, in person.

Read the rest of Bel’s job hunting tips next week!


isabella rose taylorIsabella Rose Taylor

Isabella began creating fine art when she was 3, sewing at 8, and by the age of 13 she had a clothing line contract deal with Nordstrom.

The girl knows how to dream big and stand her ground when her business advisors may be steering her in a direction she’s not be comfortable travelling.

Biography-wise there’s not a lot of information available, but there’s a TEDx talk worth watching.

Isabella’s also on all the social media platforms, and her website is wonderful.


There’s also a Dwen session which is rather enlightening.


Cecilia Cassini

cecilai cassiniCecilia Cassini is now 14 but began re-purposing clothing and sewing her own designs at age 6. She was followed around by a German film crew for the TV show Confessions of a Fashionette for the Style Network at age 12.

This young lady is extremely community minded, donating clothing for less fortunate kids to have a great outfit on their first day of school. A percentage of her Trunk show profits goes to homeless shelters.

When she’s not aiming for A’s in school she’s designing clothed for Hollywood’s A listers. Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Kelly Osbourne are just a few celebrities she’s dressed.

There is quite possibly even less information about this dedicated young woman online, but I have a strong suspicion we’ll be hearing more about her in the near future.

Here’s an old clip of her debuting on the Today Show.


Bel and J_Hachette Photo Book PicThe Laini Taylor event at Hachette Australia.

Joelene and I walked the 50 or so steps to the event from our hotel early and were pleasantly surprised to see we weren’t the only bloggers to turn up early. We jumped in the lift and scooted to the correct floor, and were met with a wall of awesome books, separated into colours and spelt out Read.

We were whisked away into the room where the event would be held and was greeted by Ashleigh and a handful of other wonderfully cheerful people who have quite possibly the best job in Australia. We were handed drinks, encouraged to eat up big from the snack tables (savory and lollies) and partake in the photo booth set up for the evening.

There was a book hunt around the room, which was scattered with bookshelves boasting some of Hachette’s best books on the market. There was a questionnaire to be filled out for the chance to win a lucky door prize and we all wracked our brains as to what our favourite book of all time was.

We were encouraged to tweet about the evening with the hashtag #dabdaenight and by the conclusion of the event 5 winners were picked from the room for an extra goody bag to say thank you, and our little event was trending on twitter, so the girls that won it must have been burning up their smart phones.

Before we were introduced to Laini we were given a lovely spiel about some of the newly released books from Hachette and books to watch for in the near future.

Now came Laini. The pictures on the back of her books do not do that hair colour justice. It is high vis, neon, highlighter PINK! Her dress had VW beetles on it and you know what, I think it is just perfectly wonderful. Laini is no stuffy woman to be left in a corner, though she spoke of having to escape to hotels to finish writing Dreams of Gods and Monsters, so perhaps she’s able to hide when she needs to.

There were questions from the bloggers and then the line up began for the signing. Laini even ducked away to the photo booth a couple of times with a few of the bloggers.

Joelene and Bel smThe one writer’s tip I took away from the event was to finish what you start. Laini has a big heart and a great sense of humour.

On our way out, we were handed our goodie bags  as a thank you from Hachette for attending the event, as if getting to walk the halls of Hachette and meeting Laini Taylor wasn’t already enough.

Included in the bag was Advance copies of Holly Black’s book (due later in 2014) The Darkest Part of the Forest, and Jessica Sorensen’s book, The Secret of Ella and Micha. Jessica is touted as the queen of teen romance, and as the book mark we got in with the pack states, Jessica is a New York Times Best Selling Author.

There were  other delightful things to be found in the goody bag as well. Nail polish and a tinted lip balm from Natio. A tube of Lanolips, a can of Cedel dry shampoo, and a pouch of facial wipes from Natural Organic rounded out the beauty products.

SONY DSCThen for a snack there was a box of the most delicious cookies ever from Spotted Cow Cookies in the flavour White Chocolate and Macadamia, and Jelly Belly  jellybeans had supplied us with a couple of bags of jellybeans. Om nom.  This was all topped off with a few Date a Book badges from Hachette and was all presented in a beautifully sturdy calico bag with Hachette Australia emblazoned on the front pocket. 

All in all, I adored the event and the people at Hachette were perfectly delightful. They all love their job and I would say we are all jealous of their success at one of Australia’s leading publishing houses.

Thank you for inviting us Ashleigh. We hope to be invited to attend another event soon. You and your team made a dynamic and memorable event.

Y’all are made of awesome!

grant_Gone 2Lisa:


I don’t really know how I feel about this cover. I guess I’m not really into covers that only have the “characters” on them; they just don’t tell me anything about the story.  So I don’t hate it, but also it isn’t anything special.


I actually liked all of the characters. The only thing I was worried about, when reading Gone was that I would get confused with the characters, since there are so many. But that wasn’t any issue at all, since each of the character was pretty distinct and interesting!


I would have to say that Sam and Lana are my favourite characters. I enjoyed reading about all of them, but these two stuck out the most to me.  Lana is brave for surviving on her own for so long, and I thought her friendship with her dog Patrick was really sweet!

Sam was also a very tough guy. While many people wanted him to be the leader, and to take charge, he stayed very humble, and instead just wanted to keep to himself. Sam seems to always be there when he is REALLY needed, and I also liked that about him!

Least Favorite:

I don’t think I have one. When I first started thinking about this, I right away thought of Orc and his friends. But I also liked reading about these characters. Why? Because when things stop working and the world seems to be ending, not everyone will be calm, cool, and collected, but some kids will turn to violence. I liked seeing that side of things.


I had kind of a hard time getting into Gone, because it seemed like nothing was happening. All the teenagers and parents are gone, and now the kids of the island have to fend for themselves.


Things start to turn violent, when the kids try to create rules and regulations that they are used to. But obviously some of these kids will abuse the leadership they were granted. Besides that, there are a lot of kids just like Sam, Astrid, and Little Pete, who have these special abilities.


WOW! Is all I can say!

Overall Thoughts:

I’m a little sad that it took me so long to get into this one, but it was well worth pushing through! The middle and ending were SO fast paced and action packed, that I can’t wait to start reading the second book, as well as the rest of the series!


grant_gone 3Bel:


A mist of toxic green is the backdrop to the title mostly embossed, besides the ‘o’ which is just an absence of the mist. Very eerie.


I would imagine most kids would be resilient, and this cast a great job of keeping it together.


Albert. A Life saver on many occasions.

Least Favourite

Drake. Whacked in the head.


Everyone 15 and over disappears on a day that is otherwise seemingly normal.


The fall out of having only 14 and unders running the show. Survival of the fittest at its creepiest.


Not what I was expecting but thrilling none the less.


This is a YA version of the Dome by Stephen King. It also reminds me somewhat of Lord of the Flies. I found the book to be fast paced though there were some gruesome parts that I had to close the book and come back to it after my stomach had settled. Once you get past those bits, it’s a book that really is difficult to put down.


“Window seat, window seat, window seat. Astrid calming Little Pete down.


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