Belinda_kisses_tnCook club is coming to the Escape Club, so why don’t you join us! Mandy is a fantabulous cook, as we all know by her mouth-watering recipes. I, on the other hand, suck at cooking.


bad cookI failed Home Economics in high school. To some extent, flunking wasn’t entirely my fault. I’ve tried to remake the recipes in that lovely, photocopied and stapled together cook book, 20 years later and I am convinced it wasn’t me, it was the recipes.  They were not good, whichever way you cut it.

Who the heck eats carrot salad with sultanas in it anyway…? Eww.

I’d love to not be a failure in the kitchen, and if anyone’s recipes are worth testing its Mandy’s. So let’s see if I can manage to not screw up everything I touch in the Cook Club.

I’m sure some of the other staffers will want to get in on the fun, and hopefully I won’t be the only one giving stuff a go. Maybe they’ll post pics of their efforts, or impress us with youtube clips of their own.

I’m hoping Mandy will go easy on us for the first one. And if I should fail, at least it will be fun… I hope.


Mandy Wrangles_2_tnCook club is coming to the Escape Club, so why don’t you join us!

First off we’ll be making Tim Tam cake pops!


Watch Bel’s hilarious video as she puts on her eyelashes for Halloween!

SONY DSCGoing on a job hunt part 3

The hardest thing I’m finding about being on the job hunt is the amount of time that seems to be passing me by and the imbalance between effort put in and the level of results.

Here are a few things I’ve been doing to try and put that balance back into… well, balance.

#1 Volunteering. At my first sign of being down and out about being unemployed, I sought out a way for me to gain perspective on life. has a volunteering section and though it may not be a paid position, you can still put it on your resume.

#2 Do a free online course. I signed up to the Write 101x course that everyone’s been buzzing about. I want to improve myself, and employers are big on correct grammar and spelling. It keeps my brain active, makes me accountable on time management with assessments and such, and it keeps me being social. It’s a winner on all counts.

#3 Watch inspirational clips on youtube. Now I’m sure I’ve thrown a few cute cat videos into the mix here, but what I’m aiming for is to give my mind something positive to gnaw on. Watch something with a useful takeaway message. Something like Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk about how your body language shapes who you are.

#4 Be sure to get up and get moving every day. Treat the job hunt like a job in itself. Get out of bed at a time when you would for the jobs you’re applying for. Shower, dress, teeth and hair etc, before sitting down for another period of time spent applying for jobs. This will not only get you in the right mindset, but help with keeping your complexion clear.

#5 Get sleep. You may be tempted to stay up until all hours of the night simply because you can, but it’s not going to do you any favours in the long run. Sleep deprivation changes your brain’s chemistry and it can make it really difficult to stay positive. Go to bed at a sensible time and endeavour to make 8 hours every night. That way you’ll be fresh faced and ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Read part one and two of Belinda’s job hunt.

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!


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