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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Mandy Wrangles_2_tnUSA_SFWith a lack of wifi in some of our hotels, I haven’t quite been able to keep the pace with our most excellent adventure. As I write this, we’re about to head into our last full day in San Francisco, having already done Anaheim (Disneyland), Carlsbad near San Diego (Legoland), Hollywood and Las Vegas. Tomorrow we’re jumping on an early plane for the wilds of the one and only Big Apple – New York.

While we’ve enjoyed numerous fine dining experiences (more on that later), it’s also been great to check out the street food in various locations. My 2nd favourite so far was at Venice Beach, about an hour’s bus trip from Hollywood central.

USA_SF2My two older sons are mad keen skaters, so getting to the Venice skate park was a big must for this trip. I have to admit, even for me it was pretty awesome to be on the home turf of the legendary Z-Boys – surfers turned skaters, who, back in the 70′s, changed the sport of skateboarding to the high-flying extreme sport we know today. Venice Beach has this kind of magical vibe about it – street stalls, artists, rubbish, homeless folks (not so magical), musicians, and dancers, palm readers and loads of hand-made wares. But best of all was the food.

While there are lots of cafes and restaurants, we were in a bit of a hurry to get the boys to into the Venice Bowl, so we stopped at ‘Big Daddy and sons’ for pizza and burgers, where we were greeted by lovely Liz out the front, who was a great help with the questions we had for the menu (that might have had something to do with her fascination for my youngest son, who has been a HUGE hit in America.

USA_SF3Something to do with the blonde hair and glasses and a bit of an attitude, I think!) Big Daddy’s is basically a few holes in the wall – you order and pay at one, walk around the corner to another window and wait for your name to be called. Pizza is sold by the slice – at $2.99 we were expecting small pieces, so oldest son ordered three – but no, these things are the size of an entire small pizza back in Australia! Check out the pic below of Mr 6 taking on his slice of Margarita!  The pizza and burgers were all fab – not oily at all, and the accompanying fries were crisp and delish. And cheap. Cheap. Did I mention cheap? All five of us ate for around $40.

Not so cheap was the street food at the theme parks. Yeah, we expected that. And most of it tasted pretty much as you’d expect too. We did four days at Disneyland / California Adventure Park, a day at Legoland  and another at Universal Studios. While I stuck mostly to the trusty pizza slice and occasional hot dog, Lovely Husband discovered these: Smoked Turkey Legs. Hmmm. Not quite my thing, and at about $10 each, they aren’t the cheapest snack, but Simon loved them – especially with a beer in the scorching California sun.

Next up – San Fran chowder. Oh, my….



 Fukuda_TrapFrom author Andrew Fukuda comes The Trap, the explosive finale to The Hunt trilogy—perfect for fans of The Hunger Games!

After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene’s mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.

Hardcover, 320 pages

Published November 5th 2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published October 24th 2013)

ISBN 1250005124 (ISBN13: 9781250005120)


This whole series has been a fast-paced and action-packed race for survival. In the first book, Gene has learned to control his human side and ‘hides’ out in the open among the vampires. In the second book, they run for their lives, but end up in the hills in the midst of a cult. Now, in the third book, everything must come to an end, but when they are surrounded by the millions, it’s a very close call.

I was actually surprised by how the series ended. The whole series was above and beyond my expectations and the ending was so different to what I imagined it would be. The plot comes full circle, but the story lives on inside you, open to your own possibilities–not set in stone. It was very fitting.

There are a lot of answers in this final book. Yet, there is also constant movement; it’s a race against time as increasing numbers of vampires catch up to them. I have become a huge fan of vampire stories. I have recommended this series from book one because of the great writing and constantly moving storyline. I have also become extremely fond of survival stories, especially ones where you think there is just no way that most people would find the strength to survive.

Gene, Sissy and Ashley June really make this story as much as the plot does. Ashley June is one of my favourites as every scene she was in kept me glued to the page. I do recommend this series, especially if you love vampires. This isn’t much of a romance read; it’s full of action, suspense and survival. The characters are smart and intelligent. I thought that it was different from other young adult vampire books I have read, and I found the whole series highly enjoyable.

You can also purchase The Trap in audio book.


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