Saturday 30 November 2013

Book ~ "Stop Hoping ... Start Hunting! A Job Seeker's Guide to Finding Their Job" (2013) Jennifer K. Hill

From Goodreads ~ There are many self-help books out there that teach you how to be effective at interviewing and job hunting. This book takes the next step by looking internally as well as externally at what it takes to find your ideal job. 

In turn, it demonstrates how to build that successful career you have always wanted. It is never too late to take an honest look at yourself and your career and realize your full potential.

No, I'm not looking for another job.  I read this book because I was given the opportunity to read and review it ... it sounded interesting and it's good stuff to know.

The chapters include:
  1. Should you make a move and/or change jobs
  2. Finding the job
  3. Innovative ways to get hired
  4. The resume
  5. The mental side of your search
  6. The interview?
  7. After the interview

This book is for everyone, whether you are just starting out in the workforce or have been wanting to leave/just left a job after 30 years.  She walks you through the steps it takes to getting your resume together, having an appropriate online presence (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), applying for a job, how to behave at an interview, etc.  She also talk about having passion ... you aren't passionate about what you are doing, you should find something else.

I liked the writing style.  It's laid out well and there are sample of resume styles, letters, etc.  There are helpful links throughout the book and there is a large list in the back of the book.

I would recommend this book whether are you are looking for a job or not.

Jennifer Hill has spent the past 10 years as a professional recruiter and career coach, where she has been a top performing senior recruiter with a premier corporate and legal recruiting firm in Los Angeles.

What differentiates Jennifer from others in her profession is that she takes the time necessary to understand the needs of the job seekers and hiring managers she works with to ensure a symbiotic match is created. Jennifer has invested thousands of hours preparing job seekers of all levels for challenging interviews with top national law firms and Fortune 500 companies, and has placed thousands of job seekers into their dream positions.

Jennifer educates both her clients and candidates about the benefits of using technology and social media in recruiting and job hunting. She leads Social Media 101 classes to a variety of professionals on how to effectively use blogs and websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for professional purposes.

Santa's at the Dufferin Mall, Toronto, ON

The next couple of weeks are going to be busy for me and I'm going to be out of town a fair bit.  So I headed to the Dufferin Mall, the closest mall to me, to get some Christmas shopping done.

The mall was jammed with shoppers wanting to take advantage of Black Friday sales.

Santa was there ... he's been there since November 14.  He is by Walmart.

Santa's castle

I was initially nervous about taking pictures because I got yelled at by Cranky the Elf a couple years ago.

But then I moved closer to watch Santa's interaction with the kids.  He is a great Santa ... very friendly and chatty with the kids and giving them a hug after they had their picture taken.

Schneiders' Hot Stuffs are nasty!

We don't eat a lot of frozen pre-made meals ... but it's handy to have some in the freezer when we are in a hurry or lazy.

Last week Schneiders' Hot Stuffs were on sale so I bought three kinds ... cheeseburger, pepperoni and Philly-style cheese steak.  We'd never had them before.

I tried the cheeseburger and pepperoni ones and they weren't good.  There was a funny taste to the cheeseburger one that I couldn't figure out ... I read the box afterwards and there were supposed to be some pickles (pickles?!) in them.

I heated up a Philly-style cheese steak one for brunch today ... and it was NASTY.  I took a couple bites and that was enough.  I opened it up and here it is ...

It sooooooo doesn't look like the picture on the box, does it?!

They are all basically bland dough with not much stuff in them.

I Googled Hot Stuffs ... and couldn't find anything.  I went to the Schneiders website and couldn't find anything about them there either.  Not a big surprise since they are sooooooo gross!

We had a six more boxes in the freezer and I have thrown them in the garbage where they belong!

December 4 update:  Schneiders had responded to my tweet yesterday and asked me to call about my experience ... so I just did.  Bonnie was very friendly and polite and we had a nice conversation.  She said she is going to put some coupons in the mail to compensate us.

December 12 update:  I received $20 in coupons from Bonnie this week.  Impressive customer service!

Friday 29 November 2013

Moselland Riesling wine - cat bottles

Almost every year the LCBO sells two bottles of Moselland Riesling wine in the shape of cats in November.

Gord saw that they were out yesterday and bought them for me (thanks, Gord!).

This year they are soft red and mustard yellow (2012 vintage) ...

I've been collecting them for over ten years and now have 28. They are all different colours/vintages and unopened.
  • 2000 - 5
  • 2001 - 3
  • 2002 - 3
  • 2003 - 1
  • 2004 - 2
  • 2005 - 2
  • 2006 - 2
  • 2007 - 2
  • 2008 - 2
  • 2009 - 2
  • 2011 - 2
  • 2012 - 2

Thursday 28 November 2013

Mucho Burrito, Barrie, ON

I had lunch today at Mucho Burrito.  I've had lunch here in the past and it was okay.

I got there about 11:45am and it wasn't too busy.  It started jamming up about a half hour later.

The person who served me wasn't warm and fuzzy and was just going through the motions ... kind of like a robot.  "Welcome to Mucho Burrito what would you like today what size shell do you want what kind of shell do you want ..."  I tried to be friendly but she didn't respond.

I ordered a regular chicken burrito.  I love love love chicken burritos and have had some fabulous burritos and some not so fabulous burritos ... this one was definitely a not so fabulous one.  It was fairly bland and didn't have a lot of taste.

Super 8 Hotel, Barrie, ON

I had to conduct one-on-ones in Barrie yesterday and today, starting first thing in the morning.

I was in Orillia (a half hour from Barrie) on Tuesday conducing one-on-ones and it didn't make sense to head home and then get up and leave early in the mornings (it's more than an hour's drive ... you never know with the traffic or weather).  So I spent the last two nights at the Super 8 Barrie.  I stayed here last year and like it.

Cherie checked me in and she was really friendly.

Here's my room ...

And yes, I did use it!

The room was $110/night.  The bed was comfy and I slept well.  There was a mini fridge and microwave oven in my room. Parking was free as is WIFI (it's fast). There was a complimentary continental breakfast with hot options. There is no restaurant in the hotel but there are lots of choices within walking distance (like Jack Astor's across the street and East Side Mario's next door).

I'd stay here again!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Book ~ "Happy Hormones, Slim Belly" (2013) Jorge Cruise

From Goodreads ~ Carb Cycle Based on Hormonal Stages 

For women over 40, weight loss can be a nightmare with fluctuating hormones and unbearable cravings. Contrary to the conventional wisdom of slashing calories and spending hours at the gym, breakthrough science has confirmed that cutting sugar for two days, then adding it back for five days, will keep your insulin low, which cuts belly fat, and your serotonin high, which makes you happy. Slim, Happy Belly is the perfect guide to balance your hormones, turn your metabolism to fat-burning mode, and get your mood soaring day after day with the proven Carb Cycling Plan. 

This book will uncover why weight loss for women has been difficult and give you the solution that matches your hormonal stage.

I'm always interested in reading books about getting healthy and losing weight.  This one attracted me because it's directed at women over 40.

The contents include:
  • The irony - how to be happy and slim
  • The key to a slim belly
  • The key to happy hormones
  • The solution - your carb cycling plan
  • Recipes
  • The food lists
  • The blissful workout
  • FAQs

There are lots of books about weight loss programs out there.  The premise of this one is directed at women because of hormonal changes are we get older.

This one is about carb cycling ... you have two "slim days" and five "happy days".  You spend two days a week strictly limiting "sugar calories" such as carbs and then you cycle back into the right kind of "sugar calories" in the right amounts for the other five days  ... the author explains what a sugar calorie is and provides sample meal plans, recipes and shipping lists.  You will apparently have increased energy, elevated feelings of happiness and rapid weight loss and fat burning.

The guarantee of this program is "lose 7lbs the first week and then 2 lbs weekly".  The author includes lots of scientific data to back up his plan.

There are lots of stories from people who have tried it to inspire you.

East Side Mario's, Barrie, ON

I had supper this evening at East Side Mario's , which is near my hotel.

I ordered Mario's Chicken Parmigiana.

It came with all-you-can-eat soup (I had Italian Wedding Soup) or salad and bread.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Book ~ "The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery" (2013) Gary Gusick

From Goodreads ~ Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson - and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah.

When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband - hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah - she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty - or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.

Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty - even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets - until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin.

Darla is a police detective from Philadelphia who moved to her husband's home town of Jackson, Mississippi.  When her husband, Hugh, is killed in a car accident, she takes some time off working in the sheriff's office to grieve.  She gets called back to work when Reverend Jimmy Aldridge is murdered while he is protesting outside an abortion clinic.  She is teamed with fellow cop, Tommy, who is an annoying Elvis impersonator.

Tommy wants to solve the case quickly so he can get some glory while Darla wants to take her time and check everything out.  What she discovers about the beloved reverend will shock his congregation.

This is the first book by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style and thought it was well-paced.  There are lots of potential suspects.  The language at times is for a mature reader.

I liked the characters.  Darla is grieving the loss of her husband but it pulled into this case by her boss.  I found her likeable and fair.  Her boss, Shelby, was a typical southern guy and I liked him.  Tommy is all about Tommy and is amusing because is that egotistical.  Geeky intern Uther also adds an element of humour.  All the ladies in town love Dr. Nicoletti, including Darla, and she fights her attraction to him because he may be the murderer ... plus she wonders if she is ready to move on after the loss of her husband.

I would recommend this book ... I'm assuming there will be others in this series and I look forward to reading them.

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill, Barrie, ON

I had supper this evening at Jack Astor's, which is near my hotel.

It was fairly busy for a Tuesday evening.

I sat on the dining room side

Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

I have one-on-ones to conduct today for a client in Orillia.

It's a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto and I have to start at 9am so I drove up yesterday afternoon and stayed overnight at the Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre ... I've never been there before.  You just never know about traffic or the weather.

Here's my room ...

The bathroom is big

Monday 25 November 2013

Kelseys Original Roadhouse, Orillia, ON

I had supper tonight at Kelsey's (on Memorial Avenue), which is near my hotel.  It was cold and snowing and I didn't feel like walking far.  Plus it's been a while since I've been at a Kelsey's.

I sat in a booth in the dining room

 I ordered the half rack rib (with honey garlic sauce)/five chicken wing (with medium sauce) combo with mashed potatoes.

The meal was okay, not great.  There was something funky going on with the mashed potatoes ... like they'd been sitting around for a while and developed a film on the top and it got mixed in.  'Know what I mean?  I should have gone with the Chicken Parm ...

Angela was my server.  She was friendly and took good care of me.

Kelsey's on Urbanspoon

Sunday 24 November 2013

Book ~ "Skeleton's Key" (2013) Stacy Green

From Goodreads ~ Cage Foster can’t catch a break. The discovery of a dusty skeleton in the antebellum home he’s caring for is bad enough. But the unearthing of two fresh bodies, buried during his tenure at Ironwood Plantation, may land Cage on Mississippi’s death row. Even worse, the one person certain of his innocence is a pushy Yankee newcomer, a woman who talks too fast and still believes in the romance of the Old South.

 A specialist in historical renovation, Dani Evans intends to restore Ironwood to its former glory while she rebuilds her life after the death of her mother. Death, hidden treasure and falling in love with a murder suspect were not part of the plan. The lure of the infamous Ironwood treasure cache convinces Dani the skeleton is the key to unraveling the legend, and that the treasure itself is the motive for the murders.

Cage is certain an old grudge is setting him up for murder but the evidence against him is mounting and time is running out. Dani believes she can find the truth before Cage is arrested but her search for answers will uncover a descent into madness that should have stayed buried.

After the death of her mother, Dani pursues their dream of buying and restoring a plantation and moves from Indianapolis to Mississippi when she purchases Ironwood Plantation.  As a specialist in historical renovation, she luckily lands a job nearby.  Cage is a local cop who had been hired to be the caretaker of the plantation ... he gets his back up when a Yankee has bought his beloved plantation.

A skeleton is discovered in the basement and days later, two fresh corpses are found nearby.  Cage, as the caretaker, is a suspect.  Dani gets to know Cage, believes in his innocence and works with him and his friends to prove it.  Does it have something to do with the rumoured hidden room which may still have treasures from the owners during the Civil War?  Or does it have something to do with the big bad developers who wanted to buy Ironwood and demolish it so they can build a resort?

This is the third book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  The language isn't offensive (just a couple "sh!ts").  The ending had an interesting twist and I was satisfied with it.

I liked the characters.  It was fun to read the contrasts between Dani (a "Yankee") and Cage (a "Southern gentleman").  When the story begins, Cage is still heartbroken that Jaymee chose Nick (Cage's dead sister's widower) over him so that causes some initial conflict.  Of course, Dani doesn't know the history between them and they don't want to talk about.  There are lots of supporting characters who are involved in what's going on ... you don't know who is innocent 'til the end.

Though it is the sequel to Tin God, it also works well as a stand alone.  There are references to the happenings in the Tin God but doesn't give them away.  Characters brought back from Tin God are Cage, Jaymee and Nick.  There will be a final sequel ... it will be interesting to see who is in it and I look forward to reading it.

I received a copy of this ebook from the author at no charge in exchange for my honest review.