Stuff that Jeanne says

There is no rhyme or reason…

Archive for the month “December, 2011”

Taking a Hiatus..

Hey all that subscribe to my page. I want to first thank you all for being interested in what I have to say! But also want to let you know that I will be taking a little time off from writing. A dear friend of mine lost her child, and my heart is breaking for her. I try to think of other things to distract myself, but it is just too hard. Most of us say that we don’t know what we would do if we ever lost a child, but we never expect it to happen to us, or a good friend of ours. 2 year old Sophia was such a precious baby girl. She left an impact on everyone that has met her, and even the people who haven’t had the pleasure. No one should ever have to lose a child… I feel so helpless for my friend, and feel like I should be there holding her tight every day, but I know that she and her husband and their 3 girls are surrounded by many people that love them.  Everyone is devastated and I hope that they can all  find the strength to move forward, and always keep Sophia’s memories alive. Tomorrow will be the day that she is laid to rest, but she lives on in our hearts. I am finding the strength to be there for them, but am at a complete loss for words.

I want to share a poem that I wrote for Sophia.

Sweet Sophia

You are now an angel up above

Your life will always be cherished

with beautiful memories and lots of love

Why you left this Earth

We will never know

But like the sun peeking through the clouds

Your presence will always glow

We will miss your laughter

and your abundant toothy smile

Until we meet again Sophia

If even for a while

You are in the hands of God

and loved ones who have passed

You are a free spirit

In a place so vast

Until we meet again

If even for a while

Shine down on us Sophia

With that abundant toothy smile

 

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Why I am a REAL housewife!

Some may disagree that I am not a housewife because I have a full time job, and I am going to school working towards a better career…however, I beg to differ.

house·wife – /ˈhousˌwīf/ 1. A married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.

(thank you Google chrome for the definition!)

So yea, out of the 168 hours of the week, I may spend 40 hours at work, and  50 hours sleeping, but the other 78 hours are spent tending to my very rambunctious 5 year old and my 34 year old man child husband..my dog and cat..cleaning, cooking, budgeting(aka dodging overdraft fees), paying bills, grocery shopping, , laundry..etc..etc..etc…..
Here is my confession. I am obsessed with every Real Housewives show on Bravo. My favorites being Beverly Hills and New Jersey. But, I want to petition that they change the name of the show. Half the women are not even married. They should change it to The Real housewives, divorcees, and baby mama’s of………Okay, I know that doesn’t sound as good, but you catch my drift? Another thing is why don’t they film one in New England? Are they afraid that there may be too many F bombs that they’d have to bleep out?  I know that I would never be cast on that show, the most expensive thing I own is a pair of Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses I bought at Sunglass Hut a year ago.

Deutsch: Logo

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 11:  Cast members...

What it would be like to have “rich people problems”….
What dress do I wear to my friend’s daughter’s baptism-the Chanel with the Prada heels, or the Dior gown with the Louboutin pumps?
Will my stylist arrive in time to finish my hair and makeup before my friends arrive for the dinner party that I am throwing, where my personal chef will be preparing all of his best dishes?
Should we take the Range Rover or the limo?
Those options would be fabulous, and I am not going to lie and say that I wouldn’t love to have to decide between those things, BUT that will never be me and I accept that. I have a holiday party to go to tomorrow night at a friend’s house and this is what I will be doing to prepare.
I will reach in to my closet (because I can’t walk into it) and grab my new Angels jeans I bought at Kohls the other day I bought for $7.20 from the clearance rack and with a coupon!
I will run the brush through my hair for a little more volume after falling limp from running around all day, and touch up the makeup that I applied in the morning while asking my five year old to get dressed umpteen times.
I will most likely carpool with my two friends Toni and Tracy in Tracy’s 1998 Ford Expedition (sorry Tracy, I’m sure she still runs great!)

I will pop a frozen dinner in the microwave for my husband, because he will NEVER cook for himself.

And most of all I will have a lovely time with great friends , not having to worry about which one is talking about the shoes I am wearing, or the outfit I have on.
This is what makes me (and my friends) REAL housewives, and this is what Bravo would get if they came to New England!
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Creating memories with family on the Holidays..

This is a holiday photo taken at one of our family gatherings. Circa 1982ish? One of the greatest memories I have growing up in a large family. (can  you tell which one I am? blondie, front row center, possibly the milkman’s daughter, I don’t know.) This was taken at my aunt’s house, and it isn’t even the entire family. 

The holidays.  A time for rejoicing, merriment, feasting, and of course…family! In my past experiences, the holidays have always been a mixed bag of people crammed into a small apartment with me and my army of cousins running around, while the adults chain smoked in the kitchen. Bless my mother for wanting to host the holidays in our small second floor apartment in the Silver Lake section of Providence, but with the size of the family being rather large, it would have been nice if they could have rented a hall! We did on occasion spend the holidays at others’ homes, but  my my mom loved to entertain and still does. Most of my mom’s side of the family lived in Rhode Island,  minus a couple of aunts and uncles that lived down south. My mom comes from a family of  eight. My dad’s entire family( which is even bigger than my mom’s)  lived in Texas, and we shared holidays with them at times, but not as much as I would have liked.

At one point in time, there would be roughly 14 of us kids together,  and we  had to entertain ourselves.  Sometimes we would go outside, so we could avoid the secondhand smoke which wasn’t “dangerous” back then, and go deaf from the loudness of the adults talking over each other. As mentioned, I grew up in the city, and there wasn’t much of an area for us to play. Triple decker family homes, lined up side by each. (For those of you who are not from Rhode Island, a triple decker is a three story home with a separate apartment on each floor)  We didn’t have Nintendo DS, Ipods, or Playstations to keep us occupied. We had an alleyway outside where we played tag, or hide and seek. Or if it was too cold, as sometimes the harsh New England weather could be, we would cram into either mine or my brother’s bedrooms and listen to the radio while we told jokes, or swapped punches while the parents had no care in the world. Every now  and then one of the adults would catch wind of it, and I remember getting a slap from my grandmother  for teasing my younger cousin Charlie! I will never forget that. My grandma was one tough cookie! (C’mon, we all have one of those cousins!)   We would sneak  the “spiked” punch when no one was looking and one year my older cousin Sheri (who was probably 15 at the time)  was sick  from sneaking too much! She learned her lesson and never went for the punch again!  I remember having to sit at the kiddie table when I really wanted to sit with the adults, and  at gift time, we would all sit around the tree, while our aunts and uncles passed around presents to each of us! They must have hated having to buy for all their nieces and nephews, but we didn’t mind.

As I got older, most of the family slowly migrated south, my cousins had families of their own,  my dad has since passed and family gatherings just haven’t been the same.  I miss the loudness, the packed house, playing outside in the cold, even the secondhand smoke! (ok, maybe not that, but you know what  I mean!) We don’t have big Christmas eve gatherings, or Christmas dinners, but we still get together in a smaller and more intimate setting since it is just me and my nuclear family, my mom and her boyfriend, my brother and maybe an aunt and uncle or two.

However, my 5 year old son is an only child, and also an only grandchild to my mom. Which means on my side of the family he doesn’t have the cousins to beat up and play tag with. We can’t kick him out of the house to play by himself in the cold, and he doesn’t have a kiddie table to sit at. Many people are not having the big families that they used to. Times have changed. Both parents are forced to go to work just to pay the bills, and more women are focusing on their careers.(Well at least this is my situation)  We try to do everything we can to make sure our son has memorable holidays. He has an advent calendar, a bell with links attached that he rips off each day to countdown to Christmas, a calendar from Toys R Us that he uses to color in each day as they pass. (And he thinks it’s time to do all of these while we are rushing out of the house in the morning!) We write a Christmas list, which one day he saw it and I had crossed off items that I bought and he yelped “why are things crossed off my Christmas list??” Oops. Sometimes I feel bad that he is all alone, and it makes me spend extra money on him so that his gifts from Santa are overflowing from under the tree onto the living room floor, but I know that isn’t the answer, and I guess he doesn’t really know what I had as a child and what he is missing. My husband and I are forced to be young again, because we have to play with him on Christmas morning with all the exciting things he got from Santa. (We don’t mind though) I guess we are creating our own memories with him, and I hope that he will look back on them and it will bring a smile to his face.

As Christmas is only less than a week  away, I can celebrate happily knowing that my son has two parents that love him, and the family that is here and afar that care deeply about him.  I wish I could go back in time, and just have one more big family holiday because I sure do miss those days. Things could be worse. I know that there are many people out there who don’t have anyone to share the holidays with, so please be kind to everyone you encounter, even if it’s just a smile. And most of all, appreciate the family you have, because you never know when they are going to be gone.  Happy holidays everyone, (and don’t drink too much punch!)

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Better luck next time!

So, as I sit here and collect my thoughts for the evening, I remember that I played powerball last night! 104 million dollars is at stake. I haven’t checked my ticket yet to see if I am a multimillionaire. Somehow I think that if I sit on it and wait, the longer I wait the better my chances are of winning. Make sense? No I didn’t think so. See, if I am not so greedily anticipating the drawing, then maybe, just maybe, my lack of greed will be what helps me win. Hasn’t happened yet. The odds of winning last nights jackpot are about 1 in 195,249,054! Besides the obvious (dying in a plane crash, being struck by lightning) , I have better odds of becoming president (1 in 10,000,000), dying from parts falling from an airplane flying over me (1 in 10,000,000),  winning an academy award (1 in 11,500), and becoming a NY Times best seller (1 in 220).

I love when I hear people say that if they hit the lottery they would donate money to this, and donate money to that. They probably think that this will bring them good karma, and that they will win.  Hey, whatever works for you but I like my theory better.  I’m not trying to end world hunger, or solve the homeless problem. Nope, I am going to donate to the charity of me. Okay, I’m not that bad. I would definitely help someone who is in need. Maybe find a family that has lost everything and help them rebuild their lives. Or donate money to a Boys and Girls club that is in jeopardy of closing. This time of year, I would dress up as Santa and go to a children’s hospital and spread some cheer to the kids that can’t be at home with family and to the parents who are sacrificing everything to be by their child’s side.

They say winning the lottery is a curse. If it were a curse, I think I would have enough money to pay a witch doctor to remove it. I can’t believe no one  has thought of that yet! Dummies!  I always thought that it was just because you can’t give a poor person money. But in 2002  Andrew Jackson Whitaker won one of the largest jackpots ever, 314.9 million. He was a successful contractor who was living the American dream, but after winning the lottery,  his life turned to shit. One night he  spent over a 100,000 at a strip club  (lucky gals), and then when he was leaving he got in his car and noticed he had been robbed of over 500,000 in cash that he had left in it. Who the fuck does that?! Why would you leave that much money in your car asshole!? Are you waiting for Armageddon?  You would think after that, he would stop leaving cash in his car. No, he was robbed again not even a year later for over 200,000 in cash, that he left in his car! This dumb bastard lost, spent, or had stolen from him, 114 million dollars in 4 years! In his case he was just cursed with being an idiot dumbass.

Dumb ass Whitaker

Here is what I would do. Of course as mentioned above, I would help others in need and my close friends and family. I would buy investment properties on the East and West coast. I would travel the world to places like, Bora Bora, Macchu Picchu, and Tokyo (to name a few). What would you do? I guess I should check my numbers now. I will do it while you are here with me! Grab onto your seats people, I will be right back and let you know!……………………………………………………Well, I got one number….dammit…..You really didn’t think I was going to win did you?

Better luck next time I guess. But until then, I will continue to remind myself on how rich in health, family, and life I am (it just sure would be better with 100 million!) 🙂

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Don’t be a jerk, it’s Christmas!

If any of you are friends with me on facebook, you will know that I have vented my frustration towards the poor behavior of people this time of year. I think my last post was something like “the time of year when everyone competes to be the biggest asshole on the planet!” Is it me? Is it just where I live? Does this happen in other parts of the country,  or is it just another example of some New Englanders and their complete disregard for others?

I completely understand that you need to rush out and get the ingredients to make your holiday cookies. Or you need to get the best deal on the toy that is advertised in the flyer. But there is an abundance of flour and chocolate chips in the supermarkets (and if not, it’s your fault for procrastinating!) , and the toy advertised in the flyer is most likely not even going to be in stock when you get there,  but it definitely doesn’t mean that you can be an asshole to others while scrambling to figure out what’s next.

It’s simple people. Smile when you pass a stranger at Kohl’s. They may be alone this time of year and out shopping for themselves, you  might just make their day. Or they could be at Toy’s R Us buying toys to donate to their churches, toys for tots, or a family they sponsored.  Hold the door open for someone behind you instead of letting it slam in their face. Don’t be so aggressive on the roadways, even though traffic is horrendous. These are nice gestures that should be done all year long, but it seems that people are under much more stress during the holidays, (which seems ironic). A little patience, a few deep breaths, and simple nice gestures go a long way to help keep your sanity and the sanity of otherss. And chances are, if you hold the door open for someone, they may pay it forward the next time to someone else.

So take this as a quick public service announcement from me, don’t be grumpy, spread the cheer, and DON’T BE A JERK!! IT’S CHRISTMAS! 🙂

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Hell In a handbasket

This country is going to hell in a handbasket. I love that saying. I don’t know why! Especially since I don’t even believe that there is in fact a “hell”. I’m a visual person, so when I say this I think of a handbasket (you know, the kind that Dorothy used to carry Toto around in) but filled with miniature sized people, being held by a creepy long arm with long yellow fingernails, (the kind that curl at the ends), and we are all being lowered into a fiery inferno.

Okay, I understand this post is starting out a little on the less positive side, and I can’t guarantee that there is going to be a happy ending, but these are my feelings and fears that I live with as a mother to a young child. Society is not evolving, but going backwards.

Unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been since the early 80’s. People are losing their jobs, exhausting their unemployment benefits & losing their homes. Sure, there are jobs out there, but you may be 1 of 500 applying for the same job.

There is negligent abuse of the system that was created for people who truly need it, and that’s all I have to say about that.

The English language is being botched because people these days use the Urban dictionary instead of Merriam-Webster. And heck, if one of our own former Presidents, not to mention any names (George W. Bush) can make up his own words, then why can’t we? People complain that they have to press 1 for English, but honestly we should be angry that we can’t press 1 on the forehead of the dumbass in front of us to speak PROPER English! Everything is written in short hand, and I just wish people wouldn’t use words like “imma”, “dat”, “wuz”, and a plethora of other “words” of which I don’t know the meaning!

Pedophiles. I think everyone is on the same page with this one. For the sake of me not sounding like a barbarian, I will bite my tongue and not tell you what I really think about them.   It sickens me that a convicted child molester might serve 2-5 years in prison. Recidivism rates  for child molesters are moderately low due to this being a highly under reported crime. Pedophilia is not something that can be cured. So why do they give such leniency in time served. Of course they are going to exhibit good behavior in jail. They are sociopaths that prey on young children. Do you really think they are going to shank their cellmate for not giving up their honey bun? NO! But, the pedophile may get out of jail a few years earlier, than the cellmate who was in for possession of crack/cocaine.

I really don’t feel like going into sociological theories, American history, or talking politics.  But I can tell you this, this is not how it should be. Where is our future going if our children are forced to go to work early to help support the family and not getting a proper education and using words like imma, dat and wuz? How much more can we pay in taxes to support the people soaking up free income, while the rest of us are schlepping away 40-60 hours a week and they are sitting home watching Maury, and thinking about calling the attorney on a commercial they just saw that will help them collect Social Security benefits.

I don’t mean to come across so negatively but maybe I have been tainted by growing up and living in a society where people think its okay to abuse the system with that sense of entitlement that the government owes them something. Or maybe it’s the line of work I have done for the past decade. I have seen true poverty, I have worked with heroin addicted mothers who have died of an overdose because they were physically and sexually abused through their whole childhood.

I know that many of our children are going to have to work much harder to be what they will consider succesful in their adult lives, but as parents we need to guide them in the right direction. Protect them. Help them evolve and not be victims and fall into the abuse of the system. Create a society that can move forward, and keep moving forward for their children. We need welfare reform, harsher punishments for sex offenders, make it easier for businesses to open and stay open. Push for higher educational standards. Support your local markets, and retail shops. Stop sending our money to China. The list goes on and on and on.

I really want to stay positive that we are heading in the right direction. Educate yourselves. Don’t just vote for someone because they say they are going to lower your taxes. Write letters to your politicians on issues that you feel passionate about. I always tell people that when it truly comes down to it, you are number 1 and you need to take care of yourself, but I don’t mean for them to be completely closed off from what is going on around them. If the greed and lack of care in the world continues, we will for sure all be going to hell in a handbasket.

Just a few things..

 

 

that I’ve learned so far from being a parent!

I only have one, that’s all I ever want and need. I love him to death, but I know my limits and  I have cut myself off from the baby bearing world for good. He’s only 5  and  this is just the beginning.  I don’t know what’s in store for me, but this is what I DO know!

SACRIFICES THAT I HAVE MADE THUS FAR….

Sleep  This goes without saying..

My bed  My bed will never be that cozy, dreamy place that I long for at the end of the night. Well, I still do after an exhausting day, but it will be full of cookie crumbs. I don’t bother  making the bed when I get up. It will just be a mess by the end of the day from my child jumping on it when I’m not looking. A queen size bed was suffice for just me and my husband, but since our child wakes up in the middle of the night and crawls into our bed, we might just upgrade to a King size. (It’s easier than getting up at 3am to put him back in his room) This will avoid me having to wake up with a foot in my rib and an elbow to the head.

My TV.Forget about coming home and watching the episode of Ellen that I dvr’d while at work. Nope, instead I watch things like  Spongebob squarepants, Pokemon, Fairly Oddparents & Power Rangers. And I’ve seen every episode 10 times!  ( I can hear Spongebob maniacally laughing at me while he monopolizes my TV on the daily!)

Best Day Ever

Shove it Spongebob!

A clean house  I don’t know why i bother. Not long after I have straightened up the house, I find empty juice boxes, and candy and gummy wrappers everywhere. There are enough crumbs under the sofa cushions to feed half the ant population. I never invite people over because I am ashamed of the amount of dust caked up on my ceiling fans, and picture frames on the walls. Honestly, I don’t have time for that nonsense! Once it starts falling on my head, THEN I will dust!

A clean car  The backseat of my car looks like squatters live there. I swear they sneak out at 6:30 every morning. There are unidentified substances encrusted into the interior. The backside of my front seats have toddler sized footprints all over them, there are juice and milk stains on the seats,  and the windows are covered in fingerprints and smudges!

A night out  Everyone’s “Busy that night”, when you ask them to watch your child so that maybe we could go to the Christmas party we were invited to.  And if by chance we do get a babysitter, I feel so haggard these days  that I am  home by 10!

Things I have gained!

Stretch marks  yea, that’s right! Those creepy little bastards that don’t go away! You will either get them, or you won’t.  If you do, you  might as well start naming them, because they do not leave! And if its in your fabulous genes to not get stretchmarks, I hate you.

It doesn't work!

Bags under my eyes  I  have enough baggage to pack for a 2 week trip to Paris. From waking up every night removing the foot from my rib. From staying up late watching every show I dvr’d. And as they say, once you have a child, you will never sleep the same again. Aint that the truth!

Grey hairs  Of course from the stress of raising a child, but also because I don’t  have the time or money to go to the salon and get my hair done!

An extra large grocery bill. My son is only 5 years old, but he eats like an obese 40 year old man.

But most importantly, I have gained an unconditional love that cannot be matched. An endless supply of hugs and kisses (until he’s a teenager I’m guessing), the excitement that only a child can bring when learning and seeing new things, and the miracle of life.

Mommy loves you Michael..

With every stretch mark on her body

every crumb she has to wipe off her bed,

every juice box that she has to throw away

and with every elbow to the head!

My Love!

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The Swear Jar (warning, this post is Rated R!)

I love to swear. I’m not going to lie. I swear  when I express many feelings. Anger-“I hate this fucking place!” Joy-“I am so fucking happy!” Amazement-“That is so fucking cool” ( i guess you know what my favorite word is)

I like to call myself a 9 to 5 swearer, with occasional evenings, weekends, and holidays. I do it with my co-workers, with my husband, and around friends. Growing up, swearing was not allowed or tolerated in my home. My dad was the only one allowed to do it, and if my mom did it when he was around she had to hear him “stop swearing in front of the fucking children!” My mom had an arsenal of weapons to destroy us if a swear slipped out of our mouths. First was the bar of soap (which I am sure many of you have feared in your day), there was also a squirt gun filled with soap and water, and then the slipper she used to take off and chase us with. To this day, I will not swear in front of my mom, aunts, uncles, mother in law, or any other person I encounter that is not in  my comfort “swear” zone. Honestly, I don’t even feel comfortable swearing in this post!

Cookie Monster

So, throw a 5 year old, impressionable, sponge brain  little boy into the mix and things get tricky. Luckily I have the ability to turn off the swear switch, but I have a husband, who has no filter. He does not know how to shut it off. I have to say, he has gotten better, and only recently since we instituted the swear jar! And let me tell you why. My son has a Nintendo DS, which has a voice recorder. One day him and I were recording silly voices and songs. He sang the cutest version of “C is for Cookie” in his cookie monster voice. He walked out of the living room and into his bedroom, and what he was doing in his bedroom would not be discovered until later that evening. My husband and I were sitting down watching TV, while our sweet, innocent, little boy was fast asleep. I said to my husband  “oh, let me show you the cute song that your son made”. What we heard made our jaws drop. It was the C is for Cookie song, but not the one I heard, it was a remix. It started off so nice, “C is for cookie, and cookie is for me….” but at the end of the song, in a faint whisper of a voice it said “mother fucker”. WHAT??? We had to play it again, and again, to make sure we heard it right. We were in such disbelief.

Now let me clarify something, we are not walking around here swearing all the time. If you are a parent, you know just as well how difficult it is to shelter your child from everything. If I could put him in a plastic bubble until he is 18 I would, but what good would that do him?

The next morning, I confronted him, with kid gloves of course. He had a complete and total meltdown about it, knew that it was wrong, and vowed to never do it again. My husband came up with the idea for a swear jar, and I knew exactly how this was going to go. He said, for every swear that mommy and daddy say, we will put a dollar in the jar. And if our son swore, he would have to put 50 cents. Well, here’s the thing, our son doesn’t swear. Only in song…on his Nintendo DS…and the money in the swear jar will be used to do fun family things….We cannot use words like, crap, poop, dummy, stupid and any other offensive words in the spectrum of swear words. Since the swear jar has been implemented, my 5 year old is all over us like a fly on shit! (i know, that’s a dollar!) I never realized how many “bad” words there are for a 5 year old. He could be two rooms away and will hear me if I say “crap!”  He will run over to me, shake his finger, tilt his head to the side, and tell me “you have to put a dollar in there!”

One day, I think I tried to lie and say I didn’t say a bad word, and he said ” don’t lie mom, are we going to have to start a lying jar too?” Son of a gun, how dare he?! Who is the parent here?

Currently there is $13.00 in the jar. Mostly from my husband. Considering this was started about a month ago, we’re not doing so bad. Right? You don’t realize how much it takes to go into parenting until you have a child of your own. You make a conscious effort to change some of the behaviors you are accustomed to, because you don’t want be a poor influence to him or her. We all have such high expectations for them, but at the end of the day, they are their own person who will make their own decisions. What we can do as parents is offer guidance, teach right from wrong, love, and support them. So, in 15 years you come across a young man saying things like- Jiminy crickets! Fudge that! That’s bullcrap! or Malarky! Please be kind, because he just might be my son.

Swear
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Applying for a job?

I usually don’t like to take my work home, but since I have some experience in this field I figured I would share some of my expertise!  I am a vocational/educational counselor,  or an employment/rehabilitation specialist. (yes, I have 4 job titles) It’s slightly annoying because I don’t know what to call myself.

In today’s job market, some may feel that they are “stuck” in their current  job, some are laid off and looking for work, and some are just graduating college and fighting harder than ever to find somewhere to start their career. Whatever the case, persistence is key to finding a job. I would like to offer some tips to help people along their journey.

RESUMES

Don’t ever leave dates off of your resume. This is one big red flag to employers. It makes you look as if you are trying to hide something. Big gaps in employment don’t look appealing to employers. They want to know why you haven’t worked in over a year. Makes them wonder if you were out hustling on the streets, or incarcerated for those 2 years that you didn’t work. But, in this economy, with many people laid off for long periods of time, employers are a little more understanding when it comes to gaps and less suspicious. And sure, age discrimination does happen so you might be a little less inclined to put that you graduated high school in 1965 or 2010, but unless you are living in a retirement home, put your graduation date.

Make sure to always add an email address on your resume. Chances are you have one already, but some recruiters prefer to communicate through email, so make sure you also check your email regularly. AND, make sure your email address is appropriate. Do not add your email address if it includes things like “booty”, “420”, “mobster”, you get what I’m saying. You may laugh, but  I have seen this more times than I would have liked!  gmail and yahoo are great places for free email accounts.

Surf the web. There is nothing wrong with finding a sample resume on the internet and working off of it. That’s what they are there for! If you’re an electrician, just go to a search engine website like google and bing, and type in “sample resume for electrician” you will find plenty to chose from!

You do not need to add every job that you have had! If you have had 4 jobs in the past 10 years, list them all, but if you’ve had 8 jobs in the past 10 years, just list the last 4. a 3 page resume is not functional. There is too much to read. Employers are going through hundreds of resumes and don’t have time to read them all, they may skip right by yours if it resembles something like War and Peace.

Not enough job history? Make sure to add a summary of qualifications. This usually goes first, under your header and should include your skills and interests. Also, pull some qualifications that you have from the job description that you are applying for and add them in here.  That will fill up a quarter of the page and not make it look so empty, but everyone should have this on their resume.

Get rid of the unnecessary stuff. You do not need to add “references available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. Also, if you were president of your fraternity in 1995, no one cares.

Ultimately this is what recruiters look for: qualifications, jobs held, where, and for  how long, education and any other certifications or skills that are transferable. So keep your resume clean, simple, and focus on making those areas looking good.

COVER LETTERS

First impressions are HUGE! Some job postings won’t ask for a cover letter, but send one anyway. They can be bothersome since they have to be changed for almost every job you apply for, but worth it.  Here are some ways to get that perfect cover letter

Always make sure to add the name and address of the contact person on the job posting. You then want to start the letter off, as if you were writing a letter! Dear Ms. or Mr. Smith (always  use Ms. if you are addressing a female, believe it or not, you can turn someone off if you start with Mrs. and she is not married!) and it’s just more appropriate.

Be sure to add in the first paragraph, what position you are applying for, where you saw the posting, and try to mention the name of the company in your letter atleast once. It makes it more personal to the employer and not so generic.

A cover letter is a great place to explain some sketchy areas on your resume. You can explain why you may have had some gaps in employment. Also, if you are looking for a career change, you can add in here why, and what transferable skills you have.

Again, keep it short. You want to capture the readers attention and not scare them away. So use good choice of words, and get your point across. Keep it simple.

INTERVIEWING

Once you have managed to score an interview. Here are some tips to help get you on top of the list!

Dress appropriately! I have sent people home that have come in for interviews dressed in their concert tshirt! No joke! Wear something clean and comfortable. You don’t have to wear the three piece suit unless you are interviewing for CEO, but in that case you should know better.

Body language. This is so important. Even though everyone knows how nerve wracking interviews can be, employers still want to see how well you do under pressure, so there is no sympathy there! Some hiring managers even go through trainings on how to read body language, so be careful, they could be analyzing you. Keep your hands on your lap or by your side. Do not cross your arms, don’t click the pen in your hand and don’t twirl your hair. Sure, if you talk with your hands, you can do it, just try to keep it under control so you are not too animated! Eye contact is huge! Do not have a wandering eye, always make eye contact.

Do not go into an interview and talk about yourself as if you are going to run the joint one day. Yes, it’s great to have a positive attitude and show interest in moving up in the company, but big egos are threatened by even bigger egos!

Practice practice practice! Practice makes perfect. Most employers ask pretty much the same questions during interviews. Here are some common interview questions http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions

Know about the company you are applying for. This will impress them. And don’t be afraid to ask THEM questions.

Applying for a job is just the beginning, but sometimes the most work. There is a ton of competition out there and you need to be prepared to land the job you want.

Here are some other helpful tips to keep you organized.

Make a list of the jobs you applied for, include the date you sent your resume and the contact person, so after a few days go by, you can email or call them to follow up. (and to avoid applying at the same place twice!)

Keep hard copies of your resume, and spend some money on resume paper. There is nothing wrong with just walking into a place whether they are hiring or not, and handing your resume to the management.

Ask around. Talk to friends, friends of friends, and family members to find out if their places are hiring. (This is how most people get their jobs anyway!)

Most of all, don’t get discouraged. Job hunting can be a full time job and it can take weeks or months to hear from a place you applied to, but don’t ever give up. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. There is so much more that goes into getting the job, then actually working the job. Hopefully these tips can get you started. So remember..research, plan, persistence and a positive attitude at all times! Happy job hunting!

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For the love of God, stay out of my kitchen!!

I couldn’t think of a better day than a brisk December Sunday, to make a homemade banana bread! Why not, I had bananas rotting in my window for over a week now. I buy them with full intentions of bringing them to work for breakfast or a snack, but the bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwich from my neighborhood coffee shop wins every time. This is probably my second time making one, and it’s a fairly painless process.  I just googled the recipe from allrecipes.com. (For you banana bread lovers who have never made one yourself, here is the recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-banana-bread/)

So I cream the butter and the sugar and low and behold, my husband walks in. He says “is that all butter??’ “i’m not eating THAT!) I proceed to give him the look of (you better go or your going to find a fork in your eye). All is well and i return back to my Sunday project (yes, everything is a project for me). I am a Virgo, and if you’re into horoscopes, you will know that Virgos are perfectionists. This doesn’t mean that we do everything perfectly, it just means torturing ourselves with ALL the details to get it right. I had the recipe on my phone (i have no ink to print it, and my computer is in the other room) so it just made sense. After each step, I had to go back and read the next, after reading the previous step just to make sure I did it right.

The husband comes in again. “do you need me to help with anything?” I realize that when I do something, i’m not much of a team player. Maybe because I don’t like working with other people, or maybe so I can just take all the credit for when something comes out good! Well, I decided to let him join in after all. Bless his heart for wanting to help. I ask him to grab two eggs and add them to the mix. (I had to go back to my phone again to read the recipe). He then precedes to tell me that “there is a tiny little piece of egg shell, and maybe you can get it out because you have fingernails”. When I go over to look, he practically shoved me to the ground with his elbow yelling at me to get out of the light so he can show me where it is! What the?? How the heck am I supposed to see it then?? So, very nicely I told him to remove himself (because I was holding the fork, and as much I wanted to poke it in his eye, Sunday does NOT sound like a good day to go to jail)

After a few minutes passes, and the threat of death is over, he walks by to ask if I got the eggshell out. And yes, I did, after noticing that he used a clean bowl to put the egg shells in!!

Finally, the banana bread is in the oven and we are all alive. I’m not sure how many of you out there can tolerate an extra hand in the kitchen, but I obviously can not. So please, for the love of God, Allah, Lady Gaga or whatever you hold sacred, stay out my kitchen!

Walnut-Bourbon Banana Bread - recipe.

Image via Wikipedia

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