New Zealand/Christchurch Assistance Links

I know not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook so here is a round up of all the links I’ve spotted on the various sites that can help people at the moment:

Find People:

Google’s Christchurch Person Finder – Register names if you’re looking for people or that you’re ok

British High Commission in New Zealand – – contact numbers for the High Commission and where to get help finding relatives.!/search?q=%23eqnzContact – Search on Twitter for People #enqnzContact is the hashtag!/britishabroad – updating advice and contact numbers for those looking for family or are in NZ.

Government Information


Social Media List of Links – some maybe helpful:


Hashtags on Twitter which are being constantly updated with information and news are:!/search/%23eqnz!/search/Christchurch

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Tesco’s Grocery Delivery Review and Giveaway UK Only

Sorry this is turning into bit of a Giveaway Week here on VP, but Tesco’s asked me to try their online shopping service and they would give me £50 of vouchers if I spent £75 – ummm okay!   Also which I know will be a shocker for some of you, but as someone who pretty much lives on the internet I’ve never done online food shopping!   I thought it was time I joined the 21st Century, even my Luddite mother gets her food delivered!

I’ve never really given it a go because when online shopping came out Miss L was a baby and we’d just moved to a new town, so my only chance to talk to an adult was at the tills.  Then when I went back to work, Miss L was three and I quite liked taking her to the supermarket so she could learn about food. Now’s she’s older, I work from home so going in school hours isn’t an issue and it gives me a break from work.

In recent years,  I’ve also moved away from shopping solely at the supermarkets, mainly because I work from home and have the time.  I have a fantastic butcher, fruit & veg come from the market or the garden if they are in season, bread comes from the market, eggs from my Mum’s neighbour and milk is delivered by our milkman. So the main things we get from the supermarket now are things like washing powder, loo roll and dog food so this was the bulk of my online shop, I also ordered some salad to see how it turned up.

So I’ve just done my first online shop and it was much better than I thought it’d be – a lot of website usability for shopping is awful but this was pretty straightforward.

I liked:

Being able to type in what I wanted in the search and it came up (going thought the menu’s took too long)

Being able to see the special offers up front and not have to hunt for them or get distracted by small child who’s spotted mini eggs and run off in the opposite direction.

I can compare the price by volume as they are all next to each other. It never fails to amaze me how the the price per sheet of loo roll can vary!

The fact I won’t have to lug the dog food in and out of the checkout and to the car.

Everyone (including me) buying stuff we don’t really need because we see it – my DVD collection is a great example of this, it’ll save us a fortune!

And that our Tesco’s is so over subscribed it doesn’t matter when you go it’s heaving – seriously 10pm and it’s still busy.

You can alter your order after you’ve placed it.

I’m guessing that now it’s all in there, it’ll remember my favourites which makes it easier next time.

I didn’t like:

I’m really, really particular about the fruit, veg, flowers and meat I buy. I hate the thought of someone else choosing them – but that is purely me being a control freak!

I went for the £5.50 delivery slot because it was on Sunday morning, but I think £6.00 in the popular spots is pricey.  But then I own a car, cabs would cost more than that and lugging that much on the bus would be a nightmare

It forced me to sign up for Verified by Visa which I hate with a passion – as I always forget the password and have to change it each time.

The Delivery –

I was very impressed with the delivery

I’d ordered a delivery slot from 10-12am on Sunday and at 9.00 I got a text saying my delivery would be at my house between 10.15 and 11.15 – marvellous if I’d been out,  I’d have been able to get back in time.

A really lovely delivery driver turned up at 10.45am, and he found my house which is always a good sign as we’re not on any SatNavs.  He asked where I wanted all the shopping, I said just the hallway so he bought it all in for me.  He explained to me about the 2 substitutions I’d been given and offered to take them back if I didn’t want them, so I could get refunded. As it was my first order he talked me through my bill, and told me about their carrier bag recycling and that next time he could collect all my bags for me and take them back to the store to be recycled.  There was also a 5p off petrol voucher attached to the bill, which is always very welcome!

So all in all I think for bulk buys and boring bog standard stuff I’d use it again.  Here’s what I spent:

Cost of Products Pre-Promotions £102.87

Delivery Charge £5.50

Promotion savings I saved £26.78

So even after the delivery charge I saved £21.28, obviously I then had £50 coupon off so it knocked down what I bought to £31.59, but I know if I’d done it instore there is no way I would have noticed all the deals.


If you are like me and have never done online grocery shopping, Tesco’s are offering 10 readers the following – A £12 off voucher if you spend £50 online grocery shop.  Just leave me a comment below before Midday Friday 25th Feb 2011 and I’ll do a random pick for the 10 winners

The codes will be valid from 28th February for a shop delivered on or before 11th March 2011.
Please note the codes are only valid for a first time grocery order, to allow your readers to discover for themselves. Unfortunately the code will not work for existing shoppers.

Terms and conditions
£12 off your online grocery shop when you spend £50 or more. Code is valid from February 28th 2011 on a single grocery order, delivered on or before 11th March 2011. Customers must spend & have delivered £50 or more of groceries from Purchases from Wine By the Case do not qualify. £50 minimum spend excludes purchases of tobacco, infant milk formulae, prescription medicines & the service charge. Valid on purchases from groceries site only. Valid for first-time grocery shoppers only. Cannot be used in conjunction with other coupons. This coupon is and shall remain the property of Tesco Stores Limited and is not for resale or publication.
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And the winner is…..

Sorry I’ve been quiet this week I’ve been prettying up blogs far and wide and trying to get them done before half term week. But I’ve just popped on to annouce the winner of the the Cable and Cotton light giveaway and it is…..

Lucky number 38 which is Lost in Mummy from

Congratulations!!!  I’ll send you an email in a bit and put you in contact with the company so you can choose your prize.  Remember to take a picture so we can all see them and drool 🙂

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{Violet Posy Giveaway} Cable and Cotton Lights (UK Only)

It’s not often I get something in my inbox that actually makes me squeal but this did. Cable and Cotton are offering a string of  35 lights for a Violet Posy reader. They look really lovely pretty much everywhere but I really like the look of them in kids rooms but have a look at their lifestyle gallery for more ideas.

The lucky winner gets to choose the colour of their lights to tie in with whatever decorating scheme you have.  All you have to do is leave a comment below and then on Friday I’ll do a lucky number generator to choose the winner.  *competition closes Midday – 18th February and comments will close then and it’s open to UK only because of the voltage* I’ll announce the winner Friday afternoon.

(Disclosure – Just a competition I’m not getting any – boo!)

**Comments are now closed and I will announce the winner via here and email in a bit**

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Today is my birthday, and it still shocks me that I’m 39, it’s an age in my head I associate with sophisticated grown up women – I’m not either of these things!.  I had been bitching endlessly about coming to the end of my thirties, but the illness of a close friend has made me realise that every day is a gift and I should embrace it.

So here’s the positive side to turning 39.  My 30’s have flown by faster than my 20’s but have brought me far more joy . I have a wonderful husband, beautiful daughter and somewhat insane dog – I couldn’t live without them all.

I’m lucky I still have both my parents and a grandmother.  My core group of friends are the same ones I made in secondary school and through my 20’s, and no matter where we all live I can phone them at 3am if I needed to.  The new friends I’ve made since moving up here are pretty wonderful too 🙂

My hair is only a little bit grey – and I can get away with doing the roots

It turns out wearing sunscreen and not smoking does mean at 39 you will only have a couple of wrinkles mostly from giggling!

I still wear jeans and converse – every day and I can’t see that changing.

I have my own business and a blog I love.

I have had some brilliant holidays and lived in some lovely houses in the last 9 years. I love my garden and I’m semi refusing to move again because of it – he he!

I live in a tiny city, and it’s really beautiful even in the depths of winter.

And today I’ll be spending my birthday with my husband, daughter, our best friends and their lovely little girl – turning 39 feels pretty good.

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{Kitchen Update} And then there was light

Here’s my latest kitchen update:

When we first moved into our house 7 years ago, all four lights in the kitchen worked.  But over the first few months two of them stopped working and it didn’t matter what we did, new bulbs, poking them nothing got them working again.  Us being lazy wotsits…well we just ignored the fact the kitchen was in semi darkness for a few years, the one above the hob worked so it was fine!

Then when I was getting quotes for work on the kitchen, I had the lights looked at and it turns out they were an old type of light and the units had burnt out. Luckily they’d just stopped working but the problem with that type was they got too hot, and then sometimes caught on fire – nice!  So I’ve spent the last year screaming at anyone who left the lights on in the kitchen for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

What forced us out of our semi darkness was when we ripped out the old kitchen unit to put the dishwasher in.  Behind one of the old cupboards was a  live wire dangling out the wall!  Then I knew it was time to actually get it all sorted out – also I needed a plug for the dishwasher.

So today the electrician came and replaced the lights and added a plug to the wall – words cannot express how pleased I am. I feel like an idiot for having left it so long and it’s so weird having light in the far side of the kitchen.

Jobs still left to do:

Filling the holes round the window

New Sealant

Worktop back on

Last bit of woodwork painting

New Blind going up

Flooring – tile or lino??

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{The Gallery} 24 Hours

Tara’s theme this week was to choose 24 hours and take photos of your average day. Mine was Monday, which at least had the excitement of going to the Spa for a treat! Ummm but that was about it – dull old day otherwise mostly involving chocolate and coffee 🙂

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There is a new micro-blogging site called Pinterest.  The basic premise is you have an online noticeboard, if you see an image you like somewhere on the web, you can ‘pin it’ to your Pinterest noticeboard.

I was using Tumblr for the same thing but Pinterest is better as you can make moodboard and follow other people’s boards.  It’s also pretty good if you don’t want the hassle of a blog but like collecting images.  Below are some of my moodboards:

At the moment Pinterest is in beta which means you have to be invited by a user to join. So if you’d like an invite to try and use it, leave me a message below and I’ll send you an invitation.

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Tag I’m it

After being tagged by my lovely blog friend Viv over at Poppy Sparkles here is my meme post revealing seven things you probably don’t know about me.

1 I failed my GCSE Maths getting a D Grade – 4 times! They gave up at that point and told me to take Drama – ha ha!  Ironically I have then spent the rest of my life working in Finance and IT.  It turns out I’m a bit numbers dyslexic,  I read them round the wrong way – so I have to be extra, extra careful when tallying figures.

2  I can’t drink black vodka ever again, after a very stupid drinking competition in my late 20s – the stuff is just evil!

3  I once own a Mazda MX5 Sports car…for a summer.  When it started raining I had to sell it and buy something sensible. But it was a glorious summer driving down to Brighton in it.

4  I’m an only child – yes I know I seem quite normal don’t I 🙂

5  I can’t walk down the street without looking behind me a lot, in fact I’m downright paranoid. When I was 10, a friend and I were walking our bikes back from town. A man we passed as we crossed the road, came up behind me and tried to grab me off the street. Luckily my friend screamed and kicked him while he was dragging me off. He let go and we ran off on our bikes, I am forever thankful to her.  It’s left me always having to be aware of whats going on around me, which has saved my butt a few times. From bad things, sometimes good things come is what I think about it now.

6 I like Pina Colada cocktails – tacky but lush!

7 I once went on holiday to Rhodes, when I was there some friend and I swam out to some rocks. I made the mistake of sitting on them, god knows what was on them because my legs went numb and started to swell!  My friends got me back to shore on a lilo, and then took me to the village chemist where he made me show him my butt in the middle of the shop – classy! Whatever it was he gave me worked though and they were normal again a few hours later.

So here are the bloggers I’d love to know more about:

Marianne @ Le Temps Jadis

Alethea @ Mom on a Wire

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Charity Store Find

I was wandering past the Oxfam store today on my way to the hairdressers, when I spotted the perfect picture frame to make one of these fabulous chalkboards . It’s gold but it’s nothing a lick of white paint on the frame can’t solve – blog post to come soon.

But anyway,  as I was queuing up to pay for it I glanced about the shop and spotted this from a distance……

An Emma Bridgewater Butterdish and it was a fiver!!  So having squealed internally – you don’t want alert the sharp eyed old dears of our town to something they can sell on eBay. I grabbed it, and went to pay for it.  Sadly there was no lid – well there may have been but it’s probably been lost when its been left there.

I’ve just ordered a new lid from Emma Bridgewater for £10, which means it’s come to a grand total of £15 rather than the £32 on the Emma Bridgewater site.  So between that and my new haircut, I am a happy woman! 🙂

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