I decided that this page will be dedicated to my genuine experiences. I love great quality products, good healthy food and an amazing friendly service. I believe that those can and will make your life richer and your every day happier. It’s almost like a happy chain, if I find it I will pass it onto you so you can experience it too.

There are days when you order your coffee on the way to work and if it’s the way you like it your day starts so much better, now imagine the coffee was made and given to you with a smile and a person you never met wished you a lovely day. We can all make someone’s day better by the smallest thing, mine is to write here where to find those little local treasures.


What to do in the school holidays?

Paint the Earth


We have been going to this place for years which tells you “Paint the earth” is for any age and us adults can join in too (if you feel creative or would like to do something special to decorate your house).

We visit every holiday and the kids love it, definitely on the top of our list to do things during the holidays……apart from eating ice cream :-)

The staff is very friendly and helpful.

Allow at least 2 hours




Auckland HomeFinders

The Planner NZ is the expert when it comes to finding the you the perfect rental property and helping you settle into your new city, but we are the folks to have in your corner if you want to buy a home or investment property in Auckland. We take the legwork and the guesswork out of homebuying so you end up buying a peach not a lemon.

We offer a variety of services, from the complete Search, Evaluation and Negotiation package, to Auction Representation, Negotiation, Property Investment Advice and everything in-between. You can learn more at www.AucklandHomeFinders.co.nz or email Stephen@AucklandHomeFinders.co.nz


Flowers from the Hart

I love flowers. I love the colours, the beautiful smell, how they make me feel, how they make the house look so much better, just everything abut them. Sometimes I will go past my flowers, just to look at them or smell them again and again. If you are like me and are looking for flowers for any occasion Prudence Hart makes the most stunning arrangements. Here is a bit about her and her love for beautiful flowers :-)



I have had a love of flowers from a very early age, with my mother having ‘sown the seed’ of my passion as she spent her leisure in the garden quietly immersing herself in nature’s wonderful environment. From there she would take the various blooms and cuttings and arrange them throughout the home.

In those days it was mostly phlox, dahlias, camellias, iris and of course, roses. Now there is a greater selection of gorgeous varieties available from which I can create a range of special and beautiful arrangements. Combined with their scents, colours and shapes, the finished product is unique every time.

I would love to pass on to you this beauty in the form of a bouquet, vase arrangement or anything else that you would like. I work from home and have access to the market to purchase fresh flowers for any occasion.

Prudence Hart

Henderson International Ltd

I had a coffee with Jeremy Henderson of the Henderson International. It was great to meet him and so interesting for me as I get asked about moving finances and UK pensions to New Zealand often. Jeremy is based in Wellington and deals with all financial advice and help before, during and after your move to New Zealand. I am happy to have found a great contact that I can recommend to my clients in regards to their finances. There is much more that Jeremy can help with, so have a look at his website for more information :o)


Henderson International Ltd

Our goal at Henderson International is to take the guesswork and hassle out of the financial aspects of moving to New Zealand. Visit our comprehensive website for detailed articles and links covering Education, Health, Housing, Climate, Sport, Shopping, Tax, Pensions and Employment.

You can also request a complimentary copy of our New Zealand Financial Guide, which contains over 80 pages of information about making the most of your finances when you emigrate.

Based in Wellington we have clients nationwide and throughout the UK and make regular visits to Christchurch and Auckland and around New Zealand, and are happy to come to you if you don’t happen to be passing through Wellington. However, most of our services can also be arranged via email, post, fax and phone.


Good Grocer NZ, Kohimarama


Remember when food was local? You got your meat from John the butcher and your fruit and vege from Joyce’s orchard stall.

No, you probably don’t – it’s been a while.

Self service at the supermarkets is sadly the new John. The trainee at the supermarket – the new Joyce. So we’re taking a step back in order to take a leap forward.

We’re talking local food, from local people. A 7 day farmers market where apples don’t have to be the perfect shape or perfect colour, they just have to be damn tasty.

That’s the bottom line

We’ll tell you where your beef comes from, who caught your fish; heck, we’ll even give you the perfect ingredients to go with it.

We don’t just pick the stuff – we know the stuff.

We think that’s pretty good, so we’ve called ourselves Good Grocer.

It is what it is – Honest, simple, locally sourced goodness.

Fresh food at the right price. Local products. Helpful staff and not a self-service check-out in sight.

Perfect really. But we’re humble enough to be content with good.

(From Good Grocer NZ website)

…..I could not say it better, love this place, I am hooked :-)



I found the best Birthday Cake at Milse CBD

For years I have been buying traditional birthday cakes from various cake shops. I love them all, but this time I wanted something different and guess what, I found it. When you walk in Milse in central Auckland you are spoiled for choice, I personally order from tasting menu as I can’t quite decide what I fancy at that moment. They cater for allergies and as I am allergic to hazelnut, they make me a nut free dish. The service is very friendly, they explain each item on your dish and are there to answer any questions you might have.

This specific special occasion cake needs to be kept in the freezer and taken out about an hour before serving. You can serve up to 10 people with this one and I am not exaggerating when I say, this was the best Birthday cake I have ever had.

Love Milse


Loving my nails this week

So when I popped out to get my coffee one morning, I noticed a new beauty salon opened recently next door. Like every girl, I love looking after myself, but in the last few years I have found it hard to find someone who can suggest what I need rather than sell me what they have. I popped in to see what this new salon called ‘MOOD Skin and Beauty’ was all about. I was welcomed with a beautiful smile by Bridget, the owner. She looks exactly as you would expect someone who understands beauty to look. She took her time with me and tailored her treatments to what my skin needed at the time. My skin feels amazing since my classic facial. I had a massage last week and was definitely on cloud 9 as their website promises when leaving. This week I had my nails done and I love them…..what a find this salon is


09 6240478

Need to escape and relax for a day?

Pakiri Beach horse riding was one of the top holiday trips this school holidays. My kids love horses and as we can’t afford to buy one, we rent one. Pakiri beach is amazing, the ride was along the water and the day was stunning. Friendly owners is a great bonus as the kids always ask lots of questions. Looking for something different? This is the place


09 4226275

My new addiction .......

So I fell in love with Lewis……well actually the full name is “Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Ice Cream”. I brought one last week, it’s so nice and it’s made the real old traditional way.  It also comes in other flavours, Hokey Pokey and Vanilla. I am a big fan of Lewis Road products anyway, but this ice cream is soooooo good…….

One of those, a big spoon in a hammock on a small island please :-)

Best hot chocolate in Auckland

I love the restaurant Rosie in Parnell’s Gladstone Road for their amazing menu. Breakfast, lunch or dinner their choice is a guarantee you will be happy with whatever you order. But what this lovely and friendly restaurant should be famous for is their hot chocolate. If you are like me and only have coffee in the morning or you like to take your kids, (this includes big kids!) for a treat, take them to Rosie……one word for it YUM


Birdwoods Gallery Havelock North

This place is full of surprises and is hidden just outside Havelock North. The garden is immaculately manicured, the gallery has creative art suitable for any house and the coffee shop has so many nice treats, the difficulty is choosing just one. I chose the ones on the photo and enjoyed my view of incredibly designed gardens. There is also an old fashioned sweet shop and outdoor fun games for your family to enjoy your day out. Love the feel of this place :-)


The beautiful Matakana Market

As I said I am only choosing the best to mention on this page. Therefore I have to talk about the beautiful and busy Matakana Market. Only an hour from Auckland and you can buy anything from traditionaly made bread and honey to hand made toys and large detailed shells. This market has been part of my life for many years, I love the local produce sold here. You need to bring lots of cash as no cards can be used here. You are offered to try before you buy on most stalls and the people are lovely.

My favourite stall is the veggie stall where I get my potatoes, avocados and  eggs. You can listen to live band and drink wine by the river while the kids play with the ducks…..sooooo relaxing.

Matakana Market is opened every Saturday 9am – 2pm, but go early as its that popular.



Best Thai restaurant in Auckland De GRAND Remuera

I have been coming to De GRAND Thai restaurant for years. Why I enjoy this place so much is that their food is consistantly so good. The best dish for me is their yellow curry, I think the waiter writes it down on my order as soon as I walk in :-). They are so friendly, they know you by name and always give the kids something extra. The picture I used is their cheesecake.

I believe that having a nice dinner is not just about the food, but about the whole experience. The feeling starts from the moment you are booking your table, through walking in and being welcomed with a smile, good food, good service and at the end being asked how you enjoyed your lunch or dinner. This is why people go back again and again, this is what makes place like this a successful business. I believe I will be customer here in De GRAND for years to come.