Sunday, March 29, 2009

Be a Winner Join the Great NZ Survey

If you are interested in earning some cash with a minimum of effort consider joining The Great New Zealand Survey, an online market research data collector. By answering some general questions about your lifestyle and shopping decisions you will gain entries into the draw for great cash prizes. The Great New Zealand Survey gives you the chance to win $15,000 every 6 months and $500 once a month. And best of all it's absolutely free. Now that's worth thinking about isn't it?

What is The Great New Zealand Survey?
The Great New Zealand Survey is a site that collects demographical data about New Zealanders purchasing decisions and lifestyle. It offers chances to win cash prizes in exchange for this information. The Great New Zealand Survey keeps the details you supply strictly private and you have complete control over exactly how much and what private information you choose to share. The Great New Zealand Survey provides an easy user interface to track your entries and any other offers.

Great New Zealand Survey Entry Tracking for Entries into $15,000
How does The Great New Zealand Survey work?
Once you sign up at The Great New Zealand Survey and your membership is verified you can start earning entries into the $15,000 draw. Every time you click on the banner or link to one of The Great New Zealand Survey shopping partners you earn one entry into the $15,000 draw. If you choose to sign up to the shopping partner or for a special offer you may also gain further entries into the draw if there is a special offer. In addition you also earn 1 bonus entry just by logging on to The Great New Zealand Survey once a week.

Click on one of The Great New Zealand Survey Shopping Partners and Gain One Entry into the Draw for $15,000

Who are The Great New Zealand Survey Shopping Partners?
The Great New Zealand Survey has a variety of different shopping partners including some leading New Zealand online stores such as:

The Nile Australia's Biggest Online Bookstore

Online Bookstore

Online Books, Music DVDs
Buy Now Button

Petals Worldwide Online Florist Network
Online Florist

Baby Express, "So Much More Than Just a Baby Store!"

Beautiful Baby Gifts, Gifts for Newborns, Baby Baskets, Baby Showers, First Birthdays, Sibling Gifts, even special treats for Mums and Dads

Online DVD Hire

Global Test Markets
Online Consumer Survey

Valued Opinions
Online Consumer Survey (Earn up to $5 per completed survey)

Clix Galore
Online Affliate Marketing Program

How do I Make the Most of My Membership of The Great New Zealand Survey?

1. Complete the current Great NZ Survey prior to the closing date to gain an entry

2. Visit The Great New Zealand Survey once a week to earn 1 entry

3. Earn 1 entry by clicking on any on-site offers or emailed marketing messages

4. Refer your friends and family to The Great NZ Survey. Ensure anyone you refer completes the survey prior to the closing date. For every friend you refer who completes the survey and gains 2 entries you gain 1 bonus entry. Every two entries they gain thereafter you gain one entry

5. Complete the monthly mini survey to go into the draw for $500

How do I Sign Up for The Great New Zealand Survey?
Simply visit the The Great New Zealand Survey website and complete a simple sign up form. You must be 16 years and over to join The Great New Zealand Survey. Only one survey entry per person is permitted. Once you complete the 5 minute survey you can start earning entries right away.

If you would like to go into the draw for the current survey which ends 30 June 2009 sign up today and start building your entries in the Great New Zealand Survey draw of $15,000. The winner has to be someone and it might as well be you right?

Related Posts
Join Smile City NZ and Earn Dollars and Rewards for Nix

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Join Smile City NZ and Earn Dollars for Nix

Are you a member of Smile City yet? If not you are missing out on the opportunity to gain valuable rewards for shopping online. Smile City is New Zealand's leading Online Loyalty Program. According to Smile City over 125,000 of New Zealanders are earning rewards for reading emails, answering surveys and shopping online. It is also an online community where Kiwis can discuss issues and meet new people. A further benefit in becoming a member of Smile City is the chance to win $10,000 drawn every four months.

Join Smile City - NZ Loyalty Program

How Do I Join Smile City?
It is free to join Smile City. To become a member you need to be a New Zealand resident and aged 14 years or older.

To join click here and follow the easy online instructions. You can choose to supply as little or as much private information as you wish. Smile City never shares your information.

How Do I Earn Reward Points?
At Smile City you earn rewards points for online shopping, reading email, answering surveys and clicking on links. When you have accrued enough reward points these points can be cashed in for real cash, gift vouchers or to pay for online auctions.

Start Earning Reward Points. Join SmileCity today!

Who are Smile City Shopping Reward Partners?
Smile City has many rewards partners and still more joining all the time. The range is quite wide too. For example Airport Parking, Just Tees, Ready Flowers, Vista Print, Apollo Car Rentals, Smart Buy Glasses, Fishpond, Mighty Ape, Free Parking, IQ Toys, Bond and Bond, Dell Computers, iSubscribe to name just a few.

Making the Most of What Smile City Has to Offer
To get the most out of Smile City you need to be an active member. There are some regular activities, that if you choose to participate in, will earn you rewards points.

Free Ways to Earn Reward Points
  • Answer a quick daily survey question for 3 reward points
  • Click on a daily click link for 2 reward points
  • Click on regular Reward Mail for 5 reward points
  • Answer longer surveys for 50-300 rewards points
  • Refer a friend for 200 points awarded once they gain 400 points
  • Deposit reward points in the EBank and earn interest points

Keep Track of Your Smile City Reward Mail
Smile City has a user friendly interface that helps you keep track of your reward mail and surveys.

Accumulating rewards points takes a while and requires a fair amount of commitment if you are only participating in free activites. If you shop regularly with Smile City designated reward partners you will gain points from your purchases. Typically around 2 points for each $1 spent. However, it is technically possible to gain enough rewards points in 9 months to a year to cash out without having spent a single cent.

By referring your friends to Smile City you can gain a lot of extra rewards points. If you make more than 50 referrals you could qualify for the Smile City Rewards Affliate Program. Remember though that each person referred must earn 400 points before you receive your 200 points. One way to boost your referrals is to link to Smile City either using a banner as I have done on this site or by text links or both. You can also place a link at the bottom of your emails. I have not found this particularly successful method of gain referrals but I can but hope.

Refer Friends and Boost Your Rewards

How Do I Keep Track of My Smile City Rewards Points?
To keep track of all those reward points and how to earn them Smile City provides an easy navigation menu. You can check the balance of your account at any time by navigating to the balances page. Plus you can see the balance of points available to spend displayed at the top of each page along the number of experience points you have and the number of entries into the $10,000 draw. On the EBank page you can deposit reward points and gain interest which is awarded in further reward points. A complete list of rewards points awarded and their source is available to view at any time.

Keep Track of All Your Smile City Rewards Points from the Balances Page
How Many Rewards Points Do I Need to Cash Out?
In order to redeem your Smile City Reward Points you need around 3,300 points which is worth about $30.00 in real money. alternatively you can wait until you have accumulated 10,100 points and earn a big fat cheque of $100.00. If you are not particularly interested in the cash you can, as many people do, donate your points to charity. Other options are to spend the reward points on auctions or redeem your points for flowers or CD's by choosing the gift voucher option.

Whether you are a serious online shopper, just want to have a play or would like to earn dollars for nix then Smile City offers a way to do any of these. This article has discussed some of the benefits and reasons for joining Smile City and ways to make the most out of membership to New Zealand's #1 Online Rewards Program - Smile City.

Collecting NZ McDonalds Happy Meal Toys

Do your kids love McDonalds happy meal toys? On family outings do you call in at McDonalds, KFC or Burger King and come away with the latest happy meal or kids meal toys? Collecting fast food toys has become one of the world's fastest growing hobbies. And it's not hard to see why with new toy themes virtually every month most of which are tie-ins with Hollywood blockbuster movies like Star Wars Clone Wars, Kung Fu Panda, Madagscar 2, Indiana Jones, Iron Man, Spiderman, Hotel for Dogs.

Burger King Build an Iron-Man Toy 2008
Where to Find Fast Food Toys
If you or your kids are keen on collecting fast food toys chances are there are at least a few toys in your collection already. To add to your toy collection your friends and family are a good place to start. Most people are happy to give these toys away by the boxful so take them off their hands with a smile. Try your neighbours there is probably someone in your street who will be delighted to see them go to a good home.

After exhausting everyone you know try secondhand or op shops, garage sales, school fairs and galas for more collectable toys. You can even buy McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Subway toys on Trademe New Zealand's leading auction website but prices can be steep sometimes and it pays to know what you are buying. You can also buy fast food toys from sites such as Toy Collector NZ. Other sources are international online auction sites like Ebay and Oztion.

How Do I Know What Toys are Available and When?
McDonalds New Zealand have a website where you can check what toys are coming up next. There are also some fun activities for kids on the website. For a more informative survey of what is available check out Blog Toy Collector New Zealand. At Blog Toy Collector New Zealand you will find a comprehensive commentary on past and current fast food toys from all the major fast food outlets: McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Subway. You will also find out about other collectable toys including service station, confectionary and cereal toys. If you are an international visitor you could try Toy Alert too for up-to-date images and information about new toy releases

McDonalds Spider-man and Hello Kitty Promotion Feb/March 2009

How much are McDonalds Toys Worth?
Most loose toys from fast food outlets aren't worth much more than 20 cents a piece. Toys that are MIP (mint in pack) in most cases have a greater value than pre-loved toys usually somewhere between $1-$2 each. Unless you have a good reason to remove toys from their pack, like play with them for example, it is better to leave them unopened. Toys with play wear such as chipping, scratching etc have no value at all. Some early McDonalds MIP toys are worth up to about $20 each based on scarcity. You can find details about some of these at Thorndon Antiques and Collectables.

From time to time McDonalds toys have been released in large sets in New Zealand. 101 Dalmations, 102 Dalmations, Snoopy's Round the World Tour and Disney Millenium Collectables are all cases in point. These larger sets are often sold in special numbered collector boxes. For instance a 102 Dalmations set mint in gift box is valued around NZ$150.

McDonalds 102 Dalmations Collector Box

Collecting fast food toys can be a fun and engrossing hobby. They are cheap to collect and if you eat a lot of fast food anyway they don't cost you anything beyond the $5 or so for a McDonalds happy meal or a Burger King kids meal. Some toy collectors differentiate by only collecting superhero toys or movie and TV toys. The choice of how much and exactly what you collect is up to you. Many fast food toys look good on display particularly character toys such as Burger King's various Simpsons series which are manufactured with collectors in mind. Why not give fast food toy collecting a go and have some fun trying to match up the sets.

Burger King Simpsons Movie Toys 2007

Get Blogging NZ - Create a Free Blog

Got something you want to get off your chest? Or are you an expert in some little known field? Or maybe you just want to let friends and family know all about your activities. Why not give blogging a try and connect to others who share your passion and your interests? At blogging has never been easier and its absolutely free. Blogger is a powerful, fully featured online blogging platform with a user friendly interface. If you would like to give it a try this tutorial will get you started right away. You can have your blog up and running in under half an hour. Start building your blog today and you will be pleased you made the effort.

Create a Free Blog with

What is a Blog?
A blog which is short for weblog is an online diary where you can regularly post commentaries, tell stories, describe events and happenings, give advice, rant and rave to your heart's content. You can use the medium of text, pictures and video to inform and entertain. This site is an example of a blog. My object is to inform, comment and share knowledge and insights on the NZ lifestyle. It is open to anyone who visits. Your blog may be specifically for invited guests only or open it to the whole world. It's up to you.

Some of the Main Features of
Simple user-friendly interface
No restrictions on bandwidth
Unlimited video storage using YouTube
Photo storage using Picasa Web Album (1 GB)
Support for Mobile blogging

How Do I Get an Account at
Anyone can sign up at If you already have a Google account (eg gmail email address) you will find the process of signing up to very easy since Google owns the Blogger platform. The advantage of using your existing Google account is that you can gain instant access to other Google Services such as Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader. If you don't have a Google Account it is easy to apply for one during the sign up process to

Once you have a Google account you are ready to sign on at Simply direct your browser to and click on the "Create an Account" button.

Setting Up an Account at
Setting up your blog is a 3 step process: creating an account, naming your blog and choosing a template. You will be prompted for a name which you will use to sign all of your blog posts. As you will see your email address becomes your account name. Once you have created an account you will be free to create as many blogs as you wish using the one account.

Create an Account
Naming your blog requires some thought. Choose a name that is short, memorable and is associated with your blog theme. Long names are difficult to remember and are therefore best avoided.

The next choice you will be asked to make is to select a template. This can be changed at a later date so don't worry if you are uncertain about your choice at this stage. Choose the template that most closely resembles the look and feel of the site you wish to create. There are hundreds of free Blogger templates available like the one I am using so don't worry too much at this stage about the look as it can easily be changed.

Configuring Settings

Basic Settings
Before launching into your first post you will need to set up a few blog settings. From the "Settings" tab click on the "Basic" link and enter the blog title you wish to use and a short description of your site on the page which appears. Make sure you select no to the questions let search engines find your blog and list your blog in blogger if you want your blog to be private. Otherwise leave the default as yes. Save these settings by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page.

Under the "Formatting" link you will need to adjust the date format and time for your blog according to your geographical location. Assuming you are resident in New Zealand you would set it to Pacific Time: Auckland. Don't forget to save these changes.

In the "Comments" section you can control how people can comment on your blog. If you want your blog to be private then set comments to members only otherwise set to Anyone. Set the Moderate Comments option to always if you are allowing your blog to be viewed by everyone otherwise you will receive unwelcome spam.

Comment Moderation

You can choose to keep your blog private, invite readers to visit your blog or open your blog up to anyone and everyone.

Once these basic settings are configured you will be in a position to start making posts to your blog. Use the preview button often to help you confirm your changes are successful.

For more information on customising your blog refer to Blog Know How

Buy Cheap Glasses Online and Save $$$

The internet has opened up the possibility of buying glasses online and saving yourself megabucks on frames and lenses. You can now buy a decent pair of specs from anywhere between $20-$100. The choice of eyewear online is vast and growing all the time. There is also a wide range of prescription sunglasses available. If you are in the market for a new pair of eye glasses make sure you check online first as you could save yourself hundreds of dollars.

You Need a Current Prescription
To buy your eye glasses on line you will need to have an up-to-date prescription. If your examination was less than a year ago you can get a copy of your prescription from your optometrist. If your last eye examination was more than a year ago you will probably need to have a new one as your eyes may have changed significantly in that time. A standard eye test is likely to cost you around $65-80.

Along with your prescription you need to know the distance in millimeters between your pupils. Sometimes you may get two numbers which when added together make up the pupil distance. If for some reason you have a problem with gaining access you can measure the pupil distance yourself with a ruler but it won't be exact.

Shop Around Locally First
It pays to try on as many different pairs of glasses as you can before beginning your online search. This will give you a good idea of the style and colour of the frames that suit you. If you need progressives like I do you will need to be aware that not all frames are suitable for these type of eye glasses. If you find a particular pair that you fall in love with write down the manufacturer name and frame measurement which you will find on the inside of the frame.

How to Select the Right Frame
Choosing a frame that suits you is half the battle of buying glasses online. Here are some general principles when selecting frames.

Two Golden Rules for Selecting Frames

Avoid choosing frames that are of a similar shape to your face. For instance don't go for a round frame, if you have a round face.

Make sure that your frame isn`t wider than the widest part of your face. Select a small frame if you have a smaller sized head and a larger frame if you have a larger sized head.

Here is some advice given by Global Eye Glasses on how to select a frame

Long Thin Face - large frame in round or rectangular shape. This will make your face appear wider and shorter

Square face - round frame to soften the angular look of your face

Round face - rectangular frame

Heart-shaped face (a wide forehead and a small chin) - frame wider at the bottom in comparison to the top

Diamond-shaped face (narrow forehead, wide temples and an angular chin) - small, oval frame. This will minimize the horizontal distance between your temples.

Oval face - any type of frame as your face is perfectly balanced at the top and bottom!

Consider the Look You Want to Portray

Serious, Conservative, Businessperson Look

Shape of Frames: uncomplicated shapes eg ovals and rectangles
Materials: thin plastics, titanium and stainless steel
Colour: silver, brown and black

Uncomplicated shapes: eg ovals and rectangles
Materials: thin plastics, titanium and stainless steel
Colour: brown, golden, burgundy and coffee

Student/Office Worker - Basic but Stylish Look
Shape of Frames: oval or a rectangular
Colour: plum, deep red or soft green and black

Senior Citizen/Younger Look

Shape of Frames: bold, rectangular eye frames
Colour: avoid colors such as black and silver

Women (Take Years Off)
Shape of Frames: soft, cat-eye frames
Colours: burgundy and dark brown, avoid colours such as black and silver

Professional/Trendy Fashionable Look

Shape of Frames: unusual, large-sized frames in thick plastic
Colour: blue, green or purple, color laminations

Frame Measurement Considerations
While doing your research locally take notice of the following with respect to the frame measurements and size:

Temple Width: length of frame side arms

Lens Width: may be called eye size

Lens Height: make sure you get this right or you may have the annoying problem of being able to see below the lenses when carrying out everyday tasks

The measurements for my glasses for instance are: 135, 52-16

Also find out the bridge size i.e. the distance between lenses if you can

Searching Online for Eye Glasses
Once you know more or less the look and the frame measurements you need you are ready to hop online and do a search. If you are having trouble deciphering your prescription or you need help with your frame measurements most online eye glass retailers have good help sections to guide you in choosing the right frame.

If you know exactly what you want typing the brand and frame size into Google or other search engine should help you find what you are looking quickly. If not check out the following sites for deals on eye glasses beginning as low as $7.99

New Zealand


Other Considerations Before Placing Your Order Online
You will probably be asked to choose your lenses. Middle of the road thickness of lenses should be the minimum you consider. This will turn a $20 pair of glasses into maybe a $50-$60 pair but it will be worth it. Likewise plump for non-glare coating which will add some dollars to the price but will cut down reflections and ensure others can actually see your eyes. If you are buying these as a second pair of glasses you might decide to dispense with the extras which are nice to have but not essential.

Ordering Your Eye Glasses Online
With such a big choice online for eye wear it can be a daunting task finding a pair of glasses that will suit you. Be prepared to spend some time exploring options so set aside the time to shop. One tip for keeping your prescription information and frame measurements together while you shop is to create a small text file in Notepad or similar and keep it open while surfing the net. Some online stores provide advanced search features so you can key in the specifics to narrow your search. At the very least the dimensions of the frame will be displayed beneath each pair of glasses pictured so you will need to refer constantly to your frame details.

Ordering and paying online is simple with a credit card. Shipment I have found to be pretty speedy - a few weeks max. At prices as low as these $50-$80 you might consider buying two or more pairs to complement your wardrobe. Think of how liberating it would be to get up in the morning and choose between several sets of glasses depending on what you are wearing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Online
Cost is the most obvious benefit of buying your eye glasses online as the savings are considerable. Quality is generally pretty high and most problems stem from poor frame choice rather than faulty workmanship. You need to be organised or you can waste a lot of time surfing . Most online retailers have a right of return policy if you are not completely satisfied so you can have some piece of mind that you are not going to be stuck with unsuitable frames if you are not satisfied with your choice. Having said that though it pays to make your selection carefully, double check all specifications and you do your homework beforehand. If you approach buying eye glasses systematically you will be able to take advantage of a large selection of well priced eye glasses with relative ease.

With the advent of online shopping eye glasses are no longer an expensive item so do yourself a favour and treat yourself to some designer eyewear at a fraction of the cost you would normally have paid. Also watch out for online specials I know of one New Zealand online retailer that was recently offerring 500 few pairs of glasses in a bid to attract custom.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

About NZ Lifestyle

Welcome to my blog about living in New Zealand. Anything goes on NZ Lifestyle as long is it pertains to some aspect of the New Zealand way of life including shopping, housing, hobbies, work, trends, dining and eating etc. You name it and I'll blog about it.

My blog is intended to be both informative and interesting. Enjoy!