Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Furniture for sale in Vancouver

So you have moved to Vancouver, found a place to live but need to furnish it, well I am here to help.  I have a selection of furniture that I am selling, a large leather couch, a fabric recliner, bed base, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD player, bookcase, side tables and much more.

Most people go to Craigslist or kijij to find furniture and you should get good deals. When I arrived we had no furniture so bought a lot of new stuff but now we are moving we don't need some of our furniture.

If you need anything please send me a message, I am selling at a decent price, I can send pictures of anything you are interested in.

Kind Regards,

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Networking to find employment

Sorry it has been a while but I have been so busy working (not a bad complaint) I have ignored to update how I am getting on in Vancouver.
So I passed the 6 month mark last week. I must admit it has taken me longer to feel settled than I thought but I have learned some valuable lessons along the way .
The big one is NETWORKING - getting out there and meeting people and using facebook or twitter is a valuable tool for finding work.  So you mention to someone you are looking for work in a particular area and they know of someone who has a job going in their place and well you get the idea.
Employers here are keen to take a look at your resume if you have been referred by a friend, I have even helped some friends myself find some work.
So how do you meet these people, it can be tough moving to a new city and maybe not knowing  many people or anyone at all, getting involved in any social activities like sport or events organised is a great way to meet people.
Check out the Irish in Vancouver page (I am sure there is an equivalent for other countries), Moving2Vancouver, Swap facebook page etc.
I have been lucky through my job to meet some newcomers to Vancouver and offer some advise on getting settled in Vancouver.  If people are interested maybe we could organise a night out to get acquainted and make new friends.

For those going down the route of recruitment agencies, ask people what ones worked for them and get an idea on how to prepare for the interviews - some are less formal but I think its always important to dress for success. One of my previous blogs gives you some tips on recruitment agencies :)

I have asked some people in business here how they look for staff and it comes up again and again networking, a large amount of people they hire is from referrals, not adverts on craigslist or websites, if I had known that when I arrived I may have taken a different approach to my job search.

Check out volunteering websites, some volunteer jobs lead into paid work and it looks good on the resume.

Also try carry a copy of your resume with you, you could be in the right place at the right time and meet someone who is hiring. Recently I met with a woman from back home to discuss employment opportunities for me and a friend of hers happened to be a customer in the same coffee place, 2 minutes later I am handing over my resume and discussing what kind of work I want to do.

Good luck with the job hunt.

Tracey :)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Review of Allegiant Air

So my holiday in Las Vegas had to come to an end :) and I came back a little bit older but not any wiser. May go into detox after all the cheap booze that was also had on my travels.
Wanted to give you my thoughts on the airline and getting to Bellingham.
So we decided to drive as it was the easiest option for us, luckily there was no queue at the border crossing and we were finished within 10 minutes and the guys we had were lovely.
$6 American or you can pay by credit card for the form that they place in your passport. Once that was done we were free to go.
Took about 90 mins to drive to Bellingham, takes about 4 hours on the bus, but that's stopping at all the stops, and getting everyone to line up at the Border.
Parking cost $9 a day at the airport and there was plenty of it.
The airport is very small, seen bigger houses. So don't expect to be having your breakfast there.
Getting to check in early means you will get to choose a decent seat, if you have paid for assigned seating you get first choice.
There was plenty of seats on the early morning flight :)
They did seem to be strict on the baggage weight, just like Ryanair, they charge you and don't give you the chance to take some stuff out for carry on. You are allowed 2 items of carry on luggage.
It costs $35 if you want to check a bag on, you pay that when booking the flight on line. If your bag is heavy its an extra $50.
It took seconds to go through security, and then to the seating area. There is a small shop but it doesn't sell much, - magazines, crisps, drinks and the odd sandwich if you are lucky.
Flight was quick and easy to Las Vegas, seats were comfortable enough. If you have flown Ryanair, its similar but better customer service.
Allegiant air give you the option of booking a transfer to your hotel for $14 return and its worth it, at least you get dropped to the door of the hotel. You go out gate 8 and there is a ticket booth and hand them your reservation, they will give you some tickets for you to hand to the driver, and off you go :)

Coming back, the shuttle will drop you off at the allegiant air desk at McCarran international airport. Now maybe this is for busy evenings only, we flew home on a Friday evening, but there was a desk outside and we could check in there, this I didn't understand when there was a huge line inside for checking in. No catch, they work off tips and they didn't seem to be bothered by the bag being a bit over the limit (I might have added some purchases to the case), so it took 2 mins to check in, get rid of the case, get boarding pass and walk past the lines of people inside.
Keep an eye out for this, its worth tipping for it.

Flight was on time coming home, and we didn't have to wait long for the bags, the guys just throw the cases onto a shelf for you to take.
Beware if you are waiting for the bus, there is nothing to do at the airport, there is sufficient seating areas.

Just make sure they take the green form out of your passport when coming back through the border, the woman didn't take it out of ours and now I have to gather some paperwork to show I actually returned to Canada.

Happy travelling :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Driving lessons

So for those of you who are interested in driving full time here in Vancouver you will have to get a B.C drivers licence.
If you are from the U.K you just get it changed at an ICBC office, however if you are from Ireland you have to sit the knowledge test which is $15 and once you have that part passed, and you also get an eye examination included, its recommended you get a few lessons before attempting the driving test.
My boyfriend is the one who is driving here, so once passing the knowledge test he contacted a guy called Hamed.
His website is  http://www.letsdrivesmart.com/  and his phone number is 604-992-4863.

For $60 you get an hour and a half lesson and you may not need too many. Sean had three before doing the test.
$90 gets you the car rental and 1 hour warm up before doing the test. You can book your test on line and you don't have to wait too long to get a date.
Hamed was recommended to Sean and he would highly recommend him for lessons, Hamed collects you from your home which is great and on the morning of Sean's driving test which was at 8 in the morning, Hamed was outside our house at 6.30 in the morning to do the pre-test. I couldn't imagine you would get that back home.

Its $35 for your driving test and once you pass you get your photo taken and your drivers licence :)

If you move from the address that is on your driving licence you can change your address on the ICBC website  and they will send you out a new one.

Just note that you have to sit the exams and pass the test within the first 3 months of arriving in Vancouver otherwise you may have to go through the learners programme of driving.

You don't need to have a B.C licence if you just want to hire a car to drive over the border or explore B.C.

So happy driving and good luck to anyone who will be sitting the driving test :)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Travelling to Las Vegas for my birthday

So its my last week of my 20's. Don't know where they went, I really should have listened to those people 9 years ago when they said your 20's will fly by, because they did.
So what does this this girl plan for her 30th, Las Vegas baby.
Now its not for everyone but I have been there a few years ago and I liked it but it was much more expensive flying from Ireland.
I had looked at flying from Vancouver to Las Vegas but I was surprised at the price, luckily someone I had worked with was in Las Vegas just before Christmas and gave me the name of the website to book with.
Now the downside is that you have to get from Vancouver to Bellingham which is close to Seattle but the Quick Coach takes you there for $49 Return so that's step number one.
We booked our flights and hotel using Allegiant air. The prices are very reasonable. You can get to Vegas, flights and accommodation from as little as $200 per person.
Now Allegiant air is the equivalent of Ryanair, you pay for any food or drink on board the plane but as its only a 2 hour flight I think most people can wait.
The website also gives you the option of booking the transfer to your hotel which is around $14.99 return which is good.
So for anyone thinking of heading to Las Vegas for a few days I recommend checking the website out.

So for the bus from downtown Vancouver to Bellingham check out:


For Flights and Accommodation check out:


When I get home I can update you on how Las Vegas went. Until then I am going to try enjoy the last days of my 20's.


Friday, 10 February 2012


I am a girl who likes to get my hair done every 6-8 weeks and made sure I paid a visit to the hairdresser before leaving Ireland. So my hair looked good for a while but once my highlights started to grow out I knew I would have to get them sorted. So back home I would pay anything from €120-€150 for a full head of highlights and a cut, over here it could range from $210+. As I have only been temping and trying to watch the $'s I knew I couldn't afford that. Luckily I found a girl from Ireland who is working in a salon here in Vancouver but also calls to your home to do hair for a lot less than the cost of the salon.
I know some people don't want to wash their hair over the bath/sink but I saved close to $100 and when you don't know when the next pay check is coming in that's a lot of money.
I am very happy with the results.
So who do you contact, the girls name is Marina McCabe.
Her contact details are 604-928-4260 and her email is marinahaircreations@gmail.com
She looked after myself and my friend and we were both very happy with the outcome. So for the ladies and the men who are looking to get something done with the hair but cant afford salon prices contact Marina.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Household furniture and accessories

Finally finished unpacking and moved into a nice new home here in Vancouver. We arrived here at the end of October and as most rentals begin here on the 1st of the month it didn't leave us much time to find a place. We found a place in East Vancouver not where I had wanted to live originally but it was a place to live. Things were ok to start with but the longer we stayed the more I noticed that our landlady was just a bit crazy and it was also cold. So when we met a lovely couple from Ireland who mentioned that they would be leaving for London at the end of January I asked them about their apartment. It was a great location, no crazy people and warm. 
Before Christmas we got in contact with the necessary people and in early January we were accepted for the place :)
We were lucky that we didn't have to buy too much for our new home but there is a few places around the city that sell household accessories and furniture at reasonable prices. 
For kitchen and bathroom I would suggest Army and Navy on West Cordova Street, they have all your kitchen needs, bathroom and bedroom sheets, pillows, etc. 
I also found a place in the international village called Yoko Yaya, its a Japanese store and they have loads of stuff, for cleaning, cooking utensils, storage containers and its cheap. 
The dollar stores around the city are also great for kitchen needs. 
Walmart also has a great selection of bedding and they usually have a special offer selection. 
XS Cargo on Grandview Highway is also a good spot for buying plate sets, cutlery, electrical items for kitchen and bedding. 
Craigslist is always a good site for looking for people selling furniture but it usually requires you to have some mode of transport to take the furniture. So if you plan on buying a good few large items it may be worth looking at hiring a U haul truck.
Keep an eye on the Facebook pages for Swap Vancouver and Irish in Vancouver for people selling their stuff as they may be moving home and its usually going at a reasonable price. 
Also the Moving to Vancouver website is a great site to keep an eye on for people who may be selling stuff. 

Hope everyone is enjoying their new home in Vancouver and for those who are planning the move I hope you are getting excited.