Water cooler gadget special... and chocolate
In the water cooler this week: Miranda discovers a super product, Nadene gets worms, Cheree becomes hot and steamy and Anna cracks the mystery gadget.
5 fencing jobs you can do yourself
Anyone can build a fence, but it's a science and an art to build a good quality fence.
A beginner's foray into pickled onions
Urban eco warrior, DIY enthusiast and experimental cook, Jessica Rose finds herself in a pickle.
Grow your own sweetener
To be truly self-sufficient, especially in colder climates, you may think you have to give up sugar, but that’s not the case.
Garden tasks for September
Try planting baby turnips and some bee-friendly plants this month.
3 organic fertilisers
Two of the best additions for your soil are byproducts of everyday activities, and one of them you can make in your sleep.
Success in calf-rearing
It might seem an easy way to make money, but setting up a successful calf-rearing business is harder than it looks.
How a 100kg bag of cacao beans changed lives in two countries
A Havelock North's desire to support Pacific Island farmers has led to sweet business success.
Innovation driving success at watercress farm
A gravity driven watering system is just one of the innovations in use at an organic watercress farm in Raglan.
What drives a person to run 100km?
Cheree Morrison takes a walk in the well-worn running shoes of Fiona Hayvice, one of the world’s top ultra-marathon athletes.
Blog: near noodle starvation
A new wwoof-er demonstrates his unfamiliarity with wholefoods and a spiral staircase sends the family’s spirits to heaven.
Recipe: Banana bread waffles
For organic month, Kiwi firm, All Good Organics shares with us a recipe for delicious banana bread waffles and whipped coconut cream
Win a wine-lovers weekend worth $5000
The Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction* celebrates 25 years on Saturday, 12 November, with Hawke’s Bay’s most talented wine-makers coming together to provide more than 40 lots of wine, many of them specially blended for the event.
2 natives that you don’t want to mess with
You may think of all natives as friendly plants, but two common ones have a deadly secret.
A beginner’s guide to wood burning stoves
Fans of the wood-burning stove explain why they find an old-fashioned form of cooking far more satisfying than modern gadgetry.
Turning heads at 78
Dunedin style icon Barbara Brinsley says she isn't afraid to stand out in a crowd.
Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club
The Off-Topic book Club raves about The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.
Finding work/life balance
A personal quest for work/life balance is at the core of a new restaurant and wellness centre run by a top chef and his yogi wife.
What makes a leader?
What does it take to captain a rugby team through to win two successive World Cups? A new documentary tries to capture the man behind the hype
Shark attacks, cannibals and Antarctica
Dr Sea Rottman will soon depart on an all-female expedition to Antarctica - just one of many adventures in her life.
Wee little lambs and strange fruit
This week in the thisNZlife office: We're feeling inspired by a wee spring lamb, try some strange fruit and find hares in the garden.
Recipe: 5 Seed Sourdough
This delicious wheat free bread takes a little planning but is easy to make.
It's not easy being a green beekeeper
It's not easy being an organic beekeeper when bees can forage as far as 5km for their food.
Dr Libby's health advice
In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.
Blog: Big windfall and the big smoke
The big city beckons for a Kaitaia local, but sometimes the hitting the jackpot comes with a price.
Her patented pint-sized plant has fans around the world
Elsie Hall's patented plant creations are the celebrities of the lavender world
Business bubbling along in the Catlins
A bubbly soapmaker has turned her favourite hobby into a cottage industry on her Otago small block.
Creating a home in France
Former Auckland art dealer Anna Bibby ignored the voices that told her she was bonkers and upped and moved to small-town France for a life tres tranquille
Why messy orchards are best
The last thing you need is for your orchard to look neat and tidy, at least not ground level anyway.
How to have hatching success
Part of the fun of owning a small flock is hatching eggs, whether by natural means or with a little mechanical intervention.
A twist of citrus
A delivery business with a twist boosts returns for a Gisborne orchard.
Take a leek & make a cake
Leeks are a vegetable that Kristina loves and hates, and then she gets baking.
World-class climber reaches new heights
Height is no limit for Dale Thomas. New Zealand's champion tree climber is just as comfortable at the tops of giant trees as he is with two feet on the ground.
10 things to know about growing walnuts
The fabulous walnut is a tasty treat for the home orchard owner, or a potential future crop with New Zealand’s climate meaning we can produce high quality nuts.
The Artisan Paper Pusher
David Stedman is doing his artisan bit to keep our digitally drenched society in love with paper.
Finding Love in the Outback
In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instructions on how to live.
What to sow in the garden right now
The wind-up to spring planting is starting, and one big decision is going to have year-long repercussions.
Watercooler: going crackers, wayward fruit & kids apps
This week in the water cooler, we savour the new season grapefruit, say hello to Talking Tom and make the best crackers EVER
10 natives that like wet feet
If you have a wet or swampy area, fence it off, plant something that thrives on wet soils, and turn it into a thing of beauty.
Things to consider when buying a ride-on mower
If you’re tired of pushing yourself to do the lawns get our tips on how to buy possibly the biggest investment in a single product you’ll make when you live on a lifestyle block.
Finding flower power
To cement their partnership, Antonia de Vere and Mark Seeney got married. Now they combine their talents in one very creative business, Markantonia
Screen Sirens podcast: UnREAL
The Screen Sirens discuss why you should binge-watch the Lightbox drama UnREAL.
5 things to know if you had a drought at your place last summer
The after-effects of a dry summer will still be with you this spring.
Thinking inside the box
This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.
Walking the magenta path
Sue Moody explores Auckland's magenta cycle way - by foot.
Movies that made us cry... and yet more dogs
Farm trips for the kids, a movie that made our heart sing and yet more dogs... things that got us talking in the thisNZlife office this week.
Two weddings and a Land Rover
Romance has fulled the revival of a family's much-loved 60-year-old Land Rover.
Great-uncle Stephen was a pirate from Penzance
Searching for forebears takes an exciting turn for two NZ Life & Leisure writers.
A colourful life
There’s an element of Wonderland in interior designer Anya Brighouse’s home but this creative force is anything but out of control
What to do if you find an injured bird
Sometimes you may need to help an injured bird, and sometimes its best to leave it alone.
Boosting the Maori land economy
Taranaki-born Jamie Tuuta is enhancing the potential of Maori land and assets in his role as the Maori Trustee
Are your ewes due to lamb? Are you ready? Here are some things to consider.
Architect's dream home built from coolstore panels
An architect designed his dream house on the shores of the Kaipara using coolstore panels.
Netflix and Food Show survival tactics
This week in the water cooler: we make new discoveries on Netflix, search for the perfect umbrella tree and plan survival strategies for The Food Show
Mulching over winter
Mulching is an easy way to protect your soil until you’re ready to use it in spring.
Our reviewer found this book life-changing
Book reviewer Miranda Spary sees the world differently after reading The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent.
What gardeners can learn from this man
The late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka created a revolutionary way of farming that has no plowing, no fertiliser, no weeding and no pesticides.
Self-sufficiency on Norfolk Island
When you live on a little island in the middle of a big ocean, you have to make your block of land pay its own way in the most self-sufficient manner possible.
Wood entrepreneur finds eco niche
Daniel Gudsell turns a customer complaint into a thriving, environmentally friendly wood business.
How this woman is changing NZ wine
A wine producer is allowing her creative spirit to pop while exploring the Chinese heritage of Central Otago.
4 amazing museums to visit in Ireland & the UK
Caught out by the weather while visiting the UK or Ireland? Here are four great museums to visit on a rainy day.
Is there a mouse in your house?
Pests are tricky, secretive creatures and it can be difficult to know if you have a small problem, or a really big one.
Coop of the month
Goats and chooks live in harmony in this funky recycled coop in Portland, Oregon.
Bare, naked tree planting tips
Winter is a great time to plant your future fruiting trees, but do you know how to do it so you give a tree the optimal start?
Blog: A bathroom at last
The demise of a local coincides with the near-death of the family’s bathroom plumbing.
Recipe: chocolate stout cake
Kristina Jenson brews up some great beer-based recipes, including a fabulously decadent chocolate cake.
What to do if a goat eats something toxic
Most goats have a tendency to nibble first, check the toxicity of a plant later kind of strategy to life, and that can be deadly.
Will an app ever beat a book?
From the creator of Downton Abbey, the Belgravia serves up old-fashioned Dickensian serialised storytelling on a new digital app. But is the medium successful? Kate Coughlan weighs in.
Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree
They’re fussy, but tamarillos are a tangy treat, and prolific if you know the secrets to high production.
How a school is making a profit from the land
The enterprising students of Hukerenui School are making a profit from growing maize, lavender and keeping bees.
How hard can it be, to plant a stick?
Two great options for fodder, shelter, shade and firewood can be as simple as a stick in the ground
This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day
Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.
A life saving houses
Despite growing up on the cutting edge of the minimal Modernist movement, this interior and architectural designer’s heart is in the past.
Derelict milk station transformed
A 1926 Grade II Historic Place-listed concrete milk station is seeing a new life as a spectacular Otaki wedding venue.
Design a home orchard
A well-designed orchard means you can be self-sufficient in fruit all year-round.
Three amazing parsnip recipes
Don't overlook this gourmet low calorie vegetable. Jenny Somervell shares three tasty parsnip recipes.
Trailer for Richie McCaw doco
What makes some people great? The documentary Chasing Great, featuring one of our best All Black captains ever, promises some answers.
Career Path: The vegan soldier
Apollo Taito is a manager in the mental-health sector, part-time soldier, PhD student, vegan and animal-rights campaigner.
We try... racing a WRX
Cheree Morrison puts pedal to the metal on the Highlands Motorsport Park course in Cromwell.
Dunedin shoe school kicks off
She made her first pair of shoes out of some car mat, now Dunedin’s Louise Clifton has opened her own shoe school.
Don't get stuck in the mud
No-one likes mud, and it's something you need to manage carefully or the damage to soil can be devastating.
Trend spotting: the future of skincare
From weird face masks to smart skin patches, there are plenty of beauty trends to help you face the future.
Using herbs to aid stress
When she began she thought $100 was a good day's takings, now Brownwyn Lowe is helping hundreds of people cure the symptoms of stress.
Turn this peel into a cake
Don't throw away your banana peels, they are the secret ingredient in this cake.
Water Cooler: How to cut into a pumpkin
Busy bees, balls of bliss and a country bumpkin and her pumpkins - things that got us talking this week.
Blog: Online shopping fails
Why all-terrain roller skates are no match for a goat track in the Far North.
Recipe: deconstructed cheesecake
This edible flower cheesecake tastes as good as it looks.
Auckland edible flower business blooming
A South Auckland grower shares the secrets of her edible garden.
The perfect cup of tea
New Zealand has a good climate for growing tea. Here's our guide to making the perfect cuppa from garden to table.
Is this the ultimate Kiwi dog?
This 30cm dog might be the ultimate Kiwi canine.
5 tips for a prettier vegetable garden
Now is a great time to create something pretty and functional for this spring.
Top tips for buying your first poultry flock
Avoid ruffling feathers when buying your first flock with our simple guide.
Rhubarb and rosehip jam
Gather rosehips and rhubarb to make this yummy winter jam.
3 green-fingered generations
A chance vacancy at Olveston Homestead has enabled three generations of the Goldsmith family to polish up a bit of Kiwi history
5 organic ways to weed
You can get rid of weeds using everything from a rabbit to a steam gun (but not together).
Coop of the month: Hönshus-1
There's no reason your hens shouldn't live in style. Introducing our coop of the month, the Hönshus-1.
Macadamia passionfruit truffles
Make these truffles even when passionfruit is out of season.
Donkey business at Clovercrest
Peter and Marion van Dijk have taken the concept of downsizing to a whole new level.
Gluten-free spiced apple cake
Pantry adventurer Duncan White shares this gluten-free alternative to this afternoon tea classic.
3 easy beetroot recipes
Easy to grow and delicious, beetroot are a versatile vegetable in the kitchen.
How a personalised number plate led to rockabilly love
Hey Daddy-O! Meet the Nixon-Sparkes - the coolest bunch of crazy cats to ever shake rattle 'n' roll.
Great firewood trees (and what you might want to avoid)
Here’s what will keep you warm and cozy when you fire up your wood burner this winter.
Are ducks the new chickens?
If you like the benefits of keeping chickens, you’re going to love having ducks.
Blog: Off-the-grid and online
In the first of her fortnightly blogs, NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks shares an update of life in her mudbrick off-the-grid home in the Far North.
Recipe: Thai fish pie
An Asian spin on a winter Kiwi classic from Japanese-born cooking tutor Sachie Noumura.
Does a cup of tea taste better with Jersey cow milk?
A Waikato farming family takes the cow by the teats and markets its own jersey milk.
My wayward wheels: from mountains to the sea
Riding 300 kilometres on the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail can be hard work but it’s worth every turn of the wheel.
A walk on the wild side in Southland
On foot through northern Southland’s high country and on board a helicopter to the roof of the world – a weekend in Southland is an awfully big adventure.
Peony flower power: the secret beneath the soil
The peony is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, but it’s what it grows beneath the soil that has turned into a unique business for one Nelson couple.
My wayward feet: walking the Onehunga Foreshore
Aucklanders have a brand new $28 million foreshore on the Manukau Harbour at Onehunga, Sue Moody goes exploring.
Kurow lavender farm’s sweet smell of success
A picture-perfect lavender farm, is just one of a bunch of businesses nourished by a Kurow dairy farm.
The king of Kombi vans
A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.
Saving the world through cake
What started as an idea to spread some sweetness throughout Wellington has blossomed into a national charity movement.