Our Life

For crying out loud! NZ's town crier shortage

New Zealand towns and cities are crying out for more town criers. Two sisters are ringing the bell for a proud (and loud) institution.

Knit this cute fox scarf

Fur coats are frowned upon, but what about a fox scarf – a knitted one that is? Jane Wrigglesworth’s winter knitting project is a scarf shaped like a fox.

'10 lessons I learned living in a 27sqm tiny house'

Golden Bay writer Charlotte Squire learned a lot about life in downsizing her family into a 27sqm home

How to build a Norwegian Round Stack

Norwegian rounds are a space-saving wood stacking technique that will keep your wood dry

The secrets to stacking wood like a Norwegian

During the week Jason Price is a management consultant and efficiency expert. At the weekend he becomes a chainsaw-wielding, firewood-stacking ninja who also likes efficiency.

Water cooler: podcast labyrinths and a harbour boardwalk

This week in the water cooler: Cheree gets lost in the maze of S Town, Emma strolls along the prom, Milla gets kinetic and Nadene has a full plate.

Building a human nest

Creating your own human nest? Landscape architect Sara Gerard has some tips on how to survive the renovation process, plus some tree house inspiration

VW Super Beetle resurrected from a hay shed

A not-so-common species of beetle has been adored, stored and restored

Architect Graeme North on the benefits of natural homes

Renowned architect Graeme North  discusses the benefits of natural homes with Nadene Hall.

7 types of natural home

Old methods of using local natural materials is still some of the greenest building options around.

Water Cooler thisNZlife - every Friday

Water cooler: Chicken Screams and divine TV

This week in the water cooler: we scream like a chook, watch divine TV and gaze in awe at mighty Mt Ruapehu.

What type of heating suits your home?

There are more options than ever for heating your home, but how do you work out which one will work in your space?

Dr Libby's guide to eating 'flexitarian'

Force yourself to eat a certain way and you will likely fail. try giving yourself a little wiggle room instead.

Water Cooler: Back on Topp

In the water cooler this week: Cheree's explores her old stomping ground, Emma is in Denial and Yolanta campaigns to see New Zealand back on Topp.

How to get an official 'natural' product

Launching a natural product comes with unique compliance and marketing challenges. The women behind Dove River Peonies share their tips for starting a natural product business in New Zealand.

We try riding an electric bike through Auckland

Electric bikes are popular in Asia and Europe, but will they catch on in Auckland? We see what the buzz is about.

Water cooler: The sweet life

This week in the water cooler: long time baker Molly Coughlan gives reduced-sugar biscuits a crack (and discovers she's Sweet Enough all along).

How your kitchen can go pro

If you think selling food you’ve made in your home kitchen can’t be done legally, you could be in for a delicious surprise. We meet some small-time home-based business people with a passion for food who show how they work within the rules.

Creating a culture of innovation

An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button

6 inspiring man caves and she sheds

We’ve all heard of ‘man caves’, but there are so many inspiring garden buildings, including the ‘she shed’. Check out these beautiful projects from NZ and around the world, most made on a small budget and out of recycled materials.

Water cooler: fowl play

This week in the water cooler: Nadene addresses the viral Brahma rooster, Cheree talks fritters and Jessica boycotts palm oil.

Water cooler: lettuce soup and pumpkin growing tips

It's a garden harvest special in this week's water cooler as we share tips for growing pumpkins, harvesting fruit and transforming mature lettuce into a delicious soup.

New exhibition transforms dead animals into art

Visual artist Rebecca Swan's exhibition at the Auckland Arts Festival transforms dead animals into works of art.

Water cooler: Going green and a poor little paw paw

In the water cooler this week: Emma has a double take at Twin Peaks,  Nadene isn't peachy about the weather and Kate and Tracey go green.


Why this artisan cheesemaker doesn't get paid

The award-winning owners of Lonely Goat say the costs of compliance are nothing to yodel about, and explain why they are working for love, not money.

4 beautiful NZ barn houses

Converting a barn into a home can create a distinctive living space, but it involves a unique set of building challenges.

Make your own moisturising bars

Use natural beeswax and coconut oil to make your own luxe moisturising bars.

Bespoke handwoven textiles on a World War One loom

A creative couple has spun a niche business by fusing old-world hand-weaving and modern design.

'Why I eat with the seasons'

When Loveday Why discovered she had chronic fatigue syndrome, she found the answer to good health was in her garden.

George Clarke on Kiwi DIY and the power of tiny houses

Amazing Spaces host George Clarke is in New Zealand to build a tiny house with Mitre 10. He weighs in on two innovative tiny homes recently featured on thisNZlife.

Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club

In a summer reading special, The Off-Topic Book Club discuss The Spy, a novel about Mata Hari by Paulo Coelho as well as I'll Take You There, the latest novel by Wally Lamb.

Yes, this cow is made of cake

Kim Donker has turned a baking hobby into a thriving home business. She shares tips for getting started without breaking the bank.

Happy campers: A 1966 blast from the past

A retro car and caravan combo brings reconnection with the past and a raft of brand new memories.

How to host a country wedding

If you’re a romantic at heart, turning your land into a wedding venue might be an opportunity to earn some extra cash.

10 inventive NZers share their DIY coop designs

From a water-powered hen gate to a repurposed trampoline - ten inventive New Zealand chicken lovers share their best DIY  coop designs.

Growing creative minds in a converted boatshed

Friends told Peter and Ellen Jarratt they were reckless, crazy and throwing it all away when they upped sticks to follow their hearts. But they did it anyway.

Gandering at geese and Gandalf ganders NZ

This week in the water cooler: we discuss the great school-term debate, gander at the moon, explore Gandalf’s beautiful New Zealand and take a walk on the wildside.

10 great ideas from a top New Zealand barn

A small obsession with old barns played a big part in the design of this award-winning home. Follow Tane's tips to get the look.

Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue

A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.

Incredible images of whales stranded on Farewell Spit

At Farewell Spit NZ Life & Leisure staff Cheree Morrison and Jane Ussher saw nature at its most beautiful and most cruel.

Water cooler: Griffons go global

This week in the water cooler: Nadene is seeing stars in Hunua, Emma has gone to the dogs (again) and Cheree goes banana(grams).

4 great ways to frame a country view

Getting the best windows to frame farm views is a crucial part of the design of a country home.

The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn

The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.

Norfolk fruit chutney recipe

Pining for Norfolk chutney

This week in the water cooler: The office reaps the rewards of Lynley's  chutney, Nadene's geese are all grown up, and Rebecca is steps ahead of the rest of us.

Auckland family catches piece of fishing history

She may be berthed close to the super yachts of the world’s well heeled at Auckland’s Silo Marina but the Moerangi is no flash-n-crass gin palace.

Water cooler: cheese and quokkas

This week in the water cooler: we make our own cheese, share our award-season movie picks and try out icing therapy.

Dr Libby: post-natal health

Some of the physical and emotional consequences of giving birth can be felt for up to 10 years afterwards. These are Dr Libby's tips for combating tiredness and focusing on your wellness.

Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave

Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.

Family of 5 living large in a 20sqm tiny house

This family of five lives in a 20m², off-grid and smart phone-free home with a composting toilet and a shower they share with the sky.

Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life

It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.

Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters

A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.

Cruising in the Trinidad

For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat. 

15 tips for designing a great country home

Today’s needs, tomorrow’s changes and even resale appeal need to be taken into account when designing the rooms in your home.

The Perry family on how to "Raglan-afy" a bach

A universal truth is the power of three. In the coastal township of Raglan, three adored baches subscribe to that hypothesis.

chicken coop stencil

Make your own 'Chick Inn' coop sign

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a Chick Inn Coop Sign, as seen on the cover the Summer bumper issue of NZ Lifestyle Block.

Three hot summer fashion trends

From sexy swimsuits to silky separates, skin-baring tops to transparent jumpsuits, summer is all about show.

Podcast: Screen Sirens review La La Land

La La Land is nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards. The Screen Sirens find out what all the fuss is about.

Lunch hour workout

Fitness coach Mat Lewisham shares his 20-minute workout designed to elevate the heart rate using body weight resistance training.


Water cooler: how to cook shellfish

In the final water cooler of 2016: Anna Tait-Jamieson shares her shellfish secrets, Cheree has her eye on the prize and Kate is all tied up in knots.

A united kingdom

Review: A United Kingdom

Rosamund Pike shows off her acting talents in the new drama A United Kingdom.

Incredibly practical Christmas gift ideas

Running out of present ideas for the practical person in your life? NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall's gift list might provide inspiration.

Water Cooler: Westworld and ice cream galore

This week in the water cooler: we get very confused watching Westworld, make green pizza bases and are screaming for ice cream.

Off-Topic Book Club: Mount!

The Off-Topic Book Club share a laugh while reviewing Jilly Cooper's saucy new novel Mount!

A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland

Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.

Christmas books

6 books for Christmas reading

Find a sunny spot and curl up with one of our picks for great Christmas reads this season.

Architect couple's two different approaches to design

He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs

Wet hot Beauties aquatic dance

Splashing beauties and buzzing bees

Splashing beauties, buzzing bumbles and sleeping dogs and a Pinnacles performance - what we are talking about in the water cooler this week.

Beauty product gift ideas

Beauty-junkie daughter? Fragrance-loving friend? Or just looking for some inspo for your own Christmas lust list…? here’s a guide to some of the best beauty gifts of this festive season.

make your own natural products

Make your own natural cleaning products

These tips will help you to reduce the amount of packaging you use, and get you into DIY cleaning products.

Fantastic films and the cream of the crop

This week in the water cooler, we review Fantastic Beasts, whip up some cashew cream and make Paua Porridge.

Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club

This month the Off-Topic Book Club do a podcast about a case made famous by a podcast when they review Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry.

The ultimate wedding gift

Sheryl welcomed her husband Tony into their marriage by giving him the key to her  fabulous 56-year-old fin-tailed Ford.

Make your own pizza oven this summer, and learn to cook in it

Step away from your screens and eat under the stars with NZ Life & Leisure’s new outdoor cooking and DIY book: In Your Backyard: FOOD & FIRE, on sale now.

Beautiful gardens, flying pigs and posh sheds

This week in the water cooler: we celebrate the highlights of Garden Marlborough, see some flying pigs and create posh sheds.

Water Cooler: Goats, glass and salmoriglio

This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of stained glass, wax lyrical about goats and make delicious yet unpronounceable sauces.

Water Cooler: Breathless theatre and treasured faces

Thieving sparrows,  heartless geese, breathless theatre and treasured faces: things that we were talking about in the thisNZlife office this week

Water Cooler: Billy Elliot,and "the best biscuits ever"

This week in the water cooler we dance up a storm, battle over cheese and bake the "best biscuits ever”

Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies

In a two-part series, Dr Libby fronts up to a question about nutritional deficiencies.

The Girl on the Train and a girl's crafty secret

This week in the water cooler: we review The Girl on the Train, discover a girl's crafty secret store and have birds on the brain.

We test 'The world's most comfortable shoes'

Allbirds shoes, made of New Zealand merino, have been named the 'world's most comfortable shoe'. Co-founder Tim Brown shares his story, and thisNzlife's Yolanta Woldendorp puts them to the test.

Water cooler: a flying fox, fashion film and Onggojip

In this weeks water cooler, we dream of flying through the jungle and high-fashion couture, make coconut yoghurt and test restaurants with unpronounceable names.

Capri's journey from Berlin to Blenheim

He wanted a race car, she wanted a comfortable ride, turns out the 1974 Ford Capri was the car they didn't know they always wanted.

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.

Small town fashion success

Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.

Razor sharp reading

Reviewer Miranda Spary is gripped by this cutting political tale.

Water cooler: guess the gadget

This week in the water cooler: We all scream for ice- cream, go crazy over cats in the tube and Anna Tait-Jamieson plays guess the gadget.

Kids walk near Ruapehu

Cool walks with the kids and lamb update

This week in the water cooler: Rebecca discovers a cool walk for the kids - and we check in on Serita the lamb.

Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club

The Off-Topic book Club raves about The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

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

spring lamb

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.

Dr Libby's health advice

In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.

The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

Book review: The Eagle Tree

Ned Hayes' novel The Eagle Tree is an honest depiction of autism, without heavy-handed sentimentality, writes Miranda Spary.

Business bubbling along in the Catlins

A bubbly soapmaker has turned her favourite hobby into a cottage industry on her Otago small block.

Watercooler: magnolias, bliss balls & a song for walking

In this weeks water cooler, we devour delicious bliss balls, sing along with Geoff Chapple, and give away tickets to an award-winning Christchurch play.

Paws for thought on poetry day

When was the last time you read a poem? Try something new for poetry day Friday (26 August). You might get to pat a puppy...

Planting seed potatoes.

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

Screen Sirens podcast: UnREAL

The Screen Sirens discuss why you should binge-watch the Lightbox drama UnREAL.

Thinking inside the box

This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.

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.

The Refugee Olympians

Refugee Olympians and Whanganui wonders

This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of the refugee Olympic team, discover a historic gem in Whanganui and have a light bulb moment.

The Food Show

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

Miranda Spary, hard at work reviewing The Reader on the 6.27.

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.

Origami bins and a canine Frida Kahlo

This week in the water cooler, we find an use for The NZ Herald, relive our calf club glory days and pay homage to a canine Frida Kahlo.

The Couple Next Door

Podcast: The Couple Next Door

In this episode the book club lives up to its name - talking about everything from 50 Shades of Grey to sleeping in the same bed as James Bond while reviewing The Couple Next Door.

Belgravia app vs book

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.

Make this neck gecko scarf.

Make a NZ neck gecko scarf

This neck gecko scarf is made from reflective wool and is a good project for beginner knitters.

marmalade pokemon

Pokemon and the best marmalade ever

This week in the thisNZlife office: we survive a zubat Pokemon attack, make some marvellous marmalade and discover the best lip gloss ever.

Jessica Rose tries living without plastic.

'How I quit plastic'

Urban eco warrior Jessica Rose suggests some easy lifestyle changes to make for Plastic-Free July.


Nuts, bikes and the boogeyman

This week in the watercooler the thisNZlife team talks about tough nuts, big friendly giants and big friendly vegetables.

Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship

Podcast: Love & Friendship

The Screen Sirens enter the ring for a Jane Austen rumble when reviewing this adaptation of the Austen novella Lady Susan.

Michael MacMillan and family

5th generation artist explores heritage

With art in his arteries, Michael MacMillan maintains a family tradition in a valley of hops and hopefulness, his greatest supporter by his side.

Cheree Morrison races a Subaru WRX

We try... racing a WRX

Cheree Morrison puts pedal to the metal on the Highlands Motorsport Park course in Cromwell.

Smokey the greyhound modelling his Swanndri.

Doggy couture and cake culture

This week thisNZlife office we were talking about greyhound couture, cake culture, popcorn for breakfast.

Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend

Off-Topic Book Club podcast

The club were divided over My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

Words in My Hand and The High Mountains of Portugal and

Book corner: Jann Martel is back

We review the new Yann Martel book and discover a new talent in historical fiction.

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.

chainsaw safety

A beginner's guide to buying a chainsaw

Chainsaws are an essential backyard tool, but it pays to do your research before you buy and learn how to maintain them.

the best way to cut into a pumpkin

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.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in Me Before You.

Screen Sirens podcast: Me Before You

The Screen Sirens find Emilia Clarke's eyebrows hypnotic in Me Before You.

ARV quad bike on a hill

How to ride an ATV on hilly ground

Riding an ATV is a learned skill and if you don’t do it properly you can easily be badly hurt.

Water tank

How to clean your water tank

Winter is an ideal time to clean  your water tank.

Morrinsville cow

Curious cows and squishy persimmons

A jet-setter's secret weapon and why Morrinsville is the place to be - things that got the thisNZlife office talking this week.

Global Crisis: War , Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

We review this really thick book

Book reviewer Rosemarie White says this 672 page book is worth its weight in gold (even if it doesn't fit in her handbag).

giza pyramid

The best in tech

Cultural wonders, spectacular solar footage and a pawsome way to hook up - Frances Jones premieres what's hot in tech at the moment.

1967 Fiat 500 F Bambina

A long lost Bambina

Some cars lead a colourful life this, is  the story of vibrant Italian icon called Niko.

Water cooler talk

The thisNZlife team reveal what got them talking this week.

building an effective fireplace

Build an efficient fire

How to make sure your firewood is working at its best and tips for staying warmer than ever this winter.

rugby romance tour tattoo

Inside the world of rugby romance literature

A romance writer adds rugby to the traditional plot mix and finds an avid and growing audience - who are currently exploring New Zealand.

book reviews 'The Battle for Home' and 'Running Wild'.

Syrian conflict explored through architecture

Can architecture change society? One book explores how a war-torn community has been shaped by its environment.

homemade soap

DIY: Make your own soap

Making your own soap is easy, affordable, doesn’t require any special equipment and is quite addictive.

beeswax food wrap

Make your own beeswax food wraps

This environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling film is easy to make at home.

This doco will change the way you think of your window sill

Fogo Island

How a barren fishing village became an arts Mecca

How a fishing village became an arts Mecca

The Girl on the Train book review

Listen: The Girl on the Train book club podcast

The NZ Life & Leisure team had a lively chat about the twists and turns of this best-selling thriller over wine and cheese in our new podcast The Off-topic Book Club.

Florence Foster Jenkins film podcast

In our inaugural film and television podcast Screen Sirens, film fans Emma Rawson and Andrea Burke rate the comedy Florence Foster Jenkins.

Soul searching with Hollie Smith

A number one album isn't enough to make a living in the music industry. Soul and jazz singer Hollie Smith's new album has topped the charts but she's still cleaning houses to make ends meet.

Create a refreshing rosemary hydrosol

Learn how to make  a refreshing distillation of this aromatic herb.

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