thisNZlife

Top 10 strategies for the ultimate lifestyle block

What's better than a plum and an apricot? A pluot

Combine plums and apricots and you get the best of both fruit.

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.

7 reasons why the eastern rockhopper penguin should win Bird of the Year

Meet the cute and sassy eastern rockhopper penguin and vote it Bird of the Year.

10 great cutting flowers for summer

If you love a beautiful vase of fresh flowers, here are 10 great options for a cutting garden.

Video

DIY

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.

6 design tips from NZers who built eco houses

A smart home is one designed and built to a standard that few NZ houses meet. We talk to three design specialists about building small, efficient, warm, smart homes.

6 flowers for the cottage garden

If you want to emulate the soft, frothy hues of a cottage garden, these six flowers are a good start.

Kids' craft: Make a rockhopper penguin

Keep the kids busy these school holidays and support the Eastern Rockhopper in Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year competition with this easy toilet-roll craft project with printable stencil.

 

Make this rockin' penguin beanie for Bird of the Year

The Rockhopper penguin is a New Zealand native whose numbers have sharply declined in the last 30 years. Inspire the kids to support the Rockhopper in Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year competition with this adorable crochet hat.

Going nuts for growing nuts

The Horwell’s are surrounded by nuts, the fresher, the better.

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Editor's Picks

7 reasons why the eastern rockhopper penguin should win Bird of the Year

Meet the cute and sassy eastern rockhopper penguin and vote it Bird of the Year.

The farming family taking Blue Ducks under their wing

Fortunate indeed are the endangered Blue Ducks now flourishing under the protection of a family that has figured out how to combine farming with eco-tourism.

6 flowers for the cottage garden

If you want to emulate the soft, frothy hues of a cottage garden, these six flowers are a good start.

Anthony Hoy Fong's big bites in the Big Apple

From deep-fried chicken to fine-dining foams, and from family man to food warrior, this New York-based New Zealand chef loves his kai – in more ways than one.

Be in to win one of three NZ Cheese Month gift boxes, valued at $50

Be in to win one of three NZ Cheese Month celebratory gift boxes, valued at $50 each.

Artisan sea salt created with buckets of ingenuity

With a custom-made vacuum chamber Greg Beattie turns seawater from the Hauraki Gulf into New Zealand’s first truly artisanal sea salt.

Recipe: Frenched Lamb Racks with Ponzu Sauce

Pollys' blog: Wheelchair ballet

Wheelchair-bound Zendo discovers a new dance routine.

 

 

How to grow tequila

The plants really want to hurt you, the harvest is carried out by digger, then chainsaw, you cook the heart out of it for three days, but the end result is worth toasting.

My day as a chocolate judge

From “bottom leakage” to “fat bloom”, Emma Rawson brushes up on her chocolate lingo to join the world of bonbon judging.

Recipe: Tropical Grilled Salmon

A sweet and savory glaze gives grilled salmon big flavor.

Ditching the boardroom for the brushes

Jumping off a cliff was a free-to-be-me revelation for a one-time middle manager who ditched the boardroom for the brushes.

Guest blog: 'How deep-mulching transformed my garden'

Guest blogger Elien Lewis doesn't let a shady garden stop her from producing a bounty of produce.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Man flu

Jim comes down with the flu and has a hard time receiving any sympathy from his family.

A food farm in the heart of Remuera

Reuse, reclaim and recycle is the motto of a zero-waste Auckland gardener inspired by Michelle Obama.

What feathers can tell you about your bird

Feathers are a feature of all birds, whether they can fly, swim or just live on the ground, and there’s a lot they can tell us.

How this tiny goat breed found its way to NZ

A small herd of tiny goats are NZ's newest breed and it has been a long journey for them and their determined owner.

The US market is hot for this NZ-designed electric farm bike

An award-winning New Zealand-designed electric utility bike for the farm is on the road to success in the US market.

Travel essay: Saving smiles in Kenya

Not every baby is born with the ability to smile. Cleft palates are a heartbreaking but treatable condition. In Kenya, one photographer documents the mothers and children that make their way to surgery as they embark on a journey of hope.

Polly Greeks' blog: A ghastly silence

Polly knows trouble is afoot when rambunctious three-year-old Zendo is suddenly silent.

Attention young gardeners

Entries are now open for the Yates Budding Young Gardener competition.

Bolt-resistant coriander varieties to grow

Coriander can be a little bit fussy to grow, but with the right care you can prolong leaf growth.

Wild yeast ale made in a low-ceilinged cavern

An Oamaru couple play with wild yeasts and wild ideas in a low-ceilinged cavern where they brew Belgian-inspired ales that could put hairs on the chest.

Jim Kayes' Blog: 49 candles

As Jim celebrates his 49th year, he reflects on how birthdays tend to matter less when you are older,  that is, unless you have children.

'How empathy makes me a better director'

A happy childhood in a musical family led one young woman to pick up an instrument, whisk up life with a wooden spoon, and ultimately, to film stories of human compassion.

Five generations of Central Otago orchardists

Five generations of a Central Otago family have tilled soil, trained trees, and fought the forces of nature and political upheaval to sustain a lifestyle they love.

Be in to win an Antipodes skin-brightening skincare pack, valued at $250

We’re giving away an Antipodes skin-brightening skincare pack, worth $250.

 

Video: Home sweet tiny home

A young Wellington couple talk about designing and building their first home, a tiny house on wheels, and reveal what it’s really like to live in a whare iti in winter.

What's On: 6 must-see events at the Taranaki Garden Festival

This year 40 private and public gardens including, for the first time, a cemetery, will wow people during the Powerco Taranaki Garden Festival which runs from October 26 to November 4. Here are six unmissable events from this year's line-up.

NZ Life & Leisure Reader Lunch with Walk Japan

Join NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan for a lunch of sophisticated, smart and sensual food created by masters of modern Japanese cuisine.

Orchid growers put down roots in Titirangi tree house

Ice cream and photography were the unlikely stepping stones that led a couple to a house among the trees and into the exotic-flower business.

Recipe: Salt and Pepper Taro with Szechuan Pepper Salt

Think you've tasted taro, wait until you try Ruth Pretty's tasty take on this Pacific Island staple, a sneak peek from the upcoming September/ October issue of NZ Life & Leisure, on sale August 24.

Guest blogger: Living the good life in Te Akau

Never a day goes by without Laura MacDonald's toddler eating dirt. But that doesn't stop her living the good life on her rural property in Te Akau.

Recipe: Homemade 100's & 1000's Biscuits

Laura MacDonald from thekiwicountrygirl.com shares her homemade version of  this New Zealand kids' favourite.

This is the most common cause of death in poultry

A breathing problem in chickens is difficult to diagnose, and not to be sneezed at.

After 20 owners, Bertha the Impala finds her forever home

A custard-coloured Impala has had a string of owners over the decades but has now found her sweet spot – her forever home.

Film review: She Shears

A  must-see New Zealand documentary follows five female sheep shearers on their journey to the Gold Shears.

danielle hawkins

Part-time vet, full-time romance novelist

An Otorohanga vet has won an international following writing romance novels with a country twist.

Recipe: Stecca bread with roasted butternut dip

This all-time favourite bread is exceptionally easy to make. The dip can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

 

Video: 21-year-old NZ mandala artist with worldwide fanbase

Meet 21-year-old fine arts student and artist Lizzie Snow who is winning fans around the world with her intricate geometric mandala designs. Watch our exclusive video.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Wheeling and dealing

Jim's daughter adopts a 'squeaky wheel' strategy to get a new car,  while he reflects on the Ford Falcon that got away.

Kate White's crusade to protect the Waitaki river in Kurow

Just as the Waitaki River grinds down mountain ranges carrying them in serpentine fashion to the sea, Kate White is an irresistible force changing the face of a small south island town.

How a family of four ditched cling film for good

Lunchbox snacks, leftovers and half-eaten avocados can all be kept fresh plastic free with a few simple swaps.

Celebrating Sue Macfarlane's Winterhome garden

In between many entrepreneurial pursuits, one hardworking, creative woman has left a living legacy - a five-star garden and a close-knit family - and made her mark on her community.

A new take on the classic NZ sheepskin

A Wanaka couple’s enthusiasm for natural-fibre products weaves essential purpose into their business, warmth into their home, and ties them to a very personal pioneering past.

Recipe: The best marmalade ever

Marmalade is easy to make if you get organised in advance. This is a great recipe which produces a wonderful, bright yellow marmalade that keeps well.

An eco school where kids learn outdoors - and take risks

Dani Lebo uses her family’s permaculture farm to teach local children about farming, food, fun and taking an element of risk – all outdoors and in all weathers.

Why Golden Bay should be your next weekend trip

Discover a region where the sunshine hours are unrivalled and the beaches are shared with sunbathing seals.

Menu sneak peek: Harbourside Winner Dinner

Harbourside's head chef, Shaun Tyagi is serving up a menu to die for at the Auckland Outstanding Food Producer Winner Dinner

Sacha Jones: "The older you are the funnier you get"

Amid teenage comic hopefuls sweating backstage at a comedy club, 52-year-old Sacha Jones sat reading a Charles Dickens’ novel. “People said, ‘Aren’t you nervous?’ and I told them, ‘I’m old!’”

Recipe: Crumbed terakihi with creamed mushrooms

You can also try this dish out with gurnard or blue cod (although, these will take a little longer to cook than terakihi).

Polly's Blog: Matariki musings

Our Far North blogger Polly gazes into the Matariki sky to see if the future is clear and bright or if it's a little hazier for struggling Northland families.

Book review: Pruning Fruit Trees: A Beginner’s Guide

A new book from a permaculture expert helps beginners conquer their fear of fruit tree  pruning.

Recipe: Cauliflower and truffle soup

Cauliflower never had it so good. This is a fabulous starter for an evening meal or serve in espresso cups or shot glasses as an amuse-bouche.

We're going on a truffle hunt

Hunting for truffles is not for the impatient or the olfactorily impaired. Success calls for a sniffer-out of buried bounty – in other words, a dog.

Passive Houses: Is it time NZ embraced this European trend?

Shocked at the number of cold, damp houses in New Zealand, a Waikato-based couple searched for their own building solution. A ground-breaking passive house provided the answer.

What's On: Garden Marlborough

This year New Zealand’s premier garden event Garden Marlborough runs from 8-11 November 2018.

The most ambitious (and delicious) Lemon Meringue Pie

Looking for something special to bake? Why not try Simon Wright's Lemon Meringue Pie.

Is it time for mead to make a comeback?

By rejuvenating an ancient tipple, Oren Dalton hopes to breathe new life into our regions.

Exploring Tasmania's pristine south coast by ship

Whales and wild waters, sugared beaches and dramatic landscapes, kangaroos and convict chronicles are all wrapped into the story of this isolated coastal stretch made accessible when explored by small ship.

How this couple built a thriving quail egg business from scratch

Gourmet delights wander round this lifestyle block south of Gisborne, and its owners can’t get enough of what is turning into a delectable little bird business.

Jim Kayes' Blog: In the swing of things

Jim Kayes is egged on by a 12-year-old and gives a terrifying ride in Rotorua a swing.

Vegan probiotic caramel slice

A sweet no-bake made with coconut yoghurt and raw cashews.

Have you given Botox a fair chance?

Want skin that looks film-star fab and forever wrinkle-free? Develop a more trusting relationship with needles say the experts.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's pommes purées

Reserve this decadent potato mash for special occasions.

brown kiwi in New Zealand forest

Polly's Blog: kiwi encounters

Polly and the kids delight in things that go whistle and scrape in the night while Pax the dog quivers in the corner.

From bare dry pasture to successful lavender business

When Karen Rhind left behind her carefully-maintained Garden of National Significance for bare, dry pasture and a new challenge, she also opened the door to a sweetly-scented business.

Camp Glenorchy transformed into sustainable Zero Energy site

Two American environmentalists have turned a run-down campground in Glenorchy into a sustainable development where technology and nature work together.

8 things you need to know before you try growing hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are still a niche product in New Zealand but they have the potential to be the country’s main nut crop.

The high-protein, low-fat fermented food you can make yourself

If you’re interested in eating more plant protein, a little fermentation can go a long way.

Roasted beetroot with sorrel

An earthy salad to warm up any winter gathering.

How the Coromandel environment inspired Cathedral Cove Naturals

Wholesome ingredients and happy memories of childhood holidays on the Coromandel form the DNA of  coconut yoghurt and cereal business Cathedral Cove Naturals.

forgetf

Jim Kayes' Blog: Forget me not

When Jim's daughters say he is getting forgetful in his old age, he takes it to heart.

This couple have sent no rubbish to landfill for three years

Yes, you can cut down on plastic waste. All it takes is a little planning to change to more eco-friendly habits says the experts.

soil

How micro-organisms can super size your soil

This award-winning organic farmer near Kaipara coast may have hundreds of sheep and cattle, but what she’s really farming is millions and millions of invisible helpers.

Frodo's chainmail used for architectural solar screens

A Wellington entrepreneur who created chainmail worn by Frodo and others in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is making sturdy armour for buildings.

4 places to indulge in retail therapy in Palmerston North

What better way to get to know a region than by doing a little retail therapy? Treat yourself to a little something special in these four Manawatu stores - a souvenir of sorts.

chocolate cake stevia

Have your chocolate cake and eat it without sugar

Unlike sugar, stevia doesn't add calories or carbs. So you can afford to have an extra slice or two of this chocolate cake delight.

What your dog is trying to tell you

If your dog often barks and jumps at strangers, pulls on the lead,  or whines when you leave for work these could be symptoms of a relationship problem. Selina McIntyre, a former lion-cub carer turned dog-behavioural expert explains why.

From Hollywood to Wellywood: A renowned costume designer comes home

In a world where robots rule, superheroes surprise us and gorgeous frocks rock, costume designer Kate Hawley has found her forever home. Occasionally, she returns to Wellington where she’s surrounded by treasures magpied on her travels.

TV builder Cocksy's Tairua home

Popular TV builder John Cocks is a keen diver who refuses to simply go with flow: although his body is ailing, his maverick spirit prevails – so there’s no cause for the undersea critters around Tairua to rest easy just yet.

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Meatballs with Buttery Apple Sauce and Make-Ahead Gravy

Many food cultures claim meatballs, albeit in different guises, as one of their specialities but Scandinavia happens to take the crown. 

What's On: Gordon Walters: New Vision

Gordon Walters: New Vision, the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s complete body of work, opens at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki Saturday 7 July and runs until 4 November.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Lol moments

Jim's cringey efforts to use the latest lingo provide amusement to his teenage daughters.

plastic bag

Bags not: Retailers are ditching plastic bags – are you ready?

It’s finally happening. After lots of talk, greener bagging options are set for a checkout near you.

chris ballantyne

Take a tour of Chris Ballantyne's organic mini-farm in Te Atatu

A landscaper with a mini backyard farm believes small-scale food production is key to well-being and urban ecological balance.

Outstanding New Zealand products every foodie should know about

NZ Life & Leisure is very proud to celebrate people who create beautiful food. Here's a list of some fantastic New Zealand artisan food producers you should be adding to your shopping cart.

Lisa Scott gets her skates on for roller derby

Lisa Scott gets her skates and her badass attitude on at the roller-derby rink.

Recipe: Cos leaves with pear, walnuts, mozzarella

These cos leaves make a delicious, healthy nibble. Use the best of fresh seasonal pears to really bring out the flavour.

lamb photo

10+ management tips to ensure your lambs survive

Lamb survival rates can vary dramatically from farm to farm, and your management plays a big part.

tamarillo cheesecake

Recipe: Tamarillo Cheesecake

The rosy blush of tree tomato lifts this delectable dessert to luscious new heights.

Beyond knitted jumpers: The future of the wool industry

These NZ entrepreneurs may have invented their way to an economically viable future for the New Zealand wool industry. Their products aren't what you'd expect.

 

 

 

Recipe: Soy and honey chicken nibbles

This classic flavour combination is always a party favourite.

Video: Wellington's characterful boat sheds

These Wellington boat sheds – some of them important local landmarks – mean many things to many people.

 

strong woman illustration

Jim Kayes’ Blog: Girls Can Do Anything

Gender bias has no place in the Kayes’ household – and Jim is happy to don a pinny or even a frock when the occasion merits.

Why red mites are such a big pest for chickens

One of the most aggravating pests in any hen house is red mites. They’re also one of the hardest to spot until they’re a real problem.

Recipe: Tomato cashew soup

This tomato soup with carrots, celery and cashew cream is a local favourite.

Exploring South East Asia by cruise ship

A cruise passenger speed-dates destinations along the south-east Asian coast, and hopes to meet some of them again.

From the UN to a back-to-nature apothecary

Once on the international stage for environmental causes, Georgina Langdale returned home to set up a back-to-nature business that makes a difference, one purposeful potion at a time.

Owner restores his late grandfather's 1958 Morris 1000

When you learn the best childhood lessons in a garage, and spend the ensuing decades tinkering with troublesome classics, you’re a bona fide car devotee

The best heritage apples to plant

You definitely won’t have eaten as many varieties of apple as a couple who have made it their personal crusade to save the heritage apple trees.

Learn more about the design of Annika Streefland’s home

Getting a feel for the land helped an architectural firm create Annika Streefland's beautiful Central Otago home.

How the advice of a headmistress shaped a corporate exec turned viticulturist

Annika Streefland’s dreams of being a botanist stalled when a formidable headmistress gave her a lecture on the value of independence. How thankful she is now.

A culinary journey through Wellington's Cuba Street

The flavours of Cuba Street are celebrated in a new book Cuba Street: A Cookbook. We meet the passionate foodies behind three colourful Wellington businesses.

 

WOW: At home with the creator of WearableArt

Vision, grit and a good shot of gumption propelled the World of WearableArt from a small-town show to a global spectacle.

Why autumn is a great time to visit Queenstown

There’s no need to bungy-jump from a bridge or swing perilously close to a cliff-face in a jet-boat to sample the delights of New Zealand's adventure capital. Autumn is a time for gentler pursuits.

Secrets of the Cook Islands

There are secrets to discover in the Cook Islands by following the road less traveled.

Recipe: Cheese Shortbreads and Cauliflower Mousse

Why serve plain old cheese and crackers when you can dish up these simple cheese shortbreads topped with cauliflower mousse?  Place a tablespoon of cauliflower mousse in the centre of each shortbread and garnish with tomato.

ash hilton jewellery

West coast jewellery family's silver linings play book

When a Texan belle arrived in New Zealand for a three-month holiday, she didn’t plan on meeting a rugged West-Coaster. Thirteen years, two kids and a thriving jewellery business later, there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.

Growing, dividing and harvesting garlic chives

This chive is not meant to be eaten raw, but cook it properly and your dishes will dance.

 

Recipe: Decadent chocolate-stuffed dates

Serve up this decadent, fruity finger food at your next party.

A Pink Ribbon Mocktail

The clever team at the Cocktail Collective have put on their mixing aprons to create a pink mocktail worthy of the Breast Cancer Foundation's Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

Polly's Blog: Solo rat-trapping duty

Left in sole charge of the children and the land, Polly connects with the wildness within.

You be the judge in the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards

New Zealanders have the chance to step into the judges’ shoes to sample 12 finalist dishes in the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards.

2 apple stevia recipes

Serve up stevia instead of sugar in your autumn baking for a diabetic-friendly dessert.

A baby robin. Photo: Dreamstime.

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.

Jim Kayes' blog: Sweet 16

As his eldest turns 16, Jim remembers when she was just a wee bub and how fast they grow up.

Trading London life for paddock-to-plate

Getting to grips with the grassroots of growing, and of a community, Lloyd Rooney and Michael Fraser found contentment by leaving the glamour of London for the quiet backwaters of the Waikato.

Philippa Fourbet fell for Anduze pots, then the French potter

When a French potter met a vineyard-owning investment banker from the opposite side of the world, they discovered their talents and tastes were sublimely matched.

Polly's Blog: Headlamp season

This week, Polly feels illuminated when investigating solar power.

Behind the scenes on a Central Otago saffron harvest

It takes 125,000-150,000 flowers to produce just one kilogram of saffron which can sell for $30,000. So harvesting the stigmas is a delicate process at Wynyard Estate in Central Otago’s Teviot Valley.

Crete horse

Video: Exploring Crete by horseback

Sabine Ruijters guides NZ Life & Leisure's Yolanta Woldendorp for a horseback ride to remember in Crete.

Pandoro founder's brush with fate

The founder of a groundbreaking artisan bakery has returned to her childhood stomping ground and  a creative calling that was always waiting in the wings.

Five minutes with US author Karen Joy Fowler

We caught up with Karen Joy Fowler, author of the bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, ahead of her Auckland visit in May.

Lisa Scott wings butterfly yoga

Social butterfly Lisa Scott is bent out of shape and all in a flutter doing hot yoga in the butterfly enclosure at the Otago Museum.

NZ's finest food producers revealed

We raise a glass, and a tasty morsel or two, to the winners of this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Supreme Winner announced

Richard and Helen Dorresteyn are committed cheesemakers, inadvertent buffalo farmers and deserving Supreme Winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards for 2018.

oprah wrinkle in time

Screen Sirens podcast: A Wrinkle in Time

The Screen Sirens  didn't enjoy watching A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey, although they have a lot of fun discussing the Disney fantasy film in their latest podcast.

Polly's Blog: Love thy neighbour

Tensions with a neighbour force Polly to learn lessons from the land.

Cocktail delivery service? Sign us up

Cocktails look and taste great, but are tricky to do at home. Meet the NZ entrepreneurs making them easy. Plus 2 bonus cocktail recipes.

feijoa upside down cake

Is this the feijoa cake of your dreams?

Kristina Jensen's gooey upside down feijoa caramel cake is the autumn cake you've been waiting for.

Recipe: Moroccan honey and mint syrup cake

This cake from East End Café in Wairoa is delicious served with a dollop of cream or unsweetened Greek yoghurt.

camping at New Zealand beach

Polly's blog: Easter camping misadventures

While townies flock to the campgrounds to get away from it all, for bush baby Polly the holiday park is a chance to reconnect.

How this family reduced their power bill to $30

Inside the life of a sustainable family who only need to work part-time and eat from a permaculture pantry that grows right up to their back door.

Auckland A & P Association celebrates 175th Anniversary

The Auckland A & P Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary at this year’s Royal Easter Show. But the family event looked quite different at its premier in 1843.

In Your Backyard Urban Harvest: Online Extras

In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest, is a guide to growing fruit and vegetables in small gardens. We've compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.

The Growroom project aims to encourage urban agriculture

Architects are collaborating on innovative solutions for food production in increasingly urbanised areas.

Video: 138 kg of food harvested from 15 sqm in 6 months

When NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan left behind her vast veggie beds at the Rocket Ranch for city life, she called in the experts to create a 100% edible courtyard garden.

Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Easter Buns with Lemon Icing Drizzle

Please a crowd these holidays with Ruth Pretty's zesty Easter buns which are packed with spices, dried apricots, raisins and sultanas.

Four generations' memories at Rangitikei's Tyrone farm

For more than 100 years, a Rangitikei farm has been home to one family. Now the fourth generation is putting its own twist on tradition.

Recipe: Sugar-cured venison

This luscious dish makes good use of seasonal produce. You need to make the red pepper relish at least a day ahead, but it makes a huge amount so can be stored away for colder months.

Polly's Blog: A lesson from the children

All it takes is a different point of view to see wild pigs and whole grains from a new perspective.

possum bookmark

Make this cute crochet possum bookmark

Mark our words, there’s nothing better than a squished possum. This cute, comical bookmark is just the fun craft project to remind you of that.

Tomb Raider

Film review: Tomb Raider

It may not be the female action-hero film you’ve been hanging out for, but a new movie starring Alicia Vikander breathes new life into the relic-hunting character Lara Croft.

A beginner's guide to goat's cheese

Goat's cheese is a hot culinary trend - but do you know which flavours to match with it? Take a course in goat's cheese 101 with two new cheeses from Whitestone.

How a look through a camera lens saved a century-plus-old villa

When Rotorua photographer Tracey Scott looks through her camera, she sees possibilities - not problems - which is also her metaphor for life.

Recipe: Roasted baby turnips

A simple turnip recipe that makes a great addition to a weekend roast.

Jim Kayes' blog: Telling little lies

This week, Jim gets caught telling a few porkies.

Lisa Scott goes cage diving with great white sharks

They say the only way to conquer a fear is to confront it, but Lisa Scott discovers singing “la la la” and completely ignoring it might be less psychologically damaging in the long run.

Novelist Tanya Moir's double life

Our heroine casts a dashing figure as she marches across the Banks Peninsula. And like all good dramatic characters, her  past holds a compelling secret.

Recipe: 20-vegetable salad with cucumber dressing

Ruth Pretty's recipe is based on a salad she loved eating in Tokyo. Change the veggies depending on what is in your fridge or the garden.

 

11 inspiring New Zealand women share their stories

In celebration of International Women's Day, we share a few of our most popular stories about inspiring Kiwi women.

How a dry garden and lavender farm helped Karen Rhind start again

For a lavender enthusiast and landscape designer, crafting a wild and beautiful garden in one of the country’s most inhospitable environments was an expression of letting go.

Holden Commodore

Dunedin to Queenstown: A road trip to remember

A road trip through iconic southern scenery spins the wheels and the twangs the heart-strings.

Tickled pink by a 1973 Holden LJ Torana

A 45-year-old Aussie eye-catcher has added colour to its owner’s life.

Recipe: Gingerbread Kisses

These little individual cakes are very, VERY good. You can keep a stash of unfilled cakes in the freezer for emergencies.

 

Andrea Bosshard on filming her father for new doco

Kobi – a Life Work documents the story of film-maker Andrea Bosshard’s father – an unassuming goldsmith and mountaineer who became known as New Zealand’s grandfather of contemporary jewellery.

Dr Compost's recipe for the good life and top composting tips

As a champion of the health and happiness benefits of rich, rotting compost, nothing makes Ben Elms more content than the multitude of microscopic critters squirming in his compost.

How Ryan Sanders and Marco Creemers scaled the heights of success

Scaling the heights of success is becoming almost commonplace for a couple who became engaged on Mt Everest and steer a company that just scooped New Zealand’s most prestigious tourism award.

Ruth Pretty on how to be the host with the most

Ruth Pretty's name is synonymous with having a good time: meet the well-loved caterer who is bringing her special brand of deliciousness to your dinner table.

The tiny guide to building tiny

While she wasn’t immediately sold on the tiny house movement, 20-something Amanda Chapman has now jumped on board, boots and all, building her own.

One family's experience with deer velvet farming

The Inch family farm red deer with a velvet hand and a soft touch, but it has been a learning curve for his city-born-and-bred wife.

Final call for entries for Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

Entries close Friday 2 March  for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

5 steps to the perfect cup of tea

Mindfulness is a key ingredient in the preparation of your daily cuppa, explains Tea Master Anna Kydd.

How to create a food forest garden

Food forests can seem like the most complicated of garden designs, but here's how to do it yourself, step-by-step.

3 irresistible plum recipes

When plums go crazy, these recipes will help you use them all up in the most delicious ways possible.

 

Recipe: honey-roasted pork belly

Use strong honey, such as manuka, so the flavour permeates this rich and sticky pork dish. To make it easier to carve, ask your butcher to remove the bone from the pork.

11 tips to marketing a successful food business

Three experts share their wisdom on how to create a profitable food product.

How the Big Bang Theory transformed Glenn Jones' business

Graphic designer Glenn Jones burst onto the T-shirt scene with a bang and has gone on to create a global business from the spare room of his Auckland villa.

Recipe: Citrus cooler

You can use any mix of citrus to make this perfect evening drink, and dress it up with mint and borage flowers.

Jim Kayes' blog: Big dogs vs small dogs

In Jim Kayes' blog this week - the family debates whether to downsize their next pooch.

The Off-Topic Book Club: Lincoln in the Bardo

The Off-Topic Book Club can't agree about whether George Saunders' Man Booker winning novel lives up to the hype.

 

Polly's blog: heartbreak in the holiday season

A seaside town is brought to a standstill after a drowning.

Dr Libby: What your gut is telling you

You’ll know when your digestive system is working the way it should.

Recipe: cheesy eggplant bake

This dish is a household staple at tomato grower, Gemma Romano's home. Her grandson Anthony likes to eat it as an afternoon snack, sandwiched between two slices of white bread.

3 inspiring New Zealand food forests

We take a guided tour through three very different food forests at different stages in their lifecycle.

Make money from honey (without being a beekeeper)

Here’s how to profit from bees without becoming a beekeeper.

Recipe: Beer-can chicken

A Kiwi-summer favourite has been given a tasty upgrade with a spicy rub.

Take a tour of Jools Topp's cute-as-a-button caboose

When everybody knows your name, a private space becomes a treasure and Jools Topp has found hers in a country caboose.

How the southerly winds inspire Mark Hill's amazing sculptures

Southerly gales invigorate the Hills family life in a holiday house by the sea.

Recipe: Holiday braised leg of lamb

This dish can be cooked at a leisurely pace in a lidded barbecue or pizza oven.

Family and friendships formed on the Tora Coastal Walk

The journey has been every bit as important as the destination for two farming families behind New Zealand’s longest-running private walk.

Villa Maria founder's Waipu Cove escape

A bach at the beach yields vintage holidays for one of New Zealand’s best-known wine-making families.

Palmerston North's award-winning bagpipe player

One of Australasia’s most successful bagpipe players, plays a triumphant tune that drifts from the flat plains of Palmerston North to the Scottish Highlands.

Recipe: Campfire couscous

A couscous perfect for summer with spring onions, dates and feta.

A caravan suffering from a mid-life crisis

Hula girls, grass skirts and a pineapple ice bucket... the only thing missing from this Hawaiian homage is a coconut palm swaying in the warm Waiheke breeze.

What to do at Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana is a special place; we share the best places to walk, explore and learn from this amazing part of New Zealand.

Hipsy Scott's storybook home on wheels

There was a young girl who dreamt of faraway lands, who saw roads stretching ahead filled with never-ending stories. Thankfully, it became it reality.

Take a tour of the historic Bull Creek cribs in Otago

Kith and kinship are at the heart of the happiness found in a tiny holiday community on the South Island’s south coast.

 

4 Golden Bay outdoor activities

Visiting Golden Bay - the Insider's Guide has got you covered.

Why scientists are researching health benefits of Moonglow tomatoes

There are tomatoes, and then there is this great-tasting heritage variety with a very special secret.

Wired-up sculptor Cherise Thomson's No. 8 creations

An Auckland artist regularly uses hundreds of kilometres of wire, but she isn’t making fences.

Think global, act local - and hurry up!

Unwanted waste might disappear from the immediate environment, but it has to go somewhere.

Lisa Scott... goes tramping

The earth moved for the Feckless Miss Scott on her first three-day tramp high in the Naumann range north of Lake Ohau.

Orongorongo Valley's 50 private huts

Fifty private huts, hidden in native bush in the Orongorongo Valley near Wellington, have played an important role for generations of families.

The Restoration of Daisy Mae, the caravan

Don Jessen shares his experience restoring a rusty 1958 14-foot (4.2 metre) Liteweight Kiwi caravan, one of only 28 built, to her former glory.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Keeping up with the kids

This week Jim suffers from a wounded ego when he lags behind his daughters on the sports field.

Motueka nursery growing rare native seedlings

The nursery supporting its local habitat, local gardeners and its owners.

Lake Hawea's dreamy stone glasshouse

So she said: ‘I’d really like a stone glasshouse.’ And he said: ‘Sure, I know exactly what you mean. I’ll build it.’ And he did.

 

The adventurer living in a treehouse

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ could have been invented for adventure traveler Ellis Emmett.

From derelict barn to award-winning berry business

A Wairarapa couple have transformed a derelict wee barn and rundown lifestyle block into a successful fruit and berry business.

Polly's Blog: In hot water

‘Valve’ becomes an offensive word when Polly and co suffer plumbing problems.

 

An unforgettable drive

Kelly Gillbanks drives the Holden Equinox SUV through the Forgotten World Highway and discovers some colourful New Zealand history  including the feline vice-president of the 'Republic of Whangamomona' and a brand new private museum.

Turning back time on the Forgotten World Highway

The decommissioned Stratford-Okahukura line covers some of the most isolated country in the North Island making it home to the tunnels, bridges and townships that time forgot.

Jim Kayes' blog: Dad's on strike!

This week Jim is on strike to help improve his daughters’ usefulness around the house.

Artist John McLean's coastal orchard in Taranaki

Artist John McLean was driven by need to become self-sufficient 30 years ago, but today he and wife Chris couldn't live any other way.

Imake's 50M home brewing success story

A NZ home-brew company has doubled its turnover after launching an electric brewing machine called The Grainfather.

Book review: Life on Muzzle

A tale of pioneering in the 1980’s in one of  NZ’s most remote high-country stations captures book reviewer Peter White’s imagination.

dublin prime minister

Travelling through Dublin by foot

A visitor to Dublin meets Molly Malone, Oscar Wilde and Handel, and downs his first-ever Guinness in the embrace of a local pub-goer.

Recipe: Southland cheese rolls

The best cheese rolls are found in Southland – and don’t dare suggest otherwise.

Video: Watch Amelia Ferrier transform a cake into a work of art

Cakes are a blank canvas for a talented baker and author of Melie's Kitchen.

Kristina Cavit

Teaching mindfulness to vulnerable NZ teens

For Kristina Cavit – yoga teacher, mindfulness coach and youth leader – mindfulness means not only paying attention to and nourishing her present, but also that of others.

What Carolyn Ferraby learned creating Barewood Garden

Every vista in this world-class garden, photographed through the seasons, tempts visitors down a path laden with promise. Barewood Garden's creator shares how she's grown alongside her garden.

Sawmill Brewery scales up to 1M capacity

A Matakana couple find that brewing beer, staying creative and living in the country is the best medicine for what ails you.

cat on fence

How to garden with cats

Kirsty Pascoe is an avid gardener who has applied permaculture principles to her back yard and her cats.

Animals set to steal the show at Heroic Festival

A colourful Auckland family with a motley crew of animals are opening their garden gate for the Heroic Garden Festival.

Religious community launches tiny house business

Driven by a vision of a simpler way, five Manawatu families are reaping the benefits of living side by side.

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.

Self-taught knitter turns heads at Vogue

Nicole Leybourne’s designer jumpers are so sought after, she’s had to hire a team of knitters across the country.

Christmas on the barbie menu

Have yourself a very merry Christmas barbecue with these show-stopping recipes by Anthony Hoy Fong

The magic of madness at Matakana Sculptureum

Anthony and Sandra Grant's curious Matakana playground mixes a love of art with a soupcon of insanity for all to enjoy.

4 reasons why you need to visit Blackball

Gold is hidden in the black sands and gravel creeks of Greymouth but travelers need to venture no further to find quirks and curiosity than Blackball, 30 kilometres inland from Greymouth.

Jim Kayes' Blog: Playing with fire in Samoa

 This week Jim takes the family to Samoa and it is confirmed, those daughters are an easy step ahead of him in his Apia-bought jandals.

7 kaka facts for bird lovers

The kākā is vying for your vote in Bird of the Year. We share seven reasons why this gregarious parrot deserves to be New Zealand's top bird.

Raglan biz chasing pet food market

The doggedness of two Raglan friends - plus a supportive community - helped launch a posh pet brand

Couple create fernbird safehaven

A Southland couple have turned their block into an internationally-recognised wetland of importance, and a safe haven for one of NZ's rare birds.

Polly's blog: Meeting Far North Boogeyman

Polly comes face-to-face with Brutus, the local boar, and the Far North version of the Boogeyman.

Kate tries her hand at cheesemaking

NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan, aka Little Miss Muffet, takes a voyage around her great-grandfather and makes cheese.

Water Cooler: Deco decadence and anti-plastic fantastic

This week in the water cooler: we're exploring Napier's Art Deco architecture in style, reducing our use of plastic bags and taking part in an important study.

Jim Kayes' blog: Saying goodbye

This week Jim ponders different ways of grieving and wonders, yet-again, if those daughters aren’t a step ahead of him.

Tickets available to the Outstanding Food Producer Dinners

Readers in Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin can sample the award-winning cuisine at the Outstanding Food Producer Dinners.

Why Chelsea Winter feels at home in the country

The cookbook queen is happiest when she's following the lead of her nature-loving mother.

Is this Disneyland for dogs?

Angela Beer didn't even know she was a dog person until she met her beloved Dunhill, and she had even less idea just how far that love would take her.

Screen Sirens podcast: Top of the Lake

Are we living in a television golden age? The Screen Sirens discuss why award-winning Kiwi writer and director Jane Campion now prefers to work on TV these days. They then give the low down on the second season of Top of the Lake.

Video: Watch Ben Foster create his faceted sculptures

Between the mountains and the sea, sculptor Ben Foster and environmentalist Sabrina Luecht have found the best of nests.

The veggie that helps break the sugar habit

Kristina is trying to break her addiction to sugar and she's found there's a veggie on her side.

Great Dixter gardener heading to NZ

When a legendary gardener dies, what becomes of his or her garden? Ask Fergus Garrett, the guest speaker at November's Nelmac Garden Marlborough.

Water Cooler: NZ's best chocolates

This week in the water cooler: We announce NZ's best chocolates, meet a very special creche at Ararimu School and wage a war on stickered fruit.

Mother and son racing team rally on

Brenda Williamson is as competent managing a private hospital as she is navigating tight corners.

birthday party cake

Polly's blog: Please and thanks

This week, Polly finds manners put grease in social cogs while attending a children's birthday party.

A 'tail' of pet technology

New wearable pet sensors will not only find Fido, they can also report on how he's feeling.

 

Behind the scenes at the NZ Chocolate Awards

Being a chocolate judge would be many children’s dream. thisNZlife goes behind the scenes at the NZ Chocolate Awards to discover how to taste chocolate like a pro.

Jim Kayes' blog: breaking bad

This week the sky falls in after a slip on the rocks.

Game on for Lumsden salami business

A passion for hunting and a taste for cured meat prompted Chris and Sally Thorn to start their own artisan business in Lumsden.

Iona Weir

The biochemist discovering secrets in NZ soil

A spirited New Zealand biochemist and entrepreneur is finding ways to support women in science on her own home soil.

Alice Englert talks about her mum Jane Campion

Actress Alice Englert wasn’t fazed baring her soul on camera for her mother Jane Campion’s latest series.

Recipe: Roast leg of lamb with broad beans with easy gravy

Mint enhances the flavour of both the lamb and the broad beans, bringing a freshness to this dish.

steamed fennel

Recipe: Steamed fennel

This fennel dish makes a lovely addition to a traditional roast meal, or is a good accompaniment to fish and chicken.

Water Cooler: Dog adopting and ballet

This week in the water cooler, we're tutu impressed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Romeo & Juliet, are finding heart-melting dogs, are celebrating Tanya Carlson's 20 years in fashion and are watching Helen Clark documentary, My Year With Helen.

Uncrowded remote Awakino ski field new zealand

Lisa Scott's wild ride at Awakino Ski Field

Lisa Scott’s first day of snowboarding at Awakino skifield in North Otago involved a helicopter and an avalanche.

Polly's blog: listening to the natural world

The family visit the local marae, and reap the mother of all harvests.

7 things to do in Invercargill

There’s plenty waiting to be discovered in the big city of Invercargill and in the small towns that line its wild coast.

Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann

This German-born dream machine is  loving Kiwi country roads

Screen Sirens: Keeping up with Keaton

The Screen Sirens weigh up how the new film Hampstead compares to Diane Keaton's other movies.

Water Cooler: Virtual worlds and grapefruit hunting

This week in the water cooler, we're foraging for grapefruit, exploring virtual worlds, taking trips to Spain and are feeling inspired by a New Zealand business leader.

Dr Libby talks weight loss and low energy availability

The weight-loss equation of calories in/calories out is not only dated, it can also be harmful

manuka rx natural New Zealand skincare

Why manuka is New Zealand’s super-healing oil

A New Zealand super-plant is powering the healing properties of a must-have multi-tasking new balm.

The Burt Munro of the skies

A New Zealand pilot is channeling Burt Munro racing a Soviet World War II era fighter plane in Reno next month.

Simon Gault from plot to plate

Former MasterChef judge Simon Gault’s diabetes diagnosis is a 'sauce' of inspiration for a new food venture and at his restaurant Giraffe where he serves veggies grown in his own garden .

Water cooler: fun with soap, why NZ avocados are very special, and chicks for Ag Day

Recipe: two great avocado ideas

NZ avocados are particularly special, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 per cent more folate than those grown in other parts of the world.

Recipe: Okroshka soup

This cold summer soup, made with kvas, is Russia’s answer to gazpacho.

The Russian fermented drink, brewed in Christchurch

A Christchurch-based couple who met in Russia had a gut feeling a tasty new probiotic would be a hit in New Zealand. They were right

Jim Kayes' blog: growing up quickly

This week Jim realises he’s been left behind - again.

10 timeless makeup and beauty secrets

You can’t actually age backwards, but you can look like it. Take these few make-up tips for keeping your face as ageless as your spirit.

9 tips for starting a local food co-op

For more than 25 years, the locals of a small rural Southland community have co-operated to provide themselves with mostly locally-grown, organic food. They encourage others to try it, and to learn from their years of experience.

Eruption survivor climbs to the top

Mt Ruapehu robbed William Pike of one of his legs but never his ability to inspire

Reader story: Joany's sometimes stall

The roadside stalls that dot the rural landscape, suddenly appearing on a windy road when you least expect it, so I was trying not to let on just how desperate I was for one of my own.

Water cooler: a winter weekend, clever koura and hockey stars

This week in the water cooler: A winter weekend in Central, wild waterways and their wonderful creatures, underwater world champions and a towering construction.

Sweet smell of success for vegan soap business

A couple’s wish list read: their own land, a self-sustainable lifestyle and a business that reflected their personal values.  After a bright idea and lots of hard work, that list has become a blueprint for the Blue Earth range of body products

Recipe: Red onion marmalade

Take your cheese board to the next level with this onion marmalade recipe.

Art with a world view

A leading Japanese businessman who has chosen New Zealand as his home, wields art to encourage society to reuse what exists rather than waste resources. he shares his vision for bringing contemporary art into the natural landscape.

Annette Presley says 'feel the fear and do it anyway'

A long list of charity work and a focus on living a good and healthy life occupies one of the country’s leading business people. Annette Presley shares her insight

A guide to NZ's backyard birds

How to identify birds and encourage birdlife in your backyard.

Video: Botanist Philip Simpson shares his love of totara

Our native trees are some of the most unique in the world, and so is the man who has dedicated his life to studying them and telling their stories, including his latest on the king of them all.

It's all good craic in Belfast

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but what do Game of Thrones, a jigging Irishman and Bill Clinton have in common? Belfast

Mt Titiroa

A walk on the wild side in Southland

In this award-winning story, Lisa Scott travels on foot through northern Southland’s high country and on board a helicopter to the roof of the world  in Southland.

Water cooler: Dunkirk review and garden goals

This week in the water cooler, we're raving about Dunkirk, achieving our garden goals and digging up our old handbags for a good cause.

Recipe: Quinoa fried chicken with coriander salsa

Switch breadcrumbs for quinoa for a gluten-free version of fried chicken.

My career path: Estée Lauder GM, Marie-Ann Billens

Marie-Ann Billens understands that the key to a long-lasting career is to create a good foundation – and to find a job that never feels like work

Polly's Blog: Pondering parenting styles

Polly tests an alternative parenting method on for size

Meet the 'unofficial mayor' of Awakino

Garry Wycherley and Robyn Ansell are putting tiny Awakino on the map, one building at a time

Water Cooler: Celebrating science, dry July & French spirit

This week in the water cooler we: celebrate clever New Zealand scientists at the KiwiNet awards and take our horses to the dentist  (yikes).

'Prioritize time to rest' says Dr Libby

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a juggle but finding the right balance is essential for happiness and wellbeing.

rubbish car driver

Video: Hitching a ride on a rubbish truck

thisNZlife’s Emma Rawson and Sarah van Boheemen from Love Food Hate Waste hitch a ride on an Auckland Council food waste collection truck and see, firsthand, how much food New Zealanders throw away.

Jim Kayes' blog: Am I turning into my mum?

Jim turns from hero to zero when channeling his mother's parenting style.

How Tuhoe is leading the way in sustainable design

Te Kura Whare is a new-generation building embodying super-green values and the spirit of Tūhoe

Recipe: Gluten-free, dairy-free saffron almond cake

This cake is gluten and dairy-free - and delicious. It’s a beautiful saffron-gold colour, and has a delicious orange flavour and moist texture, plus it’s easy to make.

Off-Topic Book Club Podcast: The Suicide Club

The Off-Topic Book Club have a lively discussion about Berlin-based New Zealand author Sarah Quigley's new novel The Suicide Club.

Video: Locals fighting to protect the waterways that feed Lake Wanaka

Water, a precious resource, is at its most pristine in a spring-fed stream chuckling its way through the heart of Wanaka

Recipe: Poor Man's Orange marmalade

Kelly Farrimond's Poor Man's Orange marmalade is a reduced sugar version of a family favourite.

Polly's Blog: A legendary stick-in-the-mud

Polly  channels Crumpy and Scotty when she braves flood waters in a Hilux - and becomes a true bush woman in the process.

Sustainable sewing in a solar-powered campervan

Sarah Lancaster is a maker on a mission to encourage sustainability - one hand-made tote at a time. Through her business, Sew Love, she’s teaching basic tailoring skills such as hemming, mending and patchwork.

Twice as nice for couple living in villa for 2nd time

After years overseas, an Auckland couple has created an urban oasis on home soil in a house they have lived in twice.

Recipe: Maureen-Ann Farrimond's Pineapple Fruitcake

Maureen-Ann Farrimond's Pineapple Fruitcake is a family favourite.

Jim Kayes' blog: Coach dad

Jim Kayes finds himself cast in the role of coach, but can he hold court in the world of school netball?

Tiny house business booming for 21 year-old

A young Wellingtonian is thinking big with a burgeoning tiny house business.

Hunting for wild flowers in Aus

Western Australia’s wild flowers draw hoards of hunters in search of a floral fix.

Andean superfood quinoa grown in Taihape

A little experiment with a superfood has turned into a win-win business for a young farming couple.

The science behind growth hormones

One of the enduring myths about commercial poultry is that poultry producers worldwide use growth hormones to make broilers grow faster and produce more meat.

Polly's Blog: Pig hunting with the Scottish Bear Grylls

James hogs the limelight when he goes on the hunt for a pig and Polly wisely stays at home.

Wairoa's man of action

Environmental scientist and lawyer Fergus Power has moved from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to injecting a little “rocket fuel” into the Wairoa District Council.

People are swooning over this 1966 Cortina

Rongotea dairy farmer Alan Rowe has struck a surprising little problem with the car he has owned for 47 years.

No-fail pumpkin and coconut soup

This easy-to-make pumpkin soup is packed with flavour.

Water cooler: In praise of persimmons

This week in the water cooler: We wage a fruit war with Lynda Hallinan over persimmons explore a handy travel photo app, and mow our support for Emirates Team New Zealand.

The murky world of NZ water

The discussion around the state of NZ’s fresh water isn’t short of an opinion or two, but science is speaking out more loudly.

The hunt for the real llamas of NZ

This llama farmer is so dedicated to her quest to find and save the real llamas of New Zealand, she is making a life-changing move to a new home on a new island.

Jim's blog: Driving me mad

This week Jim Kayes teaches his daughter how to drive, and lives to tell the tale.

Our winter fashion wrap up

Stay chic and cosy this winter with our fashion picks.

Two same sex couples raising one happy little girl

Ask Rodney and Clinton and Erin and Emma... They’ll tell you it’s love that makes a family, not just blood ties.

Polly's blog: 'Save New Zealand's rivers for our kids'

As the debate over the country’s polluted waterways heats up, Polly Greeks writes a love letter to Aotearoa’s rivers and streams.

PurePod glass cabins are a partnership with NZ farmers

A stay at these all-glass cabins on the outskirts of Kaikoura is to step into a magical realm where the world is reframed and time works in mysterious ways.

Jim Kayes' Great Barrier Island fishy tale

Twenty-five years a journalist, Jim Kayes knows how to hook a story but when he ventures out on his rookie fishing trip  he realises hooking a fish is completely different.

Water cooler: long weekend movies and wild Waikato roads

This week in the water cooler: we review McLaren and Wonder Woman, avoid some nasty slips in the Waikato and put porridge to the test.

Meet the stars of Pecking Order

The 2017 National Poultry Show is a celebration of NZ’s oldest poultry club, and its members are all stars of a chick flick with a difference.

Port for duck hunting season

Boutique winemaker Debra Cruickshank has produced a port especially for duck hunting season.

Jim Kayes' blog: Good morning sunshine

Jim Kayes has been a journalist for 25 years. He survived growing up with four sisters and is now married with two daughters. Despite this, he thinks he's in charge.

Slavko Martinov talks brain tumours and Pecking Order

The director of the new film Pecking Order talks about the bizarre world of poultry showing, and how a brain tumour has shaped his outlook on life.

1906 villa sees new life after Chch earthquake

When the owners of an earthquake-wrecked home were told it was a lost cause, They knew it wasn’t.

Water cooler: How to find a missing cat (we hope)

This week in the water cooler, we're using our CSI skills to search for a missing cat, eating all of the pies and are singing in the rain.

Screen Sirens podcast: Wonder Woman review

Screen Sirens reviewers Emma and Yolanta say Wonder Woman is the action movie women have been waiting for.

Former America's Cup sailor floats new business

A three-time America’s Cup winning team member is back on a boat but in a wooden dinghy.

How Bird on a Wire became one of NZ's fastest-growing firms

An Auckland chicken-restaurant chain founded on a wing and a prayer is now one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing businesses thanks to the adaptability  of its owners.

Blog: treasure hunting in the Far North

In which Polly trades in foreign treasure-hunting for a more sedate seeking of materials and finds it just as rewarding.

How this rare pig could aid biomedical science

The rarest pig breed in the world is teetering on the brink of extinction, and the few people working to save it would love some help from anyone who enjoys the company of pigs, and a good slice or three of the tastiest bacon around.

Hedgehogs: friend or foe?

Hedgehogs present a prickly problem, being both garden friend and foe.

Anthony Byrt and the conversation of art

Journalist and art critic Anthony Byrt is doing his bit to make the world – and Northland – a better place.

Brian Glassey Pecking Order

Bird brains and Anne with an E

This week in the water cooler: We have birds on the brain reviewing Pecking Order, get caught in a web of spidey powers, and revisit a classic with Anne with an E.

The 10 most cost-effective edibles to grow

Food is the biggest household expense after accommodation, and the cost of it seems to be skyrocketing year after year, so what are the most high value things you can grow to save money?

Why Pauline Bianchi always trusts her instincts

Art gallery founder Pauline Bianchi has overcome a life-threatening accident to create a meaningful life with her  6 year-old daughter Valentina.

Recipe: Windsor Blue cheese, pear and walnut pizza

Is eco-friendly Mangarara Station the future of NZ farming?

Greg and Rachel Hart share a mission: to connect New Zealanders with what they eat, how they live and with the planet itself.

Recipe: Gluten-free quinoa tart

This easy-to-make quinoa tart is a tasty and filling dish to serve to guests on a gluten-free diet.

willow maker golden bay

Artisan willow weaver encourages community spirit

This old craft is still immensely popular, and encourages a true community spirit on a Golden Bay lifestyle block.

Polly's blog: a whale tale

Polly turns to a whale when time rushes by.

apple orchard

Design a home orchard

A well-designed orchard means you can be self-sufficient in fruit all year-round.

Career path: life as a ballet mistress

From a little girl in her mother’s Auckland studio to the big-city stages of the world, ballerina Clytie Campbell’s career has swept from one act to the next.

A divine conversion

Breathing new life into an old church has taken more than a decade and cost twice the estimate but the owners are in heaven.

Rigatoni con Salsiccia Siciliana e zucchine

This is a simple dish, yet to do it well you need to concentrate.

The inspiration behind Fred van Brandenberg's organic building design

A revelation turned an experienced and successful architect away from the traditional styles in which he’d always worked towards something far more organic.

Wild mushroom risotto with prawns and hot-smoked guanciale

This recipe by The Prodigal Daughter founder, Rachel Priestly showcases her own Italian- styled cured meats.

Raymond Herber's sculpture park

Forging ahead at the Iron Ridge Sculpture Park

Canterbury sculptor Raymond Herber has carved out a true niche for his life and work in an abandoned quarry.

And the winner is...

Meet Sean and Jodi Brosnahan – East Coast farmers, breeders of supreme Angus beef and winners of the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017.

Full list of winners for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

NZ Life & Leisure proudly supports the annual Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. With 150 entries, from the Catlins to Kaitaia, the judges were spoilt for choice.

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.

tiny house

'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

Blog: the pros and cons of homeschool

The land is proving to be a natural classroom in more ways than one for Polly and her family.

Judges’ kitchen cupboard secrets

It’s almost time for the announcement of the winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017 so thisNZlife asked the award judges to reveal their kitchen secrets.

Vanilla pear, parma ham and blue cheese salad

This recipe by The Mountain Cafe's Kirsten Gilmour is perfect for a light, fresh,  lunch or evening salad.

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.

The brewery that uses wild yeast from Kapiti Island

The wild yeasts of Kapiti Island star in a new brew from a Waikanae company known for its barrel-fermented sour beers.

boiling water to sanitise

How to sanitise water

If water is contaminated after a disaster, there are several ways to purify it.

A healthy food plan for post-emergency power cuts

Food in a refrigerator won’t last long without power so plan your food usage carefully to avoid contamination.

lamb injured

How to look after animals in an emergency

How to keep animals calm after a disaster and how to plan for animal evacuation.

Blog: traveling with kids

Polly finds traveling with kids a less-than-relaxing experience.

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.

Scientists explore cancer-fighting properties of heritage apples

An everyday accountant is working with New Zealand scientists to explore the disease-fighting properties of heritage apples and orange tomatoes.

The return of the community fridge

Zero-waste blogger Amanda Chapman discusses the community fridge project and her eco heroes.

A creative network of young country women

Meet the selection of creative female go-getters selling their wares at the Rural Ladies marketplace.

kiwiinthewils

Rare footage of a Stewart Island brown kiwi during the day

Distracted by saddlebacks and robins, Insider’s Guide editor Cheree Morrison never expected to trip over a kiwi.

Connecting Young Rural Ladies

From two sprawling high-country stations on either side of the Waitaki River, two young and creative rural ladies are empowering and connecting like-minded women.

Jim Kayes cycles the Hauraki Rail Trail

Jim Kayes is easily led astray by his 10-year-old daughter on a bike along the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Blog: is it time for the ducks to get the chop?

This week, Polly defends her ducks from a date with  the casserole pot.

Gluten-free bread business on the rise

An Auckland entrepreneur is earning a crust with a clever bread mix business.

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.

Yes, this is actually a cucumber

If you like the long green cucumbers, you're going to love these extraordinary orbs.

Are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer?

Some businesses are disguising their employees  as volunteers, so are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer from another volunteer scheme?

Move it in Madagascar

Cycling the exotic island of Madagascar provides a lesson in the country's economy, as well as one in humanity.

5 weird but really tasty things to make using basil

If you only think pesto when you think of basil, Jenny has some recipes to tickle your tastebuds.

Recipe: peanut butter burgers

Spice up your homemade burgers with a good dollop of peanut butter relish.

Mexican photographer's first farm visit

Mexican photographer Carla Danieli had never spent time on a farm before her stay on a remote station in the Waihopai Valley.

Mary Biggs and the Country Cooking School

Mary Biggs started with Le Cordon Bleu, detoured into lemon cordial and is now back to basics with a country cooking school, sharing the bounty of her beloved farm.

Annabel Langbein’s flash-roasted chilli lime salmon

Feeding a crowd?  Annabel Langbein's zesty salmon dish with Nam Prik sauce is ready in 20 minutes.

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.

Nature- enter me: Chris Parry's Coromandel home

Chris Parry, drummer for the iconic 1960s band Fourmyula and manager of British bands the Jam and the Cure, left New Zealand 50 years ago expecting never to return. But that was until he found a soul-soaring piece of turf he now calls home.

Blog: wet, wet weather and harvest fever

Polly gets wet feet during the storm and discovers she has to reap what she sows.

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.

Pic's Peanut Butter's $50m success story

Serial entrepreneur Pic Picot has learned that nothing pays better than peanuts.

Ghost stories and the charming characters of Port Chalmers

Ghosts, nudie photographs and a Pacific slave trade - Lisa Scott takes a tour of Port Chalmers and discovers a few skeletons in the closet of this Dunedin suburb.

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.

cheese

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.

Recipe: Esther's gluten-free gingerbread recipe

A favourite gluten-free recipe from Mary Bigg's Country Cooking School.

Growing a family business on the Wanaka Lavender Farm

Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.

Juliet Jackson: 'Losing my sight didn't curb my creative spirit'

Although losing her sight meant the end of artist Juliet Jackson’s love affair with painting, it sparked a new-found passion for the written word.

The Vinbrux family take Oamaru

In the two years since the proficiently self-sufficient Vinbrux family of Oamaru first captured the hearts of NZ Life & Leisure readers, for their ability to live well on food expenditure of $90 a week, the family has branched out and taken Oamaru food retailing by storm.

Recipe: Chocolate peanut butter cookies with salted date filling

These chewy and gooey bite-size sweet treats are not only delicious, but gluten-free.

The ugly, indispensable quince

It’s completely inedible when raw and dangerous to cut up, with a heady, perfumed scent that is completely at odds with its appearance. Sound like your kind of fruit?

Monique Fiso

How Monique Fiso is raising the bar on Maori cuisine

Monique Fiso is one of the most innovative young chefs in Maori and Pacific cuisine, but it took a job halfway around the world for her to discover her true passion.

Blog: No such thing as a stranger

At a time when travel bans and giant walls place severe strain on international relations, Polly reflects on the kind hospitality she received in the Middle East.

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.

Recipe: honey rice crisps

Use a mild-flavoured honey, such as blue borage, in this toasted sesame version of the classic treat.

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.

Tasty ways to use avocados

The smooth, creamy texture of avocados makes them a great ally in baking. Give these delicious recipes a try.

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).

A 60sqm container house in a cherry orchard

When a crane swung two shipping containers over the treetops of a cherry orchard it signalled the start of a new way of life for the Heeringa family.

Exploring the sacred forest of Ubud, Bali

A sacred forest in Bali’s Ubud is both a conservation area for monkeys and a place where humans strive to reach physical and spiritual well-being in accord with Hindu principles.

3 fantastic green bean recipe

Turn a bean overload into three fantastic summer dishes.

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.

Garden pesto

A garden lover's pesto

Basil, parsley, rocket - use whatever greens you have growing in your garden to make this zesty pesto.

NZer saving animals of all sizes on Victoria farm

A multi-tasking Kiwi with a passion for saving animals has set up a special sanctuary on her lifestyle block just outside Melbourne.

How to start small in the cheese business

Many people have a dream to become artisan cheesemakers. It was 20 years in the making for Adrian and Jill Walcroft of Cartwheel Creamery, but they’re maturing nicely.

Blog: The case of the disappearing duck

In Polly Greek's blog this week: when a Pekin duck goes missing, James goes on stoat-catching duty.

6 surprising things about Abel Tasman

Dunedin writer Lisa Scott went adventuring in the Abel Tasman National Park, north west of Nelson, and came away reeling.

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.

Couple switch corporate life for barrels of rum

An Anglo-American couple find their adventurous spirit by swapping international careers for a Golden Bay distillery and its stock of barrel-aged rum.

Dot Smith's garden with no soil

This is a garden of no soil that supplies the award-winning Riverstone Kitchen with its fresh vegetables and fruit all year-round, and it's a work of art.

From farm to 'glampground'

Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.

boys at campfire

Blog: boys gone wild

Young boys run wild on Polly's  family camping trip.

Recipe: Chilli lime prawn burrito with coriander slaw

The following recipe is fast, low fuss and delicious. It is ideal for feeding a crowd at the family bach.

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.

'Losing my sight at 14 hasn't held me back'

As a teenager Minnie Baragwanath was told her disability would limit her life. But the winner of the 2013 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is determined to make a difference for the lives of disabled people.

chiapudding

Recipe: creamy coconut chia seed pudding

Carine Claudepierre shares a  dairy-free, egg-free breakfast option inspired by tapioca.

Thinking outside the box on Great Barrier Island

Less than 100km away from the 1.4 million people who make up Auckland is an island of the self-sufficient. Great Barrier Island resident and author Lindsay Wright checks out some of his industrious neighbours.

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.

How to make cashew cream

Cashew cream is an easy to make dairy-free alternative to whipped cream.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

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

Recipe: Balsamic strawberry bruschetta

If you're looking for something fresh and fancy for Christmas lunch this year, give this balsamic strawberry bruschetta a go.

Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters

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

Carriages see new life off the rails

A South Island couple takes on two run-down old rail carriages and, in doing so, embarks on a long, exhausting – and ultimately very rewarding – journey.

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.

Welcome to The Outback

In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instruction on how to live.

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.

Small kids in a campervan - no problem

Fun and freedom on a budget? Or the family holiday from hell? Traveling some 1200 kilometres from Christchurch to Auckland in a campervan with two small children isn’t everyone’s idea of heaven. But this family survived… and then some.

Recipe: Elderflower cordial

This has to be the most divine cordial ever. I can never make enough of it. You just need a small amount in a glass topped up with water and you'll be in heaven. This is how one writer describes it.

Three hot summer fashion trends

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

Blog: The great Christmas debate

Polly debates whether to boycott Christmas and celebrate the Summer Solstice instead.

Wild horses, big dreams

Louise McNutt thought climbing into a wolf den was the biggest challenge she’d face in her animal-focused career, until she chose to ride the length of New Zealand on horseback.

Cockles

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.

Actress finds her happily ever after in Rakaia Gorge

A storybook house in the towering mountains offers an adorable princess, talking animals, a modest prince and a very funny mummy. She's a comedy writer, he's a beekeeper- meet the Dunbars.

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.

Classic baking: Yoyo recipe

These Yoyos are guaranteed to melt-in-the-mouth. This classic sweet treat is quick to make and will no doubt be an absolute crowd pleaser.

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.

Why the Beer Baroness misses beer

She may have named her first craft beer after a famous lipstick, but brewer Ava Nakagawa is certainly not making beer just for the girls.

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.

How to make Green Tea Smoked Beef

The Pitches Store chef shares his award-winning recipe for Green Tea Smoked Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef with Beetroot Mustard.

5 common plants causing your hayfever

Spring might be over, but there is plenty of pollen still in the air. Listed below are a few of the potential culprits, and it's probably not what you might think.

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

Horse trekking through the Coromandel

There may be a few hills to climb and you could well be subjected to a little karaoke, but this trek through some of New Zealand’s best scenery does good in more than one sense.

Life on the run with Liz Stringer

For a woman who really loves black and white, Wellington businesswoman Liz Stringer lives a most colourful life, split between town and country.

When Helly met Sally: love through the lens

Sally Maguire’s dog knew a thing or two when it introduced its owner to the love of her life, Helmut Hirler. They walk us through their beautiful home and art gallery, 'Artmosphere' .

The quick and slow of Christmas cakes

There is always an easy way and a hard way to do something, and Christmas cake is no different.

From Antarctica to Port Chalmers: David Elliot's well-drawn career

David Elliot loves nothing more than a good story. As luck (and hard work) would have it, his country-spanning, award-winning, character-rich career has bestowed him with plenty of content.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon

The NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon was huge success, raising $6500 for Ranui House.

Harvesting a culinary profit

Starting a backyard herbal enterprise can be a viable means of earning extra cash. Donna Lee of Cottage Hill Herbs spills her secrets to success.

Top female go-karter inspiring new generation

Top go-karter Tiff Chittenden is teaching a new generation of speedsters how to tackle the track.

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.

Garden work for November

As the weather starts to warm up, it is prime time to start sprouting flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs in your home garden.

Bringing super yacht technology down to size

Jason & Tristin Dickey talk us through how they brought superyacht technology down to size in a range of luxuriously fitted aluminium boats.

Leading the way in eco tourism

Featuring New Zealand's largest earthbag buildings, tipis, a permaculture garden and solar energy, Raglan's Solscape eco-camp is leading the way in sustainable tourism.

5 ways to make stock handling safer

Livestock being moved around a property can become unsettled, and that can be dangerous. Here's five ways you can keep things under control.

Personalised perfume business winning fans

A burgeoning, and bespoke, perfume business strays no further than nature’s garden for ingredients

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.

Inside Lynda Hallinan's "posh barn"

Hurricane Hallinan, aka the country’s liveliest gardener Lynda Hallinan, shows us her spring makeover in time for another charity fundraiser.

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

Goose

A beginner's guide to geese

When you’re considering security options for your farm, you’re probably considering the obvious: alarm system, gate alarm, dog, automatic lights, security cameras, but have you considered the humble goose?

4 things you need to know about the new farming rules

Regional councils around NZ are introducing new rules around farming, and you need to know how they may affect what and how you do things on your block.

Polly Greeks

Blog: You can't get good help these days

As the mudbrick  house construction progresses, Polly finds some workers are more help than others.

The high country station selling merino to NATO

Meet the Williamsons: global merino suppliers raising a tribe of small boys and creating real socks appeal in Omarama.

New Zealand sake scoops international award

New Zealand-made Zenkuro sake is ranked among the world's best.

Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies

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

A guide to wheat-free pizza bases

Try these gluten-free alternatives to a standard wheat-based pizza crust.

An award-winning toy business run from home

The kids play in the bush and fish in the stream. The adults work from home creating toys that win awards.

How a coffee addiction led to a tea business

Wellington tea maker’s three herbal blends are led by gut instinct, ensuring what’s tasty also nurtures body and mind.

Blog: The big packing debate

There are two types of suitcase packers in this world, writes Polly Greeks, the  Johnny-Go-Lightlies and the Just-In-Case packers.

How to reduce food waste

More than half the food thrown out by Kiwi households could be eaten.

From soap star to designer

Designer Katrina Hobbs is an expert at reinvention. From travel-show host to soap star, business presenter and now business owner, she takes a role and runs with it.

Small town fashion success

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

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.

banana bread waffles

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

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.

wood burner stove

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Ken Johnston of Stevens Outdoor Power Equipment.

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.

 

Markantonia

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.

magenta cycleway

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.

St Michael's Mount, Marazion.

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

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

Lambing 101

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.

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

Mulching over winter

Mulching is an easy way to protect your soil until you’re ready to use it in spring.

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.

Masanobu Fukuoka

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.

Norfolk Island

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.

Jing Song

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.

mouse hole

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.

planting a tree

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?

local horse

Blog: A bathroom at last

The demise of a local coincides with the near-death of the family’s bathroom plumbing.

chocolate stout cake

Recipe: chocolate stout cake

Kristina  Jenson brews up some great beer-based recipes, including a fabulously decadent chocolate cake.

goat

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.

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.

tamarillo in bowl

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.

Hukerenui School

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

Noeline Young

This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day

Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.

Okewa raincoats

Why this couple are singing in the rain

The rain fell down and a solution popped up – a young Wellington couple has designed a collection of classy raincoats that are making a splash.

neil mclachlan

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.

A milk bottle chandelier at The Milk Station in Otaki.

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.

parsnip

Three amazing parsnip recipes

Don't overlook this gourmet low calorie vegetable. Jenny Somervell shares three tasty parsnip recipes.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

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.

Apollo Taito.

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.

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.

Shoemaker Louise Clifton

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.

gumboots and mud

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 banana peel into cake

Turn this peel into a cake

Don't throw away your banana peels, they are the secret ingredient in this cake.

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.

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.

CUP OF TEA

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.

Swedish Vallhund

Is this the ultimate Kiwi dog?

This 30cm dog might be the ultimate Kiwi canine.

Winter is the time to start thinking about planning your garden

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

Rhubarb and rosehip jam

Gather rosehips and rhubarb to make this yummy winter jam.

Olveston gardens

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

rabbit in mobile hutch to eat weeds

5 organic ways to weed

You can get rid of weeds using everything from a rabbit to a steam gun (but not together).

concept chicken coop

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.

Passionfruit macadamia truffles.

Macadamia passionfruit truffles

Make these truffles even when passionfruit is out of season.

Gluten-free spiced apple cake.

Gluten-free spiced apple cake

Pantry adventurer Duncan White shares this gluten-free alternative to this afternoon tea classic.

beetroot red velvet cake

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.

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.

peony growers New Zealand

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.

Onehunga Foreshore.

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.

Good Bitches Baking

Saving the world through cake

What started as an idea to spread some sweetness throughout Wellington has blossomed into a national charity movement.

Kate’s good news: From Madame Mizuna to magazine mogul

Recipe: Roasted carrot salad with goat's cheese cream

This recipe from Little Poms is made with a kaleidoscope of vegetables from Cultivate Christchurch’s gardens.

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