8 lessons from long-time lifestyle block owners
If you could give one piece of advice to block owners, what would it be? Some long-time growers share their words of wisdom.
Send us your feedback on NZ Life & Leisure
Do you have feedback about a story in the latest issue of NZ Life & Leisure? In every issue we publish the most interesting letters we’ve received and the writer of each wins a prize.
How Polly Greeks uses a pizza oven for off-grid living (plus her time-tested oven tips)
NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks is building an off-grid mudbrick home in the Far North. The family of four’s pizza oven is not just a luxury, it’s an essential part of life.
How to buy the lifestyle block of your dreams
Looking for what is not there is often the hardest part.
Kiwiana décor, homewares and art in a 1960s Fibrolite bach
It’s more than a storehouse of treasured family memories, more than a good example of 1960s bach architecture. It’s a museum of its era and now it has inspired a book.
How to prevent burglars on your rural property
It’s time to have a rest and spend time enjoying the summer sun, but burglars love your beach holiday as much as you do.
How to make natural after-sun skincare
Looking for a natural solution for too much sun? Jane Wrigglesworth digs up four herbs good for treating mild sunburn.
How to set up an irrigation system PLUS how to use Olla terracotta pots
Sick of losing plants because you forgot to water them? Make life easier by installing irrigation.
8 homemade gift ideas plus 16 baking treats
Show your love to friends and family, with a home made gift idea for Christmas. Find here eight DIY projects plus 16 baking ideas that will make them smile.
DIY project: How to make a fresh garland for Christmas
Dreaming of a green Christmas? Deck the halls naturally with this fresh festive decoration.
Everything to know about harvesting rainwater and greywater
Harvesting rainwater and greywater can be a great way to curb your environmental footprint. But regulations, safety and maintenance shouldn't be overlooked.
DIY Project: Make a self-watering container garden
Lettuce, herbs or flowers will stay hydrated all summer long in this self-watering container garden.
Quad bike accidents tend to happen to this kind of person in NZ
Injuries from quad bikes are increasing despite greater awareness of safety issues.
DIY: How to make homemade soap
Cut packaging out of the equation with homemade beauty essentials.
Craft project: 11 low-waste festive decorations to make at home
Transform bits and bobs around the home into festive, sustainable decorations this Christmas.
A Golden Bay mum's small business turns into a health product empire
In 1988, a solo mum living in the back of beyond launched a business selling health products. It now turns over $35 million a year.
They crowd-funded $30,000 to bring locally cultivated yeast to brewers
From brewing beer to cultivating cow-less milk, companies are experimenting with yeast to make food and drinks for an increasingly eco-minded world.
Limited-edition designer onesies for a good cause
Twenty-one designers have aligned with Great Full for its first charity initiative. The founder of the social enterprise, Melissa Gardi, explains why community matters.
DIY: No Sew Christmas Wreath
Use new or recycled bits of fabric to make a funky twist on a classic decoration.
What is a dark-sky nation? This Nelson writer wants New Zealand to be the first
Two and a half years spent researching and writing a book about the southern skies convinced science writer Naomi Arnold of the importance of protecting the darkness of our nights.
Inside the little Dunedin cottage where writers get big ideas
Since 2003, writers have been invited to a tiny brick cottage just off Dunedin’s main street to tap away at whatever they need to get down on paper.
7 tips to growing gluten-free amaranth flour
It’s your last chance to plant amaranth for seeds, and grow a low-maintenance, protein-rich food.
A bonsai collector learns resilience from meticulously pruned trees
A bonsai collector shares the lesson of caring for artfully pruned trees.
A sustainable, garden-to-table bistro tucked away in the Karangahake Gorge
Meet the city escapees whose off-the-trail bistro feeds their need for community, family and a fine vegetable garden.
Penguin playtime: How to make a felt rockhopper mask
Eastern rockhopper penguins might be declining in number, but they’re no less loved by thisNZlife. The cute characters are our top pick for Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year competition and your kids can play along with this easy-to-make dress-up mask.
The rockin’ new hobby spreading kindness in NZ
This new pastime is rocking the worlds of Kiwis of all ages – and sparking joy stone by stone.
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.
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.
DIY project: Make a vertical growing frame for climbing veggies
This easy-to-make A-frame gives veggies in the gourd family a place to grow up.
Inside Blair Somerville's world-famous Lost Gypsy caravan
His gallery is a Gypsy Caravan, he is possibly a gypsy himself, but Blair Somerville is far from lost in the world of fantastical art.
Creative ways with succulents
Succulents are a beautiful business plan if you enjoy some simple DIY and a little creativity.
Why fermented food is good for you (and could help with anxiety)
New research shows why ferments are good for your gut, and that including fermented foods in your diet may help with anxiety.
DIY: Make a knitted pet bed
A cosy bed for your pet is at the tip of your needles.
How Kiwi innovators are tackling food fraud in New Zealand
Science is at the forefront of detecting and prosecuting food fraud.
What's the deal with gluten? Debunking the great gluten debate
Learning to eat without wheat is common. But why? And is going gluten-free really necessary?
Grow these plants to tap into the booming pet health industry
A Taranaki gardener has found there are some growing opportunities in the $1.5 billion pet health business.
Sally Brown's tips for displaying cut flowers
Don’t be myopic about what can be arranged in a vase to create beauty, says Sally.
DIY: Turn an old dresser into a brooder
If you’ve got a 1970s dresser that isn’t ever going to come back into style, here’s how to re-purpose it into a chick brooder.
How farm microbes may help children avoid asthma
These itty bitty organisms are big players in health and environmental issues.
DIY: Make a cute-as-a-button pompom rug
Turn scrap wool into something soft and stylish for your home.
DIY: Make a propagation station
A cost-effective way to repurpose old timber that is part potting table and part mini-greenhouse.
Backstage at Six Degrees of Separation with costume designer Lucy Jane Senior
Costume Designer and stylist Lucy Jane Senior agonized over finding the perfect pair of jewelled block heels for the new Auckland Theatre Company show.
An upcycling couple's eco home next to a train track
Two bike-loving upcyclers have built an eco home that is off the rails in suburban Auckland — but only just.
DIY: Make a colourful seesaw knit scarf
Brighten up a dreary day with a scarf bursting with colourful triangles.
Meet the former marketing guru getting Kiwis outdoors, one trip at a time
A social entrepreneur hosts outdoor excursions so New Zealanders can conquer their inner mountains — just as he has.
10 ways to use herbs in your home
Herbs from your garden can clean your house, help an upset stomach, and add new flavours to your dishes.
An easy recipe to reduce food waste
Thirty percent of all food produced on the planet is not eaten, and Kristina has a recipe for that.
Why Dave Cotty finally gave in to his Mini Cooper madness
An icon of the swinging 1960s, the Mini was revered as a new approach to compact-car making. It still enjoys an almost saintly status — just ask Dave Cotty.
10 non-edible uses for grapefruit
Grapefruit seem to be one of those contentious, love-it-or-loathe-it kind-of fruit. Here are some easy DIY ways to use up grapefruit that don’t involving eating them.
Thinking caps on: Hats made from upcycled fabric
An eco-entrepreneur, who started making caps from curtain scraps, is trying to save the world from waste, one limited-edition hat at a time.
How to make an origami paper bin liner and a paper kete
Replace single use plastic bags in the kitchen with these two easy-to-make origami paper bins.
VW Super Beetle resurrected from its hay shed retirement
A not-so-common species of beetle has been adored, stored and restored
Why every day is an open house at this Dunedin couple's gallery
A creative couple have established a gallery in their Dunedin home with everything for public view — even the art in the loo.
Kiwi actor digs deep to play Northland farmer in Bellbird
Marshall Napier knew nothing about cows before joining the Bellbird cast to play a Northland dairy farmer. She'll be right, he said.
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.
How the eco-friendly commute is evolving in New Zealand
The race is on to get commuters out of their cars in favour of more sustainable ways of moving around.
Why East Cape manuka oil is gaining acclaim
Hundreds of times more potent than mānuka honey, mānuka oil is gaining international acclaim for its antibacterial properties. Its story begins in one of New Zealand’s most isolated regions.
Antibiotic resistance - what you need to know
Antibiotics were once touted as miracle cures. But their ongoing misuse may mean that even the most common operations won’t be available to future generations.
DIY: How to make natural shampoo in a slow cooker
Just whip out your slow cooker.
Craft project: Reusable crochet and towelling makeup wipes
Get crafty and DIY these crochet makeup remover wipes and mini face cloths — pretty usable alternatives to disposables.
How to make a cosy hot-water bottle cover
Give Jack Frost the cold shoulder with this easy-to-make ‘hottie’ coat made from recycled materials.
She gave up a new kitchen for her 1974 El Camino ute
Backcountry Gisborne is full of surprises. Here’s an unexpected sight sweeping around a corner right now.
DIY: Make an easy sheep-shaped bookcase
Add a touch of country charm to a kids' bedroom with this cute-as-a-button weekend project.
Inside a bach and matching tiny house at Waikawa Beach
Life in Aotearoa is celebrated in a bach and matching tiny house on the Horowhenua coast.
4 transforming beauty treatments worth the pain
Ask anyone who’s had a Brazilian, Botox or felt the repeated sting of IPL, beauty treatments can hurt. But some are so transforming, it’s better to embrace than avoid.
A Dunedin furrier transforms pest pelts into something pretty
Mooney’s Furriers in Dunedin can turn a home-caught possum or rabbit skin into a gorgeous soft furnishing.
The Kiwis behind the next generation of eco-products
Meet the innovators driving the push for products that last.
Review: Theresa Healey in The Audience
Kate Coughlan sees the Queen in a whole new light after watching the new Auckland Theatre Company production of The Audience.
DIY: How to make a beautiful bouquet
A step-by-step guide to creating a pro-looking posy for Mum.
7 creative ways to celebrate mum's special day
Mother’s Day is almost here (it’s this Sunday, May 12th) so get sorted with these fresh ideas for activities, gestures and gifts to show you care.
6 signs your chimney is unwell
When was the last time you had your chimney cleaned? If you can’t remember, it’s time to clean it, even if it has been a while since you last lit a fire.
Free Farm Fresh Eggs printable sign
If you want a stylish sign for outside your gate, or you’d like something chicken-inspired to hang in your home, you can download our free prints.
In Queenstown painter Tim Wilson's world, light is everything
Tim Wilson’s father was so excited by his son’s first exhibition of landscape paintings he proudly predicted, ‘You know Tim, one day you’ll be getting $1000 each for your pictures.’ He wasn’t wrong.
DIY: Cat-shaped heating pads
These easy cat-shaped heat pads are purrfect for keeping warm in winter.
6 ways to decorate Easter eggs
Grab the glitter and the glue for some easy crafting ahead of Easter.
DIY: Create a reusable tote from an old pillowcase
With just a few straight lines, create a set of reusable bags from rescued fabrics.
A new off-grid life in the Far North
Brooke and Maggie Noonan left jobs at Auckland Zoo to build an off-grid, eco-friendly house in the Far North. And they struck oil.
The 125-year-old restored New Plymouth icon
Each decade of their life together has taken a New Plymouth couple a step closer to the way they dreamed of living.
A grandmum's spirit lives on through her Hillman Imp
A creative and artistic grandmother’s blue-toned gift is one that keeps on giving.
How to design a pantry for year-round food storage
Autumn is a season of plenty. Here’s how to store any leftover crop safely and mitigate against a spring shortage.
A family's journey from farm eviction to the sweet life at Birdswoods
Evicted from their farm in Zimbabwe, a family’s fresh start in Havelock North has brought freedom, and an opportunity to pay it forward.
In your Backyard: Living Lightly online extra resources
In Your Backyard: Living Lightly, is a guide to making small steps towards a lighter footprint. We’ve compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.
Make a compact trestle table
This trestle is ideal for a compact potting table or a base for a plant container.
Video: Sustainable living in a tiny house on wheels
A tiny house that includes upcycled parts of a state home is the first step towards sustainable living for an Auckland couple.
Lessons from an award-winning, 10-year-old smart house
This award-winning Geraldine home may be 10 years old, but it's still way ahead of the average NZ house.
Beekeeper's tiny house passion stemmed from a teenage illness
Nathan Orr’s enthusiasm for tiny homes and leaving a smaller footprint on the planet is rooted in a teenage illness.
Makerspace Hackland offers a grown-up playground
In Hackland, the grown-ups learn the same way kids do - by trying new things and having fun.
NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced
Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.
DIY project: Turn soft plastic wrappers into a tote bag
Grab the iron and a bundle of soft plastic bags then make a tote with sustainable style.
Give instant glam to a tired terracotta pot
A quick upcycling project to transform an old terracotta plant pot.
Christchurch terror attack: How to support NZ’s Muslim communities
Mass murder at mosques in Christchurch on Friday targeted Muslim New Zealanders at worship. Here are some things you can do to support a devastated community.
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.
A set designer's showstopper home
Of all of the scenes set decorator Megan Vertelle has crafted into reality, her patchwork Piha villa is the one that steals the show.
10 ways to help make cut flowers last
These simple steps will keep your cut flowers looking fresh for longer.
How to avoid metabolic syndrome
Add metabolic syndrome to the long list of medical maladies that can be avoided by living well.
Artist paints native birds in the style of Goldie and Lindauer
A Wellington-based painter’s pop-surrealist works are finding favour among art buyers captivated by the subversive cuteness of her creatures.
In Your Backyard: Living Lightly on sale now
Learn to live a greener and more sustainable life with our special edition. In Your Backyard: Living Lightly.
New Zealand actor's hybrid career
Kiwi actor Nicola Kawana feels her life is nicely balanced between roles on the stage, in film, and her work as a gardener.
How to make a knitted cotton facecloth
These pretty, soft-as-silk knitted facecloths make the perfect homemade gift for friends or family.
From a cluttered workshop to a modern crib
A workshop, once bursting at the joists with a lifetime of useful things, is reworked into an exceptional holiday home.
A fabric upcycler Sarah Lancaster's cute tiny house
A sewing teacher with a superhero-like enthusiasm for saving the planet packs a heap of personality into her tiny house.
Finding their tūrangawaewae in the Abel Tasman
Making sense of the past has allowed a Kaiteriteri couple to shape the future — titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamua. Now they are paddling forwards and taking others with them.
Preparing water tanks for the un-rainy days
Young, smart-thinking innovators are developing remote methods to ensure the country’s rain-water tanks never run dry.
The fast brain / slow brain split and healthy decision making
The brain is often split when it comes to processing information, which could be why humans don’t always do what they know they should.
How to make ginger beer
The secret to good ginger beer is in the bug, says Sheryn Clothier.
How to arrange a simple bouquet
A few principles of flower arranging will help to create lovely bouquets from your garden this summer.
7 things quad bike owners need to know
Quad bikes are popular vehicles on farms and lifestyle blocks, yet one of the trickiest to use.
Inside a designer's 10sqm eco cabin in Central Otago
A Dunedin designer’s beautiful bespoke garments incorporate wild pest fur. No wonder Central Otago’s plentiful rabbits steer well clear of Jane Avery’s tiny Earnscleugh holiday cabin.
Architect Julie Villard's eco home built with cross-laminated timber
French architect Julie Villard has built a quiet, airy, compact smart home above a noisy port.
How to host a country wedding
If you’re a romantic at heart, turning your land into a wedding venue might be an opportunity to earn some extra cash.
Whangamata business owner can work 20 days in a row over summer
Boutique owner Karan Gregory Has an eye for business based on experience earned, not learned.
How warm, dry and safe is your house? Take the test
A new, free website will work out how smart your home is, and offer suggestions on how to make it smarter.
5 things you might not know about fire permits
There’s a new process if you want to light a fire this summer.
Photo essay: Rangitoto Island's historic baches
Rangitoto, Auckland’s most familiar landmark, harbours unexpected reminders of less-complicated times.
Retro caravan called Roxanne restored to heyday looks
Summer holidays for a Hamilton family mean a beach on the wild Waikato west coast with a small dog called Rosie and a retro caravan called Roxanne.
NZ's most eye-catching classic car and caravan combos
We take a look at three eye-catching classic car and caravan combos to look out for on the road this summer.
Free printable animal Christmas gift tags
These free animal gift tags will make your present recipients smile — question is, who should receive the pig?
DIY Christmas table setting ideas
Get crafty for Christmas and deck out the dining table with homemade Santa sack cutlery holders.
Make beautiful craft paper: How to build a paper recycling kit
Making handmade paper from recycled paper is fun and a relatively easy process. It’s a great way to give junk mail, used packaging paper and even cardboard egg cartons, a new lease of life.
Pottery hens with a cult following
Yvonne Sutherland has been firing and painting hens for more than three decades and collectors around the world obviously adore them as much as she does.
Japanese Furoshiki: An eco-friendly alternative to paper gift wrapping
Whether you want to package up tiny jewel boxes, bottles of fizz, or magazine-shaped Christmas gifts, you can easily master this folded-cloth technique to wrap and carry anything beautifully.
Take a peek inside Wellington's iconic boat sheds
For more than 100 years Wellington’s Clyde Quay boat sheds have been happy places for people who love tinkering with boats.
How to build the ultimate tree house
You don't need a permit, plans or instructions to build a tree house. All you need is some nails, timber and a hammer.
How to build with SIPS
A small house in an olive grove is the smart home of Brooke and Maggie Noonan's dreams.
From KwaZulu Natal with love
Beautiful, hand-made beadwork decorations put the compassion into Christmas.
3 new books NZ foodies will love
Three books that traverse the diverse culinary landscapes of Central Otago, Sri Lanka and Dunedin are bound to get food and wine-lovers talking.
DIY project: Build a vertical gutter garden
Build this smart stand-alone ‘gutter garden’ to grace a deck, patio, courtyard or an external wall. It has a shallow base and best suits shallow-rooted plants.
Have you done enough for a chocolatum rotunda?
The humble New Zealand biscuit is celebrated in a new tea towel and poster.
Finding a solution to period poverty in NZ
Six months' volunteering abroad inspired a 24-year-old Wellingtonian to look for a sustainable and economical solution to a worldwide problem - and to implement it on her university campus.
DIY Project: Build your own Pizza Oven
A comprehensive step-by-step guide to building a pizza oven for your backyard.
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.
Sister act in the Sounds
Keeping it in the family, two talented Picton creatives share a love of hand-crafted work with individual pieces that take fierce focus and many hours to make.
An Italian/Maori romance
Whanau, film, theatre, love and Neapolitan sauce are paramount in the lives of a super-creative couple who have masterminded the revival of Italian cinema in Aotearoa.
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.
Bubbles, undies and animals – the life and art of NZ children's author Ruth Paul
Ruth Paul is a children’s book writer and illustrator who shares her semi-rural lifestyle with her husband, sons, dog Teddy, and other wandering wildlife. She’s also just won Best Picture Book at the recent Children and Young Adult Book Awards.
Flying cars and farming robotics
With lab-raised meat and plants picked by robots, what was once science fiction is now reality.
What not to do with your ride-on mower
NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall has a confession: she is a bad ride-on mower owner.
Ruth Pretty's top tips for setting a beautiful table
Ruth Pretty 'the host with the most' shares tips for how to create a dinner party to remember.
Taranaki gardener grows pet health business
A Taranaki gardener has found there are some growing opportunities in the $1.5 billion pet health business.
7 homemade beeswax products
If you are lucky enough to have access to beeswax, or have a good stock from your own beehives, then you can use beeswax to make useful household and cosmetic products.
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.
10 inventive NZers share their DIY coop designs
From a water-powered hen gate to a repurposed trampoline - ten inventive New Zealand chicken lovers share their best DIY coop designs.
A life less ordinary in a 1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II
Once the domain of royalty and rock stars, a glamorous Rolls-Royce is living the ordinary life in Rotorua – well, almost.
Book Club reviews Into the Night by Sarah Bailey
The reviews are in for Australian crime novel, Into the Night.
The art of making paper
Looking for a satisfying craft project, therapeutic activity and a better way to recycle all in one? Paula Lang in Whangarei suggests trying to make paper.
Video: A special poem for National Poetry Day
Wellington poet Chris Tse delivers a special poem for National Poetry Day from his collection He's So MASC.
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.
Intermittent fasting and its effects on the brain
Intermittent fasting has rapidly gained followers in the medical profession and public arena, but why and how does it work?
A pub crawl through NZ history
These five historical pubs have have survived the gold rush and the six o'clock swill. They are well worth a visit for those who wish to soak up some New Zealand history with a cold one in hand.
5 tips for building a small shed
You can never have too many sheds, but if your budget doesn’t spring to something that requires a council permit, it is possible to build a garden shed under 10m², the typical size of a shed before you need one.
The bookshop at the end of the world
Rare books with adventure and action tucked into their pages have found a home which restless spirits of all kinds will appreciate in Oamaru.
Film review: She Shears
A must-see New Zealand documentary follows five female sheep shearers on their journey to the Gold Shears.
Part-time vet, full-time romance novelist
An Otorohanga vet has won an international following writing romance novels with a country twist.
How taxidermist Peter Wells is preserving NZ natural history
The art of the taxidermist lies in the delicate processes of preservation and presentation of creatures great and small.
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.
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.
How to make a homemade beeswax salve
Beeswax is thought to help heal bruises, inflammation and burns, which make this oil an excellent ingredient in homemade salves and cosmetics.
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!’”
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.
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.
How I went plastic-free for a month (it’s not as hard as you think – promise)
Nicole Barratt shares easy everyday swaps you can make to ditch plastic.
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.
DIY: How to make lip balm with beeswax
As an ingredient in cosmetics, beeswax acts as both an emollient, soothing and softening skin, and a humectant, attracting water and helping to absorb it in the skin.
Minding their own beeswax
Two young Hawkes Bay parents are proud eco-exponents who turned their personal mission into an industrious enterprise. They're helping their little corner of the world go plastic free with beeswax food wraps.
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.
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.
Lisa Scott gets her skates on for roller derby
Lisa Scott gets her skates and her badass attitude on at the roller-derby rink.
Such sweet sorrel – how to grow the perennial lemony herb
Sorrel is a robust and persistent sort that grows like a weed (which it’s not) and can be used to tart up your tastebuds in a variety of dishes.
Knit these cute booties for NZ babies in need
Here's a free pattern to knit some cute cotton wool booties for babies in need World Knit in Public Day.
Video: Wellington's characterful boat sheds
These Wellington boat sheds – some of them important local landmarks – mean many things to many people.
How to build a house from firewood
Rather than burning your seasoned firewood, with a tight budget and some time, you can use it to build a home.
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
Two important things you can learn from a smoking chimney
Heating your home using a wood burner is cheaper than ever in New Zealand, if you know how to get the best out of it.
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.
An ancient natural beauty tonic recipe
One of the first commercially-produced cosmetic products in Europe was the ‘Queen of Hungary’s Water’, a simple but versatile cleanser that you can make at home.
Heart and soul found in Timber Design Awards
A teardrop-shaped caravan and a triangular apartment, both built using wood, are in the running for a design award that celebrates this living material.
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.
How to make a wet-felt beret
Turn your wool into a nice cosy hat for winter.
Giant jar of peanut butter auctioned for charity
An enormous jar of peanut butter is being auctioned for a good cause.
"Make me a supermodel"
Lisa Scott goes backstage at iD Dunedin Fashion Week, tries on an androgynous face and rediscovers her inner Milla Jovovich.
6 lifestyleblock design strategies to save time, money and effort
Here’s how to create a future-proof plan for your lifestyle block or farm to make sure you do it once, and do it right.
How to tell if your chicken has caught a cold
Chickens with breathing problems can wreak havoc with your flock and are difficult to identify, but here are some signs to look out for.
3 things to do in East Auckland
Trying to make sense of South and East Auckland is like peering into a kaleidoscope. Every twist reveals a new scene – there’s the colour of Otahuhu, the calm of Clevedon, the mana of Mangere, the solitude and beauty of the regional parks and the history of Howick.
DIY wedding decorations
When self-sufficiency enthusiast Julie Legg tied the knot on her Waikato lifestyle block, she created her own finishing touches for a wedding with flower confetti, bunting and other themed decorations.
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.
Words of remembrance for ANZAC Day
Rosemarie White reviews four very different New Zealand accounts of wartime campaigns.
7 ways to use up firewood ashes
If you're never sure what to do with the ash from your fireplace, don’t be too quick to dump it, give these helpful tips a try instead.
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.
Review: Amy Schumer surprises in I Feel Pretty
Amy Schumer's new film I Feel Pretty is a departure from the brash comedy style the star is famous for.
How to fight the office slump
Looking down at iPhones and computers is damaging our spines. To relieve back pain, try out physio Steve August's quick-fixes.
How to subscribe to our magazines
A step-by-step guide to subscribing to NZ Life & Leisure and NZ Lifestyle Block magazines through our online store.
Canoe polo is "basketball in boats"
Whether competing in NZ's national canoe polo team or working with sharks, this sporting talent is paddling her own path.
Sweet Country Western is anything but
A new Western starring Sam Neill makes beautiful but confronting viewing.
Lost piece of NZ history discovered in Wairoa
An amateur art-world detective has discovered a dozen important public murals after years of digging.
Sustainable packaging firm driving change
A company formed by two childhood friends is helping New Zealand businesses reduce their waste.
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.
How to build a Norwegian Round Stack
Norwegian rounds are a space-saving wood stacking technique that will keep your wood dry
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Free downloadable seed saving envelope
Make your own seed saving envelopes using our downloadable pdf.
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.
Relocation, relocation: Two portable homes make a perfect Point Wells retreat
With roots too deep to easily move, the Hart family found a temporary fix - two transportable cabins beside the estuary at Point Wells.
11 tips to marketing a successful food business
Three experts share their wisdom on how to create a profitable food product.
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.
Gourd-geous craft projects
If you’ve ever grown gourds you’ll know just how prolific these cucurbits can be, but do you know how to turn them into an art form?
Dr Libby: What your gut is telling you
You’ll know when your digestive system is working the way it should.
Make money from honey (without being a beekeeper)
Here’s how to profit from bees without becoming a beekeeper.
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.
Taking camping to the next level
Multi-roomed tents with real furniture make communing with nature a very smooth operation at Wainamu.
How much iron do you actually need?
Iron deficiency is common. How much do you need, and why? Dr Libby sums up a vital mineral.
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.
9 secrets to turning your artisan product into a supermarket star
Food product developer Martyn Atack looks at why you need to start with pen and paper in your office, not the kitchen.
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.
Video: The buzz about Kelli Walker's booming business
Kelli Walker felt a business was brewing inside her, and found one that can’t stop bubbling, burbling and babbling about itself.
Water Cooler: homemade drip irrigation and the best cheese roll
This week in the water cooler, we bask in the deliciousness of the cheese that Nadene brought to the Christmas party, put some garden watering hacks to the test and try to avoid bun fights.
DIY project: Make your own egg carrier
Make sure your eggs stay intact when carrying them from chook house or farmer's market with this easy-to-make DIY egg carrier.
How to do-up your vintage or retro caravan
Doing up a vintage or retro caravan is a bit like doing up a vintage car. Not only is it addictive, but you are also faced with a number of very similar decisions to make.
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.
Dr Libby on the benefits of eating organic
The more we demand organic foods and reject pesticides, the more available organics will become.
Water Cooler: DIY marbled paper
This week in the water cooler: Cheree gets crafty making marbled paper gift tags, Nadene has some handy advice ahead of the hot summer and Emma says, 'Yes, cheese'.
Top organic skincare picks
Organic, biodynamic and natural skin care products were once on the fringe. Now they are all the rage.
DIY hand-felted reindeer finger puppets
Ho, ho, ho! These cute reindeer finger puppets double as wine bottle toppers.
Turtles All the Way Down review and podcast
The Off-Topic Book Club has a lively discussion about John Green's latest novel Turtles All the Way Down. The club discuss the depiction of mental illness, tuatara and the Young Adult genre.
Water Cooler: Christmas tree hacks
This week in the water cooler we're using common beauty product to keep your Christmas tree looking great, sending love to those who need it most and are watching Goodbye Christopher Robin.
Cruising through Maniototo at a cool 160km/h
Eric Swinbourn hankered after a friend’s cobalt blue Alfa Berlina, and then his chance came his knocking.
Water Cooler: Justice League review and cooking with pomegranate
This week in the water cooler: we're saving the world in the latest superhero ensemble, Justice League and baking with pomegranate.
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.
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.
How to build a house of hemp
When you take the magic ingredient out of marijuana, you get a building product to keep you warm, cosy and very happy.
Water cooler: dogs on Guy Fawkes
This week in the water cooler: we learn how to look after dogs on Guy Fawkes Day, let boy bands navigate us and are eating cakes that can't be beet-en.
Maori and Pacific health researcher recognised
L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellow Dr Matire Harwood has long been a dedicated spokesperson and advocate for the health of Maori and Pacific Islanders.
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.
Living and filming the good life in a 20 sqm home
The pair behind Happen Films spends their non-shooting time living and working in an unplumbed house that’s as small and perfectly formed as their short documentaries.
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.
Water Cooler: The Huge Day Out and how the Gocks saved the kumara
This week in the water cooler: we're sheltering from the rain at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, exploring the Huge Day Out, binge-watching Stranger Things, and exploring Ashford Park.
The Off-Topic Book Club review The Break by Marian Keyes
The Off-Topic Book Club give the low down on The Break, the latest book from Irish author Marian Keyes.
Raglan biz chasing pet food market
The doggedness of two Raglan friends - plus a supportive community - helped launch a posh pet brand
Water Cooler: DIY seed-raising pots and vote kākā
This week in the water cooler, we're making our own seed-raising pots, supporting the kākā for Bird of the Year, learning about the Thinkladder app and visiting the On the Street exhibition.
Staying cool in the capital
Love and loss have given a 40-year-old sports car a new lease of life.
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.
Naturalist Sheila Natusch celebrated on screen
New Zealand naturalist, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch brought science to the people. A film about her life captures her love of the natural world and her unconventional and indomitable spirit…
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.
Water Cooler: Fat Yoga and the royal treatment
This week in the Water Cooler: we discover Fat Yoga, delve into rain science, get the royal treatment with Victoria and find a must-see exhibition.
How to make natural fabric dyes
Your garden is full of opportunities for you to make and use natural dyes.
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.
Water Cooler: watermelon slings and finding Dog Zen
This week in the water cooler we're planting golden midgets, learning some dog behaviour basics, and face a cuteness overload from a blind dog puppy.
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.
The 7 common reasons why a septic tank fails
It’s estimated that more than 40,000 of the 270,000 or so on-site domestic wastewater systems in NZ are at risk of failing.
Water Cooler: We cook like Chelsea
As a nod to NZ Life & Leisure’s cover star Chelsea Winter, the team put some recipes from the MasterChef winner’s new cookbook Eat to the taste test. It wasn't really a bake-odd just a really good week in the office.
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.
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.
Make this cute garden tool belt
Jane Wrigglesworth’s spring craft project is an easy fabric tool belt for storing trowels, secateurs and other garden tools.
Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann
This German-born dream machine is loving Kiwi country roads
10 things you may not know about building a log home
You might think hunting lodge, you might think it’s too much wood for one home, but the modern log house is a strong statement in clean, green, renewable, hand-crafted building work.
How to build a pigtail rack
If you’ve got a big, messy pile of tangled pigtails, here’s a simple solution you can build to keep them neat and tidy.
Water Cooler: Poetry Day
Today in the water cooler: We get experimental with marshmallow, test our Downward-Facing Dog pose on a yoga app, and celebrate National Poetry Day.
Maori herbal tonic business in growth mode
A young entrepreneur from Great Barrier Island is tasting success from his own bitter medicine
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
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.
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.
Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club
The Off-Topic Book Club review Into the Water, the latest thriller from Paula Hawkins, author of the bestseller, The Girl on the Train.
Make these crochet fingerless mittens
These fingerless mittens are an easy to make winter project, perfect for crochet beginners.
'Lessons we learned building a cob house'
Buying a bush block, building a cob house, and starting a natural soap business takes huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm and commitment, but this family are thriving on the challenge of being as clean and green as possible in everything they do.
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.
Knit this cute fox scarf
Fur coats are frowned upon, but what about a fox scarf – a knitted one that is? Jane Wrigglesworth’s winter knitting project is a scarf shaped like a fox.
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.
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.
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
Water Cooler: A rising country star and first aid for dummies
This week in the water cooler: we're exploring a great body of work at the Auckland Art Gallery, learning the CPR basics on a St John first aid course and listening to some sweet country sounds from rising star Cam Luxton.
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.
Water Cooler: Bird count and tunnel vision
This week in the water cooler: Lynley walks the Waterview tunnel, Yolanta is counting birds and Emma learns about the strange wrestling world.
Make your own willow bird feeder
Learn the art of basic willow weaving and give your local birds a tasty treat with our beginner's project.
Water Cooler: Winter solstice and Lumps and bumps
This week in the water cooler, we celebrate the winter solstice, go on a coop cleaning mission, watch trees walk before our eyes and take part in the great Jaffa Lump debate.
An illustrated life
Native birds and high fashion might be odd bedfellows but not in the hillside home of a German expat and A New Zealand designer.
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.
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.
Water cooler: we wage a war on clothing moths
This week in the water cooler: we wage a war against clothing moths, try reduction wood block printing, make lavender cuttings and review The Handmaid's Tale.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bird brains and darling dahlias
This week in the water cooler: Nadene has a flower flight of fancy, Kate is on a carrot crusade and Emma is squawking to save the birds.
12 easy ways to add radiance to your skin
Look younger, fresher and brighter with these radiance boosting tips.
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.
Water cooler: Lazy granola and models on horseback
This week in the water cooler, we explore the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, are on the lookout for the harlequin ladybird and make lazy granola.
Raglan tiny home wows George Clarke
An innovative 35sqm house in Raglan might be small in space but it’s big on design features.
The Off-Topic Book Club review Gastrophysics
The Off-Topic Book Club has plenty of food for thought when exploring the science of eating in the non-fiction book Gastrophysics by Oxford University's Charles Spence.
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.
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.
'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
The secrets to stacking wood like a Norwegian
During the week Jason Price is a management consultant and efficiency expert. At the weekend he becomes a chainsaw-wielding, firewood-stacking ninja who also likes efficiency.
Water cooler: podcast labyrinths and a harbour boardwalk
This week in the water cooler: Cheree gets lost in the maze of S Town, Emma strolls along the prom, Milla gets kinetic and Nadene has a full plate.
Building a human nest
Creating your own human nest? Landscape architect Sara Gerard has some tips on how to survive the renovation process, plus some tree house inspiration
Architect Graeme North on the benefits of natural homes
Renowned architect Graeme North discusses the benefits of natural homes with Nadene Hall.
7 types of natural home
Old methods of using local natural materials is still some of the greenest building options around.
Water cooler: Chicken Screams and divine TV
This week in the water cooler: we scream like a chook, watch divine TV and gaze in awe at mighty Mt Ruapehu.
What type of heating suits your home?
There are more options than ever for heating your home, but how do you work out which one will work in your space?
Dr Libby's guide to eating 'flexitarian'
Force yourself to eat a certain way and you will likely fail. try giving yourself a little wiggle room instead.
Water Cooler: Back on Topp
In the water cooler this week: Cheree's explores her old stomping ground, Emma is in Denial and Yolanta campaigns to see New Zealand back on Topp.
How to get an official 'natural' product
Launching a natural product comes with unique compliance and marketing challenges. The women behind Dove River Peonies share their tips for starting a natural product business in New Zealand.
Water cooler: The sweet life
This week in the water cooler: long time baker Molly Coughlan gives reduced-sugar biscuits a crack (and discovers she's Sweet Enough all along).
How your kitchen can go pro
If you think selling food you’ve made in your home kitchen can’t be done legally, you could be in for a delicious surprise. We meet some small-time home-based business people with a passion for food who show how they work within the rules.
Creating a culture of innovation
An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button
6 inspiring man caves and she sheds
We’ve all heard of ‘man caves’, but there are so many inspiring garden buildings, including the ‘she shed’. Check out these beautiful projects from NZ and around the world, most made on a small budget and out of recycled materials.
Water cooler: fowl play
This week in the water cooler: Nadene addresses the viral Brahma rooster, Cheree talks fritters and Jessica boycotts palm oil.
Water cooler: lettuce soup and pumpkin growing tips
It's a garden harvest special in this week's water cooler as we share tips for growing pumpkins, harvesting fruit and transforming mature lettuce into a delicious soup.
New exhibition transforms dead animals into art
Visual artist Rebecca Swan's exhibition at the Auckland Arts Festival transforms dead animals into works of art.
Water cooler: Going green and a poor little paw paw
In the water cooler this week: Emma has a double take at Twin Peaks, Nadene isn't peachy about the weather and Kate and Tracey go green.
Why this artisan cheesemaker doesn't get paid
The award-winning owners of Lonely Goat say the costs of compliance are nothing to yodel about, and explain why they are working for love, not money.
4 beautiful NZ barn houses
Converting a barn into a home can create a distinctive living space, but it involves a unique set of building challenges.
Make your own moisturising bars
Use natural beeswax and coconut oil to make your own luxe moisturising bars.
Bespoke handwoven textiles on a World War One loom
A creative couple has spun a niche business by fusing old-world hand-weaving and modern design.
'Why I eat with the seasons'
When Loveday Why discovered she had chronic fatigue syndrome, she found the answer to good health was in her garden.
George Clarke on Kiwi DIY and the power of tiny houses
Amazing Spaces host George Clarke is in New Zealand to build a tiny house with Mitre 10. He weighs in on two innovative tiny homes recently featured on thisNZlife.
Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club
In a summer reading special, The Off-Topic Book Club discuss The Spy, a novel about Mata Hari by Paulo Coelho as well as I'll Take You There, the latest novel by Wally Lamb.
Yes, this cow is made of cake
Kim Donker has turned a baking hobby into a thriving home business. She shares tips for getting started without breaking the bank.
Happy campers: A 1966 blast from the past
A retro car and caravan combo brings reconnection with the past and a raft of brand new memories.
Growing creative minds in a converted boatshed
Friends told Peter and Ellen Jarratt they were reckless, crazy and throwing it all away when they upped sticks to follow their hearts. But they did it anyway.
Gandering at geese and Gandalf ganders NZ
This week in the water cooler: we discuss the great school-term debate, gander at the moon, explore Gandalf’s beautiful New Zealand and take a walk on the wildside.
10 great ideas from a top New Zealand barn
A small obsession with old barns played a big part in the design of this award-winning home. Follow Tane's tips to get the look.
Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue
A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.
Incredible images of whales stranded on Farewell Spit
At Farewell Spit NZ Life & Leisure staff Cheree Morrison and Jane Ussher saw nature at its most beautiful and most cruel.
Water cooler: Griffons go global
This week in the water cooler: Nadene is seeing stars in Hunua, Emma has gone to the dogs (again) and Cheree goes banana(grams).
4 great ways to frame a country view
Getting the best windows to frame farm views is a crucial part of the design of a country home.
The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn
The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.
Pining for Norfolk chutney
This week in the water cooler: The office reaps the rewards of Lynley's chutney, Nadene's geese are all grown up, and Rebecca is steps ahead of the rest of us.
Auckland family catches piece of fishing history
She may be berthed close to the super yachts of the world’s well heeled at Auckland’s Silo Marina but the Moerangi is no flash-n-crass gin palace.
Water cooler: cheese and quokkas
This week in the water cooler: we make our own cheese, share our award-season movie picks and try out icing therapy.
Dr Libby: post-natal health
Some of the physical and emotional consequences of giving birth can be felt for up to 10 years afterwards. These are Dr Libby's tips for combating tiredness and focusing on your wellness.
Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave
Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.
Family of 5 living large in a 20sqm tiny house
This family of five lives in a 20m², off-grid and smart phone-free home with a composting toilet and a shower they share with the sky.
Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life
It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.
Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan
Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.
Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters
A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.
Cruising in the Trinidad
For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat.
15 tips for designing a great country home
Today’s needs, tomorrow’s changes and even resale appeal need to be taken into account when designing the rooms in your home.
The Perry family on how to "Raglan-afy" a bach
A universal truth is the power of three. In the coastal township of Raglan, three adored baches subscribe to that hypothesis.
Three hot summer fashion trends
From sexy swimsuits to silky separates, skin-baring tops to transparent jumpsuits, summer is all about show.
Podcast: Screen Sirens review La La Land
La La Land is nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards. The Screen Sirens find out what all the fuss is about.
Lunch hour workout
Fitness coach Mat Lewisham shares his 20-minute workout designed to elevate the heart rate using body weight resistance training.
Water cooler: how to cook shellfish
In the final water cooler of 2016: Anna Tait-Jamieson shares her shellfish secrets, Cheree has her eye on the prize and Kate is all tied up in knots.
Review: A United Kingdom
Rosamund Pike shows off her acting talents in the new drama A United Kingdom.
Incredibly practical Christmas gift ideas
Running out of present ideas for the practical person in your life? NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall's gift list might provide inspiration.
Water Cooler: Westworld and ice cream galore
This week in the water cooler: we get very confused watching Westworld, make green pizza bases and are screaming for ice cream.
Off-Topic Book Club: Mount!
The Off-Topic Book Club share a laugh while reviewing Jilly Cooper's saucy new novel Mount!
A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland
Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.
6 books for Christmas reading
Find a sunny spot and curl up with one of our picks for great Christmas reads this season.
Architect couple's two different approaches to design
He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs
Splashing beauties and buzzing bees
Splashing beauties, buzzing bumbles and sleeping dogs and a Pinnacles performance - what we are talking about in the water cooler this week.
Beauty product gift ideas
Beauty-junkie daughter? Fragrance-loving friend? Or just looking for some inspo for your own Christmas lust list…? here’s a guide to some of the best beauty gifts of this festive season.
Make your own natural cleaning products
These tips will help you to reduce the amount of packaging you use, and get you into DIY cleaning products.
Fantastic films and the cream of the crop
This week in the water cooler, we review Fantastic Beasts, whip up some cashew cream and make Paua Porridge.
Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club
This month the Off-Topic Book Club do a podcast about a case made famous by a podcast when they review Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry.
The ultimate wedding gift
Sheryl welcomed her husband Tony into their marriage by giving him the key to her fabulous 56-year-old fin-tailed Ford.
Make your own pizza oven this summer, and learn to cook in it
Step away from your screens and eat under the stars with NZ Life & Leisure’s new outdoor cooking and DIY book: In Your Backyard: FOOD & FIRE, on sale now.
Beautiful gardens, flying pigs and posh sheds
This week in the water cooler: we celebrate the highlights of Garden Marlborough, see some flying pigs and create posh sheds.
Water Cooler: Goats, glass and salmoriglio
This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of stained glass, wax lyrical about goats and make delicious yet unpronounceable sauces.
Water Cooler: Breathless theatre and treasured faces
Thieving sparrows, heartless geese, breathless theatre and treasured faces: things that we were talking about in the thisNZlife office this week
Water Cooler: Billy Elliot,and "the best biscuits ever"
This week in the water cooler we dance up a storm, battle over cheese and bake the "best biscuits ever”
Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies
In a two-part series, Dr Libby fronts up to a question about nutritional deficiencies.
The Girl on the Train and a girl's crafty secret
This week in the water cooler: we review The Girl on the Train, discover a girl's crafty secret store and have birds on the brain.
We test 'The world's most comfortable shoes'
Allbirds shoes, made of New Zealand merino, have been named the 'world's most comfortable shoe'. Co-founder Tim Brown shares his story, and thisNzlife's Yolanta Woldendorp puts them to the test.
Water cooler: a flying fox, fashion film and Onggojip
In this weeks water cooler, we dream of flying through the jungle and high-fashion couture, make coconut yoghurt and test restaurants with unpronounceable names.
Capri's journey from Berlin to Blenheim
He wanted a race car, she wanted a comfortable ride, turns out the 1974 Ford Capri was the car they didn't know they always wanted.
Water cooler gadget special... and chocolate
In the water cooler this week: Miranda discovers a super product, Nadene gets worms, Cheree becomes hot and steamy and Anna cracks the mystery gadget.
Small town fashion success
Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.
Razor sharp reading
Reviewer Miranda Spary is gripped by this cutting political tale.
Water cooler: guess the gadget
This week in the water cooler: We all scream for ice- cream, go crazy over cats in the tube and Anna Tait-Jamieson plays guess the gadget.
Cool walks with the kids and lamb update
This week in the water cooler: Rebecca discovers a cool walk for the kids - and we check in on Serita the lamb.
Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club
The Off-Topic book Club raves about The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.
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
Wee little lambs and strange fruit
This week in the thisNZlife office: We're feeling inspired by a wee spring lamb, try some strange fruit and find hares in the garden.
Dr Libby's health advice
In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.
Book review: The Eagle Tree
Ned Hayes' novel The Eagle Tree is an honest depiction of autism, without heavy-handed sentimentality, writes Miranda Spary.
Business bubbling along in the Catlins
A bubbly soapmaker has turned her favourite hobby into a cottage industry on her Otago small block.
Watercooler: magnolias, bliss balls & a song for walking
In this weeks water cooler, we devour delicious bliss balls, sing along with Geoff Chapple, and give away tickets to an award-winning Christchurch play.
Paws for thought on poetry day
When was the last time you read a poem? Try something new for poetry day Friday (26 August). You might get to pat a puppy...
What to sow in the garden right now
The wind-up to spring planting is starting, and one big decision is going to have year-long repercussions.
Watercooler: going crackers, wayward fruit & kids apps
This week in the water cooler, we savour the new season grapefruit, say hello to Talking Tom and make the best crackers EVER
Screen Sirens podcast: UnREAL
The Screen Sirens discuss why you should binge-watch the Lightbox drama UnREAL.
Thinking inside the box
This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.
Movies that made us cry... and yet more dogs
Farm trips for the kids, a movie that made our heart sing and yet more dogs... things that got us talking in the thisNZlife office this week.
Refugee Olympians and Whanganui wonders
This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of the refugee Olympic team, discover a historic gem in Whanganui and have a light bulb moment.
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
Our reviewer found this book life-changing
Book reviewer Miranda Spary sees the world differently after reading The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent.
Origami bins and a canine Frida Kahlo
This week in the water cooler, we find an use for The NZ Herald, relive our calf club glory days and pay homage to a canine Frida Kahlo.
Podcast: The Couple Next Door
In this episode the book club lives up to its name - talking about everything from 50 Shades of Grey to sleeping in the same bed as James Bond while reviewing The Couple Next Door.
Make a NZ neck gecko scarf
This neck gecko scarf is made from reflective wool and is a good project for beginner knitters.
Pokemon and the best marmalade ever
This week in the thisNZlife office: we survive a zubat Pokemon attack, make some marvellous marmalade and discover the best lip gloss ever.
'How I quit plastic'
Urban eco warrior Jessica Rose suggests some easy lifestyle changes to make for Plastic-Free July.
Nuts, bikes and the boogeyman
This week in the watercooler the thisNZlife team talks about tough nuts, big friendly giants and big friendly vegetables.
Podcast: Love & Friendship
The Screen Sirens enter the ring for a Jane Austen rumble when reviewing this adaptation of the Austen novella Lady Susan.
5th generation artist explores heritage
With art in his arteries, Michael MacMillan maintains a family tradition in a valley of hops and hopefulness, his greatest supporter by his side.
We try... racing a WRX
Cheree Morrison puts pedal to the metal on the Highlands Motorsport Park course in Cromwell.
Doggy couture and cake culture
This week thisNZlife office we were talking about greyhound couture, cake culture, popcorn for breakfast.
Off-Topic Book Club podcast
The club were divided over My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.
Book corner: Jann Martel is back
We review the new Yann Martel book and discover a new talent in historical fiction.
Trend spotting: the future of skincare
From weird face masks to smart skin patches, there are plenty of beauty trends to help you face the future.
A beginner's guide to buying a chainsaw
Chainsaws are an essential backyard tool, but it pays to do your research before you buy and learn how to maintain them.
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.
Screen Sirens podcast: Me Before You
The Screen Sirens find Emilia Clarke's eyebrows hypnotic in Me Before You.
How to ride an ATV on hilly ground
Riding an ATV is a learned skill and if you don’t do it properly you can easily be badly hurt.
How to clean your water tank
Winter is an ideal time to clean your water tank.
Curious cows and squishy persimmons
A jet-setter's secret weapon and why Morrinsville is the place to be - things that got the thisNZlife office talking this week.
We review this really thick book
Book reviewer Rosemarie White says this 672 page book is worth its weight in gold (even if it doesn't fit in her handbag).
The best in tech
Cultural wonders, spectacular solar footage and a pawsome way to hook up - Frances Jones premieres what's hot in tech at the moment.
A long lost Bambina
Some cars lead a colourful life this, is the story of vibrant Italian icon called Niko.
Water cooler talk
The thisNZlife team reveal what got them talking this week.
Build an efficient fire
How to make sure your firewood is working at its best and tips for staying warmer than ever this winter.
Inside the world of rugby romance literature
A romance writer adds rugby to the traditional plot mix and finds an avid and growing audience - who are currently exploring New Zealand.
Syrian conflict explored through architecture
Can architecture change society? One book explores how a war-torn community has been shaped by its environment.
Listen: The Girl on the Train book club podcast
The NZ Life & Leisure team had a lively chat about the twists and turns of this best-selling thriller over wine and cheese in our new podcast The Off-topic Book Club.
Florence Foster Jenkins film podcast
In our inaugural film and television podcast Screen Sirens, film fans Emma Rawson and Andrea Burke rate the comedy Florence Foster Jenkins.
Soul searching with Hollie Smith
A number one album isn't enough to make a living in the music industry. Soul and jazz singer Hollie Smith's new album has topped the charts but she's still cleaning houses to make ends meet.
- 11 refreshing salads to make over summer (plus 10 delicious salad dressings)
- Make your own beeswax food wraps: updated recipe
- 5 tips to drying firewood
- 8 nut trees that are good to grow in New Zealand
- A little house on the apiary: Beekeeper Nathan Orr's tiny house passion stemmed from a teenage illness
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