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July 2015

Ways to enjoy winter Activities for the whole fAmily

An oAsis of cAlm Make the bathroom your happy place

It is what’s underneath that counts

Rug up or try planking

coming ‘round the mountAin Local ski fields worth a trip

Home & Leisure | 2

EXPERIENCE THE RIKA DIFFERENCE HEAR THE DIFFERENCE Rika pellet fires are very, very quiet.

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE Rika pellet fires are very, very hot.

SEE THE DIFFERENCE Rika pellet fires are very, very stylish.





I would recommend Eenergy without hesitation for efficient, mannerly staff , 100%. ~ Eileen, South Brighton I was very pleased with the professional way your guys took our old fire out and put the pellet fire in. They were so clean and tidy. Very friendly great service. We say to you all thank you very much. We are sitting back now and enjoying. ~ Faye, Bexley A very professional installation arrived and finished on time, would certainly recommend Eenergy. ~ Margaret, Kaiapoi

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THE VERY BEST IN HEAT PUMPS BRAND NEW Hypercore® FH Series Unique Hypercore® technology ensures the Deluxe FH50 Hypercore High Wall will continue to perform at its fully rated capacity right down to -15°C. Other features include: - Dual split vane technology - 3D i-See sensor - Advanced plasma filtration - Natural air flow in cooling mode


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3 | Home & Leisure




When the mercury plummets there are a few home comforts I can’t do without. One is our fire – still, in my opinion, the best ‘feel-good’ heating option – and the other is a soft, cosy blanket for couch comfort. Rugs, too, can deliver a sense of cosiness, especially if they’re soft – pleasing to the touch of a bare foot, or encouraging a move down to ground level to enjoy it with a cushion or two. A rug can break up the monotony of a ‘sensible’ neutral colour scheme and boost the entire aesthetics of a room. It’s such an attention to detail that can really elevate a home’s aesthetics, as we learn from judge Paul Williams on page 7. This month the winners of the Registered Master Builders House of the Year competition will be announced to one and all. We were fortunate to get a sneak peak at some of the Canterbury homes, and showcase the winner of the Mid and South Canterbury Supreme House of the Year. Paul Williams is the head judge and we asked him a few questions to see what makes a winning home. Our focus has been on the floor for this issue, and we have some great advice from our team of writers. How do you know which type of carpet to choose and what level of durability will be required for your household? Between the feature by Rebecca Lees, queen of sustainable thinking, and our resident interior designer Leeanne Kerr, you should be able to make an informed decision that will last a lifetime. Rebecca also highlights some considerations for lighting that might make you rethink the next light bulb you purchase. Being halfway through winter, accept the chill and embrace the season by making the most of the snow that it brings. It’s not always convenient if it falls in our own backyard, but as we glance out at the picturesque mountaintops thoughts must turn to skiing. Linda Moser encourages us to go up a mountain or two, while Elly McGuinness shows us how to keep up the movement and the motivation, this time with family in tow. Enjoy making your home cosy and keeping life full of warmth.

my find

The Kmart Copper Lamp is a great score at $25 ( We’ve been told there will soon be a standing floor lamp version available, too!

What's inside:


On display 5

Colour underfoot: rugs to rate

Special feature 6 7

Be in to win: Adrenalin Forest giveaway Judgement day: advice from the Master Builders House of the Year competition

Rebuild & renovate 8 9

Sustainable solutions: lighting and flooring Totally floored: considering the best flooring options for your home



Interior 10 Clean and calm: why the bathroom is so important

Exterior 11 12

Sharpest tool in the shed: keeping tools shipshape DIY: grow garlic in a tin or two

Fitness & leisure 13 Fun for all: family fitness ideas perfect for winter 14 The slippery slopes: it’s snow time, let’s go skiing

Publisher Charlotte Smulders, Star Media | Editor Kate Preece, | Advertising Kerry Smith, Phone 962 0743, Mob 027 654 5367, Graphic Design Narelle Denmead

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Home & Leisure | 4


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5 | Home & Leisure


All rugged up Be it to add warmth or make a statement, a good rug can make all the difference. Here’s some we found in Christchurch.

2 1





1. Porte Wool Rug. Available at Citta, from $890. 2. ‘Searching up for Paradise (Paradise Ducks)’. By Christchurch artist Bing Dawe, this limited-edition hand-tufted rug is available at Dilana Workshop and Gallery, 102 Buchan St. 2.2m × 2.2m, RRP $5825. 3. Coco Wool Rug. Available at Citta, from $890. 4. Patchwork decolorised rug in deep red. These antique Afghan rugs are made to size and dyed a range of different colours. RRP $725 per square metre. Available at Trenzseater, 121 Blenheim Rd. 5. Mooi metallic cowhide, ‘Daisy Silver’. Sourced as a bi-product of the economic food industry, this hide will dress up polished wood and concrete floors no end. Available from Raw Nova, The Tannery, RRP 1495. 6. ‘Lion’ 100% wool rug. 1.7m x 2.4m, RRP $1629. Available from BoConcept, 12 Papanui Rd, Merivale.

Tips for a Warmer Home and Smaller Power Bill It’s that time of year when temperatures drop and energy bills can skyrocket. For some residents, heating their home is simple; they turn up the temperature on their thermostat and write a bigger cheque to their power company whilst keeping warm in the winter can be challenging for others, especially if their heating method is expensive. However, with a greater focus these days on energy efficient products, colder weather no longer means spending an exorbitant amount of money on heating your home. Heat Pumps, which are now almost a staple inclusion in new homes, are a great way to keep energy costs down, if used efficiently. A wellinsulated home is paramount in making home heating as efficient as possible. Ensure your home is fitted with good quality insulation such as Pink Batts which will allow you to use a smaller Heat Pump, saving you money on both sides of the spectrum. As with any product, it is recommended that it is sourced from a quality supplier that offers a substantial warranty on the item. If your home uses a wood burner, you can rest easy,

Jennian Homes Canterbury 6 Moncur Place, Addington, Christchurch T 03 338 5812 E 0800 JENNIAN

knowing they are efficient to use but your home still needs to be insulated well to heat efficiently and retain the warmth. Your wood burner will also need to be maintained regularly to ensure it performs well and increase longevity, it is not uncommon to find that they have been damaged due to poor maintenance or improper use. There is no question that a wood burner is one of the more efficient ways you can heat you home, as modern fuel products are highly energy efficient and produce very limited air pollution.

your home can soak up free heat from the sun to keep you warm day and night. Plenty of glass along the north side of your home, ideally with high level windows to assist airflow and make use of the sun is crucial when planning an energy-efficient home. Having the opportunity to plan for all year round energy efficiencies before building means that you can have a home the is warmer, drier, healthier and simply better to live in.

If you have appliances running on gas in your home, it may be wise to think about switching your heating source to gas as well, due to you already paying for the fixed supply charges. Choose a gas heater that has the “Energy Star” label for the best savings while keeping you warm this winter. If you have taken advantage of building new, passive heating is perhaps the most cost efficient way to become energy efficient and plan for the winter months. Making use of the sun will give you a home that keeps you warm and comfortable in the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way. With the right balance of elements

Kind Regards, Nigel Smith (Director)

Home & Leisure | 6


Are you a winner?

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Over 10 years experience in the building industry

In our May issue of Home & Leisure, we ran a competition that saw Anna Burrowes walk away with a three-unit DIY Unovent home-ventilation prize valued at more than $1000. Congratulations! In this issue, we have another great prize, this time aimed at those wishing to counter cabin fever and enjoy the great outdoors.

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Win An AdrenAlin Forest experience! Adrenalin Forest is a multi-level aerial obstacle course designed to progress you higher and higher into the trees via rope bridges, swings, nets and flying foxes. Every level is progressively harder, starting at 1.5m above the ground and reaching 30m among the tree tops at the sixth level. The experience is suitable for all ages (from 1.3m tall), and for everyone with a basic level of fitness. It takes around three hours to complete the whole course. The Christchurch adventure park is located at 105 Heyders Rd, Spencerville. Opening hours are: 10am–2pm (last start) and the park is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school and public holidays.

CAVIUS SMOKE & THERMAL HEAT DETECTORS The Cavius Photoelectric Smoke Alarm is the world’s smallest smoke alarm with a 10 year long-life battery and penetrating 85dB sound and is sold individually or in a convenient pack of 3. Where an area is prone to smoke or steam such as kitchens, the Cavius Thermal Heat Alarm is the answer and will activate from heat rather than smoke. Both detectors use a unique “smart clip” ceiling mechanism for easy installation. SPECIAL for CAV10 only $49.90 (normally $59.90) with this ad only (valid until 31 July 2015)

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Home & leisure has a family pass for four to give away. Be it two adults and two children/teenagers, or for four children/teenagers, the winning group will experience a day to remember. To enter: write your name and address on the back of an envelope and send to: Home & Leisure Adrenalin Forest giveaway, PO Box 1467, Christchurch 8140, or email giveaways@ with ‘Home & Leisure Adrenalin Forest giveaway’ in the subject line. Entries must be received before July 31.

7 | Home & Leisure

Special Feature

Take it to the next level Home & Leisure talks to Paul Williams, head judge of this year’s Registered Master Builders House of the Year competition, to get some advice on making your house a supreme winner.


What gives a home that winning edge? A combination of architect, home owner and builder working well together to achieve a well-balanced outcome for all those involved. Good design with attention to detail and quality workmanship throughout the entire project. Do Christchurch/Canterbury homes offer different aesthetics to our North Island counterparts? Not so much aesthetics but as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes and varying ground conditions we have seen new challenges in the way they engineer their structures. This has produced some new and innovative design features. What trends have become apparent through the competition? The last couple of years have seen a trend away from monolithic plaster finish to exterior claddings to the more traditional weather board cladding. In the upper end of the market a noticeable increase in the use of cedar timber cladding, with darker stains being the preferred option. Have any new innovations caught your eye? Some really good indoor/outdoor living concepts which are conducive to the Kiwi lifestyle. Kitchen and bathroom designs have stood out.



What part of the house should receive the most design attention? The design needs to function well for the occupants and be fit for purpose. Aesthetic, appeal and coherence are also important to help contribute to a comfortable and pleasing living environment. What small changes deliver the biggest impact? I think good detailing that has been well-thought through and is complimentary to the overall design and architectural style of the house. Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to home décor and design? When clients spend considerable amounts of money when building a new home but fail to balance their expenditure by employing the services of a good and well-qualified architect. This can compromise the end product and the dollar value of its resale value in years to come. How would you describe your ideal home? Well designed to suit the clients’ needs and the site it is built on, taking into consideration the surrounding features and/or restrictions. Positioned well for sun and light. A quality finish throughout with good use of material selection with consideration to sustainability and futureproofing for ongoing maintenance. A house that is comfortable and relaxing to live in.


1 & 2: Supreme Award and Mid and South Canterbury Registered Master Builders 2015 House of the Year; Gold Award & Category Winner PlaceMakers New Home $400,000-$500,000; Craftsmanship Award, Plumbing World Bathroom Excellence Award, Outdoor Living Award – Lone Pine Building for a home in Timaru. 3 & 4: Supreme Award and Mid and South Canterbury Registered Master Builders 2015 Renovation of the Year; Gold Award & Category Winner SafetyMate Renovation Award over $500,000; Heart of the Home Kitchen Award – Wilson Building Timaru for a home in Timaru.

Home & Leisure | 8

sustainable solutions

The sensational world of eco-savvy flooring and lighting

think LOCaL: ‘The Wrap’ lightshade, made by Minnow, Sydenham.

Rebecca Lees encourages you to think green when making interior choices. Lighting affects our energy bills, aesthetics of our home, and our moods, too. Nowadays, it’s out with the old energysapping light systems, and in with the new. We can have it all: style, innovation, natural beauty and energy efficiency.

Use natUral light

more efficient again. For equivalent lighting from a standard 100-watt light bulb, a CFL bulb will use 20 watts, and an LED bulb just 8 watts. Plus LEDs can last 8-10 times longer than CFLs.

seek oUt stylish eco-lamps and fixtUres

Natural light stabilises moods, provides vitamin D and maintains our circadian rhythms – great for overall health. Increase natural light into your home by installing ceiling windows (skylights) or tubular daylight devices (mini skylights) in dark spaces. Use internal glass or French doors (and mirrors) to reflect light and brighten up your home.

Efficient light bulbs aren’t the only way to green-up your lighting. Source stylish eco-lampshades and fixtures, locally made if possible. Craig and Victoria Menary handcraft lampshades at their Sydenham business Minnow, which uses renewable, sustainable, recyclable and reclaimed materials.

Use the latest lighting technology

Turn lights out when not in use. Check the electricity you are using comes from a company generating a high rate of renewable energy. Dimmers, timers and motion sensors also help reduce energy use. At the end of their life, recycle light shades and dispose of light bulbs safely. Christchurch City Council recommends you wrap your CFL and LED bulbs in paper, and dispose of using the red-lidded rubbish bin

LED light bulbs last 8-10 times longer than CFLs, and use just 40 per cent of the energy a CFL bulb uses.

Left: Standard incandescent light bulb (replace these light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs) CentRe: CFL light bulb (energy-saving light bulb) Right: LED light bulb (latest innovation in efficient lighting)

(not the recycle bin). Otherwise, ask your local hardware store to become a free dropoff facility if they are not already.

Using light Underfoot There’s nothing more comforting than standing inside on a warm surface on a cold winter’s day. Take advantage of the natural light coming into your home by using it to heat your home passively as well. Install earthen floors, tiles or other materials high in thermal mass under north-facing wellinsulated windows.

In N no E va W ti on

With every flick of the light those old standard bulbs are costing you money. Replace them with CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or the far superior LEDs (light emitting diodes). CFLs are the twirly bulbs many of us have in our homes. CFLs are very energy efficient, but LEDs (a newer innovation) are

establish green habits

QuiCk faCts:

sUstainable flooring Source renewable or recycled timbers for natural flooring. They’re carbon neutral, naturally beautiful and long lasting, but require good underfloor insulation. Woollen carpets can be more expensive – and may not last as long. The good news is they are more likely to emit far less toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and the environment than synthetic carpets. They’re also locally grown, renewable and warmer, too.

Join the power saving revolution

Intelligent Downlight Adjustable light colour from warm white through to cool daylight, a remote for independent room adjustment, fully dimmable with remote that also includes an Intelligent ‘Night Mode’. IC-F Rated so that you can insulate over for improved warmth and safety.

Are you ready to SAVE up to $500 per year on your power bills without having to change power companies? To book your FREE Ecobulb lighting assessment today


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9 | Home & Leisure


The floor you walk on Leeanne Kerr provides pointers for choosing the right flooring for your place. Have you ever heard or experienced the phrase “... walked all over me”? This is exactly what you do to the floor yet it’s the last thing you may consider when carrying out your daily activities. When planning a renovation or makeover, the floor is a great place to start, and there is a lot to consider. It is a large base area on which heavy furniture sits; you and your children walk, run or play; and the sun dances – the floor works harder than the rest of the house. When selecting flooring for your home, you want your choices to be driven by both aesthetic and practical elements. For areas that use water, including entranceways, nonslip surfaces are essential. I do not suggest carpet in these areas, as things dropped or spilt, such as cosmetics and medication in the bathrooms or oils and food stains in the kitchen, may be difficult to remove. If you love tiles or polished concrete, remember extra heating may be required in the colder months. A warmer option is sheet vinyl, vinyl planking or wood planking and all come in a variety of styles and colours. If wood planks are your chosen form of flooring, try to avoid planking with a very thin top layer as this will be very difficult to sand back and recoat later on – a thick layer now will save you money on having to replace the whole lot later. Whatever you choose, make sure you take the samples home to see how they look out of the showroom; your lighting and furniture will be different. In a small space, you will want to avoid a large or very detailed design as it may dominate the room and be too busy. Remember, too, that what looks good in your friend’s house may not look as good in yours. A textured rug is a fun way to soften the look and change the feel of a room. These

do not need to be expensive and can often be picked up at a carpet showroom. If you get something made, make sure the hessian backing is covered so that it does not scratch your newly laid floor and does not slide out from under your feet, causing accidents. Carpet is always popular in our homes for warmth and comfort. Not all carpet is created equal, however, and the use of the space determines the carpet you need. Wool carpet and solution-dyed nylon are suited to living areas and bedrooms and have come a long way over the years, offering good resilience to the dancing sun, especially the nylons. Next come the heavy duty, extra heavy duty or commercial options. An easy guide is the heavier the activity in the area the higher the duty required, however, the price generally increases with the level of duty, so stick to your family requirements. I have commercial carpet and polished concrete in my home but this was by choice as I have a cat, dog and an active family with different footware coming in and out. Always get a professional to come to your home to measure and quote for your chosen flooring. Make sure they go through your home room by room with you and explain which way the flooring will be running and where any joins will be. Flooring can be an expensive exercise, so you need to understand fully what you are getting and ensure it’s right the first time . If the budget is tight, look at the existing flooring. Is that wooden floor able to be sanded back and refinished? Does that carpet just need a clean? Not everything needs to be done right now, you need to enjoy living as well. The children are only young once and you may regret not going away for that long weekend or summer camping trip for the sake of a new floor.


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Home & Leisure | 10

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Bathing: cleansing, purifying, refreshing, reviving and pampering. The word bathroom doesn’t really do justice to the concept of bathing. For the Romans it was a ceremonial ritual and for the Turks it was a social occasion, whereas in many western cultures it has been a far more puritan and functional activity. Over the years, this attitude has been changing, and trending is the concept of the bathroom as a home spa; a time-out space where you can improve your state of mind, body and spirit. While double basins are a practical solution in a busy two-person bathroom, we’re also seeing larger and two-person showers, showers with body spray and jet panels and steam showers. Low-flow ‘raincan’-style showerheads are replacing slide and handheld units – something I’m happy about because I always found the hose to be a problem cleaning area. I remember many years ago staying on a farm that had an old bathtub out in a paddock – you filled it with cold water and started a fire underneath, and once it was the right temperature climbed in and wallowed in nature. We’re now seeing ‘nature’ in the form of natural materials, particularly wood and recycled materials coming into the bathroom, and slate colours also reflect this natural theme. Plants are making a comeback, but in the form of a vertical garden or living wall rather than a forlorn pot plant on the vanity. Also trending are tiles, particularly mosaic and larger-size tiles. I’m in two minds about this. You will have seen lots of stories about improperly installed tiles and they are a lot harder to keep clean, but modern designs do give spectacular results. If you’re just going to use them around a fitted bath, then consider using glass, either monochromatic or patterned, as an alternative. Low-profile basins continue to trend, and we’re also seeing wall-mounted tapware. As someone who lived through the whole brass fittings era, I’m wary of the current

copper-fittings trend – great if you’ve got a claw-foot bath in an on old villa, but I suspect it will date quickly otherwise, in the context of a modern bathroom. There are some practical considerations when following the current trends – larger showers and freestanding baths take up more space, and if you’re making major changes you will need to consider the plumbing. If it comes up through a concrete slab, moving a toilet or a shower, or even changing to a floating vanity, will present major problems. If space is a problem when renovating your ensuite, what about removing a wall so it’s open plan with the bedroom? This trend started in hotel rooms and has moved into the home. If you’re planning to do this remember to allow for a partition for the toilet! One bathroom trend I do like is the back-to-wall toilet, which is much easier to clean around. Another space-saving option I usually suggest for my older clients is a wet area ensuite to futureproof their ability to access and use it as their mobility changes, but this style of bathroom is great for any age. Whether it’s a closed-off area or open plan, the major issue you need to deal with is moisture, which can damage the structure of your house and make it unhealthy and uncomfortable to live in. Your bathroom needs to be properly ventilated, lined with an impermeable material, and any other materials you use, such as tiles, need to be installed properly – and if they’re being used on the floor ensure they are designed for this and won’t become a slippery hazard. A home spa isn’t just about a nice shower and vanity, it’s also about how you accessorise the area. Loofahs and body brushes, pumice stones and aromatherapy essences, herbal infusions and floral water (rose petals in the water was a favourite of the Romans) will all help you get the most benefit from your bathroom and help move it from being a functional area to a favourite room in the house.

11 | Home & Leisure


Sharpen up! Whether there are plants to prune or you simply want to keep tools shipshape, Mark Rayner’s advise will ensure you’ve got the sharpest tools in your shed. angle to ensure a sharp cutting edge so, when honing a blade, make sure you maintain the original bevel or you will find the tool may not cut correctly.

Sharpening pruning toolS

Sharp pruning tools make the task of trimming plants a whole lot easier, and the resulting clean cuts ensure plants will recover faster. Secateurs, shears and other cutting tools are relatively straightforward to sharpen, even if the blades have seen better days. The secret to a keen cutting edge lies in the bevel of the blade (the flat-angled part of the blade that creates the sharp edge). Each tool is factory-ground at the correct

When sharpening pruning tools, it’s often easiest to take the tool apart (especially if you need to clamp blades in a vice). Most shears and similar cutters are simply held together with a bolt that can be easily undone with a spanner. Before sharpening, thoroughly clean the tool with warm soapy water and remove any rust with fine-grade sandpaper (or kill two birds with one stone and use a soapy ‘Brillo’ pad). Once clean of dirt and rust, wipe the tools dry with an old towel or rag. Secateurs can be held ‘from behind’ (where the handles meet) with one hand and the blades sharpened with the other. For anything larger, it may be easiest to clamp the tool securely or hold it in a vice. For very blunt or damaged blades, it may be necessary to redefine the bevel first with a metal file or coarse sharpener. In this case, run the file or sharpener lengthways along the blade in one direction (towards the tip of the blade), gradually removing any damaged metal. Once back in good shape, use an axe stone (or purpose-made blade-sharpener) to gently hone the edge. Again, place the

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PROTECT AND SERVE: A spray of WD-40 will improve cutting action and protect against rust.

stone or sharpener flat against the bevelled edge of the blade and carefully run along the length towards the tip. Use even strokes, but take care not to overdo it. When you are satisfied the edge is nice and sharp, run the stone gently along the other (flat) side of the blade to remove any burr that may have formed. Repeat this process for the second blade. When sharpening, carefully wipe off any metal filings with a clean rag (take care not to cut yourself) and then lightly lubricate the blades and any moving parts with a spray of WD-40. This will improve the cutting action as well as help to prevent rust reforming on the blade. Once finished, reassemble the tool, if necessary, taking care not to over-tighten any bolts.

Sharpening other toolS

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When sharpening blades on larger tools requiring major attention, an electric angle grinder can come in handy. However, electric angle grinders can also cause damage if used incorrectly. When using a grinder, secure the tool blade firmly in a vice and go slowly and gently to avoid damage. Metal files are good for tools that don’t need a really sharp cutting edge, such as lawnmower blades, spades and hoes. Again, secure the tool blade in a vice so you can use two hands to use the file. Kitchen knife sharpeners can be used on tools with thinner blades, such as garden scissors and single-bladed ‘hacking’ tools. Fine-grade sanding blocks can also be used to hone and sharpen smaller blades.

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Home & Leisure | 12


Tinned garlic

Step 1 Try not to use garlic that has been sprayed; organic garlic or garlic from your garden centre is best. Peel off the outer paper skin from the garlic bulb, and separate the cloves. The biggest ones can go in your garden to produce next year’s garlic bulbs.

Diane Turner provides an alternative way to get garlic growing.

Step 2 I used large coffee, hot chocolate and soup tins for this project. (I only used tins that were opened with a ring-pull as these ones don’t have sharp edges.) Punch some drainage holes in the base of your tins with a large nail and hammer. Give the outer sides of the tins a light sanding, followed by a wipe over with a damp cloth to remove any dust (this helps paint stick to the tins).

Step 3

Halfway through winter, this bright garlic-growing project is a great way to get the kids involved in gardening and add more flavour to your meals. Big, fat garlic cloves get chosen for planting in the garden but that leaves the fiddly, little cloves without a home. However, these smaller cloves are perfect for growing tasty, green garlic leaves. Here’s how to plant them.

The leaves will taste of garlic and can be used in salads, sandwiches, soups, muffins or even to flavour some cottage cheese to go with crunchy carrot sticks.

Now, give your tins a coat of paint. I used test pots for the job and gave each tin two coats of paint, making sure the first coat was thoroughly dry before applying the second. When the painted tins are dry, fill them with compost, and add water to dampen the mix. Next, push the little cloves of garlic into the compost, pointy end towards the surface of the mix. I planted about six cloves in the big tins and three in the little tins. Keep your tins in a warm spot and don’t let the compost mix dry out.

Step 4 After about four days, the cloves will have sprouted roots. Once they have sent up a couple of leaves, you can begin to harvest the green tops. You will probably need only a couple of leaves at a time. When harvesting them, leave at least 3cm of green to help the leaves regrow.

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Fitness for the whole family Elly McGuinness suggests some great activities to keep us motivated and happy through winter. There’s something truly invigorating about getting out and walking or biking in the rain over the winter months. Maybe it’s the reward of a hot shower and cosy slippers that comes afterwards, or maybe it’s the mental wellbeing obtained from being out in nature during the traditionally ‘indoor’ months of the year. However, there will surely be days during this time of year when you think it’s just “too cold” or “too rainy” to be outside, but you’re still looking for something to energise and rejuvenate your body. When those days do pop up, I’ve got some great suggestions for Christchurch-based indoor fitness solutions suitable for the whole family.

1. Hip-Hop dance classes Find your rhythm, learn something new, and get in shape with this new hip-hop class aimed at teaching beginners what their bodies can do. The beginners’ class is held on Saturday mornings at 11am, and there is also an open level class that you can progress towards on a Thursday evening. The studio is located beside South City Shopping Centre. All ages are welcome and your first class is free.

2. Mid-winter swiMMing Don’t worry, I’m not talking about ocean swimming here! The Christchurch City Council has three great (heated!) swimming pool facilities in different areas of the city (Ilam, Spreydon and Papanui). The kids will love splashing about playing games whilst mum and dad ‘tag team’ some lap swimming for their own health and fitness. And a spa to relax and ease any muscle tension can be enjoyed by all before heading home. Follow the ‘Recreation and Sport’ link on the City Council website for full details.

3. ice skating Give your legs a great work out at Alpine Ice in Opawa. ‘Family fun’ sessions run every Saturday and Sunday, 2pm-4pm. See if you can keep up with the kids… and book yourself some lessons if you’re a bit out of practice or in need of a confidence boost!

4. indoor courts The YMCA is a great place to hire basketball, netball, badminton, volleyball (Bishopdale) and squash (Bishopdale and City) courts. Hone your hand-eye co-ordination skills and get a great cardiovascular workout through your sport of choice – without getting battered by the wind and rain. Check out the details under the ‘Recreation and Stadium’ link on the website: These are just a few examples of how we are spoilt for choice with indoor, family-oriented fitness options in Christchurch. So rally the troops, get out the door, and enjoy the endorphins as well as the quality family time that comes as part of the package.

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Home & Leisure | 14


Ski Canterbury this winter

IT’S SNOW TIME: You won’t regret joining the fun at any of our local ski fields. Photo Mt Hutt, Getty Images.

Linda Moser encourages us to hit the slopes. It’s time to dust off those skis, breathe in the crisp and snappy wintry air and take in the sunshine as it sparkles off fresh white powder. In Canterbury we are blessed with numerous options for a ski adventure to remember. Whether you are a first-time skier or an old pro, there’s something to suit all levels and abilities. The best part is you don’t have to go very far to reach some truly amazing ski fields and excellent facilities. If you don’t want to splash out on expensive gear, it is possible to rent everything you need at most ski fields throughout the region. Porters Ski Area is just 94km from Christchurch on State Highway 73, close to Castle Hill village, where you can book accommodation if you want to make a weekend of it. Perfect if you are a beginner, Porters has a fantastic learner’s slope, a snow-sport school and a fully equipped rental department and workshop. There’s also a whole lot of wide open mountain terrain for the experts out there. When you’ve had enough of the slopes the fully licenced café and bar will warm you both inside and out with tasty treats, light meals and an assortment of hot and cold beverages. Mt Cheeseman Ski Area, also on Highway 73 and just 99km away, is another option close to Christchurch. Just 1.5km past Castle Hill, it offers groomed runs and

off-piste terrain for all ages and abilities. Access to the mountain is provided by two T-bar lifts and a rope tow for beginners in a designated learner’s area. This is a family friendly field with backpacker-style accommodation just 6km in from the main highway or bookable accommodation at Castle Hill village. With the snowy winter that is predicted, it should be a good, long season. In a slightly different direction but still just 90km from Christchurch, is Mt Hutt, one of New Zealand’s longest-running ski areas. With the village of Methven just 26km from its base, Mt Hutt offers a range of accommodation and restaurant options. High and wide, with an altitude of 2086m and 365 hectares of skiing area, Mt Hutt has great consistent snowfall which ensures this field remains open all winter. To reach the beginner and advanced slopes you ride either a six-seater chair, a quad chair, a triple chair or an enclosed magic carpet. Once at the top you will be rewarded with brilliant views right to the Pacific Ocean and well into the seemingly endless Southern Alps. If you’ve got the family in tow, Mt Hutt and Methven village offer a ‘kids for free’ deal, where children under 10 eat and sleep for free when accompanied by a paying adult. There’s also an array of school holiday programmes and an on-site early learning centre, Skiwiland, which will keep

the tiny ones entertained while you soak up the sunshine and hit the slopes. Let’s not forget Hanmer Springs Ski Area, just 155km from Christchurch and only 17km from Hanmer Springs and its relaxing thermal pools. Suitable for both the beginner and advanced skier, Hanmer Springs Ski Area has a variety of groomed and off-piste tracks and is the perfect place for families or groups of friends. Enjoy the breath-taking views and distant white peaks of St James Station and the Molesworth Mountains. After an invigorating day on the slopes you may choose to stay

in the cosy backpacker-style mountain accommodation, which is self-catering, or you might decide to stay and relax in the town of Hanmer Springs, eat out at a local restaurant and have a good long soak in the hot springs. So, why not give skiing or snowboarding a go this winter? With so much on offer, so close to Christchurch, there’s no reason not to head for the hills, strap on some skis and sail down a mountain or two. Here’s hoping for some perfect, sunny, bright and clear days and mountains covered with fresh white powder!

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