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DESIGN INSPIRATION • EXPERT ADVICE • DIY PROJECTS • AND MORE

the big

spring clean

inside and out

Hang it up

DIY COAT RACk

Bring the great outdoors inside Planters that will add pizzazz

The ultimate laundry

Making the most of the space you have

do you monitor your water use? How to wash with less waste

keep up the good work Get moving and stay motivated


Home & Leisure | 2

NEW SHOWROOM Introducing the Rika Revo Visit and view today in our NEW STORE! JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THE GRAND OPENING OF OUR

NEW STORE AT 6 HILLVIEW ROAD from 10am to 2pm on Saturday the 12th of September

One lucky customer who purchases a Rika Pellet Fire from Eenergy between August 1st and September 11th 2015 will get their

Rika Memo Pellet Fire FoR FRee

or a discount to the value of a Rika Memo pellet fire. (Excludes flue and installation costs. Value of Rika fire is $5599.)

Five lucky customers will

Five lucky customers will

One lucky customer will

Every person who makes a purchase at Eenergy between August 1st and September 11th 2015 go into the draw to

WIN 1 OF 10 PANEL HEATERS ABSOLUTELY FREE!

A TONNE OF PELLET FUEL

FREE SERVICING FOR TWO YEARS

GRAND OPENING PRIZE DRAW

GO INTO THE DRAW TO WIN UP TO $3000 OFF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF YOUR HEAT PUMP If you buy a heat pump off Eenergy between August 1st and September 11th 2015.

Every person who buys a one tonne pellet fuel redemption card between August 1st and September 11th 2015 go into the draw to

WIN THEIR FUEL FOR FREE!

Prize draw will be made at midday on Saturday the 12th of September at the Grand Opening of the new showroom. Terms and conditions apply. See details in-store.

6 Hillview Road, Phillipstown P: 341 1338 W: www.eenergy.co.nz | E: info@eenergy.co.nz Onsite parking available


editor’s note 3 | Home & Leisure

welcome

Editor kate@starmedia.kiwi

the season of promise is almost upon us. the lambs are already on the ground, the sunny daffodil faces are brightening up the roadsides and, at the thought of winter being behind us, there is a feeling of optimism in the air. it is this optimistic mood that inspires the homeowner to freshen up their surrounds under the guise of the great ‘spring clean’. As you emerge from winter hibernation, take the opportunity to assess your possessions. Look at the clutter points, and think about how you can refine your living environment. Are your cupboards overflowing? What about your wardrobes and drawers? now is the time, as we inch ever closely to september 1, to put mess at the top of your to-do list. interior designer Leeanne Kerr breaks down the ‘how’ part of the spring clean in her feature on page 6, and it all starts with a list. the trick is not to get put off by its length, however. Break it all down into palatable chunks and get that red pen ready to tick everything off as you go. i know my drawers – and those of the kids – are desperate for an overhaul, but i, too, am reluctant to get started. You’ve just got to remember how good you feel when it’s done! even the little things, like cleaning the fridge, make you feel a lot better once they are in order. i’m not very good at cleaning, which makes me particularly happy when i find some sort of product or tool that makes the chore easier. My mum bought me a magic cloth that has the ability to clean practically everything. it clears the soap scum off the shower door, the grease off the kitchen extractor fan and wipes clean non-stick frying pans with ease and without scratch. she also introduced me to sard Wonder soap – my go-to for every clothing stain! We share other tips and tricks for stain removal on page 7. We look at laundries to determine whether or not a separate room is the best option to suit your needs before heading outdoors to ensure your guttering has weathered the winter ok. if it all gets too much, throw a wine and cheese party – i recommend it!

my find

This light box ($22 from Kmart) can display whatever message suits your mood. A great tool for motivation. #Spring clean 2015!

What's inside:

13

On display 5

Green inside: planters that pop

Special feature + giveaway 6 7

spring cleaning: the journey to a shipshape home Cleaning advice: tips and tricks that work Competition time: make sure your name is in the draw to win a showerdome kit worth $308!

14

Interior 8 sustainable solutions: conscious water use 9 the laundry: does it need its own room? 10 diY: a clothes rack inspired by nature and crafted by you

Exterior 12

Cleaning up outdoors: declutter the gutter

Fitness & leisure 13 Keep it up: it all starts with motivation 14 A taste for the good stuff: how to host a wine and cheese night

7

Publisher Charlotte smulders, star Media | Editor Kate Preece, kate@starmedia.kiwi | Advertising Kerry smith, Phone 962 0743, Mob 027 654 5367, kerry.smith@starmedia.kiwi Graphic Design narelle denmead

Our Expertise Is What We Will Provide To You Your Home Is Our Focus At Faye Homes, we are dedicated to excellence in the design and construction of the homes we build, the quality of the locations we choose and the customer service we provide. For FREE consultation, please visit our new Show Home on 9 Euphrasie Drive, Aidanfield or phone Marshall 0274668069. www.fayehomes.co.nz

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Home & Leisure | 4

Sunday 20th September 9.30am – 4.00pm Wigram air Force Museum 45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch Tickets: $15 per person Pre-purchase tickets: wtr@starmedia.kiwi WIN A FABULOUS HONEYMOON! Your dream honeymoon to Vanuatu for 5 nights with return airfares, proudly supplied by Air Vanuatu and The Havannah.

PROUDLY SPONSORED BY:

WIN THE DRESS OF YOUR DREAMS! To the value of $2000, proudly supplied by Brides of Merivale.

BE IN TO WIN FABULOUS JEWELLERY! Proudly supplied by Venus and Say Bella.


oN diSPLAy 5 | Home & Leisure

3

2

Evergreen planters

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Add colour and style your living environment with faux options for those devoid of green fingers.

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4 5

1. The Jenz Studio faceted planter adds a flash of style. Available at Token, Avonhead Shopping Centre. RRP $100. 2. Hop on the succulent wave with this Foliage Hanging Garden (17.5cm) complete with faux agave. Available with sedum and kalanchoe, in varying sizes, from Freedom Furniture. RRP $34.95. 3. Perfect for a single cutting, these Petite Metallic Vases are handpainted, with bottles 5cm (w) x 13.5cm (h). Check out Cloud Nine Creative, www.cloudninecreative.co.nz. Set of three, RRP $39. 4. General Eclectic hanging copper planters come in varying sizes and metallics. Visit Token, Avonhead Shopping Centre. From RRP $49. 5. Go faux with this agave in a Geopot, 26cm (w) x 35cm (h). From Kmart, RRP $19. 6. This 9cm hanging planter in silver is one of a collection that features navy dots, gold and copper options, too. Metallic leather chord 80cm. Cloud Nine Creative, www.cloudninecreative.co.nz. RRP $29.


coVeR SToRY Home & Leisure | 6

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The spring clean has a long history, and for good reason. Spring is the first opportunity to open up windows and doors and let warm, dry air into the house, helping remove winter moisture and any additional dampness created during, for example, carpet cleaning. It’s not just about making the house look better, but also preserving the fixtures and fittings in your home and maintaining a healthy environment by removing unwanted dust, bugs and maybe mould. Mattress care is a good example. We spend up to a third of our life in bed, and it’s a dirty place. We shed skin that is devoured by millions of dust mites, and we sweat. It all causes deterioration that leads to a worse sleep. Vacuuming the mattress, turning it over and leaving it exposed to sunlight are simple things to add to your spring-cleaning list for great dividends in the long run. Making a list is a good idea, albeit a little disheartening as it gets longer. You do, however, get a small reward as you tick off each item. Spring cleaning is one of those activities that is most satisfying when finished (rather than during), and lends itself to a management method called the salami technique. Use small steps to reach your goal, like slicing a salami rather than trying to eat it whole, and you’ll get through your list before you know it. If you need a list, Google ‘spring clean’ and customise to

your particular circumstances. A comprehensive clean is also a good opportunity to review your possessions. There has been some great innovations in storage solutions recently, including drawers built into stairs and into the kickboards in kitchens, but you have to ask yourself – if I need that much storage, maybe I just own too much, and do I really need it all? Research in the USA showed there was around 300,000 items in the average home, and many of us are probably not that far behind. This has spawned a movement called minimalism, where people reduce what they own. It doesn’t mean living a Spartan lifestyle where you go without; people who try it say it just feels more liberating. It’s hard to do though, as we tend to be loss averse – we place a high value on what we own, and simply don’t part with it easily. It’s much easier to clean a minimalist home, and much easier to make it look stylish. If you want to rid yourself of extra bits and bobs, try putting them on the local neighbourhood Facebook page or choose to have a garage sale, with an early start and day of fun and conversation with people. Spring is the season associated with renewal and growth, and it’s a good opportunity to use that increased energy and enthusiasm you have to get your renovation projects underway, too.


cover sTory 7 | Home & Leisure

Out, damned spot! Don’t you just hate it when you drop or spill something on clothing or carpets? Home & Leisure looks at remedies that work. With aisles lined with cleaning products and promises made by many an infomercial, it’s hard to know what will really work when it comes to spills and stains. What follows are some tried-and-true solutions to a range of common problems.

Water stains on Wooden furniture

WIn

with Home & Leisure!

Apply peanut butter to the stains and leave overnight. Wipe away the next day and you should find the peanut butter’s oil has fixed the problem.

CheWing gum on Carpet Freeze it by applying an ice pack, then break off the hardened gum.

furniture dents in Carpets The tell-tale signs you’ve moved the furniture needn’t stick around. Pop an ice cube in each dent and leave it to melt. The carpet will plump up itself, or else encourage it with a fork or vacuum.

dirty WindoWs Diluted methylated spirits is great to use when cleaning off those pesky window smudges and marks.

Crayon on Wallpaper Layer blotting paper over the crayon and iron lightly. Alternatively, rub the crayon rigorously with a slice of fresh bread.

fly marks on the Walls If the problem area is the kitchen, do this chore while cooking, as the steam from the stove will make the process easier. Additionally, a cloth dipped in turpentine will work a treat.

ink on Carpet Make a paste from cream of tartar and a squeeze of lemon juice, apply and then wash off.

paint on glass KEEP IT SIMPLE: Cleaning answers can be found in the pantry.

Dip a wet cloth into bicarbonate of soda or hot vinegar, and rub paint away.

Wine on the Carpet Try soda water!

Forget about extractor fans! Insist on Showerdome for a drier, warmer and healthier home. A Showerdome consists of a clear acrylic dome that prevents steam from forming when fitted on top of an existing shower box. Home & Leisure has a DIY self-install Showerdome kit to give away valued at $308 (installation by a trained local Showerdome installer is available at standard pricing). For more information, visit www.showerdome.co.nz. To enter, write your name and address on the back of an envelope and send to: Home & Leisure Showerdome giveaway, PO Box 1467, Christchurch 8140, or email giveaways@starmedia.kiwi with ‘Home & Leisure Showerdome giveaway’ in the subject line. Entries must be received before September 18.


LAUNdRy Home & Leisure | 8  

Water, water everywhere, but only a drop to drink

IN OUR HANDS: A few small changes make a significant impact on water usage.

Rebecca Lees explains how our homes play an important role in water use. We all want hot showers, sparkling teeth  and clean clothes, even in a drought. But  these needs often come at a cost to the  environment, so how do we minimise our  impact? Let’s start by looking at water. Imagine  you have a one-litre container – fill it up  with water. Now imagine that one litre of  water is all the water on the planet (salt  water included). How much of that one litre  of water (from the entire planet) is nonpolluted and available for people to drink?  The answer might shock you. It’s about one  drip. That’s 0.003% of the total water on  the planet. That one little droplet of water is all we  have; the rest is either too polluted, trapped  in soil, too far underground, is salt water  or frozen as ice. That same droplet is also  largely responsible for our species’ survival  and it’s up to us take care of it. Think about the water you use in your  home and on your property. Chances  are the water that comes out of your tap,  flushes down your loo, cleans your clothes  and is pushed out the end of the hose is all  non-polluted drinkable water. It all comes  from that one tiny little droplet.

There are simple ways we can better  look after our water, and ourselves in the  process. Start by increasing your water  supply (and your community’s resilience  in dry spells). We can do this by collecting  water when it rains for using in our  homes and gardens. Installing a rainwater  collection system can be simple (a big tub  sat under your roof downpipe) or it can  be elaborate to include drinking water,  bathrooms and laundries. These systems all  work by holding water today for using when  we need it tomorrow. The water we use in our homes is  pumped to us (often using electricity), used,  then sent down the sink along with a host of  nasty chemicals. From the sink it’s pumped  through the drains to the sewage treatment  plant, and treated. A lot of energy, time  and money is spent keeping our water  clean, so we’re best to send the water we  use away as clean as possible. Choose  natural plant-based cleaning and beauty  products that are more likely to break down  without causing harm. And always steer  clear of products containing micro-beads  (toothpaste, cleaning solutions and beauty  lotions) – they’re harmful to aquatic life and 

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•  A top loader washing machine uses around 200 litres of water per load; a front  loader only around 80 litres. That’s a big saving! Front loaders also use less  electricity. •  Using the toilet half-flush option saves around five litres per flush. •  A dripping tap can waste around 90 litres of water a week. •  A leaky toilet cistern could leak 30,000 litres of water a week. (To check if your  cistern leaks: Put a little food colouring in the cistern. Wait for a few minutes and if  the water in the pan changes colour then you have a leak. They’re simple to fix.) the oceanic foodchain (of which we’re at   the top). If you use electricity to heat your water it  will most likely account for around 47% of  your annual electricity bill – so use it wisely.  If your hot-water cylinder is warm to the  touch (and you have a 20-30mm space 

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Quick Facts

around its circumference) wrap it with an  insulation wrap, available from hardware  stores, and it will most likely pay for itself  within a year. Most importantly, remember that tiny  droplet of water. Right now it’s all we have,  so let’s protect it.

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Four years on from the earthquakes which devastated Canterbury an exciting new city is emerging. AHS are fully accredited for Insurance and Earthquake Repair Work, passionate about the rebuild, deeply committed to providing cantabrians with a stress-free quality repair. If you have earthquake repairs to still to be paid out for or complete, AHS can assign you a trained and qualified project manager to help you through the process. AHS work with only the best builders, repairers and contractors to ensure a quality repair every time. Having rebuilt or repaired over 100 houses in Christchurch for larger corporations, AHS is now making its specialized service available to the public.

AHS have the expertise to take the stress out repairing your home or business. Exacting standards and an uncompromising work ethic ensures a high standard of workmanship. They offer a comprehensive service from friendly professional advice through to the completion of the repair, facilitating throughout with transparent, concise and regularly updated communication with the client. With AHS, not only will they provide you with an independent assessment report and identify MORE earthquake damage that may have been missed on previous assessments, but they also have a strong network of contractors to ensure whatever repairs you need done are completed to a high standard. Cosmetic or structural Absolute Home Services CAN HELP. AHS have been working closely with EQC for the past three years. They completely understand the process and their quotes are completely compatible with EQC to ensure a FAST process of your claim to get the ball rolling STRAIGHT AWAY.

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Whatever situation you are in, call Absolute Home Services Ltd for some free advice.


LAunDrY 9 | Home & Leisure

The laundry door Not sure whether the laundry warrants its own room? Interior designer Leeanne Kerr highlights some key considerations when making this decision. I have to confess, my laundry isn’t a space with a designer touch, because I haven’t touched it since we moved in. Luckily, a well-trained husband means I don’t have to spend so much time there that it annoys me enough to renovate it, and I suspect that it’s the same for most people; sprucing up the laundry is not high on the priority list. That’s a pity because it’s a workspace that can make your life easier if it’s designed properly, and certainly won’t harm your house sale price if even some basic work has been done. The first questions you need to ask yourself are: do I really need a separate laundry room, or can the space be better utilised as something else? At its most basic, all you need is a washing machine, and this can be placed anywhere there is a power supply and plumbing, be it the kitchen, bathroom, cupboard or garage. In the latter cases you will also want a sink. If you want to add a dryer then ventilation becomes important. If you decide on a separate room, consider how else the space can be used. Consider storage space for your ironing board, adding a countertop or workbench, or making it a sewing or hobby area. Add storage for cleaning materials or out-of-season clothing and sports gear, pet accessories and, as it has a sink, pet cleaning. Depending on its location, it can function as a mudroom where you can

shed and store dirty or wet clothes and footwear. The danger, as in any storage and multipurpose area, is that it can become cluttered and unpleasant to be in, so plan your storage and work areas around your intended uses and stick to that. One practical hint; whatever the storage, it must have doors. You can reduce the footprint of your appliances by mounting the dryer on top of a front-loading washing machine. Front loaders are good as they use less water and are suited to a kitchen or bathroom application, however, once you have set the cycle to begin you cannot reopen it again to add that sock you dropped en route to the laundry. If it’s a top loader, elevate the dryer next to the washing machine so its door is level with the top of the washing machine and add storage underneath it. Like your kitchen and bathroom, the laundry can be a high-moisture area, so use wallboard designed for the job, and/or tiles, and hard surfaces for the floor. You will also find the area better to work in if it’s well lit. Make sure you use the right light for the activity at each surface and use lighter colours for the walls and cabinets. Having said that, avoid harsh and cold whites and blues as you want the area to be warm and inviting. As in other areas of the home, artwork can be use on the wall to brighten the area.

cLever spaces: If you don’t want to waste space on a separate room for your laundry, consider hiding it away in a cupboard.

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diy Home & Leisure | 10  

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Nature’s coat holder Grant stephens and Rebecca Hammond tidy up the house with a coat rack inspired by nature.

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Handy Hints This can also be used as an interesting art piece or a jewellery holder.

Q A

How can Showerdome save me money? Less moisture means less maintenance. Paint won’t peel and other surfaces won’t be harmed through moisture. Great for landlords! Plus you can turn down your hot water - that’s a real saving and it’s safer too.

Phone (03) 386 2204 For more information visit www.showerdome.co.nz

Let the pruned branches dry out before you use them, so as to avoid them shrinking within the finished product.

materials •  2 x  1m lengths of 50 x 20mm dressed pine •  Pile of garden pruning branches •  0.5m of chain •  4 x screw cup hoops •  40mm wood screws •  2 x 15mm wood screws

tools •  Tape measure •  Pen or pencil •  Hand saw •  Mitre box  •  Drill with 3mm and 10mm drill pieces •  Screwdriver •  Secateurs  •  Hot glue gun •  Sandpaper

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DiY 11 | Home & Leisure

Step One Use the mitre box and hand saw to cut the end of one of the timber boards, through the thin edge, at a 45° angle.

Step twO Measure 700mm from the longest point of the mitred end and make a mark. Draw a line at the same 45° angle and cut the board using the hand saw. Repeat these two steps until you have two boards at 700mm and two at 250mm.

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3

Step three Position the two 700mm boards so the longest side faces up. Make two marks 10mm in from each end, 30mm apart, and drill 3mm holes at these points.

Step FOur Use the 10mm drill piece to make countersink holes so the screws will sit flush.

Step Five

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Through the drilled holes, screw the end of the long board into the end of the short board. Screw the other short board on the other end and then screw the last board to the open ends of each short board. This should make a rectangular frame. Use the sand paper to tidy up any rough edges around the mitre joins/corners.

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Step Six Choose a thick branch that has strong offshoots coming out the sides. Use secateurs to cut branches so they fit snugly within the frame.

Step Seven

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Cut any off-shooting branches roughly 100mm from their origins and position so these points stick out to the front – these will be the branches on which the hats and coats will hang. (You will want six or seven of these branches.)

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Step eight Use the 3mm drill to make a hole through the frame, into the bottom of the branch. Screw through the hole in the frame onto the branch. Repeat this process for the other branches then again along the top side of the frame to attach the top of each branch to the frame.

Step nine Use the hot glue gun to attach shorter and smaller branches or leaf decorations onto the frame.

Step ten

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In N no E va W ti on

9

Use the short screws to screw the chain onto the top of the frame, 150mm in from each end.

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exTeRIOR Home & Leisure | 12

Keep it clean Mark Rayner highlights how best to clear out the gutters as we skip towards spring.

Top Tip

Instead of blocking downpipes with a rag or towel, consider installing a water diverter on each. This purpose-made device is simple to fit and readily diverts debris from the downpipe by way of a plastic flap. When not being used, the flap is clicked the other way, and water will flow normally through the pipe and into the drain.

and sluice the gutter with clean water, scrubbing (if necessary) with a stiff-bristled brush. Once you’re satisfied the inside of the gutter is clear and clean, use a preparatory house or paint wash (diluted with warm water to the recommended ratio) to carefully scrub the guttering and downpipes with a brush, rinsing off any soapy residue with clean water. For any really stubborn or unsightly areas of mould, consider using a preparatory moss and mould killer. While up the ladder, do a routine check on the condition of the guttering, ensuring

Before clearing the gutter of any debris, it’s best to securely block off the tops of any downpipes with a large rag or old towel. This prevents any of the collected sludge being washed down and potential causing a blocking. Beginning at one end, carefully scoop out any leaves and sludge (either with a purpose-made gutter scoop or small plastic trowel) and deposit the debris in a bucket. Work your way along the length of each section of guttering, emptying the bucket as necessary. Once the guttering is clear of mess, remove the rag or towel

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that water runs away freely and there are no splits, gaps in the joints or broken brackets along each section. Check also along the edge of the roof for any potential maintenance issues as now is the time to address any signs of rust or other damage.

Blocked downpipes Should the water not flow freely along the guttering and exit via the downpipe, it may be there’s a blockage in the downpipe that will need clearing. Begin by carefully feeding a garden hose down the top of the drainpipe until it stops; then turn it on full. This may

be enough to dislodge the blockage. Failing that, consider using a length of strong wire or a thin rod to shift the compacted debris. For truly stubborn blockages, it may be necessary to remove the downpipe completely. Beginning at the bottom of the pipe, unscrew each bracket and carefully remove the downpipe (or each section, as necessary) and free the inside of any blockage with a piece of garden stake (or strong bamboo). Sluice the pipe out with running water. In extreme cases it may be necessary to use a water blaster. Once unblocked, replace the pipe, screwing back the brackets in reverse order.

prevention Prevention is better than cure so consider placing plastic netting or mesh over gutterings to act as a filter and stop leaves and other large debris causing a problem. There are also a number of other custommade gutter products on the market including brush-like ‘whiskers’ and other ‘gutter guards’. Remember, however, that even with these gutter protectors you’ll still need to check your guttering system annually to ensure run-off flows freely. Small particles of dust and dirt can still accumulate underneath any gutter protector causing a build-up of sludge, and inhibiting water flow, both of which can lead to potential damage. If in doubt, seek advice from your building professional.

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LeISure 13 | Home & Leisure

Start the ball rolling A little bit of motivation goes a long way towards achieving your fitness goals, as Elly McGuinness explains. Motivation and exercise have an interesting relationship. It can be terribly challenging to find the motivation needed to exercise, but exercise itself is great for increasing motivation! So, if you can just get yourself to start moving (often the most challenging part), it is likely you will continue, at least with that particular exercise session. In what follows, I focus on two pointers to help you find the motivation to get out there and start moving (and then hopefully keep moving!).

the reason must have a significant emotional component, and it should also be focused on a long-term solution, i.e. a gradual lifestyle change, rather than a quick fix. Keep this in mind along with the two points outlined in Find a buddy this article and you’ll be on track to have a solid exercise Accountability is one of the best motivational methods around. If you arrange habit underway by the time summer is upon us. to meet a friend at the gym, chances are that you’re not going to let them down, and once you get there, working out will be Make it easy easier with someone to push you along. A common problem with motivating yourself If your budget allows, find yourself the to exercise is that it just “sounds hard”. “It’s ultimate accountability buddy and invest too much effort” or “it hurts too much” are in a personal trainer. Small group-training thoughts that can arise. So, when it’s cold sessions are usually available to reduce the and uninviting outside, and you feel like cost. Hiring a trainer for a few months in you’ve got zero motivation, make it as easy the lead-up to the warmer months can go a on yourself as possible! What is the easiest long way towards helping you continue by form of activity you could do? Could you: yourself over spring and summer. A good personal trainer will help you develop and • Bundle yourself up super warm implement a plan that includes sustainable, and take a walk around the block? healthy habits. After this you might decide to walk the answer lies within further, or just call it quits – in which case you will still be feeling better The question of how to motivate yourself is than if you hadn’t walked at all. a big one. The ultimate form of motivation is • Get up from your desk and do 10 called ‘intrinsic motivation’, which is where squats? The little energy boost you you find a strong enough level of desire get from that may spur you on to within yourself to take the actions you want continue. to. This means you need to have a very strong reason why your goals are important, You don’t need to think of an exercise session as an arduous task. It’s just movement and you need to figure out what will get you moving. If that means sleeping in your exercise gear to prepare for a morning session, then do it!

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Leisure Home & Leisure | 14

The big night in Wishing to extend her palate, Kate Preece throws a wine and cheese party at her place. KEY INGREDIENTS: Great food, great drink, great company!

WHO NEEDS AN EXCUSE? Getting together with a group of friends is a great tonic.

is there any better combination than wine and cheese? i don’t think so, and i happen to have a group of 10 girlfriends who agree with me. it made perfect sense, then, to bring these great elements together, for a night of decadence and education – but where to start? We are fortunate in Christchurch to have a number of local specialists in these two firm favourites, though i was surprised not to find one company that dealt with both wine and cheese. However, i did discover Winesale.co.nz, a nationwide company whose online wine merchant service extends to hosting wine tastings ($10 per head), and i knew all too well that the

Canterbury Cheesemongers would have an appropriate selection of fromage from which to choose. A few phone calls later and i had a box of cheese cued for pick-up and a boot-load of wine destined for our place on an upcoming Friday evening. Winesale Christchurch owners Peter and Andrea Dawber arrived at the door with wine glasses and tasting notes to hand, unperturbed by our off-the-beaten-track location. We are fortunate to have the ideal venue for such gatherings, offering all partygoers a place to rest their heads, safely hanging up car keys at the door. As the ‘welcome’ glass of bubbles was poured at the table set with antipasto treats, there

was certainly nothing to encourage a quick departure. Andrea has been in the wine business since she was 18, and as the husband and wife duo set the scene, they did so with 67 years of wine knowledge between them. As this was our first foray into the wonders of wine tasting, the set-up was simple – six different wines, each a different variety, was to be served and discussed, before we decided which one it was we were drinking. it was blind tasting, without the blindfolds, and with a cheatsheet. in front of us sat a piece of paper outlining the varietal characteristics of wine, and from that, as we swished, smelt and tasted, we took our best

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punt on determining what was the drop we drank. surprisingly, we were often on the money, with a few eager students quick to head to the top of the class. As we learnt to identify the sauvignon blanc’s green tinge and the pinks of a pinot gris, Andrea and Peter easily filled in the evening with casual banter and a diverse range of facts about the wines we were enjoying. We learnt that the largest wine producer in the world is China, that chardonnay is the hardest wine to make, and that syrah is the same as shiraz – the latter being no more than an Australian term for the same variety. When our mouths took rest from wine and chatter, they were quickly satisfied with cheese. The clever folks at the Canterbury Cheesemongers had chosen us five types to try; two from New Zealand and three from afar. A subset of this same all-female group had been on a gastronomic trip around Oamaru, so the Windsor Blue from Whitestone Cheese was tucked into with gusto, while it became clear a journey further south should be considered if evansdale Cheese’s farmhouse brie is anything to go by. italian cheeses taleggio (soft) and Grana Padano (hard) prompted plenty of happy murmurs, while the Dutch goat gouda was enjoyed by all bar me – can’t stand that tangy goat taste. As we came to the end of our journey from sav to syrah, we put in our orders for more, bid adieu to our wonderful hosts, and settled in for more banter as we mopped up the last of our feast of champions.


BREAKING AURAJET 15 | Home & Leisure

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Home and Leisure 05-08-15  

Home and Leisure 05-08-15

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