These feel-good podcasts are the best way to kickstart your day

There’s a lot to be said for starting your day off on the right foot. Whether that’s squeezing in a daybreak run or chowing down on a salubrious brekkie, starting any morning with a dose of dopamine sets the tone for the rest of the day. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be all exercise-at-the-crack-of-dawn and Instagram-ready acai bowls — doing something as simple as listening to a feel-good podcast does the just trick just as well. Next time you embark on your morning commute, we suggest tuning into one of these audio delights for the easiest way to inject a bit of cheer into your day. 

The Daily Boost
Perfect for when you’re feeling unfocused, The Daily Boost is like an auditory kick up the backside via its straight-talking, humorous and motivational coaching, led by host Scott Smith. On record as the most popular, daily motivation program in history (with over 26 million downloads, no less) you can rest assured that you’re in capable hands.

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
If you haven’t yet sampled Oprah’s heart-warming SuperSoul Conversations, we recommend you become acquainted with them, stat. The talk-show mogul interviews spiritual leaders, best-selling authors, health and wellness experts and film stars, lending her witty repartee and uplifting charm to an array of thought-provoking real-life stories.

Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Doing exactly what she promises in the title, Gretchen Rubin — the author of bestselling The Happiness Project — dishes advice on happiness, good habits, and mental reframing alongside sister Elizabeth Craft. (NB: for a happiness-inducing double whammy, listen to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversation with Gretchen Rubin for the perfect introduction to this inspiring speaker.)

TED Radio Hour
In this weekly podcast, host Guy Raz delves into the lives of a range of TED speakers, exploring their successes, pitfalls and everything in between. Both touching and stimulating, you can expect to find yourself thinking of new and innovative ways to think and create, long before the first episode is over.

Invisibilia
Invisibilia sees the hosts — journalists Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin — explore human behaviour through the emotions, personality, ideas, expectations and assumptions that influence how we think. With real-life human stories confronting interesting aspects of human psychology, this podcast is as gripping as it is inspiring.

Invisibilia

The Upgrade by Lifehacker
In a bid to help you live your best life, this second and revised iteration of the original The Lifehacker delivers tips, tricks and tools on everything from cooking at home to working out. It’s simple and effective with a different topic per episode: bettering yourself has never been so easy.

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6 reasons why you should up your kitchen game and invest in a Sub-Zero refrigerator

Homes which advertise a Sub-Zero fridge in the listing, net a 38% premium over other high-end listings.

We all know about ‘investment’ wardrobe pieces, but investment kitchen appliances are another thing altogether. When it comes to the crème de la crème of culinary hardware, Sub-Zero’s famous refrigeration specimens might just be worth every penny.

It will increase the value of your entire home
You might sooner think of a lick of paint as being the best thing to improve saleability, but recent surveys have shown that homes which advertise a Sub-Zero fridge in the listing, net a 38% premium over other high-end listings (zillow.com). This is an asset that will clearly pay dividends.

It’s an iconic design
Function might come first for Sub-Zero but there’s no denying form weighs heavy in terms of this fridge’s appeal. The classic, bold appliance with its louvred grille is a transcendent style that has become one of the most imitated home product designs ever. And you know what they say about imitation…

It’s more durable than most
Most homeowners might be satisfied getting several years of service out of an appliance but when it comes to Sub-Zero, it’s a product that will last you decades. One of the marque’s enduring commitments is ’to build the best’; Sub-Zero’s appliances are constructed in their own American facilities where they can control every step of the manufacturing process. Only premium grade materials are used, the technology is state of the art and the craftsmanship is of the highest calibre (every fridge is handmade, hand finished and 100% quality tested.)

Your grocery bill will thank you for it
Sub-Zero pioneered the dual refrigeration system, which relies on two separate, self-contained cooling systems to keep fresh food fresher and preserve frozen food longer (thanks to a more consistent temperature throughout.) They also developed an air filtration system inspired by NASA technology that scrubs the air of ethylene gas (which speeds up food spoilage) and also reduces odours by removing bacteria, mould and viruses. Everything about the fridge, right down to its ultra-effective seals, encourages food longevity.

Your power bill will thank you for it
Sub-Zero equipment meets high energy efficiency tests and even the largest refrigerators consume less power over a year than a 100 watt light bulb. Foam filled doors help insulate the unit more efficiently, and the dual refrigeration system means less energy is used overall.

It’s easier to clean
The fridge’s 18-gauge stainless steel exteriors are not susceptible to denting and are easy to keep clean due to the thicker graining in the steel. Need we say more?

Design


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This transparent furniture trend is a stylish exercise in creative contradiction

Melding modern lines with a romantic garden outlook, this home is the epitome of quietly confident luxury
Left: Mini Lady Dior bag, small Diorama ultra black bag and J'adior slingback pumps from Dior (09 373 4849) | Right: Valentina trench coat from Paris Georgia; Mini Lady Dior bag and Dioramour shoes from Dior (09 373 4849); Odin chair by Resident from Simon James Design

Denizen after dark: The outfits we wear once the sun has gone down

When the light begins to fade, and the calls of a long day morph into the quiet intimacies of evening, we don our favourite designers and decide who to become once night falls. From glittering fabrics to precise suiting, these are the clothes, shoes and accessories we adorn ourselves in after dark.

Left: Helen Cherry Cameron jacket and cigarette pant and Alexander Wang Rina heels from Workshop; Lady Dior ultra black bag from Dior (09 373 4849); Odin chair by Resident from Simon James Design | Right: Headline Cross pumps and Trunk clutch from Louis Vuitton; Missoni maxi dress from Muse Boutique
Left: Small shoulder bag from Gucci; Stuart Weitzman Mira mules from Scarpa | Right: Alice McCall The Future is Female skirt from Superette; Sidone bag from Prada; Odin chair by Resident from Simon James Design

 

Left: Wool and silk tuxedo jacket and Corea Borg Jasper navy shirt from Dadelszen; Mid-fit shirt from Workshop Denim; Bow-tie from WORLD; Solferino derby shoes from Louis Vuitton; Odin chair by Resident from Simon James Design | Right: Saint Germain loafers from Louis Vuitton; Marquess silk and wool grosgrain jacket and Vincenza tuxedo shirt from Dadelszen; Bow-tie from WORLD
Image credit: Styling: Margie Cooney, Art Direction: Fran King

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Apricot and Tonka bean

More than just a candle: The Denizen team reveal their favourite scents from Ecoya’s new collection

Not purely a decorative home accoutrement but a divine means of relaxation too, there’s nothing quite like a superbly smelling Ecoya candle. Whether it’s the traditional vanilla bean or one of the brand’s more unique and intriguing scent concoctions, it’s fair to say that the antipodean masters of aroma hit the nail on the head every single time — and we’ve long been avid fans.

But with so many fragrances to pick from and a new collection of enticing scents set to be released on the 1st of February, it can prove hard narrowing it down to one single choice. Here, three members of the Denizen team — Writer Albert Cho, Creative Director Anna Southwell and Graphic Designer Clara Jane — outline their favourites in a bid to help those in need of a bit of inspiration.

Anna Southwell
After returning from one of the best summer breaks in a long time, I’m trying anything and everything that might help me hold onto the feeling of being on holiday. Whether that’s putting some time into planning my next family getaway or lighting Ecoya’s new Apricot and Tonka bean candle (above) and taking a moment for myself. The fruity and tropical scent immediately takes me back to sitting under the palms at my parents in law’s home in Whananaki — what I would give to be back there right now!

Lily of the Valley

Clara Jane
I often have multiple candles lit around the house as they not only emit a beautiful smell but also remind me of times or places that have been important in my life. The Lily of the Valley fragrance (above) from Ecoya’s new collection brings to mind one such memory. It’s a floral scent with hints of tuberose and oakmoss, which remind me of my grandmother. When I was younger, we used to collect flowers from her garden before drying them out, sewing them into little pouches and putting them in our drawers to keep our clothes smelling fresh — and it just so happens that we often picked tuberose or lavender. Unfortunately, I no longer have a perfumed pouch, so it’s nice to be reminded of a special moment from my youth.

Caramelised Walnut and Amber

Albert Cho
The Caramelised Walnut & Amber diffuser is my favourite from the new Ecoya collection. The sweet, sparkling top notes of nutty caramel and jasmine paired with the underlying woodiness and cinnamon spice gives a warm and welcoming aroma. Something about spice just makes me feel cosy during the colder months and it prevents the diffuser from being overly sweet. The hints of amber take me back to my grandparent’s house in the rural countryside of Korea. My grandmother was a violinist and I asked her to play for me whenever she had the chance. She had an amber stone that she used to rosin her bow and the smell would fill my room as she played for me before bedtime. The scent of amber along with the sounds of her violin comforted me and put me to sleep and this diffuser does the same.

Available online and in-store from the 1st February 

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The 10 cultural events you need to be adding to your February calendar

From mind-bending circus acts to musical icons and one of the best festivals of the season, February is shaping up to be a month packed with plenty to keep us culturally satiated. Whether you’re an avid gig-attendee or a self-proclaimed cinephile, these are the 11 events you should be scheduling in your February calendar immediately.

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Lauryn Hill x Nas

Lauryn Hill x Nas

Lauryn Hill x Nas

Lauryn Hill x Nas

Marking the 20th anniversary of her game-changing album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, the New Jersey-raised songstress is coming to New Zealand for a special headline concert with none other than acclaimed rapper Nas in tow. Captive crowds will be able to revel in singles like Hill’s ‘Everything is Everything’ and ‘Ex-Factor’.

Saturday, 16th February at Spark Arena. Purchase tickets here.

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil

Famed for delivering its fanciful and thrilling circus experience to audiences around the world, Cirque du Soleil has announced yet another awe-inspiring season on our shores. Entitled Kooza, the new show will set pulses racing as it follows central character ‘The Innocent’ on a journey of self-discovery through a fantastical world teeming with surprises.

From 16th February until 17th March at Alexandra Park. Purchase tickets here.

On The Basis of Sex

On The Basis of Sex

On The Basis of Sex

On The Basis of Sex

Felicity Jones transforms into Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this film that follows the journey of the iconic figure from her renowned, equal rights advocacy work to her glass-ceiling-shattering appointment to the US Supreme Court. With stellar performances leading the rousing narrative, this is one to add to the list.

In cinemas 7th February.

David Shrigley — Works On Paper

David Shrigley — Works On Paper

David Shrigley — Works On Paper

David Shrigley — Works On Paper

The acerbic artist returns with a new body of work showcasing his signature combination of text and drawing. Drawing the viewer in with his unique ability to meet profundity with humour, Shrigley’s works have a universal appeal and cut to the heart of the human condition in a distinctly light-hearted way.

From 1st February until 2nd March at Two Rooms Gallery. More information here.

Auckland Fringe Festival 2019

Auckland Fringe Festival 2019

Auckland Fringe Festival 2019

Auckland Fringe Festival 2019

Returning to The Basement Theatre, Auckland’s Fringe Festival is set to showcase a wide variety of this city’s most innovative, courageous, cutting-edge and polarising creative talents. With an open-access, non-curated programme and a selection of up-and-comers performing alongside more established names, the line-up includes prolific protest art collective from Russia, Pussy Riot, with a performance not to miss.

From 19th February until 3rd March. More information here.

Lily Allen

Lily Allen

Lily Allen

Lily Allen

Marking her first show in New Zealand since 2010, eclectic British singer Lily Allen is set to touch down in Auckland as part of her No Shame tour. Fresh off the back of releasing her highly-acclaimed fourth studio album, Allen is set to remind us why she has remained such an integral part of the cultural landscape over the years.

Saturday, 2nd February at Spark Arena. Purchase tickets here

Hamlet

Hamlet

Hamlet

Hamlet

Shakespeare’s infamous tale of the melancholy Prince of Denmark is brought to life on the stage of the Pop-Up Globe. With the entire cast dressed in traditional Jacobean garb and performing the Bard’s renowned lines in the setting for which they were written, this will be a unique theatrical experience.

From 10th February until 31st March at the Pop-Up Globe. Purchase tickets here.

Splore

Splore

Splore

Splore

Head to the shores of Tapapakanga National Park to partake in what is undoubtedly one of the best festivals of the summer, Splore. This year, the three-day music and arts festival will see performances from the likes of New Zealand’s own JessB, English electronic duo Dub Pistols, and Australian act, Haiku Hands — among many others. The festival has sold out, although there is a running waitlist for re-release tickets (out early February.)

From 21st February until 24th February, Tapapakanga National Park. More information here.

Dane Mitchell — Iris, Iris, Iris

Dane Mitchell — Iris, Iris, Iris

Dane Mitchell — Iris, Iris, Iris

Dane Mitchell — Iris, Iris, Iris

Despite kicking off last year, this show from the New Zealand artist (who’ll soon be showing at this year’s Venice Biennale) is on until the end of February and is something to add to your calendar immediately. Touching on the idea of entanglement of the senses, Iris, Iris, Iris presents its title in various forms, playing with ocular and olfactory properties that take the idea of an Iris far beyond its capacity as a flower.

On until 24th February at Auckland Art Galery Toi o Tamaki. More information here.

Vox Lux

Vox Lux

Vox Lux

Vox Lux

An intriguing music-drama that follows the career of pop sensation Celeste — expertly played by Natalie Portman — who’s career takes off against the backdrop of a national tragedy. 18 years later, Celeste finds herself on a comeback tour and must navigate through the pitfalls of fame, a personal journey of self-worth and the inevitable struggle of reclaiming cultural relevance.

In cinemas 21st February.

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The iconic Auckland Zoo is now serving delicious, bistro style food

When someone mentions a trip to the zoo, food wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind, it may even be the very last. Well, the Auckland Zoo is about to change that with the revamp of the Old Elephant House. This building has been around since 1922, the very beginning of the Auckland Zoo. Now, instead of being home to the elephants, it is open to the public with a sophisticated food menu and comprehensive drinks list.

The Old Elephant House’s new interiors have a timeless aesthetic with smooth, curved walls painted in a crisp, clean white that catches all the rays of the sun. The high ceilings give an ambience of grandeur and the outdoor courtyard is the ideal spot to take a break from animal watching and enjoy some downtime in the fresh breeze.


With an extensive menu that includes entrees, mains, sides and desserts, it’s clear that The Old Elephant House is the perfect place for a long sit-down lunch, offering a pleasant change from the usual zoo option (grazing on snacks.) The stand-out dish was the beef brisket burger — a steamed, pillowy bun filled with tender and juicy meat that was topped melted cheese which oozed out of each bite we took. The dish was served with a side of crispy, golden fries and a finished crowd favourite condiment, truffle mayo.


If you’re looking for something lighter, however, the tomato bruschetta was another highlight and also a great option for any vegetarians out there. The toasted rye bread had a thick layer of whipped feta and was topped with fresh, juicy tomatoes bursting with flavour. In my opinion, there’s always room for dessert and even on the odd chance there isn’t, just make it happen because The Old Elephant House’s apple crumble is a must-have. The buttery pie pastry is filled with caramelised apples and topped with brown sugar and cinnamon-spiced crumble to lend it the necessary crunch. Pour over some warm custard and let it soak into cookie crumble topping to finish things off on a sweet note.

Whether you’re wanting a coffee and cake break or a long wine and dine session, the reinvention of The Old Elephant House is the perfect excuse to get down to the zoo. They’re also planning on building a separate entrance for those only wanting access to the eatery without having to go through the zoo itself, so keep an eye out. 

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday, 10am until 5pm

The Old Elephant House

Auckland Zoo
Motions Road
Auckland, 1022

09 360 3805

www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/experiences/old-elephant-house

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We breakdown some of our favourite looks from Spring Couture Week

Spring/Summer Couture has been and gone for another year, in a flurry of impeccable tailoring, breathtaking gowns and impossible sets. Between the abstract, the surreal, the dramatic and the refined, these were the looks that caught our attention.

Dior’s call to join the circus
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s comment on the excess of our time materialised in a couture show that took us to the circus. In Dior’s iteration, however, an air of sophistication reigned. Sumptuous embellishment gave way to structured, slinky tailoring as Chiuri — the deft ring master — wove a tale of old-world glamour and feminine strength.

Making a statement at Viktor & Rolf
Creating what were some of the most grammed and re-grammed moments from couture week, Viktor and Rolf sent a parade of neon-hued dresses rendered in exaggerated tulle down the runway. But beyond the bold silhouettes and over-the-top motifs, it was the slogans that the designers had worked onto the front of each piece that really caused a stir. Including statements like ‘I’m not shy I just don’t like you,’ ‘I am my own muse,’ and ‘sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come,’ it came across as an ironic comment on popular culture, and an ode to the camp sensibilities that are making their way back to the mainstream.

Elie Saab’s dreamscape
Renowned for its glamorous sensibilities and whimsical finishes, Elie Saab’s couture presentation was a celebration of all things feminine. Gilded gowns speckled in dashes of colour followed billowing dresses in soft blues, pinks and champagnes. It was an ode to classic couture, and a veritable visual feast.

Valentino’s mastery of colour 
Effectively wrapping up Paris’ couture season was Pierpaolo Piccioli’s collection for Valentino, which, beyond its impressive construction, eye-popping colours and air of grandeur, made Celine Dion (who was sitting in the front row) cry. We’ll just leave it at that.

A trip to Italy with Chanel
Karl Lagerfeld transported attendees to a sun-soaked Italian villa for Chanel’s Spring Couture 2019, offering up a parade of looks that were peppered with the Maison’s signature, slim tailoring and tactile finishes. Culminating in the Chanel wedding ensemble — this year a leotard encrusted in silver, floral embroidery — that was the undisputed highlight.

Givenchy’s blank canvas
Positing latex as couture’s leather, Claire Waight Keller created a strong collection that traversed the line between soft feminity and modern sensibilities. Set against the backdrop of a sparse, all-white runway, it was as if it were a black canvas on which the designer could really give the architectural approach she had taken to each piece space to shine.

Parisian glamour at Alexandre Vauthier
Evoking after-dark images of Parisian cool-kids swathed in effortlessly chic pieces, Alexandre Vauthier tapped into the inherent French-ness of couture for his Spring ’19 collection. Balanced between too-much and not-enough, the looks were a love letter to both simple elegance and necessary glamour as sequins and exaggerated shapes gave way to everyday suiting and a monochrome palette.

 

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Chinese New Year: The 7 best ways to ring in the Year of the Pig

If you thought the holiday season was reaching an end, think again as Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Otherwise referred to as the Spring Festival, this is more than just a day of celebration. In fact, the New Year’s season lasts up to 15 days for some Chinese communities and that’s not even including the long days of prep and Chinese New Year’s Eve. The year of the pig — a year apparently associated with wealth, luck and general prosperity — initiates on Tuesday, February 5th and we’re ready to get amongst the incoming festivities.

Celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve at SKYCITY
Let the celebrations begin under the Sky Tower and get on board with the entertainment offered by SKYCITY. The evening of February the 5th will feature everything from traditional dragon and lion performers to dancing pandas, making it the best place to be to kick off the Chinese New Year. SKYCITY will also play host to the Federal Street Festival on the 8th of February from 4pm (comprising a Chinese food market and live entertainment) as well as opening a Chinese New Year garden featuring the Bridge of Fortune and lanterns which will be dangling and dazzling from the 4th until the 25th of February. 

Gift yourself or someone else some Louis Vuitton
In honour of the Year of the Pig, Louis Vuitton has released a Lunar New Year Collection featuring accessories such as LV piglet shaped, leather key rings, earrings and watches. Red is the primary colour of this collection, corresponding to the traditional meaning of this shade around Chinese New Year — joy and good fortune. The Vuittonite Pig necklace is the one on everyone’s list this season, featuring a crystalised piglet pendant hanging from a fine gold chain.

Go out for a yum cha feast
Branch out of your usual brunch of smashed avocado and poached egg for a traditional Chinese dining experience. Food is a huge part of Chinese New Year and a yum cha feast is the best way to get a taste of all the staple dishes of the festive season. This includes dumplings, noodles, turnip cakes and more which you can get amongst at some of many yum cha restaurants around town. Our favourites are Huami in SKYCITY, Grand Harbour in The Viaduct, Sun World in Newmarket, and Asian Wok in Browns Bay. Alternatively, you could celebrate the Year of the Pig with some of many restaurants offering special set menus for the Lunar New Year. These include Seven‘s Peking Duck platter or the Emperor Seafood Platter featuring a selection of abalone, scampi and oysters just to name a few. Ostro is also offering The Grand New Year Platter, using crayfish as the star complemented by oysters and fresh sashimi. Additionally, Ostro has a special 5-course set menu, exclusive to the Lunar New Year and showcases the best of New Zealand’s seafood. 

Spend the day at a Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day
Head on over to the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane and celebrate the new year at an all-day festival running from the morning of February the 2nd (9:30 am – 4 pm.) Organised by the Auckland Chinese Community Centre Inc for the last 30 years, the annual event never disappoints. Set to be opened by Jacinda Ardern along with a traditional dragon and lion dance and featuring over 200 stalls of Chinese cuisine, arts and crafts, what’s not to love?

Start the year of wealth with a piggy bank
In true celebration of the year of fortune, start saving the old fashioned way. Some people say piggy banks are ineffective but the key is to purchase a piggy bank that is too beautiful to ruin. Tiffany & Co have a gorgeous Earthenware collection featuring the iconic robin’s-egg blue hue and most importantly, no bottom opening for you to sneak out some cheeky coins every now and then.

Lantern Festival
Saving the best and the biggest event for last, wrap up the season of festivities at Auckland’s Lantern Festival. From the 14th to the 17th of February, the Auckland Domain will be illuminated by countless handmade lanterns and the air will be filled with steam flying from the pork buns and the smell of freshly fried dumplings and noodles.

Spend the day at a Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day
Head on over to the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane and celebrate the new year at an all-day festival running from the morning of February the 2nd (9:30 am – 4 pm.) Organised by the Auckland Chinese Community Centre Inc for the last 30 years, the annual event never disappoints. Set to be opened by Jacinda Ardern along with a traditional dragon and lion dance and featuring over 200 stalls of Chinese cuisine, arts and crafts, what’s not to love?

Treat yourself to some piggy merch
Considering the year of the pig is representative of wealth and prosperity, we have the perfect excuse to put our red envelopes towards some upscale, pig-inspired clothing. The collection everyone has their eyes on this season is Gucci’s Three Little Pigs line, consisting of oversized t-shirts, sweaters and wool cardigans. People can judge you all they want for being a fully grown person wearing an embroidered pig, but they’re just uncultured. Another piece of pig merch that people are scoping out this year is Carolina Izzo’s contribution to the Pig Exhibition and Auction in Parnell. This little pig is set to be the showstopper at this year’s exhibition and the money raised from will go towards Starship — National Air Ambulance.

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From theatrical performances to bottomless lunch, this is how you should be celebrating Pride

Pride Festival has rolled around again and this year, the line-up of activities celebrating all things LGBTQ+ is a varied array spanning culture, food and comedy. Considering the reputation New Zealand has as a country that embraces its diverse social landscape, the 1st until the 17th of February is a time for all of us to show our support for the queer community, and these are the best ways to do it around Auckland.

Win two tickets to the highly-acclaimed, Homos, Or Everyone in America — Q Theatre
From New York playwright, Jordan Seavey, Homos, Or Everyone in America, offers a poignant, no-holds-barred exploration of queer culture and asks searing questions around whether equality can exist and the internalisation of homophobia in today’s society. Following a mismatched relationship that stems from a highly-intoxicated first date, Seavey pens a narrative that deftly traverses the line between the personal and political, asking whether the LGBTQ+ community has lost its way somewhat. Brought to life to kick off Q Theatre’s 2019 season by accomplished theatre practitioner, Shane Bosher directs this sexually blunt, confrontingly honest and outrageously funny play, described by New York Magazine as “… a blisteringly fine and hilarious play with devastatingly pointed intelligence.” Set to be a theatrical experience not to miss, Homos, Or Everyone in America will be on at Q Theatre from January 30th until February 6th, and we are giving one lucky Denizen reader the chance to win two tickets to the 7:30pm performance on Friday, February 1st. Click here to enter.

The Gayest Bottomless Lunch — Gusto at The Grand
Let a neverending stream of Ora Prosecco and bellinis sweep you away on what is set to be an afternoon of delicious food and enthralling entertainment. Hosted by drag queen Kita Mean and with DJ Mia Paris spinning a rousing tune (or two) Gusto at The Grand is setting up the ultimate Italian feast where dishes like beef cheeks with gremolata, duck fat roasted potatoes, rocket, pear and parmesan salad are served alongside salted caramel popcorn semifreddo. Scheduled to take place on February 17th, tickets are $90 per person and can be reserved here.

Levi’s Pride collection — WORLD Brand
Launching on the 1st of February, Levi’s 2019 collection dedicated to celebrating pride will be available at WORLD. Carrying the rainbow motif on sporty singlets and T-shirts, the limited-edition collection is the perfect way for you to show your support for the cause, with 100% of the profits going to support Levi’s LGBTQ+ charities. Available at all WORLD Brand stores across New Zealand.

Free outdoor Movement Flow Yoga — Silo Park
Highly-trained yoga practitioners Taane Mete and Greg Jarema will be lending their expertise to Pride by offering free, outdoor yoga classes at Silo Park. Encouraging people to take a moment to stop, stretch and breathe, the two teachers are internationally recognised for their intuitive styles. The perfect way to start a Saturday morning, this is an opportunity for all ages and will take place on the 2nd, the 9th and the 16th of February at 7am. For more information, click here.

#ourmarch — Albert Park
Setting off from Albert Park at around 4:3pm on the 9th of February, the annual Pride March will proceed down Victoria Street, up Queen Street and finish in Aotea Square before heading to Myers Park for a celebration that will continue through until 9pm. An apt route considering the starting place was the scene of Auckland’s first gay liberation protest in 1972, this year’s march is a chance for everyone to get involved in supporting the cause. Sign up here to participate or volunteer.

Trixie Mattel — Skinny Legend at Auckland Town Hall
The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Trixie Mattel, is bringing her fourth global comedy tour to Auckland on the 17th of February. Delighting audiences all around the world with her country music numbers, hilarious stories and over-the-top antics, Mattel is a seasoned performer and has a well-tuned show to prove it. Fast becoming one of the most recognisable names in drag, Mattel and her ‘Skinny Legend’ stage show is one not to miss. Tickets can be purchased here.

 

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How to make the most of a health hack that’s been under our noses all along

Technology overload, constant pressure to succeed, overworking, a brimming calendar — modern life sure can take a toll, can’t it? If only there was a completely free, available 24/7, scientifically proven, universal remedy that required nothing on our part other than getting our butts off the sofa and taking a few short steps towards the front door.

It’s nature we’re hinting at here, of course. Trees. Fresh air. Lakes. Rivers. Mountains. All that cool stuff that looks amazing on your Mac screensaver. You may have taken it for granted so far, but not to fear, Mother Nature is a tough old bird that stands resilient, looking after us in all the right ways despite our constant lack of gratitude and respect — she’s a doting, severely underpaid nurse, if you will. Knowing nature therapy may sound a bit hippy-dippy to some, we’ve laid out the how, the what and the why of the great outdoors.

The Benefits
We all know that a walk in the park is great for the body inside and out, but the benefits of spending time outside extends far beyond just fitness and fresh air. It’s time we pulled our heads out of the medicine cabinet and instead looked more at what’s around us. Serving as a prescription for seriously better health, our natural environment has been proven to aid the body in an infinite number of ways, including lowering blood pressure, eliminating fatigue, reducing inflammation, improving short-term memory and boosting the immune system. Its benefits on the mind are becoming more and more apparent too, with an immersion into nature touted as an organic remedy to an array of mental health issues, from anxiety and depression to cognitive disorders.

The Science
Still not convinced? Don’t take our word for it, for we’re not the only ones rhapsodising about the great outdoors. A 2018 report published from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School reveals that exposure to greenery reduces the risk of type II diabetes, premature death, stress, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. On the other side of the globe, researchers at the University of Queensland have studied the dose of nature required to benefit health, subsequently finding that just 30 minutes of green peace was enough to reduce high blood pressure by nine percent and depression by seven. Don’t trust the Aussies? A study from the University of British Colombia, which was subsequently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that taking a brief moment to look at nature increases feelings of happiness, connectedness and overall wellbeing.

The How
We’re lucky that we live in one of the most beautiful countries on the planet (if we do say so ourselves) teeming with outdoorsy goodness. Godzone has everything in spades; beaches, mountains, vast forests and shimmering lakes, so if a relaxing week sunning it up on the beach sounds more insipid than idyllic, take a hike instead. Roughing it not quite your thing? Getting a breath of fresh air doesn’t have to be all Into The Wild, living off berries and substituting leaves for toilet paper. It’s 2018 and there’s a trove of luxury camping spots that allow you to be immersed in nature all while having a supply of electrical outlets on-hand, a cloud-like bed and, perhaps, most importantly, a fully functioning toilet.

Wellbeing


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