Photography Credit: Olivia Kirkpatrick

Here are a few foolproof tips on how to be the life of the party

I am someone who is proud to call the cringe-worthy mantra ‘work hard, play hard,’ my motto. I make sure to cross off each task and goal that I have personally set throughout the week and I reward myself on the weekend by completely letting loose and doing what I love to do most. Some people love to cosy up on the couch at home with a book and a hot cup of tea and I respect that. But some people are like me. The night owls who thrive off socialising and shredding the dance floor — a lifestyle which I think everybody can adopt, with a few useful tips and proper guidance, that is, which is exactly what I am about to offer. Without further ado, here is how you can be the life of the party.

Thursday is the new Friday
You don’t want to be labelled as one of those people who is overly-thirsty and lives for the weekend, that’s just an unhealthy mindset. Treat Thursday as your warm-up to the weekend and it will benefit you in the long run. It will keep you from feeling overwhelmed when suddenly switching from an office environment to crowds of dancing bodies and eardrum-piercing music in the club.

The weather cannot rain on your parade
Bad weather is never an excuse to keep you inside. The next time someone tells you that they refuse to go out because of the rain, ask them when the clubs and bars in Auckland remove their ceilings? Realistically, you would only spend a maximum of five minutes outdoors, making the weather a factor not even worth considering on a night out.

Friendly and feral is the weekend version of fabulous
The last person you want to be on a night out is that one who acts as though they’re above everyone else, who clenches their teeth to make their jawline more prominent and just stands to the side and stares at the crowd with judgmental eyes. Relax the jaw, smile, converse, be friendly, embrace the overcrowded dance floor and show your best moves.

What goes around, comes around
Stinginess is a trait that is unappreciated and unwanted, not only in the nightlife scene but life in general. Treat your friends to a round of drinks simply because you love them and you want everyone to have a good time. However, as you also love having money in your bank account, keep your generosity limited to close friends. Don’t be that person who buys rounds for groups of strangers because you’re in a good mood as you will most certainly regret it the next morning.

Slay the small talk
After a couple of nights out, people who you think you’re seeing for the first time will start coming up and saying hi to you. It’s almost guaranteed that the two of you were best friends a week ago and you don’t remember their name, but don’t panic. Simply say hello back, introduce your friend to that person and wait for them to tell your friend their name — it’ll seem as though you knew it the entire time. Instead of asking the vague “how are you?” ask “how have you been?” followed with a “what are you up to these days?” When in doubt, ask questions. People love to talk about themselves.

Never say goodbye
When exiting a session of small talk, never say goodbye. You’re bound to bump into them again and it just gets awkward, especially when you share a forced smile. Instead of bidding farewell, say “I hope you have a good night and I’ll see you around.” This is a genuine way to conclude a conversation as you really do mean it when you say that you hope they have a good night as we’re all about good vibes and you will, in fact, see them around. Even if you’re making your exit for the night, there’s no point in bidding farewell to everybody in the room. Unless you’re wanting an excuse to stay around longer, it’s a time-consuming process of explaining your departure and a waste of your energy.

“Jason” is your new best friend
Crowded spaces are a given on a night out and in order to survive them, you need a few clever tactics. This one was taught to me by one of my colleagues and it has never done me wrong. When you’re at a concert or on a dance floor and you want to go front left pronto, all you need to do is yell out “Jason!” in a slightly panicked tone and pretend you’re searching for a mate. We all know a Jason, we all have a soft spot for Jason and we all move for Jason.

Know your limits and go over it just a little bit
Think of partying as a form of endurance training. Similar to exercises such as long-distance running, at the end of the day, it’s all about mindset. When you think you’re ready to call it a night and go to bed, hold your fire and just wait it out. Something brand new and exciting might come up which will reignite the flame to keep the night going on for longer. 

You can sleep when you’re dead 
Between Friday night and Saturday night, it is usually advised to get a good rest so you can recharge your body. However, I would almost argue against this. You can’t deny that a night out takes a lot out of you (if you did it correctly) and all your body will want is rest. Therefore, you risk losing the willpower to get back up to do it all over again, so I suggest you aim to be productive and active on Saturday. Meet up with friends for brunch, clean your room, go on a day trip and act as if the previous night never happened. It’s all about your mindset.

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Meet Sarah Smuts-Kennedy — the woman on a mission to save the bees

In case you have had your head stuck in a honey pot, you may not be aware that bees are declining at an alarming rate, and that means far more than a depleted honey supply. In fact, humans are so dependent on the insect’s pollinating services that, without them, the environment as we know it would collapse. Lucky then, we have Sarah Smuts-Kennedy and her organisation For the Love of Bees — an environmental initiative with the vision to make Auckland the most bee-friendly city on earth.

Through workshops, community events and talks, For the Love of Bees educates Aucklanders on the environmental issues at hand and works to develop solutions to save the bees. Since the initiative’s beginnings back in 2016, Smuts-Kennedy and her dedicated team have planted sets of hives in two inner-city, public parks — Myers Park and Victoria Park — the latter of which facilitates a free, weekly bee-keeping school and a gardening teaching hub for local children.

A hive has also been introduced into the grounds at Highwic House as part of a project to transform the Newmarket heritage area into the city’s first Regenerative Park — a space using new-age composting and organic vegetation control to become a bee haven. Beyond New Zealand’s bee population, Smuts-Kennedy has also developed an effective structure that can be employed throughout any city in any part of the world, making her a true trailblazer in the fight against the species loss.

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Redefining the art of giving, meet Christine Langdon of The Good Registry

To achieve more mental clarity, Christine Langdon decided to declutter her home, discovering in the process a number of gifts she had long forgotten about. For no other reason than simple sentimentality, she had held onto them, bound by the connection they represented between her and the person who had given them to her. That was when it clicked for Langdon.

The gesture of giving often overruled whatever the actual gift might be. It was a realisation that led her to establish The Good Registry and lead the charge towards new attitudes around modern-day gifting. Instead of encouraging physical presents (a practice that, as Langdon found out, can be hugely wasteful), Langdon’s platform supports the giving of donations in a loved one’s name to charitable organisations carrying out meaningful work. Over 60 charities are supported by The Good Registry, from animal welfare organisations to children and community support groups including Barnardos and Alzheimer’s NZ, to other areas like health and the environment.

The Good Registry facilitates the priceless act of giving while helping numerous causes and is working to eradicate waste by encouraging an end to physical gifts we simply don’t need.

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Focusing on mental health as much as hearty meals, meet two Auckland chefs taking a more conscious approach

As focused on the sustainability of their food as they are on the wellbeing of their staff and customers, these chefs are turning the tide on longstanding taboos in the hospitality industry and driving significant change in the process.

Samir Allen, Gemmayze Street
In 2018, we honoured the efforts of Nick Loosley, the founder of Everybody Eats, a dining initiative that sees food waste turned into restaurant-quality meals for all, regardless of their ability to pay. Playing an integral role in the success of Everybody Eats is Executive Chef and Owner of Gemmayze St, Samir Allen. Not only has he been committed to the ongoing development of K’Road, but he’s also strongly connected with Loosley’s mission of both reducing food waste and hungry stomachs while utilising food as a tool to break down social barriers. Allen has supported Everybody Eats since the beginning of its journey two years ago, and continues to donate the use of his restaurant for the cause every Monday evening. Loosley credits Allen and Gemmayze St as “the reason Everybody Eats started,” stating that they were “absolutely essential in the creation of the concept.”

Ben Bayly, The Grounds
Depression, anxiety and overall mental instability have long been prevalent within the hospitality industry, and yet they are issues that remain largely unaddressed. Executive Chef Ben Bayly is committed to changing that, by shining a light into the darker corners of the kitchen. From opening a restaurant, The Grounds, that prioritises family values (with fellow chef, Mike Shatura), to joining a Wellness Panel established by St. John and the Lewisham Foundation, Bayly is not only facilitating discussion around mental health taboos in hospitality but is also actively seeking solutions. More than being conscious about the sustainability of the food he serves, this chef is focusing on the sustainability and sound mental health of those sourcing, cooking and serving it — a worthy cause indeed.

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From at-home robots to innovative apps — 5 new gadgets that are taking us into the future

Every year, the technologies being created seem to progress further and further towards the kinds of things that once might have only existed in a Sci-Fi film. Advancements in AI are bringing things like personal-care robots to the fore, while tech juggernauts (like Apple) seem to be focusing on expanding their already comprehensive offerings. Here, we line up 5 of the most interesting tech gadgets you need to know about right now.

Answering all our tangled earphone woes, luxury Danish electronics company Bang & Olufsen has partnered with leading luggage manufacturer Rimowa to create a cordless, noise-cancelling set of headphones that are a cut above the rest. Built on the brands’ joint love for fine materials, the limited edition Beoplay H9i headphones combine sleek aluminium with genuine leather to nail the perfect balance between quality and comfort.

Say hello to Bot Care, Bot Air and Bot Retail, Samsung’s new trio of robots. Glossy white machines with screens for faces, the AI-driven robotic companions have been created to help us sloppy humans go about our daily lives. Providing support we didn’t know we needed, until now, the Bot Air, for example, utilises sensors in the home to assess air quality — before purifying it when necessary — while Bot Retail serves as a personal shopping guide. The charming Bot Care meanwhile, is perfect for elderly or disabled users due to its ability to deliver at-home medical support, like monitoring prescriptions, checking heart rates and even calling for help in emergency situations. The future is definitely here.

A right turn for road safety, US bike brand Bontrager has launched an innovative, new bicycle helmet that is built to be nearly 50 times more likely to prevent concussions than those of the standard variety. The headgear uses WaveCel, a shock-absorbing material with individual cells that absorb the force of impact and redirect it away from the head, to offer the most advanced step forward in bicycle safety yet.

Just when you thought you couldn’t get sucked into Apple’s ecosystem any further, the tech giant has announced its first foray into finance with its new, numberless, titanium credit card. Designed to supersede the typical credit card with superior privacy, security and transparency, The Apple Card — due to launch in the US over the next few months — will see the abolishment of pesky fees and elaborate statements, alongside an assemblage of smart features, like handy spend tracking and an interest calculator.

By using a dose of futuristic, augmented reality, new education app Wonderscope alleviates the guilt that comes with allowing youngsters to have screen time. Combining storybooks and games, the app creates narratives that burst from the screen and spill into the surrounds, ensuring little learning nippers are never too far removed from the real world.  

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These 8 short story anthologies are the best way to get your literary fix

Easy to digest and just as compelling as their full-length counterparts, short stories are the best way to get your literary fix in between the demands of everyday life. From personal snapshots to funny anecdotes, these eight short story anthologies are the ones we are adding to our bedside tables… and you should be too.

The Houseguest & Other Stories — by Amparo Dávila
Terrifying but impossible to put down, these nightmarish tales delve into the lives of Dávila’s remarkable characters lives which are laced with desire, fear, and paranoia. 

Sweet Home — by Wendy Erskine
Via 10 intellectually crafted, wonderfully observed portraits of everyday people with everyday griefs, sorrows, regrets and achievements, Erskine captures life in modern-day East Belfast in all its guises.

The Bed Moved: Stories — by Rebecca Schiff
A blunt and bitingly honest authorial debut, Schiff’s collection of short stories navigates the themes of adolescence, death, sex and singularity with a no-holds-barred approach and an unprecedented wit.

You Know You Want This — by Kristen Roupenian
A follow up from the author behind the viral phenomenon ‘Cat Person’, YKYWT comprises a compelling selection of darkly funny stories that explore the intricate bonds between sex, gender and power.

The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God — by Etgar Keret
With a dose of black humour, Israeli author Etgar Keret delivers a collection of compulsively readable tales which follow the bitter ironies that plague the daily lives of his characters.

You Think It, I’ll Say It — by Curtis Sittenfeld
Engaging from beginning to end, best-selling novelist Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection challenges stereotypes about class, relationships and gender in a way that is powerfully touching and inherently relatable. 

Awayland: Stories — by Ramona Ausubel
Eleven narratives that take readers through wonderlands both real and mythical, with author Ramona Ausubel you are just as likely to be journeying through small-town America as you are the very gates of Heaven.

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories — by Mariana Enríquez
Gruesome yet spell-bindingly brilliant, these wildly imaginative snippets of literature bring modern-day Argentina to the forefront of our attention, highlighting the corruption and bewildering inequality that runs rife.

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California’s DJ Day is set to host a rousing event at Saint Alice — and we have a double pass to give away

We are coming to the end of July, and in our eyes, that’s as good a reason as any to celebrate. August brings with it an inkling of Spring (albeit a small one), and as we wave goodbye to the middle of the year, we start thinking about shaking off the shackles of winter by posting up at places like Viaduct Harbour, where rooftop bars abound and views across the water put us in the mood for the celebratory season ahead.

In that spirit, Saint Alice is set to play host to an event like no other. Thanks to production company Friends & Whānau and Rudi’s Beer, revered Californian DJ, DJ Day (real name Damien Beebe) will be making his way to our shores to spin some rousing tunes at one of Viaduct Harbour’s most beloved rooftop spots.

Saint Alice at Viaduct Harbour

With a distinguished career spanning two decades, DJ Day is most known for his contributions to Southern California’s avant-guard music scene, and instigating infamous events like the Root Down and Do-Over parties in Los Angeles. Alongside creating eclectic, electrifying sets, DJ Day’s reputation has been built on his diverse taste in music and his ability to move effortlessly between the roles of turntablist, musician and beatmaker. He has toured extensively as a solo artist, as well as with the likes of Aloe Blacc, Exile and People Under The Stairs, has received numerous accolades for his ambitious tracks (he was nominated for Song of The Year awards by both the BBC and the Village Voice) and is generally accepted as a force to be reckoned with, bringing incredible energy to the dancefloors over which he presides.

Taking place on Friday, 2nd August from 10pm until late, DJ Day’s epic rooftop event at Saint Alice will see him supported by the likes of DJ PG (from Brazil) and New Zealand’s very own Manuel Bundy and Bobby Brazuka (among others). If this sounds like the perfect excuse for a celebratory shimmy, we are giving one lucky Denizen the chance to win a double pass. To enter, click here. Or, to secure your spot early, click here for more information and to purchase tickets. (This is one you don’t want to miss.)

*This competition has now closed. Congratulations Hannah Bennett*

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This classic flooring style will keep your interior forever on trend

With each year comes a wave of new flooring trends, and yet there are none that stand the test of time quite like a classic herringbone parquet timber flooring. At once traditional and contemporary, the sleek, interlocking slats are often found in the homes of those in the design know — especially as of late, thanks to the resurgence of the geometric pattern trend.

Not just visually pleasing but inherently functional too, a room floored in herringbone timber can open up space, making narrow areas — especially hallways — appear wider and more welcoming. And yet, while it is this union of qualities that cements the trend’s longevity, it’s important to stick to a particular aesthetic if you really want the flooring to go the long haul.

Parquet flooring can be crafted from a number of materials — from porcelain to laminate overlay — but nothing remains as timeless as timber, a point perfectly demonstrated by the interior maestros at Artisan. A brand renowned for its products of high quality and style, it should come as no surprise that Artisan can master the traditional flooring technique like nowhere else. With its vast and varied medley of timber options, whether subtle mountain oak or a brighter black wash, it is reminding us that sticking to one material doesn’t have to equate to slim pickings.

Modest yet arresting, contemporary yet classic, herringbone in sleek timber will forever remain a design cut above the rest. Undeniably the trend of choice for anyone who wants to elevate their interior at the moment, you can rest assured that this style will see you through — both this season and the next.

Artisan

31A Normanby Road
Mount Eden

www.artisancollective.co.nz

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With roles in both the upcoming Mulan live-action film and a series for the BBC, Yoson An is one to watch

Having worked professionally as an actor for almost a decade, Yoson An was given an opportunity that many in his profession never do — the role of a lifetime in the form of the romantic lead for Disney’s live-action film Mulan (yet another in a string of Disney remakes, all of which have been released to wide critical acclaim). “When I found out,” An shares, reminiscing on the moment he heard he had been chosen for the role after an eight-month process, “it was a combination of disbelief, relief and excitement.”

After wrapping on set earlier this year and being quickly picked up for a role on a BBC series alongside a cast of renowned industry heavies, it would seem that An is destined for big things. “I’ve been extremely lucky with the roles I’ve played in my career,” An says,” and although luck might have a little to do with it, he isn’t the kind of actor to just rely solely on that. With a number of directorial and writing projects on the go for his production company, MANIFEST and an obvious talent for the work, An is setting himself up to have a long career in a notoriously fickle industry. Lending advice for other aspiring actors, An says, “spend some time alone to get to know yourself, work on your craft and be prepared… but most importantly, fall in love with the process.” Wise words from one to watch.

(See Yoson at 0:57)

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Maha

Highly-acclaimed Melbourne chef, Shane Delia, is bringing a contemporary Mediterranean dining experience to Soul Bar & Bistro

Since opening its doors in 2008, the contemporary Middle Eastern restaurant, Maha Restaurant quickly became one of the most highly acclaimed and reputable restaurants in Melbourne. From after just one year of operations, the chef and owner, Shane Delia was awarded One Chefs Hat in The Age Good Food Guide annually for ten years and the celebrated gastronomist is bringing his crafts to Auckland’s iconic Soul Bar & Bistro for one night only this August.

Chef Delia’s other work comprises of two more notable restaurants — Biggie Smalls and the recently opened Maha East, all showcasing Delia’s modern and cutting-edge culinary skills, as well as hosting his own television shows such as Spice Journey and Recipe For Life. Being able to experience and taste the food created by the celebrity chef and cookbook author is not a regular occurrence and his Soul Bar & Bistro takeover is not to be missed.

Shane Delia

Bringing influences and inspiration from his Maltese upbringing, Delia’s creations comprise of fresh and bold flavours which we have never tasted before. His signature taramasalata filled fried buns are what he’s renowned for as well as his classic hummus which has been elevated with cauliflower and enriched with roast beef fat. The menu for A Taste of Maha at Soul Bar & Bistro is designed as a sharing style of four courses which includes 12 dishes in total. New Zealand sparkling wine on arrival is most definitely included in the agenda, as well as matching wines and San Pellegrino water on pour throughout the evening.

Further details of the dishes on the menu are yet to be revealed, but Soul Bar’s Executive Chef, Gavin Doyle and his team will be supporting Delia in the kitchen and guarantee that it will be a night to remember.

A Taste of Maha, which is part of American Express Restaurant Month, will take place on Wednesday the 21st of August from 6pm, tickets are $199 per person. For more information and bookings call 09 356 7249  or click here.

Soul Bar & Bistro

16-18 Lower Hobson Street and Customs Street West
Viaduct Harbour
Auckland

09 356 7249

www.soulbar.co.nz

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