Ecoya’s new, limited-edition collection perfectly encapsulates the blissful scents of spring

It can be argued that there is nothing that sets a scene quite like an Ecoya candle. It’s a brand renowned for its ability to transport us to another place or time, and the latest collection does not disappoint on that front. Inspired by warm escapes, the two new, spring fragrances are like a holiday in and of themselves — each capable of whisking those who smell them off to balmy, superlative surrounds.

Take the Pink Grapefruit Blossom, for example. Intertwining pink grapefruit blossom and florals with sweet pear and bergamot, the sweet and refreshing scent is evocative of exotic, sun-dappled countries that are home to flourishing citrus trees. While the spring Bamboo Leaf and Cucumber, a divinely refreshing addition, has a crisp scent that is capable of transporting you to lush tropics, where the sweeping bamboo leaves serve as a welcome escape from the beating sun.

Left: Pink Grapefruit Blossom Right: Bamboo Leaf and Cucumber

In addition to these two superb new additions, Ecoya has also extended its body care collection to include an array of dainty, fragrant soaps. They serve as a homage to the brand’s most iconic fragrances, coming in either Lotus Flower, Sweet Pea and Jasmine, Guava and Lychee Sorbet, Coconut and Elderflower or the classic French Pear, and are enriched with sweet almond oil and shea butter to ensure they are nourishing beyond belief.

With these newcomers set to drop in-store in August, alongside a relaunch of the brand’s famed Citronella and Lemongrass outdoor candle, we’re reminded once again how Ecoya can make us fall that little bit harder in love with a season — safe to say we’re welcoming the arrival of spring with outstretched arms.


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It’s going to be a long, hot summer. Here are the 8 beauty products you need to help combat and treat sun damage

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite massage therapist, as voted by you

Testing the trend waters: Is the fishing vest the new bum bag?

An evolution of the gilet worn by sideline dads and golf enthusiasts, and a relation of the utility version donned by hunter-gatherers, the vest seems to be garnering increasing attention as the darling of fashion’s street style set.

Protest as much as you like, but this move to promote something as objectively bizarre as a fishing vest in a high fashion context is nothing new. We’ve been here before people. Remember the bum bag? Arising from its origins on the bulging hips of German tourists from the 90s, the bum bag has been enjoying a serious moment in fashion. Everyone has created their own versions — Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci (the list goes on) — and you’d be lying to yourself if you said you hadn’t thought of picking one up.

Left to right: Louis Vuitton, Dior Men, Louis Vuitton (Photo by Mara Sommer, Model Jordan Barron)

Now, it seems, the unprecedented path paved by the fanny pack is being followed by the fishing vest, with big brands embracing the sleeveless style and widely-followed fashion moguls donning the look as well.

Playing into the wider ‘utility’ trend, the high-fashion vest is, if nothing else, practical and easy to wear. And whether you admit that you’re a slave to fashion or not (most of us are to varying degrees), we could almost guarantee that there will come a time in the next year that you’ll think about adding one to your wardrobe.

Left to right: Ribbed utility gilet from Louis Vuitton, Fear of God shell gilet from Mr Porter, sleeveless jacket from Gucci and monogrammed flower pocket quilted gilet from Louis Vuitton


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Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite clothing alterations, as voted by you

Lighten up with these men’s summer wardrobe essentials in weightless fabrics and uplifting shades
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.


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

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Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you

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.


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you

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.


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you

Five things to read, watch, listen to and enjoy this weekend

Listen to Leisure’s new album
Officially released today and marked with a show tonight at The Powerstation, lauded New Zealand music group Leisure’s highly-anticipated new album, Twister, is finally here. With a raft of new tunes in the group’s signature, easy-listening style, this is one album we anticipate we’ll have on repeat for the foreseeable future.

Watch The Great Hack
Just landed on Netflix, this new documentary follows the scandal unfolding around data-mining company Cambridge Analytica and its involvement in the campaigns surrounding both Brexit and Trump. Seeking to shed light on how extensively the private information of Facebook users was breached, and what that means for the future of democracy, this one’s a must-watch.

Read a book of short stories
Yesterday we detailed a line-up of short story anthologies that are offering up an easy way for us to get our literary fix. If you, like us, find that often you simply don’t have the time in a weekend to sit down and enjoy a book, this is a simple solution.

Watch Amazing Grace at the New Zealand International Film Festival
Covering the two days in January 1972 when Aretha Franklin sang out her gospel at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Amazing Grace celebrates the extraordinary talent of an icon. This emotionally gripping watch is on at The Civic tomorrow night as part of this year’s NZIFF, tickets are selling fast so we recommend getting in quick.

Listen to The Wild podcast
Escape your urban environment (if only in your mind) with this compelling new podcast. Focusing on the outdoors, each episode features world-class explorers, travellers, adventurers and creatives who walk listeners through the untold stories of nature — from tales of conservation to intriguing science. The fascinating podcast kicks off with an episode all about bears and offers a beautifully vivid, informative way of celebrating the planet and its many natural wonders.


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you

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.  


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you

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.


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you

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*


We’ve found your one-stop-festive-spot to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmas

‘Tis the season of giving — Here’s how to support local charities this Christmas

Denizen Everyday Heroes 2021: Auckland’s favourite children’s entertainment venue, as voted by you