Get motivated with these productivity apps to help smash working from home

Most Mondays start with the best of intentions. After some exercise you’re going to enjoy a healthy breakfast before conquering all of the work tasks that kept you awake Sunday night and log off from your computer in time to appreciate the sunset. Despite these noble thoughts, by Wednesday you usually find yourself living off black coffee with 75 tabs open on your desktop, scrolling Instagram on your phone to relieve the stress and counting trips to the bathroom as exercise. To help your mental wellbeing we have unearthed the apps that will make you more productive and tackle tasks efficiently. No coffee required.

Todoist
The easy-to-use interface makes this project tracker one of the most popular productivity apps on the market. Your Monday morning to do list will be organised into projects, complete with customisable labels, that allow you to set reminders, due dates and priority levels. Collaborate with co-workers by handballing projects to them and connect to Gmail, Trello and Alexa for even greater efficiency. If list-making helps you deal with anxiety, you’ve just met your new best friend.

Flipd
So you need some tough love to get you to keep your head down working, instead of trawling the latest memes and messages from your group chat? With Flipd you nominate a set time to unplug from your phone and focus on the job at hand, Set “Full Lock” and you’re kept away from your phone distractions. Even if you turn your phone on and off again for a social media fix, it won’t work. There’s also a white noise function that lets you block out distracting sounds.

Toggl
Think of this Cloud-based app as a productivity expert leaning over your shoulder throughout the day. This time tracking app registers how many minutes and hours you spend on specific tasks, analyses your habits and makes suggestions on how you can improve your workflow. It’s perfect for freelancers who want clear reports on their time devoted to a job, allowing them to invoice correctly. Kerching!

[email protected]
This is an instrumental music app designed to create the perfect aural background to increase your productivity at the keyboard. The music has been composed to keep your brain active rather than encouraging you to get out of your chair for impromptu dance breaks to Cardi B. There are more than 50 channels of music on this subscription service to get you into your ‘flow state’.

Flow
If you’re a visual person who is finding it difficult to abandon their classic Moleskine notebook and pen, this app may just convert you to online organisation. This notebook app, from Moleskine, features is perfect for the digital doodler with customisable tools that allow you to select pens, markers, pencils and colours. The ‘paper’ is an endless scroll allowing your stream of conscious creativity to take hold, while the eraser function is intuitive enough to keep your creations looking cool. It’s now wonder that this app picked up the Apple Design Award in 2019.

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Salt & pepper squid, almond skordalia and chilli oil

Feed your hungry heart with signature ready-made dishes from Soul To Go

One thing is for certain in these strange times, quality food offers comfort and a taste of hope, especially when it comes from the critically-acclaimed kitchens of leading restaurant Soul Bar

Catering for those of us bored by the sight of stockpiled tins of tomatoes, Soul To Go is coming to the rescue as we enter Level 3 lockdown, with a carefully considered selection of meals that will travel easily from the restaurant door to your table.

Beef short rib ragù, rigatoni, chilli and torched raclette
Green Goddess – avocado, peas, edamame, broccolini, cashew and crispy quinoa furikake

Whether it’s a healing Green Goddess dish with avocado, peas, edamame, broccolini, cashew, crispy quinoa furikake or a more indulgent helping of Beef Short Rib Ragù, with rigatoni, chilli and torched raclette, from Tuesday, April 28, simply phone the restaurant on 09 3567249, receive your pick-up time and collect your divine dishes.

Macaroni cheese, ham off the bone and parmesan crust

Our pick from the superb starters is the Salt and Pepper squid. The restaurant’s star staple starts on a base of skordalia — a Greek purée that  skilfully incorporates potatoes, walnuts, almonds, and olive oil. Chilli oil is drizzled over the squid to add a gentle spice.

Beer battered Tarakihi, salt & vinegar red rascals, parsley and lemon

Soul’s owner Richard Sigley has shared with Denizen the extra precautions his venues were taking in addressing health concerns surrounding Coronavirus (Covid-19), with research at present showing that the virus is not transmitted by food itself. So go ahead and lift your spirit with some Soul at home.

Soul Bar & Bistro

Viaduct Harbour
Corner of Lower Hobson Street & Customs Street West
Auckland

(09) 356 7249

www.soulbar.co.nz

Gastronomy


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Furniture designer Simon James on personal style and the one object he could never part with

As the creative force behind his eponymous furniture showroom and concept stores, Simon James is one of New Zealand’s leading design figures. Since establishing his own line of furniture in 2001, James has gone on to garner international acclaim and sales for his simple, well-considered designs. Here he gives us insight on his passions.

My personal style can be defined as
Relaxed and minimal.

The last thing I bought and loved was
A work by Fiona Conner.

An unforgettable place I visited was
Fiordland.

Next place I’d like to go to
Back to Mexico, though this may be a little while off for the time being…

On my wish list is
A pair of Model 925 Lounge chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa.

Model 925 Lounge chairs

An object I would never part with is
My dining table, it holds too many stories.

The last thing I added to my wardrobe was
A suit from Doran and Doran.

The building that inspires me is
Aculco holiday house by Perez Palacios Architects.

Aculco holiday house

My favourite app is
Shazam (still).

An indulgence I would never forgo is
Fishing.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city it would be
Crosby Street, NYC.

I can’t miss an episode of
Ozark.

Ozark

In my fridge you’ll always find
Apples, chocolate and beer.

My favourite room in my house is
The living room where we all congregate.

I recently discovered
Gardening, again.

The people I rely on for my wellbeing are
My wife.

My favourite website is
Dezeen.

A gadget I can’t do without is
EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

Intersection by Franz Kline (1955)

The one artist whose work I would collect is (if price is not an issue)
Franz Kline.

The last meal out I had that truly impressed me was
At Bar Celeste.

The podcasts I listen to are
Rolling Stone Music Now, Two Cents Worth: RNZ.

The last music I downloaded was
Saduva — Gibson Kente.

If I wasn’t doing what I am, I would be
Designing boats.

Design


Cantabrians rejoice — ECC opens an impeccable new home design showroom in the centre of Christchurch

Your first look at the luxurious St Marys Bay development that’s set to change the apartment game

This awe-inspiring home is a luxurious monument to Los Angeles living

This Edwardian home is transformed into a study in sophisticated eccentricity

There is something utterly beguiling about a house that tempers its formal aspects (stoic timber, neutral tiles, steel framing) with a touch of whimsy — which is exactly what the renowned architects at Kennedy Nolan have done here, in the charming and completely unprecedented Caroline House.

Resident Offset Stool side table from Simon James Design

Conceived via alterations and additions to a weatherboard Edwardian build in inner Melbourne, this house has been transformed into a surprising family home that embodies the classic design details one might expect from a contemporary pad — touches of light timber, a palette of neutral white, cream and black, and clever use of concrete. But this is more than just your run-of-the-mill.

Anchored by the centralised pool that is round, deep and dark, the house carries a circular motif throughout — replicated in windows, curved corners, lighting fixtures and undulating walls. The moody green tone of the pool is also reflected in the home’s only real pop of colour, an attention-grabbing staircase that adds a delightful dimension to the interior.

From its generous garden to its intriguing sculptural touches, to its textural furnishings, the Caroline House is layered, complex and dramatic but in a way that’s so subtle, you can’t help wondering how on earth it was managed at all. Asking why we can’t rethink the shapes of structures that have become so entrenched as our concept of design, it was with a degree of bravery that Kennedy Nolan embarked on a different path — and boy has it paid off in spades.

Clockwise: Press mirror from Tim Webber Design, Parachilna Bai chandelier II from ECC, Knoll Jehs+Laub lounge chair from Studio Italia, Opera Contemporary Oscar dining table from Sarsfield Brooke, B&B Italia Jens chair from Matisse and Flos Fantasma light from ECC.

Design


Cantabrians rejoice — ECC opens an impeccable new home design showroom in the centre of Christchurch

Your first look at the luxurious St Marys Bay development that’s set to change the apartment game

This awe-inspiring home is a luxurious monument to Los Angeles living

The inventive Culprit team have done it again with their Heat & Eat concept

With their innovative cuisine and modern interpretation of yum cha dining, chef restaurateurs Kyle Street and Jordan McDonald have made an indelible mark on our hospitality scene with Culprit.

Not ones to rest on their laurels, like many creatives in the hospitality industry the duo have spent their time in lockdown productively, cultivating a concept that ensures we don’t miss out on their gastronomic genius.

From Tuesday, April 28, Culprit is offering a Heat & Eat menu for two. After inspecting the constantly changing weekly menu, featuring dishes such as Kimchi Braised Beef Brisket with Broccolini and Peanuts, Burnt Fried Brussels Sprouts and Pita bread with Smoked Sour Cream and Romesco, it’s clear that Street and McDonald’s culinary prowess remains in top form. Vegetarians can join the praise thanks to dishes such as Roast Cauliflower and Falafel, Pickled Raisins, Isreali Couscous, Yoghurt Dressing and Spring Onion Flatbread.

And for those tired of baking (and honestly who isn’t) there’s Soft Pavlova and Curd and Peanut Slab Mousse to ensure you maintain those all-important sugar levels in your veins.

Come the weekend, there’s a special offering of Braised Lamb Neck.

Each of Culprit’s Heat & Eat meals is designed for two, and at $55 for the main course (for two) and just $12 for dessert, it’s a small price to pay to finally bring some professionalism back in the home kitchen.

If you still feel like donning an apron for effect, the Culprit team can elevate your cooking standards with Deluxe Meal Kits that will make you look like a star operator, easily preparing three course meals. Follow the heating, mixing and plating guides and feel free to say that you cooked an impressive meal. For the first two weeks Culprit’s famous pork stuffed roast duck is available, followed by a changing menu.

Culprit is offering free contactless delivery within a 3km radius of their restaurant in the Auckland CBD, or an additional $10 for delivery up to an 8km radius, with delivery or pick up between 3pm –7pm daily.

Gastronomy


Skip the stress this festive season with the city’s most enticing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining events

win

Win: Have you been to Bar Magda yet? Now’s your chance as we’re giving away a delicious meal for six

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Get the keys to the door for an exclusive fashion experience at Dadelszen

After weeks spent indoors you’re probably champing at the platinum bit for a dose of luxury and Dadelszen is adapting to the times by offering a unique opportunity for some solo luxury as we prepare to enter Level Three Lockdown. 

Dadelszen Unlocked is like a secret society for serious shoppers with a focus on staying safe and sophisticated at the same time. After booking a time to view the Autumn 2020 clothing and accessories, captured in the new steamy campaign by photographer Dina Broadhurst, approved clients will be sent a key and personal instructions via courier, inside a Dadelszen leather box. It’s just like the right Royal treatment the Queen receives in The Crown. 

“Ensuring our clients receive an unforgettably tactile and highly personalised wardrobing experience is not only a core part of our service, it is our reason for existence,” says owner Edward von Dadelszen. “As a result, Dadelszen, Unlocked is perhaps even more special than the everyday Dadelszen experience as we are completely entrusting our VIP clients with the keys to our home. Offering a moment of pure, uninterrupted escapism during this unprecedented time is just one small way we felt we could give thanks to our loyal clientele who have supported us to date.”

When you arrive at your appointed hour, a personalised edit of clothing and accessories will be waiting for you, along with Dadelszen’s Perrier-Jouët bar. To further customise the experience you can chat with a member of the Dadelszen team by FaceTime or for advice on your selection and to confirm just how good you’re looking.

Just leave your selected pieces on a designated rack, take one last sip at the Perrier Jouet bar before heading home to wait for your clothing to be couriered to your preferred address. 

You can bring a member of your bubble with you to make the most of the bespoke experience but the focus is on staying safe with an incredibly stylish result.

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Auckland’s favourite modern Indian eatery Cassia is now available at home

Only those dwelling in deep isolation, perhaps under a rock, would not be familiar with the brilliance of one of Auckland’s most celebrated chef’s Sid Sahrawat. With three distinctly different eateries under his leadership, Cassia (contemporary Indian), Sidart (elevated or progressive Indian) and Sid at The French Café (French-Inspired New Zealand Cuisine), Sahrawat’s culinary mastery is widely revered.

Those with a hankering for Sahrawat’s wildly popular modern Indian eatery Cassia, can rejoice because from Level 3, the contemporary cuisine will be available again via contactless pick-up or delivered in the all-new BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe. 

Cassia At Home’s menu entices with such dishes as Wagyu Beef Spiced Croquettes or Roasted Carrot with Vindaloo Cream and Macadamia. Much loved classics, such as the Beef Short Rib with Spinach and Mushroom or the Signature Lamb Seekh Kebab Curry, will reawaken dormant taste buds. You can relax because main orders come with the all important naan and rice and there’s a special weekly desert for those with a sweet tooth.

“This is about reconnecting with our guests when they cannot come to us, we go to them and provide the extra service and they have told us they want this service when we move to Level 3,” Sahrawat says. 

“It’s also about supporting our local suppliers who don’t service supermarkets, as their businesses are geared to support hospitality. We also felt it would be good for our staff morale and mental wellbeing to come back to work even if it is in a limited capacity.”

So do your part to support the local hospitality community, while enjoying what is arguably the city’s finest contemporary Indian food. Sounds like a no-brainer to us.

Cassia is open for orders offering lunch Wednesday – Friday and dinner Tuesday – Saturday.

To order, visit here.

Gastronomy


Skip the stress this festive season with the city’s most enticing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining events

win

Win: Have you been to Bar Magda yet? Now’s your chance as we’re giving away a delicious meal for six

Bar Non Solo is the convivial new bar bringing the spirit of Italian nightlife to Britomart

The top questions to ask when buying an engagement ring

Romantic movies would have you believe that the only question worth worrying about in the lead up to a short walk down the aisle is ‘Will you marry me?’ but not all happy endings happen so easily. Equally important questions should be applied when selecting an engagement ring and with more than 15 years in the business of creating sophisticated sparklers, Brent Sutcliffe of Sutcliffe Jewellery has all the answers (Except for ‘Will you marry me?’ – that’s still up to you).
Here’s what you should be asking before booking a flash mob for the proposal and trying on white dresses.

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Would you say yes? ?

A post shared by Sutcliffe Jewellery (@sutcliffejewellery) on

What are the four Cs?
Familiarise yourself with the four C’s – cut, clarity, colour and carat as these will come up time and again in discussions to help you find a stone to sit on your finger happily ever after. While many people like to play a numbers game with carats, the cut is important with diamonds in achieving overall brilliance and sparkling bright enough for Sia to sing about. 

“There is more to buying a diamond than just these four,” Sutcliffe warns. “Visiting a reputable jeweller and understanding exactly what you get for your money is very important.  A certificate for 2 stones might look the same but the two stones can be very different in the way they look. You could get an SI1 with a fine white line that’s invisible to the naked eye, or you could get an SI1 with a single black mark in the middle of the stone. Both look exactly the same on the stone certificate but they will be totally different prices.”

What style of setting should I get?
It’s easy to lose yourself down a Pinterest spiral of celebrity engagement rings the size of ice-skating rinks with more bangs and whistles than a Swiss Army Knife. Just like fashion, engagement rings follow trends but don’t get too caught up with what the latest Real Housewife is wearing. Discuss a setting style with your jeweller that suits your personal tastes and your lifestyle.

“Be careful not to fall into the trap of buying a ring that’s more like a dress ring than an engagement ring just because you’ve always dreamed of wearing a particular style,” Sutcliffe says. “A ring that’s to be worn everyday for the rest of your life will need to be a little more sturdy than a ring that’s only worn when going out.”

“It’s important to see what suits your hand and matches your taste and lifestyle. This is why at Sutcliffe we carry quite a lot of jewellery for people to try on.” 

How much should I spend?
“Traditionally it was said the budget for an engagement ring was 3 months wages,” Sutcliffe says. “I’m not sure how many people use this as a guide any more so maybe choose a figure that’s reflective of your comfort level but also acknowledges the commitment you’re making.

Where does my diamond come from?
Every ring tells a story but you want to make sure that yours is guilt-free. Sutcliffe can put your mind to rest.

“Diamonds are mined from several places around the world but the main sources are the African continent, Russia and Canada, with Australia mining the pinks and many of the brown or Champagne diamonds,” Sutcliffe says.

“Currently there are no wars being funded by diamonds, so there are no blood diamonds.  The diamond industry has made great efforts to make sure all diamonds go through the Kimberley process to make sure they’re ethical.”

Now that you have got all the answers, you can work on that final one, “I do.”

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Henry Mitchell Temple from Annabel’s on Anish Kapoor and anchovies

As co-founder of Annabel’s Wine Bar and husband of Paris Georgia co-founder Paris Mitchell Temple, Henry Mitchell Temple has a front row seat to the best in style and hospitality. We asked him to dish on more than his favourite dishes.

Annabel’s Wine Bar

My personal style can be defined by
Workwear. I like a lot of Japanese brands too.

The last thing I bought and loved was
My Sonos system. Listening to music at all times anywhere in our home is the best.

An unforgettable place I visited was
Tel Aviv

Next place I’d like to go to
Mexico or Brazil. I would love to visit the Luis Barragan house in Mexico City.

On my wish list is
A Ruth Buchanan artwork.

The last thing I added to my wardrobe was
A chunky Marni knit sweater.

The designer that inspires me is
Dieter Rams.

Dieter Rams

My favourite app is
Spotify.

An indulgence I would never forgo is
A glass of wine and a bowl of pasta with a splash of good olive oil.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city it would be
Daikanyama, Tokyo.

My style icon is
Probably music composer Ryuchi Sakamoto.

Ryuchi Sakamoto

The best book I’ve read in the past year is
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

I can’t miss an episode of
Curb your Enthusiasm.

Curb your Enthusiasm

In my fridge you’ll always find
Tomato confit or anchovies.

My favourite place in my house is
The dinner table.

The people I rely on for my wellbeing are
Paris has all the beauty secrets.

My favourite website is
Nowness.

The object I could never part with is
Books.

A gadget I can’t do without is
A wine opener.

The one artist whose work I would collect is (if price is not an issue)
Anish Kapoor.

Anish Kapoor

The last meal out I had that truly impressed me was
Anything from Bar Celeste.

The podcasts I’m listening to
The Daily (New York Times)
The David Chang podcasts
NTS Radio

The best gift I ever received was
A commissioned Andrew Barber painting of our view at the Coromandel.

The grooming product I can’t live without is
Nasomatto Black Afgano cologne.

Nasomatto Black Afgano cologne

The last music I downloaded was
Evening Star by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno (I bought the vinyl record too).

I have a collection of
Chairs.

Gastronomy


Skip the stress this festive season with the city’s most enticing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining events

win

Win: Have you been to Bar Magda yet? Now’s your chance as we’re giving away a delicious meal for six

Bar Non Solo is the convivial new bar bringing the spirit of Italian nightlife to Britomart

How to virtually save your skin between facials

During lockdown we’ve adjusted to wearing less make-up, make-do manicures and ponytails that hide regrowth, which has shifted the focus to skincare. When you’re flouting foundation, it’s important to have a radiant, smooth, blemish-free face, especially for Zoom meetings and video cocktails.

The team at the award-winning Spring Spa are coming to the rescue of those of us suffering from stress breakouts, lacklustre complexions or just in need of some attention with an innovative digital approach to treating your current concerns.

Join the trend of virtual skin consultations and discuss your concerns with Spring Spa’s leading facialist, who will then prescribe treatments for your concerns. This is not the time to be using any video filters, so put your make-up free, cleansed face forward.

The virtual consultation is free, and will give you the opportunity to privately talk about those under eye bags that refuse to shift and any annoying pigmentation.

Email [email protected].nz to book your appointment.

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