Showing posts from March, 2018

Wellington's Best Breakfasts

Wellington is a wonderful city and has the best cafes to start your day the right way.  Here are 3 of the best!

1.  The Hangar
The Hangar is the flagship cafĂ© of Flight Coffee, who produce amazing coffee while always aiming to have the best impact they can on the industry.  Located in an airy space on Willis Street, come for the coffee but definitely stay for breakfast.  The granola was simply amazing!

2. Nikau Cafe
Tucked away in Civic Square this cafe is not the easiest to find, but is worth getting lost for!  Open from 7am on weekdays (8am on the weekends), you have the option to build your own breakfast starting with eggs and adding on anything from bacon to kimchi!  Delicious with a lovely vibe.

3. Seize
Seize is all about clean eating, and who could have known that waffles could be so healthy?  With lots of vegan options, including delicious brownies, Seize really is a treat.

What we can learn from the Japanese

As autumn starts to set in and the days become shorter, I have been cheering myself up by looking at photos of cherry blossoms on Instagram.  The sakura season is underway in Japan and it is regarded as a symbol of renewal, vitality, and beauty which befits the spring season.

But I've also been reflecting on the Japanese traditions which focus on finding contentment.  

Ikigai is about finding purpose in life.  In his article for the BBC, Yukari Mitsuhashi says that 'There is no direct English translation, but it’s a term that embodies the idea of happiness in living. Essentially, ikigai is the reason why you get up in the morning.'

Chip Richards expands on this definition explaining that 'ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements - what you love, what the world needs, what you're good at and what you can get paid for.'  

There are more centenarians on Okinawa, an island in Japan, than anywhere else.  Okinawans possess a strong sense of ikigai which…

Take Part in Earth Hour 2018

Earth Hour is a global movement for greater action on climate change.  It started as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007 and has since grown worldwide.  Each year lights are switched off from 8:30 to 9:30pm.  This year Earth Hour falls on 24th March and here are 3 ways to take part.

1. Sign up to take part at the Earth Hour website and switch off your lights for one hour.

2. Grow some plants.  I'm a beginner gardener and have three small wall planters filled with daisies, spider plants and pansies.  I love succulents and am so proud of my echeveria!  I find gardening, even weeding very therapeutic.  Gardening gives us a deeper connection with our surroundings.

3. Reduce plastic waste.  Plastic is so harmful to the environment.  I've spoken before about the harm plastic causes to our oceans but the main problem with plastic is that it never goes away.   Exposure to toxic chemicals leached out of plastic are linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine d…

A Weekend on Waiheke


Conscious podcasts

I'm trying to live more consciously this month.  These podcasts discuss ideas on ways to live more sustainably.

1. Conscious Chatter
Conscious Chatter is a podcast about the potential impact connected to what we wear.

In episode 44, the host Kestrel is joined by Andrew Morgan, whose 2015 documentary The True Cost has become a go-to source for eye-opening information about the realities of the global fashion industry.

2. The Slow Home Podcast
Brooke McAlary immersed herself in the Slow Living philosophy after being diagnosed with severe post natal depression in 2011.  Over 2 years she decluttered more than 25,000 items.

In episode 19, Brooke talks to Rhonda Hetzel,  the author of two books on creating a slower, simpler home.

3. Becoming Your Best
Becoming your best is a leadership development podcast.  In this episode Steve interviews Courtney Carver, who created Project 333, a minimalist challenge where participants dress with 33 items or less for 3 months.

Conscious Living

This month I am focussing on how I can live more consciously.  Living consciously means actively evaluating our decisions and options, and thus creating a life that we want.  I would like to be more conscious of how my decisions affect others.  I believe that making small changes every day can have a bigger impact.

So to start with, I am looking at what I consume.  Everyone knows that I love chai Friday.  If I'm honest when I asked my hubby to buy me a KeepCup for Christmas it was because I liked the cute cup, I wasn't actually considering the environment at all.  In my research for this post I've found out that because of the polyethylene plastic lining in paper cups, they can't be recycled in New Zealand.  Which means that for someone having 5 coffees a week, 14kg of waste will end up in landfill each year!  

March Resolution #1 - Carry my KeepCup with me every day!
More reading - WASTE – What should we do with our disposable coffee cups?

Next up is plastic.  I think I&#…

The Eco-conscious bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house.  Most modern bathrooms are fitted with ways to save water with half-flush toilet settings and low-flow shower heads and taps.  But there are other ways to be more eco-conscious in the bathroom, here are three suggestions:

1. Tree Free TP
smartass is made froma combination of sugarcane and fast growing bamboo that can be grown year on year with little wear and tear on soil quality.  It is also free of bleach, inks, dyes and perfume. 

Every day we flush the equivalent of 27,000 trees down the toilet.  Trees play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases and contribute to the water cycle by returning water vapour back into the atmosphere. Without trees, millions of species will lose their habitat and global carbon emissions will rise by 15-20%.  

smartass offer different subscriptions for cartons of 48 rolls, as well as one-time purchases.  Get yours here.
2.  Toothcrush I'd never even considered the impact that to…

International Women's Day

International Women's Day falls on March 8 2018.  This year's theme is #pressforprogress and we're all invited to commit to one of the following areas:
maintain a gender parity mindsetchallenge stereotypes and biasforge positive visibility of womeninfluence others' beliefs/actionscelebrate women's achievementsUnder influence others' beliefs/actions it says to be a role model for equality.  I would like to celebrate a lady who has been a role model for an often forgotten group of women. Jody Day founded Gateway Women, a global friendship and support network for childless women, whether they be childless by choice or circumstance.
In her 2017 TEDx Talk, The Lost Tribe of Childless Women, Jody highlights that 1 in 5 women in the UK over 45 don't have children.  Around 80-90% of childless women are not by choice.  This number is a lot bigger than people realise and as Jody says this is the 'biggest diversity issue HR hasn't heard of'.  While most HR d…

Making a difference

Social enterprises are purpose-driven organisations that trade to deliver social and environmental impact.  Here are three social enterprises, that make a big differences to the lives of the people they touch.
1.  Inuka Dixon Chabanda is one of 12 psychiatrists in Zimbabwe - for a population of more than 16 million.  He started Inuka to help support people who need mental support.  Listen to his wonderful TED talk about the friendship bench and the impact it's had on many Zimbabweans.

2. Plastic Bank Can we clean the plastic from the ocean and make a difference to the lives of the poor?  The Plastic Bank provides a consistent, above-market rate for plastic waste, thus incentivizing its collection. Individuals who gather the plastic can trade it for money, items or services.  The plastic collected through is then recycled.  Listen to the founder of the Plastic Bank, David Katz' TED talk.

3. The Soular Backpack Founded by 24 year old Salima Visram, Soular Backpack addresses a problem …