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Author: Jess Murray

Colour Therapy

We’ve long paid heed to the critical nature of colour when it comes to our homes, but it’s high time we took this into consideration when filling our wardrobes. Research shows that fashion is one of the simplest ways we can transform our emotions and confidence may just be a power outfit away!


So whether you’re hoping to soothe, energise or simply amp up the serotonin levels of those around you, it’s time you started taking sartorial inspiration from the colour wheel. Let us help you dress for success!


Sleepy head: If you wake up in the morning and the coffee just isn’t quite cutting it, your next best bet is to dress in red. The colour is said to evoke strong feelings of energy and excitement and an added bonus is that it draws attention to the wearer. If you want to be noticed, this is the colour to do it in. Add a red lip to your outfit as well to really make those confidence levels seriously soar.


Never mellow in yellow: If you’re feeling blue, we have the solution for you. Much like the bright summer sun, the colour yellow makes most people happy, probably because memories of sitting on the beach and soaking up the rays are linked to the warm colour. Add accents of yellow to your outfits to bring out all of those positive feelings and lift your mood as a result.


Cool, calm and collected: It’s long been said that when you’re feeling anxious, blue hues are calming. Bring a sense of serenity to your outfits by showcasing any shade of blue. And if we haven’t already reminded you enough, the Pantone colour of the year is Classic Blue – so what better reason do you need to incorporate the shade?


Creative thinking: They say that if you’re in need of some inspiration, then purple is the colour for you. The hue has long been associated with fantasy and spirit, sparking those creative juices in your head. Not to mention it’s one of Maleficent’s signature colours and that woman is full of confidence! Channel her in your outfit and take over any kingdom… or workplace.


Flip it & reverse it: Trish Peng

Bridal trends, like most others, come and go, with a select few mainstays that reign supreme. There will always be something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. But what if that something new was a world first? In the words of Missy Elliot – it is time to flip it and reverse it with a reversible wedding dress!



If you’re as indecisive as I am, sometimes choosing the perfect dress for the big day isn’t as simple as choosing ‘the one’.

A renowned Kiwi bridal designer agreed and has created the first ever reversible wedding dress.

Yes… you read that correctly. Can’t decide between satin or lace? Get both and slay the day with a two-in-one look.

“The collection was quite technical to create as no one in the industry has attempted a reversible bridal gown before,” designer Trish Peng says.

“When I couldn’t find a zipper supplier to do reversible zips, only finding chunky sleeping bag zips, I came up with the idea to hand stitch two zips on each side to form a supportive bodice,” she says.

It’s that kind of kiwi ingenuity that is helping Peng become a leader in her field.

The 2020 Reflections collection showcases 11 reversible and versatile styles that are named after the beautiful brides that they were custom-made for.

All gowns can be found in Peng’s Auckland showroom and in select stockists across New Zealand.



Olive it!

Last year we were all about the dramatic fiddle leaf fig, this year, potted perfection comes in the form of the much subtler olive tree. Instead of a burst of bright green, they offer a more sophisticated sage. We’ve put together some tips on making the most of your new leafy addition to the home.



Sun: One of the olive tree’s most basic needs is sunlight, this is where it gets its energy from to make its own food. This plant is a rather needy one… preferring at least six hours of sun a day.

Size: These aren’t your typical house plants that can live most of their lives in a tiny pot. Investing in dwarf olive trees might keep the plants from overrunning your living space.

Soil: The beautiful olive tree is native to the Mediterranean so they are suited to drier air and love soil that drains easily (much like a cactus mix). Make sure when you’re potting them that the container is larger than the main mass of roots at the base of the plant, this will allow space for the plant to grow.

Handy Tip: You’d think we wouldn’t have to remind you to water a plant but every plant is different. With this specific tree, it’s recommended to use your finger to stick into the pot to feel if the soil is dry. If it does, it’s time to water again.


Destination… domestic!

Lockdown is lifted, but it’s going to be some time before life gets back to normal. So although that long haul exotic destination might be on the backburner for the foreseeable, we’ve pulled together some of our hot picks for domestic travels that will make you want to use up all your annual leave. Make sure you give your local travel agent some much-needed love and book through them!


Bay of Islands, New Zealand


  1. MUST SEE MILFORD SOUNDS: If you’re looking for a truly eye-catching destination, then this is one to add to your itinerary. The breath-taking scenery makes it one of New Zealand’s top visitor attractions. Day tours, cruises, scenic flights, kayaking and fishing… do we need to go on?
  2. BEAUTIFUL BAY OF ISLANDS: There are 144 islands in the subtropical micro-region, so we’re not recommending you visit all of them! What we do suggest however, is that you check out the hotspots like the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Cape Brett or the hole in the rock at Piercy Island. Making your way around the Bay of Islands in a campervan is a pretty great way to burn through a couple of weeks.
  3. QUEUE FOR QUEENSTOWN: We have no doubt that the already popular tourist destination will become a hit with the New Zealand locals. It really is a town that has it all from nightlife to the highlife on the gondola and luge – there’s something for everyone. Not to mention it’s a thrill seeker’s paradise with skydiving, white water rafting and ziplining all available. And for those that just like a quiet getaway, there’s a variety of awesome restaurants for you to try (just make sure to leave a bit of time if you’re going to check out Fergburger). Find plenty more reasons to head to this southern favourite on pages 26-31.
  4. MAKE WAY TO MOUNT ASPIRING: Located in the Otago region, Mount Aspiring National Park has a mixture of everything; remote wilderness, high mountains and river valleys. What’s definitely worth looking at is the Blue Pools track; it’s clear blue pools are truly magnificent.
  5. WALK AROUND WELLINGTON: This destination is our beautiful capital, so it makes sense to add it to the list of must-see places. If you’re a political nut, you can check out the Beehive; film geeks can see Weta Workshops (creators of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit); and anyone can enjoy the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa). Aside from the attractions, there are plenty of great shops, restaurants and bars both in the city and along the waterfront.
  6. CHECK OUT CHRISTCHURCH: You don’t have to travel very far to find a destination worth visiting. In fact, Christchurch is all that and more! Why not pretend to be a tourist in your own city; you’ll see it in a whole new light! The central city is thriving, the adventure park caters for the ‘outdoorsy’ folk, the ski fields are on our back doorstep and the Botanical Gardens are always pleasant to walk through or picnic in. Invite your friends and family from around our little country to see what we have in our very own backyard.


Dive into Ashburton!

This little rural town is a beating heart, functioning as a major service centre for the surrounding farming district. But if you’re not into agriculture and prefer to explore this loveable location in other ways, we’ve got you covered. We have pulled together some of the main reasons you should make the drive to awesome Ashburton.



(Sky) Dive right in: What better way is there to see the town than a complete aerial view. Take in the amazing sights of the Southern Alps, South Pacific Ocean and Canterbury Plains. The enthusiastic team at Skydiving Kiwis will look after you in an unforgettable Ashburton experience. And like they say who said Kiwis can’t fly?

Night at the museum: If you love museums, you’ll love Ashburton because you have the option to visit six of them. Choose from the Ashburton Museum, Vintage Car Museum, Lynn Museum, Aviation Museum, The Plains Railway and Museum and finally the Art Gallery. We’re thinking that we may have to explore these little history hotspots further in an upcoming article – stay tuned.

Plains by plane: You don’t have to throw yourself out of the plane to take in the scenic views of the South Island. In fact, with Air Rangitata you (and four of your friends if you wish) can sit comfortably in their Cessna 206 aircraft and take in all the eye can see. Choose a set route or take advantage of their charter service.


Jack-et of all trades

It’s time trade in those cute cardigans for some heavy-duty winter warmers – we’re talking about jackets and coats. Metropol gets the lowdown on all of the latest jackets we’re seeing coming through in fashion.




TIME TO TAN: Gone are the days of minimal layers and getting a tan… winter is the season to wear tan. The Cocoon Jacket from Ketz-ke is a stylish option that is super soft and snuggly on the inside and sophisticated on the outside.

LET THERE BE LEATHER: The leather jacket is a statement piece that has reigned supreme for decades. Change it up by opting for a non-traditional colour like red or blue. There are even vegan leather options on the market or just go for a faux.

LONGLINE, HERE FOR THE LONGRUN: The longline winter coat is a must-have for the 2020 cold season. With coats that go down to or past your knees, you won’t be feeling that winter chill creeping up your back. Button it up or leave it loose, either way will bring elegance to your closet.

TICK FOR TRENCH: If you find the right one, a trench coat can be a beloved wardrobe piece for years to come, after all, this is a classic that never seems to go out of fashion. The popular double-breasted silhouette is strong transitional piece which will take you through winter and into spring and summer. In 2020, we’re seeing arty detailing, like leather panelling, ruffled bodices, open slit sleeves and double lapels.


Caped Crusader

There is the saying that ‘not all heroes wear capes’ but maybe in this case, they can! Be the super mum, colleague, friend or partner that you are and make sure to dress the part because capes are making a comeback in fashion. Suit up, caped crusaders – we check how you can style these statement pieces.




Little Red: Channel your inner fairy-tale fantasy by wearing a hooded cape. We’re not suggesting go all out and wear a maxi hooded cape in blood red, but instead maybe a subtle nod to the heroine of our favourite fable.

Cape X Blazer Crossbreed: Everyone loves a blazer; it’s a classic classy piece that has been a workplace staple since we can remember. Why not give the cape blazer a try? Give your outfit a bit of a flare… literally.

Dress ups: It’s sometimes easy to walk out of the door and forget to bring a jacket. Avoid that completely this winter by wearing a cape dress to work. Look as if you’ve just stepped off the runway and into the boardroom.

Snug as a bug: We also have the polar opposite option of wearing a blanket cape (we don’t mean – actually wrap a blanket over your shoulders). This piece will look great paired with some knee-high boots. Don’t sacrifice being warm for looking fabulous this season.


The Ultimate Pamper Guide: Moss Spa

Home beauty treatments and remedies may have helped you get through lockdown, but now it’s time to seriously treat yourself. Metropol has put together the ultimate pamper guide to one of Christchurch’s newest spa sensations – Moss Spa. You’ll find the house of relaxation on the ground floor at 49 Salisbury Street in the central city.



  1. Signature seasonal spa facial: This beautiful botanical limited-edition facial will have you relaxed and revitalised at the same time. Let’s face the facts – this treatment is a flexible and fun must-do. The spa can customise the treatment and swap out certain products to suit your skin.
  2. Full body massage: Sometimes you need to de-stress and de-strain from head to toe. The only thing you have to worry about is getting to your appointment on time. Whether you’re there for 60 minutes or 90, every second will be spent in pure pampering bliss.
  3. You and me: We know you have most likely spent a lot of time over the last month or so with your partner. Take the time to celebrate or thank them in the double treatment suite. Don’t have a significant other? Treat mum, dad, siblings or even a best friend.
  4. Ultimate moss pamper: A wonderful culmination of everything Moss Spa has to offer proves you can have your cake and eat it too. Bathe away the stress of your daily life and drift into a state of total relaxation with a full body aromatic massage. Finish with a facial and your choice of a manicure or pedicure.
  5. Marine pedicure: After resting your feet up on the couch for so long during lockdown, you probably spent a lot of time staring down at your toes. Your feet will be soaked, scrubbed, massaged, your cuticles cared for and your choice of shellac or everyday polish applied. Well, this little piggy went to the spa for a pedicure.

See their website for more information about booking and pricing.

Did you know?

Our house is the proud owner of a new air fryer and we don’t know why we didn’t buy one sooner.


They’re quick and easy to use, great to clean and a healthier alternative to deep-frying with oil. It’s always fun to find inventive ways to use this little device.

Our latest endeavour was Air Fryer Pork Crackling, arguably one of the most challenging things to get right.

Simply dab the skin dry with a paper towel, score with a knife, drizzle with oil and rub with salt and cook skin facing up for one hour at 200 degrees.


Head to Hanmer

With everything that has unfolded these last few months, it’s time to help greater Canterbury get back on its feet. We’ve all got a part to play and supporting small local businesses is one small way we can do just that. Such businesses can be found in the tourist favourite, Hanmer Springs.



Metropol has long had a Hanmer section in the magazine, showcasing some of the town’s greatest places to stop off, eat or have fun at.

Now is your chance to visit them. There’s a reason the little town is so popular with tourists… it’s because it has a bit of everything, for all ages.

From the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa to the beautiful bars and restaurants, adults can have a romantic weekend away, with plenty of options for adventure or relaxing.

Meanwhile a family adventure might be on the cards and Hanmer Springs can cater to that too, with the minigolf course, maze, bike and walking trails, a Hanmer High Country Jeep Tour or even visit the Amuri Ski Club just 17km down the road.

It’s time to show your support and utilise the amazing places we have right at our back door. After all, Hanmer is only a hop, skip and a jump over the river.