These days, Kiwi women don’t have to know how to starch a gentleman’s collar or play the harpsichord. And thank goodness for that. But what are the essential skills we need now, to help us get the most out of our hectic lives?
Three inspiring individuals share their top 10 tips.
Comedienne, cook, counsellor, chanteuse: Peta Mathias is a multi-talented whirlwind. Her new book on India with Julie LeClerc, Hot Pink Spice Saga, is out soon, and she’s about to tour with her stage show, A Woman’s Recipe For Life.
1. Discover how to stop nature in its tracks. Go to the dentist and doctor, use face creams, get some sleep. Age only matters if you’re a cheese.
2. Learn how to cook properly. It's a cheap and easy way to make yourself happy.
3. Realise it's never too late to change careers. I hadn’t seen a television camera or written a book before I was 45.
4. Travel because it not only broadens your mind, it makes your mind.
5. Be self-confident. It goes much further than beauty.
6. Mend a broken heart quickly. During this recovery period, it is never too early in the day to drink. You must stop drinking after day five.
7. Wear what suits you. If in doubt, ask a teenager – they’re merciless.
8. Have therapy at least once. It's a short cut to understanding why you are the way you are.
9. Remember that a smile is the most beautiful thing you can put on your face.
10. Relax. We're all crazy – it’s not a competition.
For Mathias’ live show tour dates, see www.petamathias.com
Designer Kelly Coe is the consummate multi-tasker. She balances running a special occasion and luxe daywear fashion brand, Augustine, with being a wife and mum of two young daughters.
1. Believe that you can achieve as much, and make as much, as any man.
2. Have the perseverance to pull an all-nighter, because your baby won’t sleep at all.
3. Own at least one go-to cocktail dress and know how to make it look effortlessly fabulous.
4. Dance like a crazy lady in a nightclub (even if you only do it once a year).
5. Buy the correct foundation colour for your skin type.
6. Practice how to curl your hair without burning your hands.
7. Be able to cook a lasagne, boil an egg, and bake a birthday cake that looks like a snow princess.
8. Run 10km without passing out.
9. Pay a compliment to another other woman with heartfelt positive words.
10. Laugh at yourself, the world and life.
Check out the Spring/Summer Augustine collections at www.augustine.co.nz
An acclaimed actress, producer and director, Harcourt’s first starring role was on iconic 80s TV series Gloss. As an acting coach she works with the likes of Jane Campion and Peter Jackson on movie sets around the world.
1. Develop the ability to do several things at once. I think this makes me do all of them better. My family does not agree.
2. Know how to travel light.
3. Be ready to travel at a moment’s notice.
4. Master the trick of not feeling guilty. Too many experiences are ruined by regretting our choices.
5. Have the improvisational skills to use olive oil as a cleanser or salt as toothpaste.
6. Appreciate "hand-me-ups" and hand-me-downs. My coolest work outfits include cast-offs from our 15-year-old son.
7. Don’t spend money on rubbish.
8. Live whanau-style. My mother lives downstairs and everyone loves it.
9. Spend the money you save in points 5-8 by having NZ art on the walls in every room. It promotes curiosity and respect for other people's ways of seeing.
10. Marry your best friend.
Find out about Harcourt’s latest projects at www.mirandaharcourt.co.nz