Wednesday, 30 December 2009

How's this for a tub full of jersey bennes!

How's this for an old recycling tub full of jersey benne potatoes! I just shoved them in before we went away in late October because I found them sprouting in the shed and when I went to harvest today I couldn't believe how many there are. I'm planning to have them for lunch sliced up with rosemary and garlic on a pizza. Yum!
If you've got any of these old bins lying around they make great planters as they are nice and deep for root growth and hold water well with good drainage.
Get planting today. I just refilled this one with some capsicum plants.

Thanks for your interest

I just wanted to say how overwhelmed I am at the interest I'm getting for my Wendyls Green Goddess products on Trade Me. Thanks for your support everyone and for helping kickstart a new business. We're looking at going into retail soon on the strength of our sales and repeat orders.

Keep any eye on my website for weekly newsletter updates and links to my columns. Also any news about my world. The newsletters will resume at the end of January but there are a few there to read meanwhile.

Have a great New Year's and a good start to 2010.


Friday, 11 September 2009

Launch of Wendyl's Green Goddess range.

Very excited because today we launch Wendyl's Green Goddess range of natural cleaners at the Home Show. We've been making these products in the kitchen for the past week, my son Daniel designed the labels, daughters Hannah and Pearl helped stick them on and husband Paul and I spent hours stirring, sifting, pouring and bottling. A great sense of achievement and feedback so far has been amazing.

The difference between my cleaners and commercial ones is I say what is in them. As in soap, water, essential oils rather than the mumbo jumbo they put on their labels under terms like surfectants, humectants and non ionic this and that. Even the eco labels are doing it. I particularly like one range which says it is 99% natural. What's in the other one percent? Cyanide? Arsenic?
Wendyl's Green Goddess cleaners contain things like baking soda, washing soda, borax, essential oils, soap. All natural, all clearly on the label and all smell delicious. I'm particularly proud of the anti-bacterial spray which smells amazing.

Here's a sneak peak at the range -

Spray cleaner 1 litre

+ contains anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-viral oils

+ leaves kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean and refreshed

+ spray on kitchen cloths to clean and deodorise

Glass cleaner 1 litre

+ leaves glass and mirrors sparkling

+ easily removes soap build-up

+ pleasant natural fragrance

Anti-bacterial spray 250ml

+ contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic essential oils

+ nature’s ingredients, safe to use around children and pets

+pleasant natural fragrance

Lavender Laundry liquid 4 litres

*32 washes

+ no more white soap residue on black laundry items

+ leaves clothes soft and scented

+ green, natural product - no pollutants going down the drain

Bluing powder 500ml

*50 washes

+ Removes unsightly grey and yellow tinge from whites

+ All natural ingredients

All products come with no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee

Orders and enquiries:
phone: 027 652 9800

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Let's talk traffic jams with a hybrid.

So I'm a bit amazed at how many people don't actually know how a hybrid works. It's easy. There's an engine and it's powered by petrol - just like a normal car - but also by battery as in electric car. And the Prius swaps between the two as it needs to depending on your needs as a drive. So, put the foot down and it's petrol, coast along and it's electric. You can actually push the EV button and make it drive totally on electric power but you can't go over 40km or do any mad acceleration. So...sitting in two traffic jams recently I smugly switched to EV and sat there not using any gas, not emitting much CO2 if any and feeling less frustrated at the wastage of it all.
I'm also averaging about 5 litres per 100km consumption around town which is pretty good and will fill up the tank for the first time since I got the car two weeks ago today.
Bloody marvelous!
Off to the caravan on Friday so the big test will be in consumption and performance on the open road...will report back.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Prius - the Man Magnet

Incredibly girl-like observation number two since getting the Prius is that men stare at me. All the time. I began to think my new diet must really be having results until my husband pointed out that they're looking at the car...not me. I realised he was right when I came out of the supermarket and found three guys huddled around it muttering words like "hybrid" and "electric." I took great pleasure in demonstrating my no key unlocking technique, and I was right about that, men really do prefer keys.
We took the Prius for a Sunday afternoon drive today, like everyone used to do in the old days, except we skipped the bit where you visit old people for endless cups of tea. Pearl was already looking dismayed enough at the prospect of a drive. So we headed for Miranda taking the long route through Clevedon so that we could stop at the market. Unfortunately the oyster shop wasn't open but we did have fantastic fish and chips at Kaiaua. We left Pearl in the car and she said the group of guys over the fence were talking about the car, just like the ones at the supermarket. The Prius drove beautifully although the Sat Nav woman, who I'm beginning to dislike because she's very British and quite bossy, gave us a few wrong turns, but I think that may have had something to do with my destination inputting technique. We opened up the sun roof and let the fresh air in rather than use the air con, and the long drive was a great chance to see how my eco driving skills are developing. I managed to keep the graph on the dash mostly on the eco side, but it was pointed out to me that I was driving like a Grandma. There's definitely less foot to the floor and more gradual pedal pushing. But I like it!Who needs to hurry on a Sunday. Tell that to the cars backed up behind us, said my husband.
Forgot the camera, so thanks to R Abraham on the net for the shot.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Dear Diary - My First Day With My Prius Hybrid

It's official. I am now an Ambassador for the Toyota Prius which means I get to drive a brand new Generation 3 Prius around and tell people how fabulous it is. At left is Giltrip City Toyota GM Graham McMullan handing over the keys. What a lovely, trusting man.

So here is day one of my diary as I discover the joys of hybrid ownership, and maybe help people understand what they are about.

First up, embarrassing as it is to admit, I'm a girl. So despite the fact that the two best features of my Prius are:
- 3.9l/100km. That's a lot of kms for $6
-89gm/km CO2 emissions compared to 162gm/km for the equivalent sized car, I have spent most of the day getting off on the fact that never again will I have to fumble in the bottom of my handbag for my keys while my hands are loaded down with shopping. You just sidle up, stroke the handle and it opens. Likewise locking it. Of course men are more likely to want to have an actual key and penetration thing happening but I love it. Hosking on ZB this morning posed the possibility that I might lock the keys inside should I leave my handbag in there, but I realised (too late to say it on the radio) that with the handbag and keys inside I can still stroke and open because the keys are still in range. Duh.

I'm also driving quite slowly because the way the hybrid works is that it constantly switches from the petrol engine to the battery powered electric engine and there's a gauge which tells you when you are driving to the maximum eco conditions. So naturally I'm crawling all over town trying to keep it in that range.

Tomorrow - some serious parking practice. Get parks the car for you. Hands off the steering wheel and let it squeeze into the spot for you. Can you believe it!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Domestic Goddess on a Budget now on Trade Me

Can't find it in the shops? I'm pushing for a reprint but not forthcoming, but I have some copies available on Trade Me

I also have a SPECIAL OFFER! Buy Domestic Goddess on a Budget and get Bitch and Famous for $5.

Great presents -buy now for Christmas!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Recipe for natural spray and wipe.

If you haven't bought Domestic Goddess on a Budget yet, here's a reason why you should. Make this cleaner and you'll never go back.

Nearly fill a 1 litre spray bottle with water. Add 1 tsp baking soda, a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap (preferably eco friendly but Sunlight will do) and 10 drops of lavender or tea-tree essential oil. Shake together and away you go.
Save money, save the planet and still be gorgeous!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Girls' weekend hit

"Hi I purchased the book 'Domestic Goddess on a Budget' and took it away on a girl weekend to Mokau. Now those girls have purchased it. It's wonderfully written and I love how you have written it as if you are speaking directly to me."

Thanks to Stephanie who sent me this message via Trade Me.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Domestic Goddess still on bestsellers

Still on the non-fiction bestsellers top 10 after three weeks which is encouraging. I'm going to be doing some library events around town soon, so will keep you posted on those.

Reviews are coming in and all positive so far:
This from Margie Thomson in Next magazine:
"Absolutely brilliant, this handy little book will become a shouehold bible for beautifying your house and person in the greenest possible way."

Off to a novel writers' workshop next week to give me the confidence to do a first edit on the novel.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Domestic Goddess on a Budget at number 5 on bestsellers after only 5 days on sale!

Thanks to everyone who is rushing out to buy Domestic Goddess on a Budget. The good news is that it went on sale on June 1 and when they counted the figures on June 6 it was already at number 5 on the non-fiction bestsellers list. I am really pleased

Have a look at the interview I did with Oliver and Carly on Sunrise if you want to know more about the book:

Meanwhile the novel is back in the top drawer while I address some character issues. Will probably take another look at it after a 5 day workshop on novel writing I have signed up for.

Friday, 29 May 2009

One book on shelves, another one delivered.

Domestic Goddess on a Budget hits the shelves this weekend, while I tackle my publisher's suggestions for my novel. It is very weird to have a book about cleaning recipes and life management out while I wrestle with my dark thriller. I've been very grumpy that the publisher didn't just accept it as is and requires changes, which just goes to show how naive I am about the novel writing process. Apparently this is what you do and my friend and successful novelist Nicky Pellegrino is helping me through it. I have also signed up for a novel writing workshop.  

Anyway, Domestic Goddess on a Budget is only $25 and if you make all the cleaning recipes in it you will save about $35 a month so it will pay for itself!  I'm also interested in any recipes anyone might have tucked away which I will post here and then put in the next edition if there is one. Reviews so far: my friend Jeremy Wells said he liked the relationship advice and the ZB newsroom like the lavender spray cleaner I delivered up there yesterday. Make it yourself by filling a 1 litre spray bottle with warm water, add 1 tsp baking soda, a few drops of dishwashing detergent and 10 drops of lavender essential oil.

Monday, 9 March 2009

New book Domestic Goddess on a Budget is out in June.

Thanks to everyone who has been buying Bitch and Famous my memoir of my time editing women's magazines and wrangling celebrities on Trade Me - and don't forget $1 from each sale goes to fund Cot Death Research. You can also send me a cheque for $16.50 ($15 plus postage) to Wendyl Nissen, P.O. Box 78361, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1245 - with your name and address, who you want me to sign it to and I'll post you one out.

The good news is my next book Domestic Goddess on a Budget, published by Penguin is out in June. It's a response to all the NZ Woman's Weekly readers and April in the Afternoon viewers who asked me to put all my natural cleaning recipes and work/life balance advice into a book. It has ended up as a guide to cleaning your house with baking soda and vinegar, saving money, being green, living a sustainable life and taking control of the chaos in your life.  Look out for it in bookshops for $25 and I'll be selling some on Trade Me as well.

I hope you enjoy it. 

Just a reminder for anyone looking for my Herald on Sunday columns you can now read them online at