Finn's World

My four year old nephew Finn is one of the funniest people I know. On a recent visit to his house, he informed me he was 'Darth Vader' for the day. Pretty sure Darth Vader wears black Finny? The little man was kind enough to let me take photos for 'Briar's website'. I love his little collection of critters made by my mum and hats that sit on top of his bookshelf. It looks like Darth Vader might be too big for his ride-on bumble bee these days, which had been positioned under the stairs. Oh, to be four again.

- Briar x



The next time you find yourself looking for something fun to do on a sunny day in Sydney, promise me you will consider the following for an outing: Jump in the car, drive to Palm Beach and hire a boat ($120.00 for 2 hours for a cute boat that can take up to 12 people) from Barrenjoey Boating Services. Don't worry - you don't need to be a seafaring person, the boats go so slowly, so you only need a car drivers licence - or, my 7 year old niece. Putt around Pittwater like we did and choose your favourite waterfront home (it's good to dream). Once the cruising is complete, grab a table at flower-filled The Boathouse for a late lunch. The lovely day comes with a word of warning though - it makes you want Monday to be so very far, far away.
- Briar
PS. Hello and congratulations to Laura from Kit & Nancy, the First Birthday Lucky Dip will be coming your way.


Dalmation in Darlinghurst

In my last post, I mentioned the inspiration delivered by fellow bloggers. 16 House is a lovely blog I have visited for the past year (it has an instant calming effect, visit it if you haven't already, and you will see what I mean). Last Saturday night I found myself 'living' one of Mandy’s posts. We have some old friends that live in the Savoy building in Darlinghurst and right outside was one of the gorgeous dalmations Mandy had photographed the week before. The night got even better with an old school lift ride up to our friends apartment, an incredible home made Strawberry cheese cake and a night cap at The Victoria Room. The taxi ride home to Manly felt extra long that night. I hope you all have a great weekend.



First Birthday Lucky Dip

On the shortest day of the year in 2010, I launched Sunday Collector with a little post about Mr Gardner. The blog has since helped me notice the lovely in my working day, and the even lovelier on the weekend. I truly enjoy sharing my finds with you all. It’s been great ‘meeting’ fellow bloggers along the way, and I love the fact I get inspiration so easily from talented Australians and so many other bloggers from around the world. An added bonus to becoming a blogger – my husband has ramped up the home cooking, as he loves to see his work go live. You will be happy to know he has since been promoted to S.C. Editorial Coordinator. I kid. As a token of gratitude towards my lovely readers, I have decided to collate a '10 item lucky dip’ from the collection you see above. Just leave a note below (letting me know what have been your favourite posts) and I will ask my 6 year old niece to choose a winner this Sunday (to keep it fair..and don't worry, I won't be including the photo of me with my cousin). I really look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for all the support over the past 12 months.
- Briar


All About Corn

Those of you who remember my corn cob stool will know I choose to sit on a giant corn at home...but I also relish in eating it. For all you corn-lovers out there, the new Narrabeen restaurant Mexicano makes rocking 'Street Style grilled corn with chipotle mayonnaise-lime and cheese'. I had it last weekend, and have been having flavour flashbacks since. The current (miserable) climate in Sydney is also perfect for soup, and if you have a bit of time on your hands this weekend - I recommend trying this totally delicious recipe. The fancy-pants April Bloomfield soup comes from the lovely Phaidon book Coco.

700g corn kernels (sweet corn)
cobs reserved
12og plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter
15 shallots, thinly sliced
60ml milk
60ml double cream
225g chanterelle mushrooms
olive oil, for drizzling
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
chilli powder, optional

1. Place the cobs in a large pan and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 25 minutes.
2. Remove the cobs from the water. Reserve water for later use.
3. Melt 120g butter in a sauté pan and sweat the shallots until soft, not allowing any colour to develop.
4. Add the corn kernels and continue to cook until the corn is tender.
5. Add the milk, cream, and enough corn stock to just cover the corn. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste.
6. Pour the pan contents into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season again to taste.
7. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a separate sauté pan and sauté the mushrooms until soft. Season with salt to taste.
8. Pour the soup into a bowl, top with the mushrooms, and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with chopped chives and a pinch of chilli powder.

{This meal becomes extra tasty served with warmed sourdough bread and a glass of Riesling}.



Cookie Cutters

The NSW Southern Highlands greeted a colleague and I on a buying trip last week with arctic weather conditions (so much so, we made an emergency stop to buy gloves). As corny as it sounds, our hearts were warmed with a visit to Peppergreen Antiques in Berrima. My photos don't do this place justice - the sense of order and colour-coded merchandising is my favourite thing about the shop, as is the friendly and collection-passionate ladies who serve you. I invested in a little group of vintage cookie cutters (but I could have left with so much more). Sadly, they are in my kitchen cupboard now, I just can't work out a way of displaying them without looking like one of those compulsive hoarders you see on TV. Give me time. And, to those who enjoyed a long weekend, I hope it was a great one.


I've been pinned

Not one to catch on to a new technology too quickly, this blog post might be 6 months late for some of you - but I have just discovered the wonders of Pinterest. According to the Pinterest website: 'Think of Pinterest as a virtual mood board — a place where you can create collections of things you love and “follow” collections created by people with great taste'. Oh, I am so in love. I have been able to say goodbye to confusing reference folders on my laptop, and hello to organised and concise mood boards of beautiful inspiration (with original web links). Check out my 'virtual mood boards' here. In the process of learning more about Pinterest, I discovered that photos on my little blog have been 'pinned' a few times...which is the collection you see above. Oh, shux, that was a nice little surprise. If you don't want to create your own account, I'd recommend using Pinterest as an image search engine...kind of like Google, but far more lovely and refined. Have fun, and let me know if you are a member...would love to check out your boards.


Baby Tree

The sun was shining for our walk around the Manly Food, Wine and Sustainability Festival today. I spotted the Hosanna Bonsai market stall and ended up taking home one very cute Cotoneaster. I have done a bit of research this afternoon so my baby tree makes it through Winter...and who would have thought, Bonsai are actually pretty easy-care. The tree needs lots of sun and watering twice a week (photo above = first watering for the week). Pruning can be done by 'pinching' off the leaves with your fingertips and repotting is recommended every 2 years. I might visit the ladies at Bonsai & Beyond in Balmain once we reach that milestone. Fingers crossed Cotoneaster likes his new home.


Respect for the Garland

I'm a believer that garlands don't belong in the cupboard, saved only for festive occasions. Try living with a garland at home for a while (as you can see, I like to...but don't be alarmed, my general rule is only one garland in the home at a time). I promise walking past the garland will bring a little smile to your face. I couldn't resist the Little Lamb Garland from Down to the Woods recently (they also sell the Freckle Rug, which is beyond cute). Emma Lamb makes some sweet garlands too. Please let me know if you have discovered some lovely festooning recently...
- Briar
PS. If you love Budgie Terry as much as I do, read about him here.


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