Weekend Away

I have a thing for good letterboxes - I loved the hairdo of moss this one has grown. We have just got back from a lovely few days with friends (including a gorgeous 9 month old) in the Southern Highlands village of Bundanoon. It's the first time this Summer I have appreciated our unseasonal weather...the chill in the air felt rather fitting for such a sleepy, yummy-food focused weekend. Below are photos from our Saturday morning:

Cute shop alert - The Good Yarn is a charity shop in the centre of the village that sells gorgeous baby knits and handicraft. Baby Nina picked up these too-cute $10.00 booties (that stay on)!

The majority of the weekend was spent exploring, (I spent an hour walking around the long-standing and beautiful cemetery but it didn't feel right to take my camera), and lazing around indoors with the baby.

I recommend thinking about Bundanoon for your next weekend getaway. It's 90 minutes drive from Sydney (and with trains that go to Central Station). Check out some of the sweet houses available for rent on Stayz. Pack some friends and good wine and do your food shop in nearby Bowral before settling in for the weekend. You could also think about treating yourself to a meal at Biota, the restaurant I wrote about here.

I hope you all had a great weekend!


Beautiful Bolognese

I think the chef Ferran Adriá is one clever man. He is famous for his thirty course gourmet menu at the now closed restaurant, elBulli in Catalonia, Spain. My husband bought his book A Day at elBulli a few years ago, which is filled with a 'behind the scenes' snapshot of the restaurant. You will also find impossible recipes to follow that sound more like science experiments....this is where the clever part comes in. Adrià recently published a 'home cooking' book The Family Meal which appeals more to a person like me (an ok cook, definitely no chef). I highly recommend the easy and hearty Bolognese recipe, which I have cooked twice now. It's almost as good as my mum's!

Pasta Bolognese by Ferran Adriá
This sauce will keep for five days in the fridge or six months in the freezer, so divide it into handy portions and freeze for later use. Makes 2.5kg.
  • 225g butter
  • 1.2 kg minced beef
  • 350g pork sausage meat
  • 500g onions
  • 150g celery
  • 400g carrots
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 12g tomato purée
  • 1.6 kg tinned chopped tomatoes
  • pinch of sugar

  1. Put a large pan over a medium-high heat, then add the butter and let it melt. Add the beef mince, fry until it has changed colour, then add the sausage meat. Cook for a few more minutes, season with salt and pepper, then cook for 15 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until dark golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop the onions, celery and carrots. Put another pan over a low heat, then pour in the olive oil. Fry the vegetables gently until softened, about 12 minutes. Add the meat to the vegetables and mix everything together well. Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer the sauce for 1 ½ hours until the meat is very tender. Serve the pasta (traditionally tagliatelle) with a large spoonful of the sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


Brian Hoy @ Mitchell Road Auctions

It's been a while since I've spoken about a retail space on here - new ones in Sydney seem few and far between lately (although there is no shortage of web ventures - and I'm shopping online for work more than ever). I was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when I walked around the ground floor auction area at Mitchell Road Antique Centre in Alexandria for the first time in over a year (I'm going to be honest, one had to be in the right mood to sift through the crap and clutter on the ground floor). I was pleasantly surprised - the establishment changed hands towards the end of last year, and it's really obvious. I was particularly drawn to (Interior Designer) Brian Hoy's market area, his stock and merchandising seen above is super beautiful - and very reasonably priced. What an eye! The best bit? You can purchase items on the spot now from all the auction stall holders. Mitchell Road is definitely worth a re-visit - always the first floor, and now, the ground.


Wedding Preparation

My cousin Billie and her husband Elliott's beautiful wedding on the 29th December was the main reason for our trip to Noosa over the Christmas period. We had such a lovely and indulgent time, surrounded by my large family (but boy, did I miss being able to drink the bubbly that was flowing). The lead up to the wedding was certainly a family affair. The day before - myself, my mum, grandma, younger sister and two cousins gathered at the wedding venue (my aunt and uncle's hinterland property) to drink tea and make 50+ metres of gelato coloured bunting and 120 red velvet cupcakes - see my sister's recipe here. On the big day, my bridesmaid duties took over - and my camera was put down for the first time in a while. Disappointing in hindsight, but I look forward to sharing the professional photos with you soon - everything from the stunning bride, the spunky groom and his groomsmen, the decorations including pineapples, to the huge fireworks display (seems you get more bang for your buck in Noosa when it comes to cracker night).

On another note, thanks so much for your kind words regarding our baby news. Along with my rapidly growing waistline, It certainly feels 'real' now!

Have a great week,




Happy New Year to you all, I hope you all managed to get some sort of break over the festive season. I'm looking forward to catching up on all the blogs I regularly visit, as I have managed to keep my laptop turned off since December 23rd (making sure I had a 'proper' break). It feels good to be back, and I'm actually looking forward to getting back to work on the film tomorrow. I have photos to share from our holiday that I'm yet to sort through, but my big news for 2012 is...

The Stanley's are having a baby!
I'm just over 21 weeks pregnant, and Mark and I are very excited. Now that I am over the 14 weeks of 'hell and back' morning sickness, I can think about some of the fun stuff - the bambino's room and coming up with a name...oh, how I love thinking of names. Being an enthusiastic collector of lots of things, our future little one has no shortage of treasures accumulating (mainly Christmas gifts from excited family) in the guest bedroom. I'm obsessed with clearing out the clutter this week to make space for our new roomie, so my local Vinnie's should be high fiving me pretty soon.

While I'm many months off from becoming a 'mum blogger' (and don't worry, I have no plans on becoming an over-sharer who talks a little too much about the baby's bowel movements) - I do like the words and photos on these super stylish parenting-focused blogs:

Cheers to 2012 everyone - to lovely blogs, health, happiness and new babies!

- Briar


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