Entertaining

Williams-Sonoma Christmas Gift Guide

09.12.15

WS_1Being a bit of a foodie and lover of all things nice for the kitchen, I’ve become a bit obsessed with Williams-Sonoma lately. I love everything from the hand soaps to the cutlery, to the food – so I jumped at the chance to compile a Christmas gift guide for the blog. Above is the selection I came up with – I’m such a fan of the packaging, quality and general feel of the place (you must try and visit in store, you’ll just want to touch everything).

I must admit there is something about the products that make me think of an old fashioned ‘American Christmas in the snow’, which is a good thing – you know the vibe I’m talking about? The family movies I grew up with through out the 80’s where kids drink hot chocolate and go snow sledding off the front porch?? There is just something romantic and nostalgic surrounding a traditional Christmas.

WS_5WS_3You could say the place is heaven for a sweet tooth (I’ve got my Nan in mind for a stash of these decadent treats), everything is so beautifully packaged in tins and boxes, making ideal stocking stuffers. Pictured above is the Peppermint Rolled Wafers, Peanut Brittle and Peppermint Bark – my personal picks of the bunch, but check out the full range here.

WS_7I love the idea of leaving out Santa his own hot chocolate for one of his many pit stops. The Hot Chocolate Pot has a lid that turns in to a handy trivet, and I couldn’t go past the gold monogrammed mug. Pictured above with the fun Jingle Bells table runner (made from the loveliest of linens with velvet trim).

WS_4BGifts that won’t break the bank are readily available through out Williams-Sonoma, and I think everyone could do with a good cheese knife in their lives, and the traditional enameled measuring cups would last someone a lifetime.

WS_8If you’re anything like me, a nice hand soap and candle is always a lovely addition at the kitchen sink (nice packaging make these ones even more of a winner), check out all the different yummy options available here. My favourite gift of the bunch would have to be the marble and timber stand pictured above (available in two sizes). So very decadent for a good cheese or cake display, or just on it’s own…I just can’t go past marble.

WS_6There is no better excuse than the silly season to enjoy a wine or two, and the Valencia Goblets have the look of glass, but are actually made of an unbreakable material  – which make them perfect for poolside quaffing (very appropriate for our Australian climate). Also working with an Aussie Christmas, the lobster tea towel will add a punch of personality to your kitchen.

WS_9Another kitchen staple that is never going to go to be a gift that goes to the back of the cupboard on Boxing Day is a good quality bread board. The maple timber would look beautiful on a simple table setting, as well as being very functional.

WS2This selection I’ve photographed is honestly not scratching the surface of the huge range that is available this Christmas at Williams-Sonoma. I can promise you’ll find something for pretty much everybody – unless you know some who doesn’t enter the kitchen, like to wash one’s hands or eat food. Ha!

Happy shopping!

Briar x

Gift wrapping accessories are from Pulp Creative Paper.

Hosting the perfect christmas lunch

12.11.15

As some of you will know, I come from a seriously food obsessed family, and can shamelessly tell you that emails have already gone around between us all (around 35 bums on seats this year) with a menu plan for Christmas lunch. I can totally relate to the whole ‘premature christmas decoration’ movement, but when it comes to the entertainment factor on Christmas Day –  it’s never too early to plan in my books.  Here are some tips for hosting a great Christmas lunch:

040305GOOD FOOD
The standard Australian Christmas lunch isn’t all about roast turkey and steamed pudding anymore, it’s a chance to showcase seasonal produce with a nod to tradition. Our family never misses out on a yummy selection of fresh seafood and the addition of a good fruit platter and cheese board. We also never forget some salad options in bright Christmas colours along with the traditional baked vegies. If you’re catering to a large crowd you can make things a little easier by asking everyone to bring a selected dish.

THE RIGHT SPACE
The weather will determine where you set up for your big feast but regardless of whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you should take the time to select and set up the right space. That means having the right equipment for the job, including comfortable seating and extra tables that you can borrow or purchase for the occasion.

While traditional Christmases may be white in the north, the summer festive season of our lucky country inspires celebrating in the great outdoors so make sure your outdoor entertainment area is up to the task. Builders like QLD based Altec provide a great range of options for patios, pergolas and screens to provide the perfect zone for an outdoor Christmas of entertaining.

IMG_6173SECRET SANTA
Christmas presents in my family are really all about the kids and their wish lists for the year, so in recent years we have developed a great Secret Santa game for the adults, that always gets huge amounts of laughs. Here are the rules:

Each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order — with a twist.

The person who receives the number 1 will pick a gift (that is not their own) from the pile and open it for all to see . During the selection of a wrapped gift, the participant may visually inspect the gifts, pick them up and/or gently shake them.

The person who receives number 2 then chooses a gift and opens it, and then must decide whether to keep it or swap it for the first player’s gift. Each person in order then gets to select a present, open it and decide whether to keep it or swap it for any other gift someone has already opened.

Opening of gifts and swapping takes place until all the presents have been chosen. Finally, the person who picked first gets to choose from all the gifts or keep what he/she has already received. In the end, the gift you are holding is the gift you take home. Trust me, it’s funny.

IMG_5993GET DECORATING
Christmas is definitely the greatest annual excuse to go to town with decorating (yay!) and making your space festive using everything from table decorations to fairy lights, wreaths, flowers, tableware and pretty much any adornment that come your way. It’s always a good idea to set up the table the day before, so you can relax to an extent before your guests arrive.

02DRINK UP!
I won’t be indulging this year because of the baby on the way, but that just means I’ll be a designated driver for the family members who will be kicking up their heels. It’s great to have a range of drinks (my favourite being a good celebratory champagne) on ice for your guests, and consider briefing your guests to bring specific bottles to make sure the range is on hand for the day.

SLIP AND SLIDE 
I don’t know about you, but my childhood christmases were all about the backyard grass slide. As you know, kids do not want to spend their Christmas Day at the table. It’s a good idea to have a couple of activities up your sleeve for the kids to keep entertained, so the grown ups can stay comfortable chatting around the Christmas table.

I’ll be sure to share some photos of our lunch on here this year, I just know it’s going to be a good day.

Briar x
PS. Can you tell that I love Christmas?

 

Eliza + Michael

26.10.15

20150912_elizamichael_613I styled a wedding last month, and the photos have just arrived in my inbox from the clever Studio Something. There were so many lovely images to choose from, I thought I’d share a small edit of them on here, so you can get a sense of what a gorgeous day it was. The sun was shining and there was so much love between Eliza and Michael and their close families – a mood I think the candid photos have definitely captured.

20150912_elizamichael_32220150912_elizamichael_53920150912_elizamichael_524The bride wore a beautiful and contemporary dress by Rachel Gilbert and the bridal party carried abundant blooms by the clever Aleksandra.

20150912_elizamichael_13 20150912_elizamichael_468The ceremony was held at St Aloysius, where Eliza is a teacher. The most moving part of the ceremony was the boys choir who sung hymns, not to mention the cutest bridal party I think I’ve ever seen. Bridesmaid and flower girl dresses are from BHLDN.

20150912_elizamichael_585  The night time reception was held at Pier One – arguably with one of the best views in Sydney. Because of this, decoration on the traditional table set ups were kept pretty simple. Classic bentwood chairs were the starting point for a predominantly white and silver palette that drew your eye up and out to the stunning view.

20150912_elizamichael_67320150912_elizamichael_640The modern graphic elements pictured on the tables (including the matching wedding invitations not pictured) were created by Zed & Bee, and the statement balloons that floated above every table were custom made by the talented Heidi from The Bespokery. Bomboniere for the guests came in the form of a Fig + Cassis scented candle made by this Etsy shop.

20150912_elizamichael_71020150912_elizamichael_64820150912_elizamichael_671One more of the cute couple.

Briar x

PS. I can’t not include a snippet from the fun Photo Booth that Studio Something set up in the corner – guests got to take home their own prints, which was lots of fun!

photobooth-055

Logan Wines Giveaway

20.09.15

LoganBlogINTSAI’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty good perk in life to have a winemaker in the family. As I mentioned on here last week, I’ve been ‘giving back’ for all those glasses of bubbly I’ve enjoyed over the years and helping Logan Wines with their newly launched instagram feed. My sister and I thought it would be nice to announce the new account with a cool giveaway (just in time for the silly season) via. my blog.
Over on my instagram account (@sunday_collector), one lucky instragrammer will receive a Logan Wine Club* dozen, personally selected by winemaker Peter Logan (my brother in law) from the Ridge of Tears, Logan, Weemala and Apple Tree Flat ranges. All you have to do is follow @logan_wines. The winner will find a delicious selection delivered direct to their door, valued at over $250.00 – I’ll draw the (over 18) winner at random in a week. Kind of cool if you ask me!

Briar x

*Logan customers have been enjoying the benefits of the Logan Wine Club for quite a few years now, every 6 months they will send you a mixed dozen of their wines for the fixed price of $200. Check out www.loganwines.com.au for more information.

Four Things

11.09.15

Four things I’ve been loving lately..

IMG_4087I’ve been helping Logan Wines with launching their Instagram account. Watch this space, for a really cool giveaway that’s coming up. Also, make sure to tag @logan_wines or #loganwines if you are ever ‘gramming an image of the wine or a visit to the sunny hills of Mudgee. Beautiful image above of the popular cheese plate available at their cellar door by Renae Smith.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset I know they have a cult following these days, but I couldn’t resist  The Horse watch in blush and rose gold when I recently spotted it at the cool pop up store Resident Luxe in Seaforth.

IMG_4973I’m really impressed with the Spring range of children’s wear available at Target at the moment. So affordable, yet so chic! I couldn’t go past the cute little floral sand shoes for Sunday, and at a tiny $12.00 – they really didn’t break the bank!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetChi Khi have had the organic and super cute clothing range available for a while now, but owner Natalie Bassingthwaighte has just launched new creams designed especially for kids sensitive skin. Sunday thought all her Christmas’ had come at once when these arrived – my very girly girl already loves her ‘products’. These would make a perfect gift for a new Mum – I also spotted this gorgeous ‘wonder pack’ which is a selection of the range gifted in a gorgeous box.

I hope you have all had a great week,

Briar x

 

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