Recipes

Bula!

12.06.19

We have recently returned from one of those family holidays I know the kids will remember forever. It’s the first time Mark and I have both come back from a break and said ‘let’s try and make that holiday a yearly tradition’. The magic of Shangri -La in Fiji will do that to you. We met people who were visiting for their second, third, even fifteenth year in a row. Nestled on the private Yanuca Island, Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort offers the essence of an exclusive island hideaway yet is conveniently connected to the mainland by a bridge. It has been recently revamped and one of the highlights for me was the quality of the dining experiences.  I’ve got to be honest, Fiji hasn’t really been known for it’s cuisine (in my opinion anyway, I’ve been five times to various resorts over the years), but I can honestly say the food we had at The Shangrila-La was on completely new level. 

Room service was a fun novelty for the kids so we had dinner in our room for a few of the evenings (I highly recommend the chicken curry), but we also dined out a handful of times at the ‘special restaurants’, including the Golden Cowrie Coastal Italian Restaurant (delicious and traditional italian food with a great cocktail menu). We also feasted on Modern Asian twice at the gorgeous Takali Terrace (make sure to check out the extensive Gin menu, it’s epic). We frequented the breakfast buffet at Takali in the mornings, as the ambience/interiors of the restaurant is so stunning, and it was  also positioned right next to our favourite pool. Tip: Catch the ocean tide from the tiny beach outside Takali right around to the main pool, it’s magic!

We spent a lot of time poolside with a book while the kids swam (simple holiday heaven for the kids), and it was handy that kids could eat free from The Beach Bar & Grill, which was also a favourite spot for yummy and casual lunches. The kids visited the free Kids Club a few times too, when they wanted a break from all the swimming. Sunday’s favourite activity was definitely the Water Park which is a big inflatable floating park positioned close to shore. We also snorkelled and canoed around this area – the fish spotting was amazing! Mark also had a morning on the 9 hole golf course, while I had a gorgeous massage at the stunning Spa, CHI. We had an afternoon at the Put Put golf course (which Sunday loved) and that night was great – it was spent at the Polynesian show they hold at the village site. We witnessed fire walking by local villagers and feasted on a traditional Fijian banquet feast that I will never forget.

Below are photos from our trip that summarises the essence of our truly blissful 7 nights away:

Tiny brown feet on the sand after finding coral one morning on an empty beach. We made swimming at this beach a daily habit as it was such a quiet area of the resort. I can’t believe how lucky we were the weather while we there. An average of 30 degrees every day!

Sunday living her best life – the water really is that clear all along the coral coast of Fiji!


Sunsets were enjoyed almost every night outside our 2 bedroom Lagoon Bure, where we would enjoy drinks at the iconic Bilo Bar (pictured above) while the kids played in the sand.

Mr Curly Locks was treated like a Prince by the beautiful Fijians the whole week. Rafferty quickly developed his own daily habits which included an outdoor shower after swimming all day, and daily collections of Hermit Crabs in his champagne bucket.


Weddings are (obviously) popular on the island. Sunday and I went exploring one morning and walked around the beautiful chapel which looks over the ocean. She is wearing her new Coco and Ginger dress, which was perfect ‘resort wear’ for my little fashionista.

A definite highlight of the holiday was early one morning the four of us met Moses from the sustainability team on a small beach, and we spent time collecting washed up shells and coral to build our own ‘fish house’.  A few days later, we paddled out to the regenerated coral reef that Moses has created, and our (numbered) house joined 400+ other fish houses. The idea being, when and if the family who built a fish house return on holidays, you can go snorkeling and spot your little build in all it’s glory with its new and continued coral growth. Such a nice experience for all of us. (this regeneration activity only happens via word of mouth, so if you’re ever visiting Shargri-La, go and see Moses at the Marine Centre).


These two images encapsulate my holiday week the best. A lot of time in the water, and many delicious cocktails. Doing a whole lot of nothing but recharging and taking in the beauty of Fiji.

My only complaint was 7 nights wasn’t long enough. Argh! Take me back!

Briar x

Gift Guide

22.12.18

There is officially two and half more days for Christmas shopping left, so it’s not too late to pick up some last minute gifts from three of my favourite stores – West Elm, Pottery Barn and for the little people in your life, Pottery Barn Kids. I checked out all three stores recently with gifting in mind and these are the things that I loved. Here are images of the selection in my home – I hope you feel inspired!

Our always growing book collection is seen here getting a little support from the  Colour Pop Crystal Bookends (Set of 2). Also pictured is the very cute but cool marble box in black and white. Perfect for jewellery or other treasures.

Sunday has recently discovered the yumminess of a delicious waffle for breakfast – definitely a ‘sometimes treat’ that deserves the cute place setting seen above, all from Pottery Barn Kids. Cambria Plate and  Placemats in Rugby Grey, quality Riveted cutlery in white are complimented by the fun Mason Jars with straws. Perfect for a milkshake!

Sunday’s desk from Pottery Barn Kids is still used by her every day, years since she got it – she loves to display her art on the cork board hutch. Also pictured here is the handy pencil caddy/lazy susan.

I’m always inspired by the tabletop range at Pottery Barn, and fell in love with the gingham cork placemats (which come in red to0). Brushed gold flatware is still on trend this year (I love pairing it with the navy), and the elegant white Fleur dinnerware range from Monique Lhuillier is so stunning in the full set. Also pictured are the beautiful indigo napkins that are perfect for Christmas with the festive napkin rings.

The deco range at West Elm seems to get better and better every year. The copper and cane tray would be perfect when entertaining for that touch of glam, and I’ve been loving filling the house with the gorgeous scent of the Apocethary incense (fresh balsam fir, citrusy grapefruit and warm + cosy musk).  Also pictured are handy stocking stuffers – the cute range of notebooks, also from West Elm.


Finally, I have  an organised way to store my jewels. I’m obsessed with this West Elm  Jewellery Box. The proportions are so generous, I can keep everything in the one place on my bedside table.


I’ve positioned the Apothecary Incense by the kitchen sink, I feel it goes so well with our gold mixer tap!

Lastly, a hint of what I’ll be drinking this silly season. All sitting pretty in the kitchen is the  Bleecker Bar ice bucket and Martini jug. Glassware also pictured is called the Library Hand-Cut Double Old-Fashioned Glass.

And, incase you were wondering – a recipe for the perfect Aperol Spritz:

  1. Fill the glasses generously with ice cubes.
  2. First pour three parts of Prosecco (75ml) over the ice.
  3. Then, pour three parts Aperol (50ml) into each glass in a circular movement.
  4. Finish with a dash of soda (25ml)
  5. Garnish with a slice of orange.

    Enjoy! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas x

Rafferty Turned 2

05.03.18

Two years with our little butter ball in our lives has flown, and we hosted a little gathering for his birthday on the weekend. When I say a little gathering, the boy has around 15 cousins at last count, so any small family event turns in to a party for us!

The highlight for many was the ridiculously decadent ‘Digger Cake’ that Sunny and I made. The birthday boy loved it, and we had so much fun making it. Check out Pinterest for lots of Digger Cake inspiration – the bigger mess you make, the better it look it seems.


The night before was that usual mad scramble to get organised for the party. Although the decoration side of things was certainly saved with the speedy arrival of the gorgeous party accessories that came from Melt Bake Party. The fab store is my favourite online destination for all your cool and beautiful party supplies.

I guess I can relax on the party front now for a few months, until Sunday’s 6th birthday party rocks around in May. She’s already asking ‘how many sleeps’. Give me strength!!

Briar x

Healthier

01.03.18

Apologies, it’s been too long between posts on here. It’s been a busy start to the year in our household. We officially now have a schoolgirl, and with that has brought a whole new set of routines to follow in the house (wow, that afternoon bell rocks around quickly doesn’t it)!  Our girl was so ready to start her school journey and it’s been smooth sailing so far (touch wood), she is just so keen to learn!! I’ve never seen such daily excitement from her, “Mum!! It’s library day today, can you believe it?!” The enthusiasm for school is very sweet, I’m really hoping it lasts. If she’s anything like me, she’ll love school right up to her last day of Year 12. I was definitely a girl who focused on the things I loved though (Art, Drama, English), grab the bull by the horns type of student. Although, let’s just say I wouldn’t be too keen on bumping in to my Maths and Science teachers from the past, I now cringe at my lack of interest and chatterbox tendencies in their classes.

In other news, Baby Raff recently turned 2! Our little butter ball is having a party this weekend, so I’ll be sure to share some photos. The digger cake Sunday and I have planned is going to be epic (I hope so, anyway).

I also recently turned 37. Bit of a nothing birthday really, but what has come about is a healthier take on life. It’s been on a slow burn since I started a new fitness regime at my local F45 last August, but these past 5 weeks I’ve really ramped it up. With a healthier diet and exercise daily, I’m certainly feeling better for it (I actually don’t think I’ve actually felt this fit/strong in my life). I’ve also become a devoted smoothie maker. The trick is to have a stocked pantry and fridge. Armed with a powerful Nutri Bullet, here is my favourite breakfast lately:


Nutty Protein Smoothie

Ingredients
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (I’ve been using this one)
2 tsp. peanut butter
4 almonds
1 tsp. macca powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice

Directions
Add all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until a smooth consistency is formed.
I like to drink mine through a straw, milkshake style. Delicious and nutritious – this will seriously keep you feeling full until lunchtime!

Enjoy,

Briar x

Fridge Pickles

23.01.18

We’ve just got back from a holiday on the south coast at my parent’s place and my Mum served pickled cucumbers with grilled salmon fillets for dinner one night. I’ve thought about the delicious flavours since so I made a batch when we got home. The easy dish will keep in the fridge for up to a week. I’m planning on serving it with a curry one night and grilled fish on another day this week. Here is the very easy recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (apple cider, white, and rice wine are all good)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • finely sliced garden cucumbers (about 2 cups)
  • finely sliced red onion (about 1/2 cup)
  • additional vegetables as you like (capsicum, whole cherry tomatoes, etc.)

    METHOD

  • In a small bowl add the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine and until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the cucumber and onion. Taste and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
  • All the cucumbers should be covered in the brine, if you have lots of cucumber or are making a big batch, make more brine.
  • Let the mixture rest in the fridge until you are ready to eat. The flavours develop over time, so an overnight soak is great.

Enjoy!

Briar x

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