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

Garden Update

01.03.18

Summer has been kind to our garden. We’ve really been putting in the effort with watering, fertilising and weeding, and we are so happy with how it’s progressing. I feel like one more year of this growth and we are really going to see it’s full potential. I love the depth of planting my Aunt designed for us, and I’m also really happy that our three fiddle leaf figs climatized to living in such a sunny position. Raff sure does like a little run around the lawn, too.

The front yard has been a little bit more trial and error. It started off with us clearing the very old and unruly garden. A timber garden bed surround was then installed  and painted in the same colour as the house . We dug out the grass on the right hand side to mimic the curved garden beds we have created in the back yard. The feature, the prickly pear cactus was the only bit of green at the front of the house for a few months after we moved in (his name is Pedro, and we love him). To give Pedro some friends, as an interim measure (because let’s face it, plants are EXPENSIVE), I  simply planted what we owned from terracotta pots at our last apartment. It was a motley bunch of succulents, which I really didn’t hold much hope for. However, I was lucky that my very ‘green thumb’ Mum was happy to donate many interesting succulent cuttings and beautiful Agavaes from her large garden on the South Coast. Slowly but surely, the garden has come together and is kind of flourishing it’s in random and very unplanned way.

Next house goal on the list is to sort out the driveway and sloping garden bed at the front which runs the full length of the house. I have plans of new entrance steps and some epic plants in our biggest garden project yet. Our bank account just need to catch up! I’ll keep you posted on those developments because it’s going to be pretty great!

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

A bundt cake

12.01.18

We’ve had a bit of rain recently, so Sunday and I decided to have a break from the outdoors and do a spot of baking. Our Smeg freestanding cooker has been in our lives for nearly a year now, and I can’t fault it, I can honestly say I enjoy cooking more than ever because of this gorgeous appliance. I even thought to myself recently that if we ever moved I’d have to take her with me.

The baking session was also the perfect excuse to try out our new Bundt cake pan from Williams Sonoma. Sunday was desperate to make a giant jelly when she saw the shape, but I convinced her to try out making Donna Hay’s yoghurt and lemon cake.

Let me begin my saying I am not an amazing baker, but this pan makes you feel like Martha Stewart. Out popped the cake looking like a big and golden masterpiece!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe on here, trust me when I tell you how easy and delicious this cake is.

LEMON YOGHURT CAKE

Ingredients
¾ CUP (180ML) VEGETABLE OIL2 EGGS
1 TABLESPOON FINELY GRATED LEMON RIND
¼ CUP (60ML) LEMON JUICE
1 CUP (280G) PLAIN GREEK-STYLE (THICK) YOGHURT, OR GOAT’S MILK YOGHURT
1¾ CUPS (385G) CASTER (SUPERFINE) SUGAR
2 CUPS (300G) SELF RAISING (SELF-RISING) FLOUR
2 TABLESPOONS THYME LEAVES
2 TABLESPOONS THYME LEAVESMethod

  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Place the oil, eggs, lemon rind, lemon juice, yoghurt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Sift over the flour and stir until smooth.
  2. Pour into a well greased 24cm non-stick Bundt tin and bake for 50–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 5 minutes.
  3. To make the lemon icing, mix to combine the sugar, lemon juice and boiling water.
  4. Carefully turn the cake out onto a cake stand and spoon over the icing while the cake is still hot. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10–12.

Lemon Icing 
1 CUP (160G) ICING  SUGAR, SIFTED
1 TABLESPOON LEMON JUICE
½ TABLESPOON BOILING WATER

I’ve always loved so many of Donna Hay’s recipes – and this cake will definitely be my go-to when I need something quick and delicious. Enjoy!

Briar x

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