Home.byHolly sales agents Ash Costello and Sally Strang first met 20 years ago and formed a firm friendship. They have now teamed up to create a specialised real estate service for the Black Mountain precinct.

Both women were born and bred in Canberra, and they are very serious about real estate sales and service. Their partnership within the Home.byHolly brand brings their considerable energy and passion for the job into a dynamic market where attention to detail can make a real difference on the final sale price.

“Teaming up with Ash was a natural progression,” says Sally. “She is smart, brave and an all-round overachiever.

“Ash is incredible on video and social networks such as Instagram, which helps us connect with our buyers on a more personal level. Together we offer a higher level of service to our clients. We bring great energy, are super competitive, and have so much fun along the way.”

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This delicious recipe was provided by Cris’ mum Orietta from Weetangera – A traditional Italian recipe. Orietta suggests making the stock from scratch for a tastier option. Cris – hbh collective.

Serves 4


  • 1 radicchio finely sliced
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 400 gms Arborio risotto rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 or 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Olive oil
  • Grated parmesan


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and brown onion
  2. Add half radicchio and mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes
  3. Add rice and stir for a few minutes until translucent
  4. Pour in the wine and cook until it’s absorbed by the rice
  5. Add stock a little at a time, adding more as stock is absorbed.  Keep adding until rice is nearly cooked.
  6. Add the rest of the radicchio and stir until rice is cooked.
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If you have chooks this is a great way to use eggs. It looks tricky, but it always works out a treat! It’s the perfect summer dessert. I always make a quiche with the leftover yolks. Holly – hbh collective


  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped fruit of choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
  3. Place the whites in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add small amounts of the sugar (around 1tbsp) at a time, beating well after each addition. When all the sugar has been added, beat in until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  5. Add cornflour, lemon juice and vanilla, beating until well combined.
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This recipe was provided by Sam from Barrio, which his kids love just as much as Barrio customers! A good recipe if you have chickens laying eggs in the backyard and everything else is probably already in the pantry. It’s a favourite at the Sam’s Braddon café. Ash – hbh collective


  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup almond meal (I suggest coarsely blitzing up whole almonds to get more texture)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • Coupla tablespoons of spices (cinnamon, ground cardamom, ginger etc.)


  1. Mash the banana, add the olive oil, honey, eggs, spices and mix.
  2. Fold through flour, meal and baking powder.
  3. Pour into a baking paper-lined loaf tin. Smallish loaf tin is best. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

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This simple lemon cake recipe from Sally is a go-to crowd-pleaser, perfect for family picnics or summer barbecues. For a seasonal twist that packs quite a punch, try mixing in a punnet of fresh blueberries or raspberries before baking. Sally – hbh collective


  • 125g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g self-rising flour
  • A pinch of baking powder
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup milk, or as needed
  • ¼ cup icing sugar


  1. Grease and line a cake tin or loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and lemon zest.
  3. In another bowl beat together the butter and caster sugar, then mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with portions of the milk until combined.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
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The jewel in the crown of Lonsdale Street is for sale.

A unique opportunity to be creator, innovator, successor.

Pink is a design and fashion force, the longest standing trader from the urban jungle of the past.

Jump on. This is a ride not to be missed.



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2020, the year of conquering adversity, climbing mountains, and taking in a clear view of the new world around us.

The best views come after the hardest climbs. 2020 has been a year of change, redefining the way we look at the world and mostly teaching us to find joy in what is at our doorstep. Canberra is a magnificent place to call home, we love our wide open spaces, we love our mountains. With that in mind, we’ve decided to define your HBH Agents’ specialist areas by the wonderful mountains that stand watch over us all.

Challenging is an understatement, but 2020 has provided an unparalleled opportunity to take a fresh look at our lives, the way we define ourselves and the way we approach the future. Home.byholly has graduated from a boutique, ‘quirky’ choice of agent to a Canberra powerhouse this year.

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“You can’t throw that out, it’s a collector’s item … ”

There is a stage in life that a whole generation of Canberrans is in the thick of, and that is caring for their elderly parents, and their homes full of treasures.

I use the term treasures to encompass lots of different things, some items being of actual value (if Nan’s got some flying ducks those things can be worth a fortune), then some things are not treasures as modern society would see them, like the mug that Pop always had his morning coffee in.

Treasured flying ducks

The treasure, iconic and valuable flying ducks.

Why, oh why, did Nan keep all this stuff for so damn long, when really 80 per cent of it is actually junk? The answer is pretty simple really.

Australians who are now in their 80s and 90s lived through the wake of the Great Depression.

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Moving to Canberra from Tasmania, it took some time for Jasmine and Alex to find their place in our planned city. Our well laid out streets, suburban landscape and young aesthetic can feel soulless and disconnected if you don’t know where to look.

Unsurprisingly, it is in Hackett they found their joyful place and their newfound love of Canberra is infectious and heartfelt. Now selling their mid-century home and returning to family in Tasmania, I asked Jasmine to share her experience of how Canberra became ‘their place’.

Like many families, we landed in Canberra, quite suddenly, for a job – typical examples of the steady population growth enjoyed by the territory for more than a hundred years.

It was 2008 and the ‘millennium drought’ was in full swing. I remember washing our car with a little bucket, on a prickly patch of yellow that I refused to call grass, feeling that I could never truly make the city home.

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McReynolds testimonial

The shoe is on the other foot! I am a real estate agent trying to buy my first home.

I can now fully appreciate how stressful it can be to buy a property. There are so many hoops to jump through just to get finance, it’s overwhelming trying to decide if “this is the one” during a 30-minute inspection with 30 other bodies crowded inside, and it can be emotionally draining!

I am currently pursuing my dream home, which will be sold at auction. Eek! I decided to write some of my top tips that I’ve learnt along the way which might help you through your journey.

Keep your bank account clean

If you’re thinking of buying a property in the near future start making changes to your lifestyle now.  Trust me! This will help you when the time comes to apply for a home loan.

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