Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A few snippets of recent life on Planet Baby

Ah, Lovelies! I’m delighted so many of you found my last post helpful. I hope you are now enjoying emailing your fellow bloggers and having fun ‘offline’ chats like I am. As for me, I’m currently knee-deep in some blog planning (with the help of a very dear bloggy friend) and have had a day looking after two particularly active pixies who seemed to need my attention every two minutes on a rainy day. But most importantly, I am about to log on to start the Blogging Your Way e-course with the gorgeous Holly Becker from one of my all-time favourite blogs, Decor8, and the talented Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint fame, one of the prettiest and most inspirational blogs around. I am absolutely *beside myself* with excitement at the prospect of working with these creative women who are being aided by the technical expertise of Holly’s husband, Thorsten Becker as well as meeting fellow bloggers from around the world. It’s going to be an exhilarating ride!
But before I start this four week e-course, I thought I’d share with you some photos of recent happenings on Planet Baby. Here goes!

Quicksilver Sam – the latest update
After the recent handiwork of Barry the Brilliant (remember him?), I’m pleased to tell you that Sam has not managed to escape from Planet Baby. No crawling out onto the road. No climbing up the steps. No slipping through the balustrades. Zip. Nada.  Nothing. The neighbourhood children have mastered the art of chaining the gate shut. Mind you, that doesn’t stop Sammy from *trying*. Here he is, trying to work out the mechanics of how to unchain it. Look at the concentration!
I really wonder if he’ll turn out to be a problem-solver like an engineer when he grows up.
The Great Lamington Making Affair

Now, lovely Planetarians, remember how I posted about my fail-proof pavlova recipe here and here? I challenged you all to give my recipe a try. Well, the fabulous Rhi, an expat-Australian living with her husband and two young children in Belgium, took up my challenge and posted about it on her blog in her funny ‘Life on Planet Sugar’. Do have a look at how luscious her pavlova was – apparently it was served up to her Mothers’ Group to great acclaim. No wonder – it looks scrumptious!  Mission accomplished, Rhi challenged me to the ‘Aussie Classic Inter-Continental Blogger Bake-Off’ – my task was to get the pixies to help me make some lamingtons like hers you can see here.

I asked Rhi for her recipe but she had made hers up. Undaunted, I turned to my trusty Women’s Weekly ‘Sweet Old-Fashioned Treats’ cookbook and found the magic recipe. My plan was to get the pixies involved on the weekend. However, Mr PB decided to throw an impromptu birthday party for his father for afternoon tea. And *forgot* to mention this small fact to me. Suddenly, I found myself (ie no pixies involved, so short was the timeframe) hurriedly making lamingtons for the first time since my exchange year in Germany in 1989. Oh, and running out of coconut (which I loathe) right in the middle of preparations when, of course, his parents turned up early. Hmm. Anyway, even although the icing had hardly set, they were promptly devoured. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
They’re not the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Next time, I’m going to use tongs to dip them in the coconut so I don’t end up with big thumbprints in them!

Looking a little fancier here. Maybe.
But the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. Let’s see if they pass the ‘taste test’ with Joshua.
I’d say the lamingtons were winners – what do you think, Rhi? Oh, and are you keen for another round of the ‘Aussie Classic Inter-Continental Blogger Bake-Off’? Any other Planetarians are welcome to throw down the gauntlet – just comment below with your suggestions!

Harvesting in our garden

All the rain we’ve had lately has resulted in luxuriant growth in the Planet Baby garden. Mr PB and the pixies have delighted in some harvesting. Cherry tomatoes have excelled.
Joshie was as proud as punch of his efforts.
Painting time

One of the pixies’ favourite pastimes is painting. We hauled out our trusty roll of kraft paper and let them do their thing. Here’s Sammy’s first attempt.
It didn’t take him long to get into it.
Miss India revelled in it, as usual. The perfect picture of concentration.
Joshie also relished having the freedom of the whole roll to paint upon.
We saved the best bit for last. Sammy was the first up.
And here’s the end result – something to remind us of these precious years on Planet Baby.
So, does anyone want to issue a challenge for another round of the ‘Aussie Classic Inter-Continental Blogger Bake-Off’? If there’s enough interest, we could even try a linky. Leap aboard with your suggestions! 


  1. Homemade lamos! Yummy!!!!!!!

    That's all I have to say. I can't focus on anything except eating one of your virtual lamingtons. Sorry, mouth full...x

  2. yummy home harvest :) and the lammies are fabbo too - have a great week matey - le xox

  3. Yum. Nice brave work with the painting!

  4. You have been busy. My mouth was watering as I was reading about the lamingtons!!! Perhaps that's why I try to avoid baking- I'll just devour it and pile on the kilos! An impromptu party? I'd be lying if I wasn't honest here, Stu would be in BIG trouble if he did that to me, you are obviously an amazing woman! Love the hand prints too. Hugs, Emma.

  5. Thos lamingtons look delish!
    Love the paintings and those hands are adorable.

  6. Life on planet baby is so busy, busy! How do you manage to fit everything into your day?
    I'm interested to find out more about this bake off...
    I have made some welshcakes this week in celebration of St David's day. I'll be sharing the receipe later on this week - maybe you would like to give them a go?

  7. Yay! Well done Jane, the Lammies look delish. Sorry, I really don't have a recipe, I always just wing it when it comes to chocolate icing... You were the winner here though, making them without kiddos... do you have any idea how messy my kitchen was after Milla had finished her double dipping technique?! Ergh.

    Let's do another Intercontinental Blogging Bake-off for sure! I'll start thinking of a recipe... :)


  8. Is that a fence Jane? Woo hoo!
    The lamingtons look really yummy, and I love the handprints. You must frame them!

  9. wow - great pics

    i think that you have the same gate contraption that we have - it has kept my boys baffled for awhile now too, no escapees yet!

    the paintings are lovely - what a great activity to do at home
    I am off to check out your handling comments and replies post - sounds like i missed a good one

    Gill xo

  10. I'm just in awe that you attempted painting with three young children at home, all by yourself. I tried it once.......never again.....
    I love the idea of a bake-off!

  11. Painted handprints - my favorite! When my guys were little they placed their painted hands along the stair rail from the basement to the kitchen. Each son was a specified color and they took turns placing their prints. That wall has never been repainted!
    xo Cathy

  12. You let them paint at home??! Inside?? - we don't even have textas in the house. There is a red blotch on my white chair which got there ten minutes after the first texta - and last - entered the house three years ago! Nice baking... A x

  13. Aren't you brave with those dining chairs!! Nice to see.. Doesn't your Mr PB have lovely hands?

  14. Mm, now I am craving a lamington.
    Takes me back to childhood, where our friends Mum used to make them.
    You are such a great Mum Jane and it reminds me that I have not done painting with the kids for ages. (very bad form for a *cough* early childhood teacher.)
    Enjoy your blogging course, it sounds like a wonderful creative outlet for you, from the comfort of your home.
    Ps Finally went to check out chez Moi on Saturday when I was doing a rare wander around town on my own(!) and it was closed. Sigh.
    Btw what was the other gorgeous shop near there that you posted about a while back?

  15. Something to delish to harvest, something delish to pop in my mouth, glorious colours to paint with = one happy Planetarian!

    If only it wasn't a virtual experience.

    Enjoy all that the following weeks hold in store with your wonderful coursework, can't wait to see the results!

    xx Felicity

  16. We're also reaping in the cherry tomatoes at the moment but hope the weather warms up a bit so all the green ones ripen - otherwise it'll be green tomato chutney central at our place!

    And if you have a fail-proof recipe for Anzac biscuits I'd be your friend forever! I tried to make them when we were living in London and I ended up with one massive, baking-tray shaped sticky mess - and haven't attempted them since!! But your lamingtons look delicious.

  17. Looks like lots of fun has been had around your place lately. You are going to love Holly's course Jane! x

  18. Yum!! Lamingtons!! I haven't had one in ages, but now I'd love one!
    Next time I cook a pav I'll definately try yours :)

  19. i WANT....NEED....lamingtons .....

    RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

    you have these poor aussie taste buds going made jane...
    i am heading back to the recipe now!!!!
    so if i make them before school ends i may just get to eat them all before school ends!!!!

    melissa xxxx

    ps- havent emailed re our drinkies linky yet as i still have a house full of visiting in-laws...half terms holidays here...we've been away up the coast to hadrians wall...and you need to do this fab course...so on hold for a little bit longer...does that suit??

  20. p.p.s- FRAME those gorgeous hands honey!!!!!

    m xx

  21. Loved your photos today...especially of the art. I'm so not crafty. I did a project with my son this week....hoping to share later.

  22. My goodness Jane, your days are action packed. I marvel at your energy levels and enthusiasm! Lamingtons would have to be my most favourite sweetie indulgence. I could almost reach out and scoff the lovely ones your pixies made. So pleased that Sammy cannot escape any more. That picture of him trying would have to be the cutest! A-M xx

  23. Love you, darling
    Jane, and those
    pixies, too ~ so
    so sweet!! My
    {turning 16 tomorrow,
    eek!} daughter has
    been wanting to try
    making a pavlova for
    ages and ages since
    I read about them in
    Food&Wine, so I need
    to put it back on the
    T0-DO list : ) Thanks
    for coming for coffee,
    too ~ we'd never run
    out of lovely things
    to chat about!
    xx Suzanne

  24. So glad you stumbled across my site today Jane, because it means I've been able to stumble across yours! :) It's fantastic. I'll be a regular visitor now!! Plus, it's nice to meet some more Taswegians in the blogsphere!!! :)

  25. Ah, you lovely, lovely people. Once again, I turn my back and then find you've left me all these gorgeous comments.
    I'm so intrigued that so many of you love lamingtons - they were probably the first I've eaten in about 20 years! Just email me if you want the recipe.

    Beth, I'm so glad you like the idea of a 'bake-off'. This should be fun.

    And Rhi, I think it was a draw as I did it without the pixies' help. Cool - bring it on!

    Emma, glad to count you in for the bake-off as well. Oh, and Mr PB was the ringmaster of the painting effort. I was the cleaner...

    Now Cathy, that is just a gorgeous and original idea. Bravo you - how precious.

    Oh, Ann, believe me, textas are not distributed freely on PB. Someone gave us some and they are kept on a high shelf, far away from Sam!

    Martha, those chairs have been the best purchase. Funny, considering we bought them pre-PB - just pure luck that the fabric is easily cleaned. Hmm, I'll tell Mr PB you like his hands!

    Kat, we might just have to make some when you come over. It's Aznew Interiors.

    I totally agree, Felicity.

    Ah, Ange, I've encountered the same problem with Anzacs so I'm on the same mission.

    Miss Melissa, I've sent you the recipe - let me know how you go.

    A-M, yet another thing I've learnt about you, lamington fiend!

    Suzanne, I can't even imagine the pixies turning 6, let alone 16 - you're so far ahead of us ☺.

    And I'm so glad to have found you, too, Kellie. You're so right.

    J x

  26. Mmmm, lamingtons! We made some last year, must make some again soon.....

  27. Hi Jane - so great that you are doing BYW! I took the first class about 2 years ago and got such a lot from it. Lots of soul searching, that's for sure ;). Hope you love it to bits.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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