life as pen knows it

drop in and see what's happening on Planet Family


Friday’s favourites

There are so many things i am loving today!

First of all – the garden

daisy chains

3 weeks ago, they were just seeds,  the kids are loving the daily growth.

sweetpeas reaching to climb

picking lettuce and rocket for lunch and dinner each day is so great


and then there was some food

i'm addicted to this yoghurt, if i could make homemade so it was like this i'd be very happy

and it’s good plopped on leftover pikelets and blackberry jam

that's not cream, that's yoghurt!

and then there was a little shopping. This family calender as awesome, and really made me so much more organised this year. i remembered playdates, library days, school dress up days, and even some birthdays!

ready for 2012


helmet and gloves arrived just in time for cycling

 I had forgotten how much i enjoyed cross stitch

more xmas decorations like this are in progress in the PenPals studio (sometimes referered to as the couch)

 making felted balls is very therapeutic. what to do with them now?

rolling rolling rolling

 what are you loving today?


Leave a comment

no time to blog – crafting!

Ever since I jump started my (tiny) business of sewing/knitting/crochet I have neglected my blogging.  Also, facebook seems to take over doesn’t it? Because I am photographing stock and loading it onto my PenPals facebook page, I tend to update what I am doing there, instead of here.

But I am back to it. As soon as the next Currumbin Handmade Market is over. It’s the first Saturday of each month however, so it does come around pretty quickly.

In the meantime, we’ve been crafting with friends in the beautiful Spring sunshine. Happy Springtime everyone!

Crafting outdoors is lots of fun

Leave a comment

Comfort food

I think all families have their comfort meals. meals for when everyone is tired, or recovering from illness, rainy sunday nights, and even as leftovers for breakfast (harvey’s favourite breakfast is lefovers from dinner).

I thought i’d share some of our favourite comfort meals. This is Harvey’s most requested meal.

Rice with Lentils (from Charmaine Solomon’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, a book i’ve had for about 20 years). In India this is a main dish and is accompanied by curries, chutneys, pappadams and some yoghurt, either plain or mixed with sliced cucumber, or sliced banana.

We have this with a green salad and some Indian chutneys.

This recipe can be halved.

1 cup dried red lentils

2.5 Tblspns oil or ghee (i use half olive oil and half butter)

2 large onions, sliced thinly

1 cup long grain rice

3.5 cups hot water

1-2 tspns sea salt

1/4 tspn each of ground black pepper, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg


Add oil/ghee/butter to a large saucepan with a good fitting lid. Fry the onions over medium heat, stirring at times, until golden brown (takes 5-10 mins). Remove half the fried onions and set aside. Add lentils and rice to pan and fry stirring for a few minutes. Add hot water, salt and spices. Stir well and quickly bring to the boil.

Turn heat very low, cover tightly with lid, and cook without lifting the lid for 20mins until the liquid has been absorbed and rice and lentils are cooked. Serve on a dish with reserved onions scattered over the top.


Leave a comment

come on Spring!

We’ve had weeks and weeks of single digit temperatures overnight here on the Gold Coast – which is very cold for us. Spring does usually arrive with a bang, and I am looking forward to waking up to a mild morning.

In the meantime I am celebrating my favourite colour GREEN. A quick look around my home shows an embarassingly large amount of it. I don’t wear it much though, except in jewellery. But I love to bring the garden inside with accessories, furnishings, functional stuff and of course food!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 Comment

a change of mood

a tipoff at a friend’s garage sale led to the purchase of this fantastic addition to our lives.

so now we’ve got plans for piano lessons. i did piano when i was a child, so now i’m sitting at the keyboard trying to channel all those old memories. it worked for knittng, crocheting, and sewing, so i’m sure it’s only a matter of time before scales and tunes come tinkling out of my fingers!

we are a little squeezed in our playroom/PenPal studio/workroom/art room/music room but when our neighbour offered us this, we managed to add this in as well.

it has seven games – backgammon, table football, air hockey, table tennis, ten pin bowling plus some others i can’t remember. and all kid sized.  it’s been so much fun already!

Leave a comment

soothing and sewing

we’ve all been sniffing a bit with this sudden cold snap. we seem to have gone from summer to winter, and skipped entirely over autumn. so 3 days at home over last weekend was time to start using up my fabric stash.

i found fabric i had totally forgotten about (ahem) i mean put carefully away. so i washed, dried, ironed, planned, and then sewed the requests that had been building up. “pets please” they always ask. so voila.

“she doesn’t have anyone to play with” really? have they looked around the playroom? and harvey wants an owl. a big owl. as big as a cushion. and cordury.

so by the time they were all named, shown around the house, fed, wrapped up, pushed around in the pram, put down to sleep, and cuddled – the sniffly days were over and everyone had been happily occupied.

and many bowls of Thai sticky black rice with coconut milk made everything good too.