The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Feather your Nest Friday Nov 21st.

This week had some wonderful highlights! We had some big things happen that are really Christmas miracles. One is my daughter and her husband bought a house and they are moving the week before Christmas. This is so exciting. Now Lucy can plan an nursery which is one of the fun things of having a baby I think. Setting up for a new baby is a beautiful thing!

We saved money and built up our nest in lots of ways, I am very happy with it.

Firstly it rained twice in the week with a warm day in between. It watered everything really well. Rain is money from the sky as my friend Helen says. It's true. Taps stayed off. Everything looks fresh and wonderful. What a help.
I also sat my indoor plants out in the rain. This does them so much good and they look fabulous after a wash and rain water... somehow does them more good than hand watering.

Inspired by Wendy, on a post she wrote on the $300 a month grocery budget, I rearranged my pantry. Wendy's column is on The Cheapskates Club website. (yes she feeds a family of four for under $300 a month and writes a column on how she does it!) Wendy had cleaned out and re arranged her pantry to start to stock up for Christmas. Reading how she did it and how much room she created I knew I needed to do this. By adding to my jars all the things that needed to go into them and get out of packets I tidied things up and made so much more space on my shelves. Plus my jars of pasta, beans, nuts and so on all look full and beautiful. One thing leads to another and all my patty pans are in a tin, cake decorations in another and so on. I can see what I have better and have much more room. Its actually amazing how much room you can create doing this! My aim is to have really good back up supplies, pantry emergency meals and space that allows me to buy up on specials and never pay full price.

I made some jam from a punnet of cheap strawberries and froze others for smoothies. I am building up a collection of jams for hampers to give plus a supply for the pantry. Even if it's one jar I will make it, in the microwave it is easy to make small amounts.

Also I made Nuts and Bolts. Mum used to make this. It is a spicy nut snack mix that is fantastic and very tasty. I made two big jars full and several containers to give away. Some for my son in law, some for the boys fishing trip on  the weekend and some for work lunch boxes. We nibbled on it last night after a swim. Andy hadn't had it in a while and he was saying YUM. For parties, BBQ's etc it is an economical way to make a big amount of snacks.

This is the recipe:

300g nutri grain 
375 g peanuts or other nuts or mixed nuts. I use salted.
375g sultanas.
1 pack french onion soup
1 pack Cream of chicken soup 
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder.
3/4 cup warmed olive oil
Mix in a large bowl. Stir few times as you can.

Store in big jars. 

Now this recipe of 300 g Nutri grain... well it comes in 500g boxes. So I use the whole box and double the rest of the ingredients. I have used double curry powder without any mustard powder and its been fine, also I've used a tablespoon of chicken stock in place of the chicken soup and its still good. It is very flaxible. You could add raisins or dried cranberries or whatever you like or have. This is a good mans gift in a big jar.  It is better the next day and the days after when the flavours have a chance to blend.

If other countries don't have Nutri Grain (breakfast cereal) it is a cereal that looks like little bricks...

We have been talking about increasing our food storage. Once we decided on this we decided we would need to build or get some shelving. We were going for a swim yesterday and we found a large metal shelving unit on the side of the road! ... the kind that would have been in a shop. You stack cans in it and if you take the front can others roll forward. It is quite large too about 160cm high and 1 meter wide. So it is fabulous storage space. And it fits where we want it. So how good is that!?

We had trouble with a tap and changing the washer didn't work. Instead of a plumber Andy had a go at it... it involved grinding pipe and stuff... a lot of noises and groaning, but it worked! Perfectly!

Our bird buddy must have been reading my blog as he took feathering his nest very seriously and BUILT a nest and got married apparently... now there are two of them and they have built a nest in the neighbours tree that overhangs our yard. We can see it easily and they both come for something to eat and to drink from the bird bath especially in the evening. They are both so tame with us. I can't wait to see babies! This is better than reality television! 

In the garden we have two huge trees in massive pots. They are a kind of Magnolia. The flowers are huge, bigger than a side plate. Just now they are covered!

I hope you had a good week. I would love to hear anything you did to feather your nest or save money.
I am thinking of the US ladies as I have never seen snow like that and I can't imagine it even being so cold. Here we are almost in summer so it is even harder to comprehend. I hope everyone is safe.

Have a wonderful weekend. xxx


  1. Hello Annabel, here in the US we are busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. We will host a big family meal and have houseguests for a string of days. So I am planning meals and menus and shopping lists and I need to soon get started with the cooking.
    But sweet little grands have been keeping me busy.
    How nice to find a shelving unit and have a husband who can and will do the plumbing.

  2. So much exciting news at your end Annabel and how gorgeous is that magnolia! Well here I have been polishing and shining the home readying it for the Festive season. I change all the bedcovers to something more festive looking...vintage crocheted ecru lace and lavish satin and metallic pillows for our boudoir, and white broderie anglaise with silver and gold accents for our daughter. All of the throw cushions on the lounges are exchanged for festive ones too, although I can't resist using red and white Parisian busroll fabric and killing two birds with one! Delicate strands of inexpensive beads are already adorning many outdoor plants, and we will add little glittered clip on birds on December 1st. Why should the garden be forgotten in the festivities! We've made Peppermint thins in the shape of stars, mouthwatering chicken as a trial for Christmas Day, and embellished little cloth dolls purchased online for just $3 each for our many little nieces and my two granddaughters. Embellishing readymade items like inexpensive cards and these little dolls, adds something special to a rather ordinary purchased item, turning it into some a little more artisanal if you're short on time or skill. I'd say a lovely and successful week for us! Blessings to

    1. Mimi I love that you decorate outdoor plants! You've convinced me to get going on my outdoor fairy lights which I have been stuck on for some reason!
      Also the Peppermint thins are just divine.
      I would love to see these little cloth dolls too... Well done on so many things and many of your activities are generous to others which I admire so much! xxx

  3. Rhonda posted...
    Hello Annabel, Here in the US we are busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. We will host a big family meal and have house guests for a string of days.
    So I am planning meals and menus and shopping lists and I soon need to get started with the cooking.
    But sweet little grands have been keeping me busy.
    How nice to find a shelving unit and have a husband who can and will do the plumbing.
    Thank you Ronda I wish we had Thanksgiving... we could do with more giving thanks. I hope it is wonderful for you! Thank you for your comment! xxx

  4. Hi there Annabel,

    I am back from our little trip and things are almost back to normal. We had a relaxing time and it is hard to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully I can get time for a blog post soon, as it has been nearly two months since my last one. Eek I don't know where that time went!

    Even though we were away, I was still conscious of how much money we were spending especially with the price of fuel and van sites, but I took most of our own food along and packed the van lightly to save on weight. We took our own drinking water, and restricted our spending in the op shops, as hard as it was lol! I really don't need any more "stuff". I am going to start sorting through my things and have a big clean out in the New Year.

    I think I might make up some of those nuts and bolts for gifts too. I haven't made them in years...something for the boys :)

    I collect up little jars for gifts of jams etc. I get my friends to save them for me too.

    I have a fair bit of gardening to get done this week while it is cool. We had a bit of rain which was a relief while we were gone as I was worried about my veggie garden, but the plants survived.

    I love your magnolia, so very pretty!

    Have a lovely week my friend,


    1. Dear Tania, Im so glad to have you back! Im glad you had a relaxing time. I was hoping you would have had some of the rain... there were three days last week, Saturday being the biggest day of rain. I thought even if you got some that would be a great help. You have done some gathering from far away places, which I always love! I look forward to your blog post. Usually when we have been away it takes me days to really unpack catch up on washing and things... get back to normal. Have a good week, whats left of it. Love


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