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.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 10th April. 2015.

What a week!
I don't even know where to begin. Which is a good thing! It means both my list of how I built up my house is really long and how I saved money is even longer!

We were able to do heaps around the house and garden due to the Easter long weekend. AND it rained. It even hailed. Because the garden has been so dry and I am constantly watering it the rain has been fantastic. Things were actually soaked and everything looked fresh and clean. Just lovely.

So some ways I built up my home this week included:

I cleaned all the back of the house windows outside. We have, at the back of our house, mostly glass and the doors as well. Very pretty to see into the garden but also it looks so much better when they are really clean.
Then I did all the inside windows and windowsills, doors, door handles etc. The glass goes to the ceiling so I was up and down the ladder lots of times. It looks so nice!

Once I started wiping windowsills the bug bit me to keep wiping and so every table, side table, picture frame etc got a wipe down too.

I put the houseplants out into the rain. This does them good and "dusts" them too so they look so fresh and lovely.

Also I added to my pantry.

Some of the ways I saved money were:

I made a big batch of miracle cleaner. I filled all my nicest bottles. I used detergent that was pink so it all turned out soft pink which I really like.

Mum gave me a lamb roast to cook during the week. It is just the weather for it too. I cooked a big tray of roast vegies plus peas, mint sauce and gravy. It meant we had a lot of left over cold meat which made Andy's lunches. Mum also gave me left over milk and cheese.

Chloe has let me use her old lap top. Mine is out of action and I was blogging on my ipad. But there are things I still haven't worked out on my ipad... although I kind of managed... it was harder. So now I have a laptop again and it is heaven! I can't even imagine what this saved me but money I didn't have right now to spend anyway. So very grateful for this!

My Aunt and Uncle heard (via Mum) about my jar collecting and they sent me three bags of clean, lovely jars in different sizes. Yay! Now my jar cupboard looks somewhat healthy again. Some of the jars are larger with lids and these can be used in the cellar for storage.

I cut my hair. I was just having a series of bad hair days and I realized it needed a decent treatment and trim. So I did a couple of conditioning treatments and cut a bit more off than usual. It worked! It has been going right since...

With the cooler weather I went through my wardrobe. I basically "shopped" my wardrobe and created outfits, put away summer things, washed some knitwear, polished shoes, got our scarves, changed handbags... and without buying anything it all looks really nice and feels like a new wardrobe. I worked out I need a black singlet or camisole and black casual pants and I have everything I need.

I swapped to a more wintery handbag, the one Lucy gave me a little while ago. It is beautiful. I think a smart handbag makes you look and feel stylish. Good thing Lucy has stylish taste as my free handbag is quite glamourous!

I started a scarf for myself in deep burgundy. Mum made me an infinity scarf which I love, it loops around twice and sits nicely... no trailing scarf that I slam in the car door and other unfortunate things like that. But warm and looks lovely!  I am about half way through it. Next week I will post the finished result. Making it yourself you get the exact colour you want plus the exact width and length you want. If it's fine yarn you only need one ball. Bargain!

This is something I have to show you. Chloe used my Gingerbread recipe to make several dozen biscuits for her Easter gifts. Combining her pantry supplies with a couple of things needed this only required a $4 spend. And made a lot of gifts! Plus they were very well received as she travelled to see friends over Easter...

Aren't they cute? And she did a good job of the photo too. (thanks Chloe)

Today I am having a quiet day at home just cleaning and tidying and emptying my through the summer handbag and putting necessities into my winter handbag. Cath in the Cheapskates newsletter had an article about using little purses in your handbag to organise things so you are not rummaging around so much trying to find things! So I am doing it this way as I tend to carry lots of things! I will post a pic next week if I think it looks good!

How was your week? How did you build up your nest and save money? I hope you feel good about your week.

I have to say the work we do and the efforts we make add a lot of comfort, happiness and security to our homes. Everyone feels that. It is not all perfect. In our case Andy does not have enough work at the moment. He is inventive and fills in the gaps with other things. But still he has had a shortfall for several weeks in a row. He has the HEART of a PROVIDER which means he acutely feels this. I know I am not the only one going through this here...  Mel shared she had lost her job suddenly last week. Others here have other things such as health problems, large looming expenses and all kinds of worries. I pray for them all.

The thing is, at these times, our keeping the home fires burning is MORE important than ever. When you walk in, or your husband or children walk in the door, and the house smells like cooking and things are welcoming then things seem alright. It is very COMFORTING. It not only comforts the family but it comforts us as well to be busy and productive. To "do the next thing" that needs doing and keep the home fires burning! 

Then to top it off, if I needed further convincing, this all proves having good pantries is such a wise thing. We can cook up a lovely meal from our pantry and repeat until things get better. It is like money in our own little bank. And the way banks are these days it's probably safer!

The difference we can make is beyond anything we can imagine. So feel encouraged and proud and blessed by what you can do with your energy, inventiveness and talents. 
Have a wonderful


  1. What a beautiful post today Annabel. xo

    You have had a very productive week!

    I’ve been decluttering this week and sorting through has found some little treasures that were hidden. Don’t you just love making those discoveries of items you had somehow forgotten buying? I’ve also shopped the wardrobe for my daughter and we have found different combinations that work thanks to a great series I found on Pinterest. Here is the link to her blog if anyone is interested:

    The rag bag is looking healthy too with clothes designated to be thrown out! ;)

    Food bargains this week were loaves of sliced bread (wholemeal and multigrain) reduced to 50c a loaf. I found spaces everywhere for 12 loaves. It is a rare thing in our area for bread to be reduced that low. If only I had space, as my daughter and sonIL said they had 40 loaves available @ 50c! I wouldn’t have known except they rang me up to ask how many I’d like. I also bought kilos of loose carrots @ 70c kg from Coles yesterday. There wasn’t much need for me to buy much this week except some dairy products yesterday. My fridges, freezers and pantry are really full to bursting. This is thanks to all of the influence and sharing here. Most people think it’s a bit obsessive this “penny pinching” thing, so it is great to be excited to share what I’ve done here and not feel odd. 

    I found nice fashion tights for $5 each pair reduced from $11 and $13 at Big W for my daughter. They will go nicely with her $1 clothing bargains we have bought recently at the op shop. It is near impossible to get good second hand tights (esp patterned) but at least we save heaps otherwise with outerwear. She also got new short boots (yes, new!) I do buy some things new, but they were only $29 and she loves the fit and style. I think I will buy another exact pair to put away for when they wear out, as they are not a design or colour that will date. I’m hoping her size 10 feet don’t grow any bigger now she is nearly 16! ;)

    Hope everyone has had a good week.

    1. Kaye you have been busy! The wardrobe "re work" is what I am doing. I will follow that link later when I have a break. I love looking at ideas! And it works.. wearing things in different ways and different colour combinations etc. It ends up like you have a new wardrobe. One thing to do is swap ie you put some combinations together for your daughter and let her come and put combinations together for you. I guarantee she will put things together differently with your clothes and its a surprise!
      What size is your daughter in tights? I know she likes soft colours.... I would think she has stopped growing too.
      Kaye you should be so proud of your full freezer and pantry. You do not have to buy anything at full price now! Imagine what that saves! These things enable us to live far above our actual wages without doing it through debt.
      Clearing clutter is so good. You find things you can use and save money on, things to bless others, things to recycle and things to get rid of... creating space. Also possibly things to sell and use the money for something important. The house also feels better. I am convinced that when you pass on things to someone else who could use them that other things you need come into your life too. Plus when there isnt heaps to donate to charity in the budget the donation of goods still helps charity and people enormously. It is still giving.
      All that bread for 50c a loaf! One thing that is so useful is to cut lots into croutons and dry them and put them into big jars. Then when you have soups etc use those. It saves freezer room. Bread and butter pudding too would be good! What a find!
      It must be the change of seasons... we both had massive weeks. How good is that! xxx

  2. Meant to add, tell Chloe her biscuits are delightful! I'm sure everyone just loved receiving them. xo

  3. The back of your house sounds like mine Annabel, all glass. I have wiped down the ceiling shutters but don't want to do windows while the builders are here. I learned yesterday where the saying 'Let the dust settle" comes from. It takes quite a while for dust to totally settle. I have had to wash and wipe everything in our family area and will give the floors a second wash later. off to wipe out my fridge and see what is hiding :)

    1. Barb when we did the kitchen the dust that got through the whole house was terrible. I didnt think I would EVER get it all! It was never ending!
      The glass is lovely in that it is like living in the light and the garden and I love light. But then theres the cleaning and I worry in storms etc a bit. But when clean and sparkling it makes the house feel so lovely.
      I hope your renovations are over soon and it will all have been worth it! xxx

  4. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for the reminder to make the home a comforting place. We have had a few weeks of emotional upheaval here after the death of my Husband's Sister...everyone is trying to process what happened and deal with the grief. I haven't done much pantry building but there has been a lot of spiritual building going on in the midst of our sadness. We are so grateful that my Husband was able to pray with his sister before her death as she made peace with God and we know we will see her again.
    I am thankful for people like you who constantly build up and encourage us to keep going. Blessings on you and your home.

    1. Dear Marybeth, I am so sorry your family has gone through this.
      It is wonderful that your husband had that time with his sister, what a good man.
      Lately just keeping things going has been enough, building up has to go on the back burner! Just doing the basics and everyone fed etc is sometimes as much as you can do. But as you can do nice things for yourself and your family as they are comforting and nurturing.
      Truly the things you do make such a difference. Blessings to you too Marybeth, Love

  5. I have been following this blog for a few weeks here and enjoy your ideas. We are heading into our spring here with maybe a bit of snow through the night yet. My Dad is finishing up our little family Maple syrup season.(Total about 20 USA gallons this year.) We don't sell it. We eat all. I am married 32 years and have 4 sons, 1 daughter in law, 2 + 2 bonus grandkids. I also work full time as a nurse. All this talk of cleaning needs to inspire me.
    Sheila - Michigan USA

    1. Dear Sheila, Thank you very much and welcome! I think it is just amazing about your Maple Syrup! That is wonderful!
      It sounds like you have a very busy life. I am so glad you are coming in to spring as it sounded to me like you had a long cold winter!
      Thank you so much for commenting, Love

  6. Annabel a wonderful post as always. What a great week, and well done to Chloe on those cute gingerbread bunnies! Cleaning windows is such a cheap and easy way to give the whole house a facelift, isn't it? My week has been patchy as it's school holidays and that always leaves me a bit breathless and busy. But amongst the usual cooking and cleaning, I've also managed to repot plants, paint some baskets a la Annabel, find some interesting vintage items for my husband for his birthday next week, and source some bargains at the fruit barn. Our local fruit barn has an 'ugly produce' section where locally grown tomatoes, plums and apples, that aren't quite 'perfect' are sold for 99c a kilo. I got several kilos of roma tomatoes, and slow roasted them with Balsamic vinegar, storing them to eat with pasta, risotto, salads and corn cakes with ricotta and roast tomato...a favourite healthy snack here. There were plums too, so I've poached and frozen a heap of those. Limes were also inexpensive, and I've candied some, and zested and juiced the rest. A good haul, all up. Have a lovely week. Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi it is true clean windows just improve everything!
      I remember what school holidays were like so you did well with so many extra things.
      Our Woolies has ugly vegies too... it is a funny concept like who ever cared if a carrot was straight? Anyhow, if you are emotionally able to handle wriggly carrots they are really cheap! So that is what I have been buying! I hope it catches on to more fruit and vegies as it is a major saving!
      Conr cakes with ricotta and roast tomato... this sounds beautiful... Im not sure if that recipe is on your blog? I am hoping so.
      Have a great weekend. Thank you for sharing your productive week! xxx

  7. Another nice post Annabel and I do love your pink cleaner, might have to get myself some pink detergent for a change of colour.

    My week has been interesting - new sheets were needed because the bottom one had holes starting in it due to my husbands 'itchy feet' - he is under strict instructions to get up and have a shower, it is cheaper than replacing sheets. Thankfully I had some in the linen cupboard that were purchased on a good special. The top sheet will work well as lining for some curtains.

    My husband is away in Melbourne so I am 'home alone' - we brought some boxes back from my mother in laws place Easter Sunday which I have been sorting through - one of these boxes belongs to our daughter, cook books which I have had a look at and found a couple of recipes one of which I think would make a good gift for Christmas - white hedgehog slice with cranberries and pistachios. Our daughter's books are now in plastic containers to protect them when being stored in the new shed.

    The bathroom got a scrubbing from top to bottom and the floors in the kitchen got a good wash as well as the cupboards getting a good wipedown.

    I have knitted 2 beanies - need to get the ladder out and get down some more yarn for tonight.

    . The shed bits and pieces arrived this week and according to the delivery guys it should be going up next week.

    I checked the food bargains online and didn't find anything that I could use. Mind you I did do a shuffle this morning and managed to clear a whole shelf out in the linen cupboard for extra pantry space.

    I repainted 2 bookcases last weekend and have started putting things into them as I am doing this I am thinking about the use of the item and if I really need to be hanging onto it. So far I have a box of country decorating magazines needing a new home.

    Barb I have dust here too - it gets into every nook and cranny because the doors and windows are always open. I haven't worked out how to stop it from getting everywhere.

    The one and only petrol station in our town has changed from one company to another - my husband used the petrol when we were living in Melbourne and it damaged the car so we now have to drive further to get petrol.

    The new company has cheaper petrol but it isn't cheap if it damages the car.


    1. Lynette you have been busy! The finished shelves sound great and so useful.
      Sometimes home alone time is nice, I usually cook something like a toasted sandwich or eggs or something really easy and do things at odd hours I wouldnt do if I wasnt on my own! It can be a little break of a kind.
      Have a wonderful weekend. Someone will love the magazines and a new person will have a great time with them.
      Thank you for sharing your week! xxx

  8. Dearest Annabel (I think I lost my last comment...I am not friends with computers)

    Such a timely post and just what I needed. It has been a hard day here as I allowed myself to fall into despondency and anguish. Such a silly thing to do. I try to hand it all to God but today was just that kind of bad day....I should be more watchful for this as there is nothing to fear as I know my Father will watch over us.

    My full pantry and freezer have been such a blessing I have spent nothing all week but $1 for 5kilo of potato (11 pounds) and that was too good to pass up. I have been roasting up a pumpkin for the freezer and tomorrow morning hopefully it will see me stew up the apples and the pears I have here, might even be an apple crumble on the horizon.

    I have found a few things I can sell (not many) but I will list these on a Facebook buy/sell page and that will surely help. Keeping the house up, and it does need a lot of work will certainly help me feel better so with this extra time on my hands I will get stuck in and sort/clean and de clutter.

    I will be led to work and I feel that perhaps God has something better in the pipelines for me, this could be a good thing. Now off to make some supper, we are having fry up which is basically left over vegetables and meat fried up with the addition of gravy and some garlic salt. We love it.

    God bless you all and thank you for your prayers, Woman building up Woman is such a blessing and encouragement to me.

    1. Dear Mel, It is understandable to feel terrible. Firstly I think we get a shock and that knocks us physically and emotionally. Yes, we have faith but we are human and get frightened too.
      I know you keep the home fires burning for your girls and I hope there is someone there for you too as it is hard to go it alone in these times... and I know having been a single Mum for many years.
      Probably all of us have been through times when we just do not know how we are going to get through. I find that utterly terrifying and I have a back up... in dire circumstances I could ask my parents for help (I never want to but they are THERE... and not everyone has that emergency back up). And then there are possible helps that we dont want to ask for but the Church and a parcel of groceries etc if needed... well I know you have helped other people a million times so it is ok to allow someone to help you if you need it.
      I pray that some work comes up and that every need is met in the meantime. I know you are very practical and hard working. We an only do what we can, with what we have... and keep going as best we can.
      I like the idea that you will use the time to do other things that need doing. I feel if I am worried if I cook, clean etc I am less of a mess and feel constructive. I hope you can do that and next week everything changes as work comes in. With love and thoughts and prayers,

  9. Dear Annabel and friends, This has been a lovely read. Oh those biscuits are just the best. Annabel dear you know how you influenced me to get cleaning my home. Friends, Annabel wrote to me about her cleaning effort, and the next morning, up I got and cleaned and cleaned our home. I spent 7 hours on it and then finished the next day in 2 hours. We have only a small cottage, and as I went I rearranged a few things.
    Annabel you are right with the effect of homemaking. It calms our hearts when a crisis is on. Mary Beth, I felt so sorry for your loss, but all the important things happened and fell into place. Praise Jesus!
    Kaye wrote about putting me together. She recommended it to me a few weeks ago and it's just gold. It helps you to remix your wardrobe and like Annabel to identify gaps.
    Each time I now wear a remix outfit I note it down. Suddenly you have huge range of possibilities! Kaye you know that I shop like you do. Thrifting, Ebay, new , sale. Annabel you are right about making your own scarf.
    Well dear ones, Autumn has started and apart from the cleaning, I'm still building my pantry, and I have started a new crochet rug.
    Thank you for a fabulous post Annabel and all the lovely encouragement in the comments. Love Helen

    1. Dear Helen, That was a cleaning marathon (and workout!) but I bet it made things sparkle. A small cottage is perfect for two people. It is cozy and has everything you need. It is manageable to cool and heat. Much of the time people have big houses for all their stuff rather than for people. Our parents and Grandparents had small homes and loads of kids, now people have no kids or one or two and huge homes. Its kind of strange when you think about it!
      I have looked up Putting me together since you and Kaye are telling me about it. That will be my weekend reading. I hope it helps me come up with some things I havent thought of before.
      Making scraves is really good. You can make them in your absolute best and perfect colous plus to be the right length and shape and feel lovely... I dont like anything scratchy! The one I am doing is turning out so well I am planning another one. I steel/grey blue is really good for me so I will look for yarn like that.

      I know you have been very busy so I think everything you achieved at home as well is huge! Well done! Have a lovely

  10. Goodness Helen you have been very busy, what a wonderful accomplishment.

  11. What a very beautiful week. Do you make your miracle cleaner? This week wasn't as successful as I desired due to my health but I began to make some dietary changes and I believe I will be feeling better soon with the Lord's help. I plan to do some sprucing our abode today.

    1. Chrissy yes I make the cleaner and I love the recipe it is on a post called Clean and Fresh...
      I hope you are feeling so much better and that what you are eating helps you and also you have time just to get some rest too. Being sick just takes some recovery and time as well as building yourself back up. It is hard to do when life is busy.
      Have a lovely weekend. Love

    2. Thank you for sharing and for thoughts! Hope you have a joy filled weekend!

  12. Love the bunny biscuits Annabel. Very cute. You've had a very productive week. Love the pink Miracle Spray. It's very prety, and very you. Here's what I got up to this week -

    * Mended a bath towel. The side seam was coming apart with lots of loose threads. So I got the sewing machine out and sewed a new hem before it got too bad.

    * Made lots of pumpkin soup with the pumpkins Cath gave me. Some soup was put in the freezer.

    * Cut up lots of pumpkin to put in the freezer. My friend Cath told me you could freeze it if you are going to use it for roasts. This is a great idea as sometimes I have a small bit of pumpkin left after a few meals. Now I'll just cut it and freeze it before it goes off.

    * Bought lots of Lindt chocolate bunnies on sale in Kmart on Easter Sunday for $2.25. I bought enough to put away for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Anniversary, Birthdays and Christmas. Yes, we bought heaps but all will be used.

    * Gratefully received some glass jars from my sister in law.

    * Made a few birthday cards with bits and pieces I had on hand

    * Cut out lots of flowers from brochures I picked up at the flower show. These will be used for card making.

    * Dried the washing on the line and clothes horses.

    * Refilled my kitchen foaming hand wash dispenser with homemade solution.

    * Gratefully received a whole cooked chicken. There was enough meat for two meals of pizzas. This has been frozen for future use. All the bones were put in the slow cooker overnight and made into stock.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

    * Gratefully received some stationery from a shop that was closing down. We were given two staplers and staples, two calculators, twine, removable hooks and spare tabs, sticky tape, double sided tape and a stack of plastic stationery drawers that Darren will use to store his bulbs for the garden.

    * Picked about 10 raspberries most days.

    * Recycled all the wrapping paper and a gift bag from some flowers and chocs that were delivered.

    * Stewed some apples that were getting a little old. The cooked apples were divided into containers and frozen. This will be used for apple crumble.

    * Saved lots of water from the washing machine for each next load. Also saved the warm up water from the shower.

    1. Wendy, I mend bath towels too and wondered if anyone else did. Those sides just don't stay stitched on new towels, do they?

    2. What a good week Wendy! I am putting crumble on my list as suddenly with cooler weather that would be perfect.
      I love the pink miracle cleaner now too so I am going to watch for pink detergent. I notice many detergents are yellow or green so pink is a rarity!
      Your jar supply sounds like it must be getting good! I am going to really try and build up more of a supply by next summer as I can out which wasn't good.
      Have a lovely weekend with some card making! Xxx

  13. Dear Annabel, I just love your posts. They are inspirational and encouraging.

    The bunny cookies are so cute!

    About windows, at my former job I worked in an office attached to about 20 more offices and businesses. They all had huge windows on the front. Some of the businesses had a professional cleaner who came every 2-3 weeks to do the windows. When I had to walk by the other windows that didn't get cleaned, it was just so awful how dirty they were. I was thankful my employer hired the window cleaners as my desk was near the front window and sitting by filthy windows would of really bugged me.

    Hope you have a very nice weekend

    1. Dear Rhonda, I think the whole atmosphere improves with the bright clean windows so I understand your gratitude over that.
      Thank you so much for your encouragement! You have a lovely weekend too, we have beautiful sunny weather and cool nights which is perfect, love

  14. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for another beautiful Friday post :) I love the miracle spray it is in fact a miracle! The pink is gorgeous and so you! I love the clean windows! Sounds like a few of us have similar lay-outs as the back of my home is lots of windows as well! Bill cleaned all of these for me inside and out when I was doing the spring cleaning. Clean windows makes everything feel nice and from reading here we all agree! I love Chloe's bunnies they are adorable. I can't wait to see when you post the scarf! What a great week you've had. I started the week fine and then hit a huge rough patch. I'm getting through it and all will be well again so it's really encouraging to see what everyone is up to. At the same time there are many needs I feel humbled to read. I am praying for all in our sweet community here and funny how praying for others gives me strength. This past week I must count the following blessings: made our savings goals, boxed some books up for the thrift shop, hosted our extended family for Easter Sunday which was so nice. We had special friends in town, whenever they visit we make crab cakes...well they visited on Easter so we had Easter ham and Easter crab cakes lol! We had a gorgeous salad with greens, fresh strawberries, pecans, goat cheese and a light vinaigrette that our friend Elaine made. Bill made twice-baked potatoes, the kids like mashed potatoes so we had them as well. We also had cheesy broccoli and everything was just YUM! I am on top of the laundry...literally I'm going to be on top of 5 loads in just a few hours here lol! I straightened the pantry and made a note of a few staples I can add over the weekend. This past week saw an amazing sale and coupon combo for 12oz packages of bacon for $1.50. This brand is really good and that is the lowest price point in my book since I started tracking a year ago. I added 10 packages to my freezer. I'm teaching The kids what I do with the grocery list, looking for specific specials in the ads, and having them help me find the specials. It's like a game now and they're so helpful. As you know the twins are 10 and I've had them make several small purchases now on their own with me standing at the far end of the cash registers. I'm coaching them on looking the cashier in the eye and greeting with a smile, watching their items get rung, receiving their change and receipt, saying please and thank you, have a nice rest of your day. Of course they've seen me do this a million times but I felt inspired to start this practice. They love it! They know: check your receipt and count your change after you've received it and before you leave the store! They are asking "mom did I do a good job?" I love it, our own little life-skills field trip! Well that's all for now, I hope everyone is having a restful, encouraging weekend. Xxx Colette. Thank you for everyone's comments :)

    1. Dear Colette all things considered you had a really good week. There are a few of us going through some struggles at the moment, the support and encouragement of each other is so lovely.
      Your Easter cooking and visitors sounds shuts lovely. Actually the meals you mention sound so like the sort of things we love to cook and eat.
      I have so much less washing to do now, your five loads reminds me of the days when the girls were still home and all the washing I used to do. Of course I am still washing but just less loads!
      Ten years old is a gorgeous age. They are really capable and eager to learn. Some simple meals are probably within their grasp too now... Of course it all takes time to teach them but they are like little eager sponges. This opportunity is a great thing! Everything they learn now they will retain and never forget! You are so wise to spend this time teaching the twins all kinds of skills. A lot of parents don't. They feel it is faster to do stuff yourself. But if you take the time and teach a skill then you have a helper and they have learned a skill for life. It is a good investment each time you do it. I really love that you are doing this!
      I hope next week is better as far as the rough patch goes. Don't forget these times we can just focus on keeping things going and we don't have to be building up. TheRe is a season for each thing.
      Thank you for your beautiful comments and sharing. Everyone that shares their week is helping someone else, often more than you ever know!
      Have a wonderful weekend, rest and restore and easier week next week, love

  15. Hello again Annabel,

    This is an inspiring post and the comments are lovely too. I enjoy reading them and like how everyone here encourages each other. Such a wonderful little community.

    Those Easter bunnies are gorgeous!!

    My week has been really good. I have had a break away from here on my own. I enjoy these times as it gives me time to renew my thoughts and ideas.

    I went to my parents for Easter and came home with a car load of things including a box of apples. I cooked up some and made apple crumble, and gave some away to my friend, and I still have heaps left. I also came home with some overripe bananas and some strawberries; I froze these to have in smoothies, also some tomatoes from my mum’s garden, and quinces that were given to her.

    I was gifted with items that mums neighbour was throwing out because she is moving; these included good quality clothes and household things. What I don’t want I will be adding to my list for having a garage sale.

    I have been looking through magazines for pretties to make some cards. I found some gardening magazines with some lovely flower pictures while sorting through things the other day.

    I have been cooking all meals at home. My slow cooker has been put to good use this week after finding a great site with easy recipes.

    I did not go to the shops for over a week; I have been using up food from my freezer and pantry and we had leftover veggies from the markets we went to recently.

    I have been sorting through excess stuff to go in a garage sale I will be holding soon.

    I am using homemade laundry liquid for the washing, and line drying, folding and putting away straight away.

    I am picking tomatoes, rock melon, spring onions and celery from the garden. Things are slowing down out there, and I will be planting winter crops soon.

    I made my own bread and yoghurt this week.

    I sold excess eggs.

    You have motivated me to clean my windows. I will start tomorrow :)

    Wishing you lovely and blessed week,


    1. Hi Tania! You have been busy! I love the load of great things you came home from your parents with! The produce is so good, so many possibilities and added to what you have grow you really have a bounty of fruit and veggies!
      A garage sale sounds great. I hope you do really well and it is a great help to you.
      I love everyone's comments. It's good to know I'm not just talking to myself lol but it is also really encouraging to report week by week how we are going. I am better with company in things and treating things as a challenge. I always feel I have company and support even as I go about work quietly at home on my own.
      Have a lovely weekend... I think some rain is meant to come later next week so I hope you get some of this lot.
      Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your week, lots of love, Annabel,xxx

  16. Annabel I know how hard it must be for Andy not having enough work. Don is in a similar situation with his work. Last week I feathered my nest in many ways. I began the task of bringing out cool weather clothes and packing away warm weather clothes. I will do this over a number of weeks as our cooler weather is mostly early and late in the day with the middle of the day lovely and warm but not hot. We are preparing our vegie garden ready for planting out. Don has made me a couple of terrific raised beds from a blue food grade barrel. Now that I am spending more time at work I have had to look closely at my daily routines so I can work everything in as best as I can manage. I have written out my new routine so I remember what I need to do each day, as time is becoming tight. I have started knitting a new scarf - in garter stitch as I don’t have very good knitting skills, but I am willing to practice until I become better. I have nearly finished the bed throw I have been crocheting. I have been comparing the catalogues for Coles, Woolies, Big W and IGA and writing down the best specials. I have been doing this on-line as our junk mail was not delivered for a few weeks. Of course shopping the specials means I visit more than one store for my grocery shopping and it takes me longer to get the shopping done but I am saving and building up my stockpile, so it is worth it. I have been working really hard at reducing food waste by monitoring the food in my pantry and fridge and making meals around ingredients that are close to the use by date. I am nowhere near the standard of you or Patsi from A Working Pantry – but I am improving and it is thanks to you both. I am very grateful. Like Kaye, I was able to pick up some bargains from Big W last week. Over the Easter weekend I made weet-bix slice and a double batch of chocolate slice for Don’s work morning tea’s and to have with his before bed coffee. And lastly, I am still working my way through my TAFE course on Permaculture, and learning lots in the process.

    1. Dear Sherri, that is a great week! Im sorry you are also going through the not enough work thing... it is hard. Andy works long hours and then is only paid for some of them, this is partly the problem but the end result is the same. I think it is demoralizing for them.
      But yes we can do so much to make the best of it! And you week has so many good things!
      The skills you are learning in the permaculture course will be very useful. this goes very well with pantry skills too!
      I am also a basic knitter. I am finding if I use lovely feeling yarn and interesting textures and lovely colours then the plain knitting is all you need. I am experimenting a bit at the moment to get myself some scarves in good colours for me.
      I hope you will post a picture of your finished crochet bed throw. That sounds lovely!
      Our weather sounds the same, middle of the day can be quite warm but the temperature drops away fast late afternoon and then its pretty cold. I like it as I sleep well!
      Using up food and not wasting it is a big saver. I have improved (compared to past efforts!) and now once a week I have a whole fridge "review" and plan a use it up session. This has helped me and I try to do it before a shop so I dont end up with things I dont need. All these systems can take a few minutes... like going to several stores... but if thye save a significant amount I consider ok I got "paid" $50 for these three things this week in savings and it looks like pretty good money for the time spent!
      Thank you so much for sharing your week. Especially as I can see you are busy! I hope you had a great weekend. Love


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