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, 17 September 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 18 September, 2015.

It's Friday! My day to think about what I DID manage to achieve this week (rather than think of the list of things to do!)
Even just the example of my "shop" shows me that keeping at something, bit by bit, you make amazing progress. Many things are just too big a job to consider. But if we break them down into tiny steps then we can do anything. Paint the house, clean out a room, preserve baskets of fruit... whatever is too big at once we can do if we divide it into smaller portions.

Blossoms in our spring garden just now.

This week my "thing" has been spring cleaning. It would be too daunting to do it all at once. And it is one of those jobs that once you start it goes on and on. ie I washed my lounge covers. There are 15 pieces of those covers! That involves moving the lounge out and taking it apart, taking off all the covers and then soaking them in the washing machine. I soak them overnight then wash. I have repeated this five times to get them all done. Now they are on the line. So it was a load a day. 
Meanwhile under and behind the lounge needs cleaning. How does all that dust get under there!? And then you move something else and so it goes...  
I know when it is all back together it will all look great and be so fresh. Then for the next thing... 
The effect after a few weeks of this is lovely! 
So I guess I would say this is a money saver as some people probably pay to have their lounge cleaned as well as a way I am feathering my nest this week. 
Things being cleaned and refreshed is so nice!

Other ways I saved money:
*I trimmed my hair.
*I gave myself a pedicure and painted my toenails. Due to warm days I was wearing sandals and pretty toenails make a massive difference when they are out and about!
*I did my tax return. And I am getting a refund! I am so happy about this I could dance.
*My last kitchen towels are finished! I have made or crocheted around a lot of kitchen towels. These are mostly the base of my kitchen and pantry themed Christmas gifts.  I made over thirty!
Making most of my Christmas presents saves us a fortune. This is another example of little bits adding up. It would be a huge task but I start in January.  It is not too late to start. If you make one Christmas present a week now you will still have about 14 or so made in time. (for ideas see my series on how to make ALL your Christmas presents even if you are not crafty.)
*I planted mint in a big pot that needed a clean out. I use a lot of mint and wondered what to put in this pot. I transplanted it from some that had invaded a space it wasn't meant to be.

*I watered my herbs and new vegies with water from the kitchen ie when waiting for hot water that goes into a jug, cooking water, tea. It is all thriving and has grown so much in a week.

I feathered my nest by:
*Spring cleaning!
*Adding to my pantry and "shop".

Also I am not the only one feathering my nest. Our birds are friendly and a pair of Mudlarks both eat out of our hands. I will post a video of this on the face book page (I can't figure out how to do that here). Their favourite food is cheese.

A huge gum tree in our neighbors yard spreads out so that if you look up at our back door it is gum tree branches.  These guys have built a nest right there above our door. Shortest distance to the cheese possible I guess.
We watched them build the nest. Then last Friday they started sitting on it. And they take turns! Although she is on it most of the time and he seems to "babysit". Most of the time he is on "chase other birds away" duty. If any bird large or small comes near he basically torpedos them. This is all so much fun to watch. Better than reality TV! 
I really hope they are successful. A lot of nests end up raided by crows and unfortunate things. It would be a week and a half now before they would be due to hatch.
Watching them is gorgeous. They are busy, busy, busy, looking after their nest. And thats how we should be. It makes a happy life!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel,
    Ahh Spring! Such a renewing season. Your flowers are so lovely! And the birds take my breath away. I love watching the birds and butterflies and they eat from your hand that is amazing! I agree breaking big jobs down into manageable pieces can help us get the job done and not get burnt out on it. I bet your home is clean and smells lovely. I am taking advantage of the last of our warm weather to get some things done that I had not yet. I washed all of our bed pillows and put them in the sun to dry, they smell so nice, like sunshine. I cleaned windows and we are moving the pantry so I am dragging things here and there to clean out that room. I gave the doggies a bath and cleaned out their pen and the chicken coop. I think having pretty toes while wearing sandals is the best. I have seen many toes that makes me wonder if the person ever looks at their feet eww!! I can't wait to see all of your gardening. I hope you have a great week!

    1. Dear Vicky, You have the same bug as me... washing and cleaning. The sun works a miracle on things I think.
      Moving the pantry I am thinking will be a big job! But usually a rearrange or move is good overall.
      Have a great weekend, it sounds as if you deserve a rest! With love,

  2. What a beautiful bird! I have never seen one like him before.

    1. Dear Debbie, They have a great personality and are very nosey.
      Have a lovely weekend! Love

  3. Another lovely post and just what I needed to hear! We are working on some things around our house, finding it so easy to get overwhelmed. Even with baby steps, we will make progress, though. For us, summer is winding down and there is hope of cooler weather. I am looking forward to not needing the air conditioner and being able to open the doors and windows to enjoy the fresh air.

    I did a little reorganizing in the pantry. I keep stocking up on a few things. It is such a joy to be able to share with others whether it is because of a need or just for a little treat. I sent a package of goodies off in the mail to a dear friend and made enough to take a plate over to some neighbors. I am looking at some of the gaps and thinking of what I need to get to fill in. It is so nice to not feel pressured since I could make quite a few meals if I were unable to get to the store, but I do feel the need to fill in some gaps and keep increasing my stock.

    We, too, enjoy watching the birds. No nests right now, though. One of our favorite sites on the computer in summer and early fall is live webcams of bears fishing in Alaska. Such amazing animals!

    This has been a busy summer for us--wonderful trips with and to visit family! Time to stay home and get more done on our nest :-).

    Thank you for your beautiful, encouraging blog. I am also enjoying learning a little about Australia. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine, I have a web cam I watch sometimes that is in a mans garden and its on a hummingbird nest. It is amazing! I am going to look for this one of bears fishing! Really who needs reality tv! This is better!
      I hope autumn gives you the nice weather and time at home to get the things done you want to. If I have something really difficult (or disliked) I put on a timer and do 15 minutes a day or something like that. It is amazing how fast this gets it done! It feels good. But there are times I get less done and one of them is in the really hot weather.
      Thank you so much for your kind works.With love

    2. The site I go to for the bears is Then look for the bears at Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. There are many animals, birds, etc. to enjoy on the explore site. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Annabel I love the flowers in your post.

    Spring has been here for a few weeks now, the birds have been busy building nests and we should start to see the babies in the coming weeks.

    This week we finished hanging the film on the kitchen window that gets the hot westerly sun, my husband also purchased a new curtain rod (he had cut the other one too short) and moved it up higher - we now have 2 curtains hanging on the rod so there is more coverage when the light goes on. We also hung a curtain rod on a french door in the sitting room and put a curtain up there. These are lace curtains that were on the windows of our previous house. There is one more curtain to go and that will go up on the french door of the dining room after my husband gets the architrave around that door done.

    My husband had to go away for work for a few days and learnt that he is on a good wicket food wise here, he also gets a hot coffee unlike what he managed to find while away.

    I did my last Coles shop yesterday so am on the way to being 10,000+ points richer, we didn't really need anything but they had a few things that were on the wish list so I purchased a mattress protector and some pillows for the spare bed, added to the pantry stores and added to the pantry with some hot chocolate mix.

    I also popped into the Chemist Wharehouse on the way home and picked up some winter shoes for next year, they were only $10- or $15- a pair, normal price was 3 times or more - I picked up 3 pair of shoes and a pair of slippers (also on sale). The pair of of winter shoes I have been wearing are past it and after wearing them into the rental and the mess they need to go in the bin.

    I did pop into the rental and checked on things while my husband was away - it should be all done and dusted with new tenants but the property manager hasn't done as my husband expected and now I am taking over to make sure that it is all done in an acceptable fashion.

    I haven't been to the Golden Circle factory shop yet - I think that might be next week. I will be armed with my list and also prices of items we use on a regular basis.

    Have a great weekend - we have a wedding to attend tomorrow afternoon so I have my list organised for the trip home on Sunday (we are staying at my Mother In Laws).


    1. Dear Lynette, Have a wonderful time at the wedding, I hope it is a perfect day.
      You had a big week! Lots was achieved by the sounds of it. Glad there is progress on the rental too and I hope better luck with the new tenants.
      I am sure the curtains look nice too. They make a big difference.
      I like Homey Ped shoes, maybe that was the brand as they are at some chemists. If so that was a massive bargain but it was a good bargain any nice brand. I would have swooped at that price also!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

    2. Thankyou Annabel - not Homey Ped, some I have never tried before so I will see how they go next winter - you never know we may have a driveway and footpath in by then and I could have got some more expensive shoes. The lass that served me commented that she had 1 of the pair of shoes that I puchased and they are super comfortable, she wears them all of the time to work so if that is the case and I only get the winter out of them then they are a great bargain.

      The weather was horrid yesterday but it has fined up this morning even if a tad cool so the wedding should be able to be outside.

      I am going to be taking notes on this wedding, it is at a function centre that has the full package, I know that you did a lot for Lucy's wedding so am going to be taking interest in everything to see if it is value for money.

      Sorry that the Crows got beaten last night - my team got knocked out last weekend.


  5. I really need to move the furniture and clean under it all so will have to break it up into little jobs as it gets harder to move as you get older although I did buy an Ezi Mover from Big W a while back to help with that. All I need to do is use it. LOL! I have veggie seeds planted which saves on buying seedlings and hopefully they will be up soon if the weather stops chopping and changing. It was 27C on Wednesday and has turned cold again now. Have a lovely weekend, Annabel.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I did laugh. That reminds me of vitamins I dont take and recently I thought that about lawn fertilizer I had in the shed. It would do the lawn more good if I put it on that left it in the shed in its box. That kind of thing!
      It has turned cold here tonight too. Will be watching the footie.
      You have a good weekend too. With love,

  6. I was also moving things around this week! I had a "home" day, so it was just the day to do it! I have reorganised my kitchen pantries now and rehoused some items out of the two doors at the bottom of the dresser. I put canned and jar goods in there now. I have only dry goods in my larger pantry now, and breakfast oriented foods in my smaller utility cupboard. My stockpile lives in another room to the kitchen. :-) i know it was from reading here and other places that made me re-think where everything is homed and how to change some things. Deep cleaning and reorganising are energising, but tiring physically. ;-) the end result is really pleasing though!

    I stocked up on some good buys and free groceries this week. I used both last weeks $10, and also this weeks $10 voucher from the spend $75 get $10 promo from Woolies. I also bought bulk flour and other items at the SPC Ardmona outlet. I have added quite a bit of stockpiling items over this month. It is a great place to invest my money right now I think! ;-) It has been amazing to see just how hard those dollars spent have worked. Much better than the woeful returns at the bank right now, that is for sure!

    1. Dear Kaye, What a productive week you had! We have both been bitten by the re arranging bug I think. I have moved things, cleaned things, arranged things all week. Spring I guess! But it is really good! I can see improvements! I would think you are feeling very pleased and seeing more space too as you do it.
      I totally agree with you. There is basically no interest to earn on savings at the moment. Some places have negative interest (overseas) which I can't even get my head around! Anyhow it makes savings more successful overal, to me. Things at half price and buying specials only is a massive saving.
      Have a great weekend. Let's do this next week... I will go into donnas, underlays, the bedroom ie under the bed etc as I have pretty much finished the lounge room. Loving it.
      With love,

  7. Dear Annabel,

    My husband put up more shelving this week, so it expanded our storage greatly. I moved a lot of items from one room out into the new shelving. I am still rearranging the food storage pantry and am grateful to have more space for organization. We like to use every square inch possible for a purpose and using the Closet Maid wall mount 18 inch wide x 5 inch deep shelving allows for a lot of added storage space.

    We added to the food storage via several shopping trips and some online orders. Also, a neighbor gifted us with some zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes from one of his green houses. We were surprised and very thankful, as we have not established our new garden beds at this house. I love to make freezer pickles and was out. The cucumbers he brought over, along with what we grew will make quite a few pints of freezer pickles for this winter.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I am so glad about the shelves. Your husband is a good man. I know you felt you needed more space. This will be great.
      Also how wonderful to be given such lovely produce.
      I know you were wanting to do a stock up so I am glad you did this. What progress. Really altogether this was a very productive week.
      Have a good weekend and some rest. You achieved a lot. With love, Annabel.xxxx

  8. Annabel, your post reminds me that I need to schedule a week for fall cleaning and tidying up my pantry ... hmm, maybe I need to schedule 2 weeks! LOL! I love the pictures of your pretty flowers and I would be watching the birds too ... I agree, much better than TV.

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I think maybe you need to schedule a rest! I saw you have had a very busy week helping others. What a help you have been but it must be a lot to keep up with. Hopefully fall cleaning will get a chance sometime but have a restful weekend first! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  9. Lovely post Annabel! I love the pretty photos.

    I have been busy, busy too! Lots of sorting going on in my pantry.

    *Found some lace curtains at the op shop and put them up in the window of my pantry.

    *I have sorted and rearranged things to make more room in there.

    *Washed and filled jars that were given to me.

    *I made an apple sour cream slice from out of date ingredients I had in the pantry. I love this slice and it is so easy to make.

    *Culled a heap of my recipe books and only kept the ones I use.

    *I shopped the specials, only buying the products that I use.

    *I have been outside a lot this week. The days have been beautiful here. We didn't get any of the weather you had the other day.

    *I have planted zucchini, cucumber and basil seeds and now I wait for them to come up.

    *Phil made me a solar fruit dryer, so I am drying the rest of the quandongs.

    *Cooked meals from scratch, and shopped in my pantry.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Oops I think my reply appears one post down sorry Tania! Xxx

  10. Dear Tania,
    You have to do a post on this solar fruit dryer! How awesome is Phil! This is a great idea. I have no interest in a dryer that uses electricity with our prices here. But solar! Yes that would be awesome.
    You did loads during the week and I am the same... out in the garden a lot.
    Thankyou for sharing your week, it was very productive. Prudent and diligent!
    With love, Annabel.xxxx

  11. We moved out of our bedroom and the large bonus room upstairs are in the middle of a huge mess here. We hired some workers to remove the wallpaper in those rooms. Thank goodness! I have loathed the paper on our bedroom for 21 years! With raising five children and getting them through college, etc many things that needed doing were pushed off for later so now we get to have a pretty room!

    I added to my Christmas gift stash with some great deals online this week and have checked more family members ff my list! One son and his wife want money for their gift so no shopping there and that is always an easy way to go.

    I added some freezer meals to my freezer so that saves eating out, etc on days I cannot make time to cook.

    We packed chicken salad sandwiches and went to a free outdoor concert on Thursday night. It was a beautiful night and we so enjoyed it. We are so glad to see the hot weather go!

    1. Dear Lana, I am so glad for you about the work you are having done. 21 years is a LONG time to hate the wallpaper! I hope you love the results.
      It is great adding to the gifts. I am trying hard to do that too. It all helps come December.
      It sounds like autumn is very welcome. The heat is hard on everyone and wearing. Packing a picnic for a concert sounds lovely! I hope you are having a great weekend. With love, and thanks,

  12. The story about the birds made me smile. How delightful. As always, thank you for your encouraging blog!

    1. Thank you Marie! I really appreciate your comment. Have a great new week, love

  13. I do love your posts Annabel. The words resonate with me on all levels and I just love the photos you put up. Praying madly for the gorgeous mudlarks that they get their babies hatched and fledged without any marauding crows or cats.
    I always look forward to reading what you are up to. Have a great weekend. Fi xx
    ps sorry about the crows being thrashed by the hawks.

    1. Dear Fiona, Thank you! It is important you know we were going for the Hawks! Port is my number one team and Hawks no 2. No crows supporters here! So we were happy! lol... football..
      You have a lovely weekend too. The sun is shining! With love,

  14. Dear Annabel, You have had a busy week as usual and got lots done.
    This week I have
    Cleaned the sunroom of cobwebs and dust that builds up (especially under lounges)
    I have opened all the windows up to let fresh air into he house
    Shopped and stocked up on a few things for my stockpile.
    I have moved a vegie garden and planted it with beans, onions and lettuce,
    I also have sown a few different tomato seeds to go in the other bed when they are ready.
    I cooked a couple of zucchini slices and impossible pies and one of each went in the freezer for days when I am busy.
    When I look back at all that I think I have done well when I also work 5 days too :)
    You have a great weekend Annabel xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      It is so good to have easy meals to defrost. I have taken to cutting up some of my slices, lasagne etc into individual serving sizes and freezing those. They defrost fast and are just right. Bit of salad on the side and yay! Dinners done! I have whole pies etc too but I need to make some more.
      You did heaps! I have also had everything open letting fresh air in, airing the mattress etc as I was everything that's not nailed down!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Today was beautiful here like the kind of day that's perfect for a wedding. It was stunning. Hopefully tomorrow might be the same. Lots of love,

  15. The flowers look lovely Annabel. I love Spring ( except the hayfever ). I love everything that's happening outside. A wonderful break from Winter.

    We've had a wonderfully frugal week in the kitchen and around our home. Our garden is coming to life with the fruit trees blooming and growing. So much is happening outside that we need to take regular " tours " to keep up with it all. Here's what else we got up to this week -

    * Gratefully received some tomatoes. I cooked and froze them into meal sizes for spag bols and pasta bakes. I filled 11 takeaway food containers. Tinned tomatoes were on my shopping list for my Summer stockpile. I've now crossed them off. Very grateful for the saving.

    * Baked two banana cakes with bananas given to us. I took one to church on Sunday for morning tea and the other one is in the freezer for a future morning tea.

    * Used the lamb bone from a roast to make a big pot of soup in the slow cooker. There was enough soup to feed the four of us for two meals.

    * Fed the compost bin very well this week with banana skins, lettuce leaves, and other veggie peelings.

    * Defrosted one of our freezers. It's a 120 litre that was given to us as a wedding present and is the only one that isn't frost free. It needs defrosting a few times a year to help it run effectively. I find it helpful in sorting out what's in there and restacking it better.

    * Jessica bought a top from the op shop for her Year 12 muck up day. They are dressing as film characters and Jessica is going as a pirate. The top only cost a few dollars but had a rip on a seam which was easy to fix.

    * Darren needed a new pair of troussers for work. He found some in the op shop for $8.50. They needed to be taken up so my sewing machine was put to use again.

    * Blanched lots of broccoli bought for $1.99 kg. I'm trying to build a small stockpile of broccoli bought cheaply so that when the price goes up, we'll be eating out of the freezer. We try to eat broccoli with most hot meals.

    * Started my Summer stockpile by buying extra toiletries and cleaning supplies. I'll be writing a post on this shortly.

    * Darren chopped and froze lots of bananas given to us. We'll be using them in smoothies, fruit icecream and banana cakes over Summer.

    * Ate freezer meals one night and continued to eat out of the freezer where possible. I'm gradually getting more room.

    * Had the heater off for three days and nights in a row.

    * Darren baked some Cranberry Hootycreek biscuits for his sister's birthday present. We also gave her a tote bag I made for $2. She loved her presents and I loved how budget friendly it was.

    * Gratefully received a plate of sliced cake from a friend.

    * Had shorter showers. Saved the washing machine water and dried most of the clothes on clothes horses and the line.

    * Juiced and froze a big bowlful of lemons off our tree.

    * Picked silverbeet for two meals.

    * Froze two single serves of Tuna Pasta Bake.

    1. Dear Wendy,
      What a good week! I am about to come over and see your pictures as they bring your report to live and I love to see.
      Broccoli was also a great price here. I was so happy with that and got heaps.
      I am card making! Just started today. Plus spring cleaning... Oh I will save all this for on your blog! Many thanks, Annabel.xxxx

  16. loved your pantry post this week! I discovered today there was NO pepper in the house. How on earth did I let that happen?! Here's what I did to save this week:

    1. You had a very busy week but I agree it's a good feeling getting heaps done!
      You are very good with your budget. And I like the way you set out your outfits for the week. With love,

  17. I finally had some time to catch up checking the blogs I follow. I just love your last post with the pictures of your shop and how you were able to achieve so much in just a year. I continue to think about gaps in my pantry and what I need to add. I love the idea of adding soap to the drawers.

    I hope your baby birds make it to adulthood!

    Last week I added quite a bit to my pantry. I brought home lots of leftovers from catered lunches at work. I shared some with my father, ate lots I brought home and still the freezers are full. I am only making meals with what I bring home fresh or what I have in the freezer so I can continue to make room to bring more home. Canned and shelf stable food I'm reserving for emergencies.

    From the grocery store, I was able to get a free Greek yogurt and 4 cans of seasoned mashed black beans. I also bought a gallon of water for 79cents to added to the pantry - I didn't want to have a problem with the cashier if I paid nothing.

    I worked a bit in the garden. We have more bananas growing so it's exciting to check on those every day.

    We celebrated Rosh Hashanah last weekend. I made everything from scratch and served a dairy based meal so no expensive brisket to buy.

    Have a lovely week - and I'm looking forward to your next posts.

    1. Dear Debbie,
      I have heard someone else say how they ended up with a lot of amazing food by taking home what was left after a catered event. It was all going to be tossed out! Well done and for helping your Dad also. These are opportunities! What a boost.
      Thank you for your encouragement. It is just nice to see progress. And weeks like yours are progresss. Things really add up. We just need to keep at it and take opportunities which you certainly are doing.
      Have a great new week! With love

  18. What a lovely week Annabel. Lots happening here so I had a bit of a crazy week, where I truly was thankful for my pre-prepared Fried Rice, salad, orange cake, home made Greek Yoghurt, and my herb pots. I'm in the middle of a kitchen makeover too, so that's been a good distraction from the Wonderful posts from everyone. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi.... a kitchen makeover! I love the sound of that and how you show us what you are up to. I love a rearrange, makeover etc!
      I hope this week is calmer for you. With lots of love,

  19. I didn't do too much at home this week. I was lucky and picked up two days of substitute teaching. Money in the bank yeh! I drove to my daughters and spent a couple of days with her. We went to the Carnival of Flowers in Toowoomba. If you ever get the opportunity to go, do, it is beautiful! I have come home with some new potted flowers to go into my garden.

    1. Dear Jane,
      That sounds like a good week! Time with your daughter is time well spent. And the flowers would have been amazing. Nanna Chel did a blog post about the flower show so I was having a peek. Have a wonderful week this week. With love,

  20. I have to chuckle at myself for my big "accomplishment" of the week. I finally cleaned out my refrigerator. It's not that I had a lot of old food to throw away, because I didn't. Using things up and avoiding waste has been a focus of late. But my shelves needed to be given a good washing, and that's what they finally got. It's so nice to have a dreaded chore out of the way!

    1. I really understand feeling good about a clean fridge. I want to do mine this week too, you have egged me on. When it is all shiny and fresh I feel totally virtuous lol. It is a bit of a pain to do but the results are lovely. Well done on getting this job ticked off your list. Have a great week. xxx

  21. I thought that I was the only one who did just a little bit at a time until it was done! Sometimes all you have is a few moments of time. My accomplishment of the week has been to can mustard greens. I canned two bushel which equal 7 quarts canned-they shrink a lot! Glad I got it done for now. More next week.

    1. Vickie little steps work very well. Especially when we are busy! Well done on the canning. Truly, consistently keeping at it gets great results. Do what you can, when you can.
      Have a wonderful week! Love


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