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, 3 March 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 4 March, 2016.

What a week! I am tired! Firstly we are in Autumn! I am so happy about that even though the weather isn't acing like it is autumn and we have a whole week of heat still coming. But it won't last much longer. Chloe's Birthday is mid March and it is never hot after that! So not long to go...

Painting is having a domino effect on everything. To paint you have to clean and move things so it has caused me to look at each thing I move, does that need cleaning? Do I even like it? Where should I put it?  And so there is much re arranging, sorting, re purposing etc going on.

Then the area painted looks so lovely and fresh that the areas not painted look WORSE than I thought they did before by comparison!

Anyone renovating or anyone who has ever renovated will know all about this. So all week I have had the longest to do list of all time I think. (Except for moving house!)

I know I need to remember my plan to spread this over the whole year. I only need to do 1/12th the job in March! And I am tired!

Anyway, that sort of sums up my week.

I saved money by:

I made a big pot of spaghetti Bolognese. This gave me two dinners, a large batch to freeze, I gave Lucy some for their dinner and Chloe some for hers.

I made a big bowl of pancake batter and a lot of pancakes. This gave me a stack to fill with mornay which is a good meal stretcher. A heap of pikelets for Andy's lunch box (for three days) and two deserts. The reason I made them was one day I was short of lunch box things. When I am short of food to pack this is one of my solutions!

Also I made over some of the baskets Sue gave me. This is a work in progress and I will show some more and finish them but this is a start!

This was before: 

And I made some more ribbon yarn. I have a dozen balls now with a little more to make still...

Then I can get started on rug making!

I got ahead by:

The Spaghetti sauce in the freezer for another night.

A couple of meals part made for the weekend.

I built up our home by:

Adding to my storage boxes. This week it was shampoos and conditioners.

I over sowed the lawn to thicken it up. Watering everyday.

Finished painting the back doors/french doors and surrounding windows, the back step and cleaning the windows afterwards.

I fixed a crack in the back step and it looks new!

In the garden I did some  re potting and moved two plants that haven't grown and aren't happy (not enough sun) Hopefully now they will be happy!

My plan is to get a lot done this afternoon and tomorrow and have Sunday off.

How was your week? How did you save money and build up your nest? I hope March started well and that you have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. You have had a busy, productive week, as usual!
    I didn't get my Vicky Challenge comment in, but I went to the produce event again. I got nearly $100 worth of lovely produce for a $10 donation. This was the week for pasta sauce for me, too. I made a huge batch, and then a smaller one so not to waste any of the tomatoes. Six packages are in the freezer. We had baked ziti using the sauce and spaghetti squash. A couple of individual portions went to the freezer. Some of the zucchini and tomatoes became calabacitas (squash, tomatoes, onion, green chilies and cheese) which has been a side dish or lunch and also some for the freezer. We have been enjoying pineapple zucchini muffins for breakfast, dessert and snacks. None of them made it to the freezer. The tomatoes have been delicious on sandwiches, salads and by themselves. I was able to share with my daughters and a neighbor. Still have a lot of zucchini, romaine lettuce and a few tomatoes.
    We picked a huge bag of grapefruit to share with friends and a few more lemons and oranges for our use.
    It was senior discount day at the grocery, so I combined coupons and sale prices to get items for our daily use and to add to the pantry. Since I knew I would be tired after shopping, I picked up a rotisserie chicken for a good price. We had some on rolls when we got home, and then added it to the romaine, tomatoes and few other things for a hearty salad bar for dinner. There is some left, plus the bones to be boiled for broth.
    My older daughter stopped by for a visit. Besides sharing some produce, she took a large bag of clothing I am decluttering, plus sheets and pillowcases for our church'es clothing pantry.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Elaine, The produce event sounds wonderful! I am glad you have batches of pasta sauce in the freezer too! I use mine for over pasta, lasagne, pizza topping, Nachos and all kinds of things, its very useful and versatile.
      Muffins are wonderful too!
      You probably have a lot of things to do with zucchini. My regulars are soup, fritters and zucchini slice. The slice freezes well so that is a bonus!
      It is great you have all of this produce!
      That was a good plan with the chicken. It sounds like it was a yummy dinner too!
      Your week was excellent and you shared your produce as well. I hope you have a great weekend, its well deserved! with love

    2. Thank you for your encouraging comments. My older daughter went to one of the produce events this morning. She got a lot of great produce, plus they gave her a box of squash for her chickens because it was getting soft. Slice is new to me. I've seen you and others mention it. Had to look it up online to find a recipe to try 😀. Elaine

    3. Elaine, You can make a quiche recipe and include a couple of cuts of grated zucchini. I use Donna Hay Zucchini Slice recipe. Little bits of sun dried tomato are nice and various cheeses. I always serve with relish and a salad. Really good hot or cold. xxx

  2. Dear Annabel, hello happy Friday!. You have had a huge week Annabel . sorry to hear that you are tired. It has been a big and painful week for me with a trip to hospital by ambulance thrown in. So it has been a quiet nest feathering week. I am ok but not very mobile. I have been very grateful to be well prepared and to have a stockpile. I have saved money by having meals at home that I had in the freezer from my parents and meals I had made too. I have just made 10 cards and finishing another one today . I am just finishing them off with embellishments now.i will work on them this afternoon and finish them off and post photos on the cheapskates club forum probably tomorrow or Sunday. I have got ahead with the cards and I have also got ahead by getting my unit cleaned by my cent a care lady . cleaning and folding of clothes etc. helps me get ahead , boy my home looks so much better now!.
    The baskets look beautiful Annabel and great job on the pikelets and spaghetti bolognese. It really does help to have meals and lunch or snack items prepared and saves plenty of money too.
    I need to make some baking supplies for my freezer for lunchesand snacks , I love baking and if I alternate between sitting and standing and make something easy I can manage just fine. I am going to bake this afternoon or is not really ( not at all actually) saving money but long term it could be, I am going for a massage next week and although it will cost me $40 for 30 minutes it will do me good and help me feel better and get ahead in the area of health and relaxation.i think sometimes you need to spend money to save money especially when nothing else is helping. I am good though Annabel just sore. Thank you so much for another great post. Have a great weekend love Barb Woodford.

    1. Hi Barb!
      I'm sorry to hear of your trip to hospital. It is good, though, that skilled care was provided for you. I hope you are patient with yourself, and pick up well.
      Rachel Holt

    2. Thank you Rachel, I am doing ok thanks .
      I can only do the basics but I will hopefully be better soon. I loved your basket of goodies for your sister Rachel , you are very talented . Al, of the ladies are talented . I look forward to seeing more photos next week. Thanks again Annabel and Rachel.Love Barb Woodford.

  3. Dear Annabel,
    The baskets look elegant already. You always do such a beautiful job of making things look nice.

    This week I spent my time divided between the kitchen and planning. One day, I spent the entire day doing an inventory of all the freezers and refrigerators, the pantry area in the kitchen, and the kitchen cabinets that hold food. I didn't include the food storage room as what I was trying to discern was what needed used up and what we aren't using as much of any longer.

    Then I took the several pages of lists and totaled items to see how many of the items we had of one thing. Then I made menus for the next two months of which we don't need to shop, except for a little fresh produce. We will, however, take advantage of the coupon discounts and sales for the food storage area as that is long term storage and isn't foods that have to be eaten right away.

    I, also, spent a day setting goals for the remainder of the year and breaking them down into the steps to accomplish them.

    We are about to enter Spring (sometime, I hope), so the garden needs planned and I spent some time checking into Rugosa roses to plant for the rose hips.

    Not a lot this week, but some progress.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Well done! I am behind on my lists for my freezer and fridge and I only have one to deal with!
      I think taking advantage of coupons and offers is good... the way Vicky gets so much for free and uses things she doesn't need to swap /barter inspires me!
      Spring will be lovely for you after so much cold and snow! But I know it is a lot of work getting the garden going and planted. A busy time.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  4. Annabel
    The baskets are lovely. They will be so useful in your home or for gifts.
    This week I made a lot of pizza dough and added that to the freezer. I bought clearance priced dried fruit and caramels to add to my baking pantry. I cleaned and organized some kitchen cabinets.
    We are a family of readers so I added to our home library by shopping the county library book resale shop. The most expensive book was $1. I bought a great variety for our varied family interests.
    My daughter is getting interested in cooking more. So I went over the process with her and she prepared supper from scratch this week. I believe that teaching my sons and daughter cooking skills is a way to build up our home and build up their future home.
    Right now we are gathering an abundance of eggs so I am planning for a major whirlwind bake-a-thon starting tomorrow (Friday).
    My oldest had mid term exams this week so I did a lot of calling out questions and reviewing with him.
    It doesn't seem like I accomplished much this week but the weekend will hopefully add a lot to the freezer.

    1. Dear Ginger, Pizza dough ready to go is so handy!
      I totally agree with you about teaching cooking skills. Sometimes it takes time to teach but it is a very good investment. And a very good interest for children and teenagers. I would encourage that for sure. My girls liked decorating cookies and cup cakes a lot. They made them for friends quite often and this was a hit.
      It is so handy having a lot of eggs! I can't wait to hear what you cook up. When my hens were big producers I would make quiches and baked egg custards a lot. They were yum.
      Oh also if I had lemons I would make lemon butter.
      Well done, I think you accomplished plenty! Have a great weekend Ginger and thanks for your report. With love,

  5. Annabel you should be tired after your busy week. I am quite exhausted after my week. Work has been extremely busy and the heat and humidity have been draining. This week has seen limited nest feathering as I had a deadline to work to in finishing off a QS bed, crochet blanket, for my son. The borders have now been done, so the blanket is completely finished. The plan is to get it away early next week. I cleaned up all my files and books and put them away. I can now get to my desk in my sewing room/study, and get on with some more crafting. The veranda has had a massive clean with all the pot plants moved and the paving pressure washed. All the tables and benches have been cleaned off and all the cushion covers washed and returned. Given the heat inside, having this lovely space to sit in the cool of the early evening has been a blessing. I've continued to get the seedlings planted or potted on ready for the garden. I found some cheap bunting style lights, heart shaped, and have these hanging in the bedrooms the lounge and the bathroom. Instead of the main light being in these little battery operated lights can be put on for a lovely soft light. Particularly nice when soaking in a bubble bath. The weekend will see all the usual housework but will also see a big push in the vege garden. Have a great weekend.

    1. Dear Jane,
      The blanket was an epic effort! I think the border is the finishing touch.
      PLUS you also have so much going on! The heart shaped lights sound beautiful!
      It also sound like you have a working weekend! Well I hope you get heaps done and are very happy with it. It is very satisfying!
      My question now is what project will you start now the blanket is finished and we are hopefully coming into cooler weather soon? I can't wait to see what you do next! You have also inspired me to make another blanket this year! With love,

  6. Hi Annabel, your baskets look lovely, I particularly like the one with the fabric on it. You make me tired reading what you are doing, I'm not getting much done at the moment. Glad to hear the hot weather is on the way out. Have a lovely relax on Sunday. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Thank you! I really like baskets. I have several just full of wool. It even looks lovely just sitting there.
      Have a good weekend to you too! It will be warm but I have a ton to do inside and watering in the evening. With love

  7. Hi Annabel,i made up some tuna pasta bake,added some to the freezer,a lady i work with gave me a ton of card making paper in different colours she remembered that i was making cards and keep them for me i was so grateful,i love your baskets :) have a wonderful weekend.
    mel.k xo

    1. Dear Mel,
      Well done on the cooking! And it is so good about the card making paper! What a bonus! I know you will put it to very good use!
      Have a great weekend to you too! With love

  8. Your baskets makeovers are beautiful!

    1. Thanks Jes! Have a beautiful weekend! Love

  9. Hi Annabel!

    Tiredness could be a good, healthy sign that you are ready for your time away!! The thoughts you have shared about your upcoming trip sound simply wonderful. Enjoy it all!!

    My parents bought me my first basket from a lovely gift shop with an upstairs attic area. I might have been ten then. It, too, is painted grey. Can you tell me if it was painted by spray can or brush? Also, spaghetti for tea was always a favourite, so well done on your week's cooking!

    Rest up!!
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Our trip away is mid autumn so a little way away yet but it will be so nice!
      I am going to do a post on making over baskets. Previously I painted them with a brush as I had paint and added browns and grey to it to get a french putty kind of colour. This time I purchased some spray paint. It turned out too dark so I over sprayed with while... Spraying is way faster!
      However many old baskets are almost orange in colour... and my aim is to have french style baskets (which are very expensive in shops!) so this is my solution. And they are so useful!
      Have a great weekend to you! With love

  10. Have a good rest on Sunday, Annabel. I heard about the dreadful weather you have been having down there. I don't see how you can work when it is so hot. The heat just saps my energy. I get tired just reading about all the things you have accomplished this week. LOL!

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I changed my plans a bit i.e. won't be painting outside next week. But it isn't too bad, all in the thirties... some years its all in the 40s which is awful and hard!
      I will be very happy when we get true autumn weather I am ready for it!
      Have a great weekend... I have a long list today I want to do and if I get it all done I will be happy! With love,

  11. Seeing the beautiful tomatoes makes me excited as our Springtime is approaching here in the Midwest US! Our weather will be delightfully warm (low 70's F) all next week, although when I looked out my window this morning, everything is blanketed with snow that fell during the night!
    Hubby and I have now put together 30 planter box kits for an activity night class on container gardening that we are teaching. Tonight and Saturday, we are going to try to build another 10 -15 kits with the free pallets and buckets we've been able to scavenge! We figure that if we have more than we need, we may try to sell some completed ones online locally. If we sell them reasonably priced enough, that might make a nice little extra stream of money to add to our savings!
    In the kitchen, I noticed that some of my mixes have been depleted so I made 3 big batches of brownie mix - 2 for our house and 1 that I made with my grandson at his house for his family to enjoy!) I baked my 1 hour multigrain flax seed bread yesterday. My recipe makes 2 nice sized loaves in that hour, from the time I grind my wheat to the time it comes out of the oven! Oh, how wonderful the house smells as that is baking!! I also replenished my canister of whole wheat flour at the same time.
    I made up 5 dozen peanut butter cookies from dough in my freezer so I could make room for some new things as well as to rotate my freezer pantry.
    I made a gallon of crockpot yogurt this week - 1/2 gallon regular and I made another 1/2 gallon into a quart of Greek yogurt! Added a little homemade apple butter to a little bit of it and Yummy!!!
    Going to make some more mixes today! I laugh when people talk about how much I do! I tell them that it's all "smoke and mirrors"! I'm basically a lazy, convenience lover and so I'm willing to put in a couple hours here or there, if it means that I can reap the "convenience" benefits over a longer time!

    I have another baby quilt I'm marking so that I can get it quilted up. A dear friend whose health is failing wanted to make two baby quilts for a friend who is having twins in April after years of hoping to have children. Normally, my friend would have made these herself, but she asked me if I would consider making them (my choice of pattern, color, etc) so I will have 5- 6 finished ones to let her choose 2 from when I see her next week. Grateful for the opportunity to help this sweet friend!
    All n all, a very good week!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Wow you have a lot of wonderful things going on. I think you would certainly sell planter boxes. I wish I had a photo but someone here is selling wooden planter boxes... they are roughly 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide... i.e. a square and they are on wheels. They are about $300! They also make ones the same depth and longer i.e. two cubes combined. Anyway they are very popular as are raised beds.
      All your cooking sounds beautiful!
      You do get heaps done! And the baby quilts... that is a very kind thing to do! I hope you might take photos!
      Have a lovely weekend and I hope you get your nice weather! With love and thanks,

  12. I laughed about your painting story as I am knee deep in that at the moment. I started painting my kitchen an area at a time. Like you it involves moving, cleaning and thinking hard as if I want to put something back or not. I have stayed home most of the week, which saves me money. I also got my new paint for free by raiding my paint cabinet and my parents. I mixed a little of this and that until I had the perfect sunshine yellow for my kitchen. I hope to get it finished up this weekend.

    The difference on the baskets is quite lovely!

    1. Dear Wendi, This is almost the painting club there are so many of us painting!
      And yes... you move, clear, clean, relocate, reconsider... etc and it just goes on and on! But overall this is good. Its a giant, clean, clean out... overall redecorating!
      Well done on the paint also! I too mixed up my own yellow for my laundry! It looks so fresh and cheerful! I hope your painting goes well this weekend and you are very happy wiht the results. It sounds lovely! With love

  13. What a busy week you have had and you should be tired. The baskets look great. The weather here has been very hot and humid and that is very draining. I haven't done a lot of extras this week as the work and the heat make me tired.
    I did make a big batch of spaghetti bol too and have enough in the freezer for lasagne and another meal. Of a night while I sit I have been knitting and crocheting prop for my Daughter in laws photography business. They are all props for baby photos. I have done hats and cookie monster pants and little outfits and now I am crocheting a mermaid tail and crown. They are all turning out well and a lot of them with pattern.
    Looking forward to the cooler weather coming soon so I can do more.
    Hope you have a good weekend and get to relax tomorrow.
    Love Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      I love the sound of the mermaid outfit! This is amazing! You DIL has a big asset having you be able to make such things. How beautiful! I hope you get to see photos of what you have made and the final pictures!
      We have hot weather too. Although not humid which is much different. And the whole next week looks hot also. It changed my plans. No way am I painting outside. So instead I got the sewing machine out... I am trimming hankies and a few things and I will do some painting inside also.
      We just have to adapt, there is no use getting heat exhaustion... and I would find the humidity even harder!
      Have a lovely weekend to you too. Having something nice to work on makes quieter times really good. With love,

  14. Dear Annabel. It must have been a week for being tired. I was flat chat for most of the week, and by yesterday, I'd just run out of steam! So I granted myself a quiet day, knitting, crocheting, and cutting up books and images I'd printed out for card making. It felt good to be productive, even sitting still! I also feathered my nest by using a trip to check out Costco with a friend, and coming home with some good bulk buy bargains, making our own gluten free pizzas, baking for my daughters lunch, making a fabulous red and white cabbage slaw with chopped pecans, which was used for stir fry, salads, and sandwich filling, fertilising and pruning my roses, cleaning the house and doing a stocktake on all of my craft bits, and planning how I'll turn them all into gifts over the next few months. I have quite a stash, as it turns out! I can't wait to get to work on that. A great week from everyone. I adore your baskets. They are just stunning! Lots of love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I love days like that. I could do with one and should plan it. That is what I do also... cutting out, crochet or sticking all my ideas into my scrap books (or recipes collected) IT is a rest and so satisfying too!
      Im glad you enjoyed the Cosco visit! I haven't been... yet.
      You had a productive week as usual! Maybe you need a restful weekend... or a crafting weekend! With love,

  15. Dear Annabel, I can't believe how much you have managed to do this week! I can see why you would be tired. I'm sure you are glad to see the results of your hard work, though. And your baskets are so pretty.
    This week, I did laundry as usual at the ranch. While I was there, I packed up more dishes in the kitchen. The kitchen is my main focus right now, as I feel like that is the most important space for me to have ready when we move in. I can take care of much of the rest once we are there. The kitchen is very small but it surprisingly has a lot of cabinet space and it was very full. And a full china cabinet in the dining room. Fourteen medium sized boxes so far! Dishes are showing up everywhere. I found more in the pantry the other day. Ahhh! Lol, I'm seeing progress though. Also, I am wrapping them all in newspaper and I am caught up on all the news from the neighboring town for 2015 and part of 2014 lol.
    Other than that, at my home I cooked all breakfasts, packed lunches, and made coffee on workdays, made pigs-in-a-blanket for the freezer for quick breakfasts, baked a batch of cookies, harvested 54 pounds of oranges from our tree, and harvested dandelion flowers from our yard to use in homemade lotion (first time trying this). We were also given a large bag of men's clothes. They were too big for my husband but some had nice material, so I took those out to use for sewing projects. I also was able to get caught up on some housework which was nice and very refreshing.
    I hope you have a lovely weekend, Annabel. Be sure to get some rest :) Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I hope you are finding some treasures in all the old china. It is wonderful to get so many oranges. My favourite recipe is the Sunshine Cake. That is orange heaven! Plus it freezes well.
      I love the fabric flannel, flannelette... often in mens shirts. Very good for heat packs, pot holders... even patchwork quilts! I hope you might have some in that bag of clothes.
      Today (Sunday) I am having lunch with my daughter and a quieter day! I hope you have a lovely weekend too! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  16. Annabel,
    I love your baskets they have turned out very pretty and your sauce looks so yummy! I had the grandkids here one evening and wanted to start on some spring cleaning so I took the cushions off of the old couch we have and let them have a party LOL! They got to keep whatever treasures they found. I finished a few of the reusable dust rags I am making and cut out a few burp cloths to sew. A few other things were a flop like my lemon syrup I was making I let it steep too long and it was really bitter! And then I learned don't go paint shopping with a son who will take advantage of your ignorance! They will laugh at you and have a jolly good time telling you what colors to ask about! I had some veggies in the fridge that needed used up so I threw them all in a skillet with smoked sausage to use them up and cleaned out the fridge. I got all of the linens ironed and put away and I put a dog biscuit on the garage shelf each night so that darn coon will have something to snack on and not pull my hair again and give me a heart attack plus Mr. Skunk gets his bowl of cat food every night so I think the wild life is happy now. I hope you have a great weekend and get to rest some you've been super busy!

    1. Oh my goodness Vicky you have me cracking up!! Sorry about your coon... I went to the mailbox at the end of our block this week and there were 2 coons fighting in the neighbors' yard! I had my phone so i had to snap some photos! I've lived in AZ for 31 years and never have I seen one until this week, now I read this from you. Thanks for taking care of the wildlife in your area! :)
      Colette xxx
      PS. They were so cute (except for the hissing),my kids loved seeing them lol!

    2. Vicky, you have me laughing too! If you leave out cat food for Mr. Skunk, word will get out to the opossum family too. Ask me how I know lol. There is a squirrel out at the ranch (not nearly as intimidating as a coon) that my Grandfather has tamed and trained to come up and eat a pecan out of your hand. Now if he is out there, you had better have a pecan in your hand because he is coming for you! I fed him the other day and told my husband that befriending woodland creatures basically qualifies me as a Disney Princess. Or something lol. Love, Kelsey

  17. Those baskets are so lovely with your personal touches. :) You have done very well this week.

    1. Thanks Debbie! I hope you had a good week

  18. Oh my goodness you have been a working girl, Anabelle! I must do some stocking of prepared foods in my freezer soon as I am nearly out of easy meals and find them very convenient when I'm that busy. It is almost spring here. Once the pollen stage is past I shall be working every bit as hard as you. There is a lot of painting to be done here...

    1. Dear Terri, The painting bug is spreading there are several of us now all painting!
      A thermos is a very very good thing. I have collected a few now from the cup type to the proper all day thermos and we take on trips one of coffee and one of tea. I use them so much. Plus soup is good in the too. Very
      good investment.
      You have had a massive amount of savings already this month! Well done! I hope Spring is a lovely time for you. With love,

  19. Dear Annabel, you must have had a huge week because I think you put the 4 th of February in your title instead of 4th of March!!. The year is flying!!. I apologise for being picky but I thought you might want to know?!. Please have a rest day today Sunday.Love Barb Woodford

    1. Thanks Barb! I fixed it! I never even noticed! I am having a more restful day today and having lunch with my daughter. Have a lovely day yourself

  20. Those baskets are gorgeous Annabel as is everything you do xoxo

    1. Thank you Karen! I am loving them they are so useful. I looked in a hombre store and "french" style baskets are so expensive. Love spray paint! xxx


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.