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, 28 April 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 29 April, 2016.

This week wasn't very spectacular! We have both been not well and that is rare for Andy especially.
I am behind on replies but I will catch up! The comments and ideas on Wednesdays nature post have been so lovely!

Some of the ways I saved money and feathered our nest include:
Over the long weekend I painted the whole front fence! As there are roses along the inside of the fence by the end I had scratches, splinters, bruised legs, paint in my hair and various other things! But  some of the paint  actually got on the fence and it is done!

You can see the yellowish cream on the house in the background, the fence was the same as this and quite worn in sections. Now it pretty much looks brand new! Also it stands out on the street so much!
Now for the house! But having not felt well, sore arms etc. I took the rest of the week off painting!
I am very happy to have finished this and love the results!

It was Andy's birthday. The fruit cake went on to a cake stand (a cake stand makes everything seem more special!) and he is at work today with a slice of that in his lunch box.

It was also our anniversary!  I got beautiful roses...

This week I found cauliflowers marked down to $1.50. This is really cheap for us and I bought two.

I found turkish and focaccia breads drastically marked down. It had been a while since I found these. They are so handy in the freezer for toasties and an easy dinner.  I got five packs which is 24 individual loaves and saved $20 over the five packs. (They were 99c each so I am stocked up).

From when we pulled up all the carpets and underlays we still had all this on the verandah  to get rid of! Our council has it that once a year we can book an extra rubbish collection for free. All of this is finally gone! 

I made three dozen sausage rolls for dinner, lunches and the freezer.

Also I had milk that I needed to use up. I made a big lot of pancake batter and made stacks of pancakes for Andy's lunch box and desert one night. 

I finished cleaning Lucy's floor rug. It actually came up good as new!

I built up my pantry by adding a dozen cans of soup on a big special and also some medical supplies. 

Last night it rained gently all night! So this is wonderful and the garden is watered.

How was your week? How did you build up your home or save money? 
Every week is different. I love having a long list of things I did and ways we got ahead where as this week it was just about trying to sleep and get better! But the fence was one big thing and it has helped me get ahead with my painting and is such a house improvement. 
Week by week it all adds up. 
I am always amazed by that!  Remember those storage tubs that I bought to slide under the bed? Three of them are full now of added pantry items. I thought it would take forever but each week I have bought something and now they are filling up.
Next week I will use my Coles voucher and get my free groceries and add to them some more!

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, I am sorry that you and Andy have been unwell . I hope you both feel better soon. That fruitcake looks beautiful Annabel, Andy would have loved that for his birthday. Our roses from Andy are beautiful, I live roses , my rose bush has a rose in bloom at the moment.
    This week I saved money by disconnecting my home phone, I get free calls to local, mobile and long distance numbers on my mobile phone now so I was basically wasting $50 a month. I also saved money by getting four meals from my parents, getting rides with my Dad and using $10 rewards dollars at the supermarket.i made 8 more cards , 6 of which I have sent to a friend who is very unwell as a cheer up sort of gift. I saved $25 on groceries this week and will actually put at least $20 of it away to be saved. I bought packs of notebooks ( 2 in a pack ) the same as what you got Annabel but I got the two smaller sized ones , the large ones were $4 for a pack of 2 and the medium and smaller sized ones were $1 for a pack of 2 so I bought 4 packs of the small ones and 2 packs of the medium ones. They were originally $3 a pack at least so I saved at least $10 and will have nice gifts. I needed tea bags and like English breakfast and wasn't going to Aldi this week ( I have been buying theirs) , my favourite brand were not on special anywhere either . I had heard the Taylor's brand of Yorkshire tea was nice and they were on special at $4 for a box of 100 , which is cheaper than the Aldi tea bags so I will try them and see how they are. I had my Centacare cleaner here for my subsidised cleaning on Thursday and she did a wonderful job as usual. I made pizza for tea last night which will do me for another meal and maybe a snack as well so pretty frugal really. I received my phone bill today and it us $50 less than last time because of having no home phone now . I think that is it for me this week Annabel , have a lovely BarbW.

    1. Dear Barb,
      We also have no home phone. We haven't for many years. This also saves nuisance calls as on my mobile if I don't know the number I don't answer. It saves a lot!
      I can't wait to see your notebook make overs! These make lovely little gifts.
      I am finding nice tea quite expensive. I like Dilma extra strong and it hasn't been on special lately. I like English breakfast also. I love tea! So I need a new alternative brand that is cheaper.... I haven't tried Aldi yet though. I must do that.
      Think of how much you will save over a year without that phone. It is a lot! Well done! Have a good weekend Barb. With lots of love,

  2. Annabel, I hope you and Andy are feeling better. Happy birthday to Andy and Happy Anniversary too. I hope you have a relaxing weekend. It is a long weekend here for Labor Day. Your fence looks fabulous.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      Thank you! Yes we are planning a quieter weekend to get back on our feet. Then I just want to make the house look like it belongs to the fence!
      But that can wait a few days! Have a lovely weekend to you too, with love

  3. Annabel,
    Your fence is looking gorgeous! When I was younger I lived in a few apartments that were not very eye appealing and a good scrubbing and a few gallons of paint really made them look much better. It is work that really gives you a good return on time. I crocheted a dishcloth and gave the kitchen a good scrubbing moving the stove and cleaning under the sink and inside the fridge. I made my mother's birthday dinner and only had to buy peppers everything else I had in the pantry and I made her a cake as well. I forgot last week I found cans of evaporated milk marked down to 25 cents so I bought 8 cans and I had fruits and veggies that needed used up so I made apple crisp and juiced oranges and made fresh lemonade and made a big veggie salad. The sales are not very good here right now. I hope everyone had a great week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thank you! Yes I think paint is a bit of a miracle worker. We have all these pretty features on our house and they are not very noticeable as they are dim colours. Soon to be fixed!
      Your Mums dinner sounded lovely I hope she enjoyed it.
      Evaporated milk is very useful. I am trying to build up my supply of this. Here it is never going to be 25c though! Sometimes I can get two for $5 and thats our special!
      I also have found much less on sale.
      Have a good weekend to you too and Happy Birthday to your Mum, I should have said that earlier! With love

  4. I sure hope you and Andy get to feeling better soon! Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday to Andy :). Hmmm, those sausage rolls sound good - I'm hungry ;) Hope you get some good rest~

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you very much. I love to make sausage rolls now and then and they are very popular. I freeze some for later as they are quite handy to have.
      I hope you have a lovely weekend! With love,

  5. Please, please tell me how I can find recipes shown in past blog posts. I especially want the fruit cake recipe. Thank you. Feel better soon.Shirley

    1. Dear Shirely,
      I think I need to do some work on making this easier! This is the link to the fruit cake...
      If stuck ask or google The Bluebirds are Nesting and the recipe you want and that should work too. Otherwise scroll through the cooking section. But I will try and find a way to help as things have grown and got out of hand.
      I hope you like the recipe, I have had a lot of letters to say how good it is. It is handy as it keeps so long. With love

  6. Happy Birthday to your husband Andy and a very happy Anniversary to you both. Hope you get well soon, love your fence. Guida

    1. Dear Guida, Thank you so much! We are planning a quieter "get well" weekend. I am really pleased with the fence, it is such an improvement and now I just have to get the front of the house painted too. I am really excited as I think it will look so pretty. That is my next project! Have a great weekend. Thank you for commenting! With love,

  7. I know how you and Andy must feel. The kids at school were Hubby sounds like a steam engine and has not done much at all this week. He did make me over a dozen garden plaques to take to school for the Stephanie Alexander Garden. They look brilliant and were basically free. He made them from an old pallet he put through the planer thincknesser, and cut up steel from an old bed. Last weekend I spent two days cleaning everything off our very long veranda. Its now clean and organised. We spend a lot of our time in this area so I like to keep it nice. We had our daughter staying for a few nights. She was most unwell so we were able to build her up and spoil her a bit. I made a big pot of pumpkin soup. This was dinner with garlic toast, lunch for me at work and will be another meal this weekend. I have been using up our lemons and other fruits to make fruit syrups with honey off our friends property. Delicious and full of vitamin C. A lot of time has been spent in the garden and there is now lots coming up. I have a habit of putting seeds out all over the place but not labelling them. As a result its a bit of a magical mystery tour when wandering around the back. Everything is starting to sprout. Still not sure what it all is but I'm really pleased to see lots of growth. I sent our daughter home with zuchinni, cucumber, lettuce, bak choy, chilli, lemon grass, capsicum, Barbados Cherry, silverbeet and passionfruit. All this came straight out of the garden. The tomatoes are all starting to fill out and I'm hoping they will ripen very soon. The garden has been the focus of feathering my nest this week. Life is good.

    1. Jane when we lived in Melbourne I volunteered in a school in the Western Suburbs that had a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. There were 47 different languages spoken at the school and the kitchen garden program was amazing. I enjoyed being part of it.


    2. good luck with this entry Annabel. When I wrote it my head felt like a bowling ball was attached to my shoulders. Needless to say if the entry doesn't make sense it was due to feeling extremely unwell. Being me I didn't want to give into it and accept that perhaps a bit of rest time might be needed. Have taken the time to rest and as a result feel semi human.

    3. Dear Jane, I wonder if this is an Aust wide bug? We have been terrible and you sound like we feel too! I really hope your daughter is better and that you are soon feeling better too.
      I did the same thing... kept going as much as possible and fell in a heap! Also Andy worked all week plus all last weekend. Last night it really caught up with him, he didn't eat any dinner just went to bed. He never gets sick!
      All the fresh things from your garden that you sent you daughter home with sounded so lovely. Im sure your care helped her get better.
      I think we all need a rest and get better couple of days! I hope you are feeling so much better soon! With love

  8. Dear Annabel, Happy Anniversary and of course, Happy Birthday to Andy! You had a great week as always. That painting would have been hard work and a home made birthday cake saves up to $100 even for a fairly plain one, I've found! This week I feathered my nest by cleaning out cupboards, donating many treasures, and then selecting a very few other treasures from my favourite thrift shop to fill the gaps in my Needs and Wants list. So out went all the mismatched crockery, odd coffee cups, and single glasses. A trip to my local charity shop then yielded a set each of Harlequin (one each in a pastel colour) ramekins, wine glasses and kitchen canisters. I have a real thing for Harlequin kitchen items. They're so happy and remind me of a rainbow. I was particularly thrilled with the ramekins and wine glasses as I had just passed some up at the upmarket department store, even though they were on sale, as I knew my patience would utimately be rewarded. I saved over $100, just by waiting an extra week or two, and putting my request out to the! I'll share those on my blog next week. I also baked, helped my daughter in law bake, and planted some new herbs. All lovely, healthy, thrifty and positive. I hope everyone elses week was the same. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I love ramekins! And I know the ones you mean! When I was little Mum would serve tuna mornay in these and I loved it so much!
      As you know I buy crystal glasses in op shops, often entire sets. I have compared in David Jones to my astonishment! It pays to wait that is for sure! What treasures!
      I know you have had a lot going on and a busy time! Well done and I hope maybe you get a quieter week? But it is happy too, celebrating birthdays and good things.
      Much love and thanks,

  9. Hi Annabel!

    It's difficult to know just what battles people are facing behind the post/comment lines. I'm glad you're honest about challenges, and really hope you are both on the mend. We've got chicken soup, cooked on the fire. Would you like some?!!

    Your white picket fence is beautiful! Just looking at it makes me feel like I have the same fence for a day or so! (Looking at this screen is like looking out the window and seeing your lovely fence!) I even share soreness in the arms, only mine is the result of helping my husband accomplish his work!

    I love not having a home phone, or any phone for that matter! Life is so much more peaceful without one! We learnt not to rely on phone signals in forested areas, anyway.

    As for building up our home, we're chipping away at our tasks. I'm learning to support the running of the household in terms of backup help. I've learnt to turn the generator off, and have yet to crank start it. I'm learning to use an axe, and sharpen the chainsaw chain. I already use the chainsaw and handsaw (for small firewood), and that pays off.

    Some memorable happenings in recent weeks have been the enjoyment of autumn watermelon given to Dad. It was home grown by someone, and Dad divided it three ways, including his neighbour. I made the baked miniature pumpkin doughnuts (in the $1 op shop tray) to share with an elderly friend on the day my husband was fixing her leaking roof. They were appreciated.

    Your work is so beautiful and uplifting. Thank you!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you! Chicken soup is truly a good medicine I believe. I now keep all ingredients for it in the house so that I can easily put some on anytime. It is good stuff!
      I have followed many blogs and still have many that I love so much! They inspire me everyday. Early on with blogs and also forums I had a few shocks that some peoples online life is not real at all. I decided then that even if something is going badly or not so pretty I should include it and my true life. I posted once about depression and I was a bit wary about it yet it got the loveliest response. And we all have good weeks, bad weeks and terrible ones sometimes!
      Building up your skills is a great thing. The time to learn and practice things is a good investment. I have seen many times that women can be vulnerable to not keeping skills up... like driving even. And then they need to be able to and can't and life shrinks terribly for them. Being capable is a good thing!
      I hope your sore arms are improving! Mine, especially my right arm, is giving me trouble! At least I know the cause of it! I think I will have to have a week of working on usual things to get it back to normal!
      Keep working away! There is a lot to do but it is great to see progress over the weeks. With lots of love and thanks,

  10. Happy Anniversary! Your roses are stunning! And look at your fence! It must feel so good to have that done. It certainly looks fresh and beautiful.
    This week I pulled a turkey out of the freezer and cooked it in my big turkey roaster. We had a somewhat traditional turkey dinner and I made casserole and soup and quarts of stock. We also enjoyed turkey sandwiches. Some of the meat and most of the stock is tucked back in the freezer for future use.
    I also went on a paper crafting binge with some of the fun paper I was gifted by my mother-in-law. Now I need to finish and post the tutorial for card stock gift bag/boxes.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Thank you Leigh! There are so many meals from a turkey. I love it and if they are on special I get them.
      I am living your paper ideas and can't wait to show everyone! Many thanks , with love,

  11. Dear Annabel
    I do hope that you and Andy are on the mend,it's not much fun having two in the home feeling poorly.
    Happy anniversary, I think every anniversary is an achievement in the power of love.
    I stocked up on the tinned soup, and on muffins for the freezer. The grandchildren love muffins and if the four from my older daughter stay, well we go through quite a few. I bought pumpkin on special and made and froze four litres of soup. Also got some roasting chickens on sale which I've frozen. I was a bit worried today though we had bad storms overnight and the power went off I guess about 1am but it's back on now because the power company weren't anticipating it being back til late this evening. The last thing needed when the freezers are full is a prolonged power outage.
    Hope you have a lovely week, I know from the photos you've posted that you home is looking beautiful.
    Best wishes
    Susan K


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