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, 12 May 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 13th May, 2016.

Casting my mind back to Sunday, Mother's Day, it seems like forever ago! So it must have been a big week.

Mother's Day was my highlight.  Afternoon tea was at Lucy's house and increasingly I am realising she is more like me than I ever knew.

This week I saved money by;
I made Cornbread as Muffins. I made three dozen to go with soups. Being soup season I love having something like this to go with it. 

Most went into the freezer. One dozen were given to Chloe when she came home from a trip for her freezer.

A basket of muffins is a great gift. So is a basket of scones (biscuits) especially if they are still warm. That is hard to beat.

Many things are more manageable as muffins, from corn bread to meat loaf...

Yesterday zucchini was $2 a kilo so I got a big bag of those. They will be soup of the week next week.

I used a $5 voucher at Spotlight for craft supplies.

We had a leftovers dinner. I had left over curry and a casserole which was just a tiny bit.  When I have little bits and pieces I often put it out Indian style.  It makes left overs seem so abundant! 

The beauty of curry, casseroles etc is they are actually better the second time around as flavours develop.  I added a couple of items form the freezer and it ended up a feast.
I am going to do a post on this in The Vicky Challenge.  Many countries feature small bowls as the way of serving... Japan, Indonesia, China, India.... and the markets or ethnic stores locally sell the bowls and serving dishes very cheaply. Anyway, I love doing this and it seems so nice!

I had both mint and yoghurt and wizzed them up to go with it and now have some for another dish I am planning on Sunday.

I feathered my nest by:

On Wednesday I cleaned inside and out of the fridge, washed it all out, washed the shelves in the sink, re lined the shelves etc. I pulled the fridge away from the wall and cleaned behind and underneath (yuk!) and while I was at it I painted the skirting boards in the kitchen since the fridge was already out and the skirting boards scrubbed. Pheww that was quite a big job but nothing makes you feel more virtuous than a spring cleaned fridge.  I wiped it out with vanilla which I still smell every time I open the door. It is lovely!

Somehow all of this had a domino effect and I cleaned out the kitchen island, shelves and had a re arrange to make things work better. It is working too.

I got ahead by:

The muffins in the freezer,
A completed present into the gift cupboard.
Things ready for the next fishing trip picnic.
Teri and Vicky helped me get ahead in a big way! They have both written wonderful articles for up coming savings and pantry tips. They are amazing.

I added to my pantry:

Currently I am filling plastic tubs. I added long grain rice, canned tomato, tea and coffee.

How did you build up your home or get ahead this week?

Most of our week was rainy and quite dark. Today the sun is shining! I have washing out in the sun and more in the machine. I think it is also going to be sunny tomorrow so I will also get the towels done. Sunshine after rain is the most beautiful thing. 

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, your leftovers don't look like leftovers at all!!! The cornbread muffins are beautiful, freezing some for future use is a good idea. My husband surprised me with a 'birthday' trip to the fabric/craft store in the city. I added several things to the fabric/craft part of my pantry. I also added home grown herbs to my pantry after drying them using only my oven and oven light. Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Patsi,
      Thanks! I love your birthday trip to the craft store! That is lovely and would have been a lot of fun! Happy Birthday too, I am not sure of the exact day... but best wishes to you! With love

  2. You are a very busy lady Miss Annabel. Some days I read what you have been up to and I find myself thinking I must be very lazy.
    This week we got ahead and saved money by purchasing more pool filters that have been cut up into pots for fruit trees and bowl pots for shallow rooted veges. We have been gifted two avocado trees by our elderly neighbour. She was happy for us to have them as long as we removed them from the guttering of her shed. These will go into the pots once I put them into place and fill with soil. Bluey purchased more scrap timber, Oregon, for his cot project from the tip. I made up my cheap and easy biscuits from some dough I had frozen in the fridge and made them into jam drops. The tin is remarkably empty and I'm told the dog ate them. Don't think so. We ate beef cheek casserole, done in the slow cooker, over three meals this week. Each time it was delicious, we just ate it with whatever veg was picked out of the garden that afternoon. We also ate seafood marinara twice. Once with rice and once as a seafood soup with crusty bread. As you said the flavour gets better in these types of meals.
    I feathered my nest by washing all the windows with a streak free recipe I got off 'One Good Thing by Jillee' blog. Have to say it is wonderful and so easy to use. I cleaned my micro suede recliners using rubbing alcohol. They look amazing!
    We rarely have anything other than sunshine so the washing always goes on the line. On the odd occasion we have rain, the washing goes on an airer on the veranda to dry. Sun dried clothing and household linens, smell of the sun and sea here. Why would we even think of putting them in a dryer?
    We are off south to Brisbane to spend time with our daughter and to go to the footy at the Gabba tomorrow night. What Bluey doesn't know is our son and DIL are going to be there as a birthday surprise for him. It's only and overnight trip but one that will be just full of fun and family.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Avocado trees growing in the gutter sounds so exotic to me! Wow! Two free avocado trees and pots to put them in!
      I love jam drops. Actually I think jam is so useful to add to so many things.
      I know that recipe! And I use it! I am not wonderful at windows but that works so well ... and mentioning that I need to do mine. Everything looks better with sparkly windows!
      I don't even have a drier. The airer under the garage is my alternative too. I can see how the girls who have sub zero temperatures have a drier... imagine if you hang your clothes out and the freeze solid! lol I can't really even imagine that!
      I agree about the smell of sunshine. I love it. I I believe sunshine is a natural disinfectant too.
      Have a wonderful time at the footie and with your daughter. I will be watching the footie! Oh and your son and DIL! That will be fantastic!
      Much love,

    2. Hi Jane!
      It's good that you rescued those two avocado trees from that gutter; they don't like wet feet! If you can plant them so that they don't have wet feet as they grow older, hopefully you'll have productive trees like your neighbour's. 'Wet feet' is the tale of the avocado farms known to us. Seedlings like yours can do surprisingly well! (As you likely know, they establish well from seed.)
      Rachel Holt

    3. Thanks Rachel for the information re the avocado trees. I have to say I have been successful with these tress but I think more from luck than good management. The trees are Reed Avocados and the parent tree is huge. The tree overhangs the shed so the fallen fruit have set as little trees in the gutter. I will keep the trees pruned as I have found that I can get quite a good crop off my tree, a Hass grown from seed, in pots if I do this. I also have a number of other fruit trees in pots that I keep this way and have success with. I just love how we can share so much wonderful knowledge and information through this group. Your advice Miss Rachel, is most appreciated.

  3. I saved money by using leftovers from our Mother's Day cookout to make complete one meal, make another meal, and change leftovers from another meal into a new meal. I did the usual lunches, too. I used an old blanket of my youngest son to make him a new pillowcase. I also cut up a large beach towel that has seen better days into kitchen cloths. I was able to get 12 good sized cloths from it. I'm going to go back next week and back them with another material.

    I feathered my nest by completely reorganizing my pantry and kitchen cabinets. I also culled my cookbooks and weeded the back yard.

    1. Dear Jenn,
      That was a lot! It must have been kitchen re organising week as I was doing the same. Its lovely though when its done! I bet your pantry looks good!
      Well done on the recycling and use of leftovers. I love left overs and stretching them into some meals! It is partly time off too as often this is easy and not like cooking a whole meal.
      Have a great weekend Jenn! With love,

  4. Hi Annabel!

    It has been a great week! It has been full of challenges, but a great week!! I have sore muscles, and I think I'll be sleeping well tonight. This is how I endeavour to build up our nest.

    Your reminder of the use of ladders was on my mind. We weren't taking the car with the roof rack, so I couldn't bring my ladder home. Instead, I am quite chuffed that I found enough rope to rig up recycled timbers in our carport as hanging space. This means I can store produce here (safe from critters, and in the cool) while it ripens. I am really, really pleased! Good job, Annabel!

    The weather was growing cooler during the week, but is now back to Indian summer mode. I find great satisfaction when the axe makes that wonderful sound that means the log of firewood is splitting! I am using wood on hand, which is finely grained and not good for splitting ... but is pink, and I expect my practise chopping this will make better wood easier. We'll see!!

    I did have a battle with my sewing machine while using time-limiting diesel power. This session of altering and mending clothes to meet a need became suddenly high pressured! The results, in the next session, were good, though!

    I think you get the picture!! I'm looking forward to seeing your craft work! (Yes, we're both chipping away at that job list, and knitting is taking its place in my days again!)

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, The timber hanging racks are a really good idea! Hanging space is very useful. Also in a shed it gives you a sheltered place to store things.
      Never let a sewing machine know if you are in a hurry or not in the mood. They seem to know and its all down hill from there!
      I hope you have a lovely Sunday. Yesterday we had a family party for Harpers Birthday and so mu replies are late! With love

    2. Rachel I have found wire hanging baskets, without the fibre insert, to be a wonderful way to ripen garden produce without sharing it with the local wildlife. We had our baskets hanging under the carport on the farm.

  5. Beautiful post! If bugs are a problem in your area at any time of can add dried bay leaves to the plastic containers of rice or of dried beans. I add a couple to the bottom of the container and a couple on top after its filled. We've not had a problem with bugs! (I found this idea many years ago on a blog ~ but not sure which one!) Have an awesome weekend! Donna

    1. Dear Donna,
      Thank you that is a great tip. Mum has a huge bay leaf tree. So I can pick big branches of it. I find it very effective as I used to get pantry moths and now don't get any. I will put a whole sprig of leaves on a little brach at the back of the cupboard, it might be thirty leaves on it, as well as in jars. A great protection and no chemicals.
      Many thanks Donna with love

  6. Dear Annabel,
    I did some Spring cleaning this week. Also, did my regular daily cleaning, baked and froze several items, continued cutting out squares from scrap fabric pieces, had some appointments, and did a bulk grocery shop for storage.
    I wash out the refrigerator every week, but this week I was a few days behind, so finally got that done on Wednesday. With the frig all clean again, I mixed up gluten free fruit crisp topping, cream cheese icing, and Bar B Q sauce and stored them in the frig for the next couple of weeks. These items keep nicely and it helps me not have to stop and mix them up when using them in baking or cooking for meals.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      You did a lot as the usual cleaning is enough and then adding extra spring cleaning is always quite a lot of work. Also your items prepared and ready to use in the fridge and very handy.
      Another thing I find is a big shop is a massive job by the time it is all home and put away! But this was a good thing to have done.
      Have a lovely Sunday Glenda. I am trying to relax today as the weekend has been hectic so far! With love

  7. Dear Annabel, thank you for another great post, I love reading about your week and I get inspired and motivated by you and by the ladies who comment. The cornbread muffins look delicious, I love making savoury muffins and freezing them , as I have mentioned here I make the Greek yoghurt and SR flour muffins and add either sweet or savoury ingredients to them.It has been a quiet week but my My week included:
    I used cards I had made to give as a thank you gesture, I had my subsidised cleaning as usual , that saves me a fair bit of money over the year and is a life saver , my ladies are wonderful, I am using a voucher from the government to get a tooth removed ( it is a free service or emergency dental work and I can use my own dentist) , that saves me a lot of money and relieves my stress about having to find the money . I am able to get two vouchers ( worth up to $260 each ) a year for emergency treatment. I had a hair cut done as usual by our family friend and for a lot less than a hairdressers salon . I had dinner that night at my parents and brought home leftovers which did me two more meals. I think that is it this week Annabel, I hope you have a happy weekend . Love BarbWoodford

    1. Dear Barb,
      That is wonderful about the dental work. Dental work can be a massive expense these days. That is a big help.
      You had a very good week with the extra meals and cards as a gift.
      Have a lovely Sunday! It is quite nice here with a little sun. With love and thanks,

  8. Dear Annabel,

    You have had a beautiful week! I love the mother's day foodie picture, so pretty! How nice to know Lucy is quite like her mum! :) I'm with Patsi, your leftovers look impressive! I need to make mine more pretty when I use them up. As we know, presentation and names for stuff is everything! I remember the post where you said that Chloe announced she didn't like quiche, so you told her it was bacon and egg pie (or egg and bacon pie LOL) but the point is she ATE it! I am still in those years, the youngest are both 11 as you know and getting less fussy but it is still a challenge.

    Your muffins are gorgeous as well, I am looking forward to baking & freezing stuff this weekend! Some ways I feathered my nest this week were:
    Cleaning the bath from top to bottom. Much nicer!
    cleaned out the fridge and glad to say, I didn't lose any veggies this week
    Froze portions of soup that Bill made for me. I really love pulling these out of the freezer for lunch!
    I set some new savings goals. I feel challenged!
    I had a revisit of some old goals, and put some higher on the priority list
    dusted the family room. It looked like a pack of dusty animals had been in there!
    I sold a very nice mattress, box spring and frame and put the $500.00 on debt repayment
    I made cards for my kid's teachers. I also got them cute little gift cards to the coffee shop so they can have a cup on us ($5.00 each) ** By the way...often times I will overhear people say "oh, I don't want to give something so little", where do we get this thinking?! A cup of coffee or tea, or a muffin/scone of their choice for free is a HUGE treat for a lot of people! It is so pricey, and although there are people who make a habit out of buying at coffee shops, there are still those who do not and truly appreciate it! Don't overlook the power of a $5.00 gift card!
    I planned a movie and popcorn night here at home with the family with a DVD that was gifted to us
    I planned a half-priced grocery week. I need to be super inventive and careful. We are self-employed, and the months of August and September are always less income for us so I am planning for it now by shaving my grocery budget. I know how to do this now because I **met** you online Annabel, a year and half ago! If other ladies are reading this, be encouraged at the power you have in your own home.
    I am baking almond flour treats for myself :)

    I love reading what everyone is up to. Keep up the lovely work and THANK YOU, Annabel, as always for this gorgeous meeting place of encouragement!
    Much Love,
    Colette xxx

    1. Colette,
      That is awesome you are using that money for debt! Every chunk of debt that is taken care of is more freeing to us. Also when planning your grocery budget plan for your most economical meals that your family enjoys the most and serve those. Pancakes or French toast for dinner is a big hit here. Sorry for butting in!

    2. Hi Annabel,
      I was gifted 8 rolls of wallpaper! One of the church ladies read your blog and brought it over! LOL! I don't think I have enough tins or ice cream buckets!
      I also did what I call toothbrush work cleaning crevices and things. I cleaned out makeup and a few junk drawers and old medications. I hung new curtains on the picture window in the livingroom and scrubbed raccoon tracks off of my deck. I donated a big box of VHS tapes to Goodwill and used my crockpot most of the week. I also cut a bunch of cheese into chunks for Rick to snack on and put them in the fridge. I am glad to hear your filling your plastic tubs. We just got tubs that fit under Todd's bed so I will have those to fill if needed. This weekend will be closet cleaning and dresser drawers for me. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    3. Hi Colette! I agree with you about the $5 gift card, as I have been the recipient of such! My SIL mailed one to me and my husband to use at a local drive through. We both got specialty sodas and it was a nice treat and very much appreciated. I'm sure your children's teachers will love their gift cards too. Love, Kelsey

    4. Dear Colette,
      I think the gift card is a lovely gift of appreciation and kindness! I like it! And I think most people would love to sit down to a break that was a gift from someone. Thats thoughtful and kind.
      Re the names of things.... I notice with boys gross names seem a hit. Spaghetti is worms and meat balls are eyeballs and disgusting stuff like that! lol
      But adults are like it too. Years ago lamb here used to be called Hogget. UNAPPEALING name! Now it is all LAMB whether it really is or not.
      Its marketing basically! Well we can use this to our own advantage!
      Colette is it really good that you know your low season. Even though a low season isn't great it is so much better knowing and planning as best you can rather than a sudden dry spot you don't even know is coming. We do have a lot of power in our homes! We can make a lot of adjustments. More than we usually realise.
      I am with you all the way! Thank you so much for posting as I know you have been so busy and dealing with a lot.
      Have a wonderful Sunday! With love

  9. Colette,
    You made me smile in understanding! This difficulty with naming foods spans the age brackets, I can see! Yes, "quiche" is one. Then, the other day, I quickly implored Mum not to call the baking "muffins". When she asked what she should call them, I suggested "little cakes" or "smoko cakes". I get by this way!! When I made baked doughnuts, my husband had to differentiate them from shop doughnuts (which he will not eat), so he helped himself by saying, "Pass me another life buoy!" Isn't life wonderful in its challenges!
    Rachel Holt

  10. Dear Annabel, You had a good week, beginning with your lovely Mother's Day tea!
    This week for me has mostly been focused on getting ready for our garage sale tomorrow (Saturday). By the looks of my living room it doesn't look like I have done much feathering, as it is full of stuff, but I have been busy! I think when cleaning things out, it gets worse before it gets better. At least it always does for me.
    Most of my savings this week have come from simply not spending. I haven't built up my pantry but my preparedness has been paying off because we are eating exclusively from it and have not had to buy anything other than a bottle of dish soap. This works out well since we are moving and it is less we will have to pack.
    Aside from that, I was able to use up some bananas by baking a loaf of banana nut bread, twelve muffins, and nine mini muffins. The mini muffins may or may not have immediately disappeared (there were two of us, not just me ;) but the rest were frozen or saved for later. I baked everything at once to save energy.
    Hopefully I will have a good report for the Vicky Challenge on Monday due to my garage sale. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Yesterday you had the garage sale and we had Harpers Birthday party! I really hope it went well for you! I know its a lot of work and yes also a lot of mess as there is sorting and piles of things everywhere!
      Reducing things to move is also a great thing. Moving is a big job without shifting unneeded things!
      Well done on using the bananas and making something delicious!
      I can't wait to hear tomorrow how things went. I was thinking of you and hoping your Saturday was good! Ours was and I was tired last night! With lots of love,

  11. I had a productive week, though nothing like yours. Still, I felt quite happy with my accomplishments and at least three areas of my home were greatly improved by doing little extras. Next week I've a long list to try and tend to before my son's family move in (he's been here for three weeks already) as they will be between houses and need a place to stay. Increasing the household by 2 more will be interesting but fun, I think since there's a grandson involved!

    1. Dear Terri, You are going to be very busy! It is wonderful that you can accomodate the family while they are waiting for their next home. I am sure you will make it a good experience and I bet your Grandson loves this!
      I love it when working on something makes an overall improvement to the home or how things work. With love

  12. The corn muffins are gorgeous! Can you share the recipe? Lilly

    1. Dear Lilly, You could use any cornbread recipe but I like mine as its really easy. You can find it here:
      I always double this and I always use the creamed corn. That is important! It is also really good with cheese. Many thanks Lilly, Love

  13. I was away from home a good bit last week, so I spent as much time enjoying the fruits of a "feathered nest" and full pantry as I did feathering and filling them. I was grateful to find some needed clothing items and a lovely vintage print sheet at the thrift shop. The sheet will be used to back a quilt or for another sewing project. We're also sorting out items to donate to the church yard sale.
    Have a lovely week!
    Blessings, Leigh


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