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, 10 November 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 11 November, 2016.

I have a lot to report this week as it has been really busy.  My list of things accomplished and savings lives on the fridge and I love seeing it grow and be able to add things to it.  I think even keeping that list is motivating to me.
Fridays review is a really happy time.  I feel so happy with what I got done!
It is so important to look back and feel good about what you achieved and take a moment away from everything that is still to be done!

So some of the ways I build up the home, saved and got ahead this week include:

I had a day where I visited my friend Hilde and shopped at Aldi, a great fruit and veggie shop and several op shops. It was a big day!

Yesterday I turned some of the lemons into Lemon Butter. It always looks and tastes glorious!

Lemons, Lemon Butter and yellow roses! This is how my kitchen turned out yesterday! 

So back to the beginning....   Hilde sent me home with two big baskets of lemons.

It was a beautiful day. Just being out in the garden picking lemons was such a happy time!

Hilde also gave me Oregano, Thyme and Sage plants! She has them coming up everywhere and we dug some up. As soon as I got home I planted them and they are looking fine.  We have a lime tree in a big pot. Now it has baby herbs around the bottom.

After I made the Lemon Butter I used some of the peels to make Lemon infused Glycerine.  This is from Jes' book.

One of the things I plan to make with this is her  Lemon Liquid Hand Soap. I can't wait to get on to that. This mix has to develop first.
Then as Jes' instructs I saved every other lemon peel and they are out drying in the sun right now. These are going to end up in soap and cleaning products.
So now I can say I use all of each lemon!
The next lot I cut up I am going to start my own Lemon Essence as well.
Jes' has her ebook 100+DIY Projects to make with Fruit Scraps on her blog Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth.  I will never waste a lemon or orange peel again!

The trip to Aldi was wonderful.  I have still been discovering more savings there. I came home with meat at excellent prices, fruit and vegetables and basics like sugar, butter etc. It was quite a stock up and the price was amazing.

I also op shopped and got a lovely top and beautiful nightie.

When I got home I had a huge car load of lemons, plants, op shopping, groceries etc and it took me ages to unpack and sort. Made worse by the fact that I was listening to election results coming in and can say I saw live every big announcement and lucky I kept my hands busy unpacking or I would have no fingernails left at all. How everyone handled the stress I don't know as here I am so far away!

On the way to Hilde's I found kerb rubbish. There was a child's play lawn mower, vacuums cleaner and puzzle toy, all as good as new. I grabbed those! Harper likes anything she can push along.  I have cleaned them up and they will help keep her busy when she comes next week. They are fantastic!

All week I enjoyed roses. Each day I cut the finished flowers and saved the petals. I have baskets of petals everywhere!   I kept bunches of roses inside as well.

The house smells of roses and I have to say being in the sun everyday trimming and picking them has been beautiful. The world looks a lot better when you are outside among the flowers and birds. It has been just lovely. 

Even collapsing flowers look gorgeous. But these are all going to become bath products etc.

My baskets of petals are lined up behind my kitchen bench. Remember that time the chicken tried to lay an egg in one of those baskets? Well I could hear a lot of noise and went to investigate. Then I saw rose petals flying through the air! This crazy chicken thought to come inside and make a nest in rose petals. I wish I took a photo but I was more panicked by the mess unfolding! 
And just like last time later she laid an egg (she has been off the lay for a few weeks). 
I really should have taken a video of that! It was a pretty mess at least. 

During the week I made a double batch of pizza dough and let it rise all day in the window sill. That sorted dinner for two nights and all the lunches.

We got a refund for $100 and this was money we had just about given up on. But we got it back! Andy took that to the wholesale butchers across town. I had googled their weekly specials. Oh my goodness we got a lot of meat and filled up the freezer from that. I think except for huge bargains I will no longer get meat at the supermarket ever again. It was well under half supermarket prices, many things more like a third. For Adelaide people this was Thebarton Specialty Foods. 

Andy caught Blue Swimmer Crabs. He feasted on these for two nights! 

The rule is every time I lean in to take a photo like this one of them suddenly moves! 
But Andy had a great time catching them and eating them! 

I made fruit balls and froze several batches.
Also a giant potato salad for the weekend and taking some to Lucy's this afternoon. Lots of home grown parsley sprinkled over the top.

I needed a present. So I grabbed a little basket I had and put in some hand wash in a bottle I decorated, a jar of the wool wash and a label of instructions and six of my homemade goats milk soap. It looked lovely! The beauty of having a gift cupboard! 

I picked our first radishes.

In the evenings I was wrapping presents.  Just one or two each day. Mainly the ones that need posting early.  I think of that as getting ahead. 

And I re arranged and organised the kitchen pantry a bit more and the new shelves and baskets are my back up supplies like a little shop. It is so good! The extra space is amazing!

My painting was zero! But I did do more spring cleaning most days!

So that is my week!  I can't wait for the Vicky Challenge and to work out my actual savings.  I think it will be one of my better weeks savings wise.

How did you feather your nest this week? I hope there were lots of ways to save, get ahead and just make things lovely.

Have a wonderful weekend! It has been a big week! Some rest and relaxation are needed! xxxx


  1. Dear Annabel, what a joy your photos are! Just seeing those gorgeous roses and lovely gifts is so motivating! An abundance of lemons is always a lovely thing, and there's so much you can do with them. I'm looking forward to making a few lovelies from Jes's book as well, but you are way ahead of me! I had a great week. I did a lot of embroidery on baby singlets for a teacher we love, who is having a baby early next year, thanks again to you for the tips on the grub roses! I found a new fruit and meat barn that is ridiculously inexpensive and bought 2kgs each of broccoli, avocadoes and beans, cauliflower, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, chicken breasts and pork steaks, all for $29! This meant the food bill for this week was very small indeed, and I was able to use up my Flybuys dollars to stock up on half price dishwasher tablets and other cleaning and pantry items, to extend the value, as you've mentioned so often. I'll certainly be visiting that particular fruit and meat barn again! I re-beautified some vintage items I'd either sourced at the thrift store, or that my Mother-in-Law had gifted me, retaining their original charm, and I'll share them on the blog soon. Fudge was made for gifting, and sewing and embellishing of clothing for the same, and for wearing, too. So, it was a good week here too. Great finds on the roadside collections too! I must be more vigilant on those! Have a lovely weekend everyone. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you! The baby gift you have been making is going to be so loved!
      You had great bargains! Your list was all things I would swoop on and think of so many possibilities to make from those. Today I need to make a menu plan from what I have in the fridge from a few good buys that stocked me up. I think I can make a lot of good meals and maybe I need to freeze a few things. It feels so good to get ahead!
      I can't wait to see what you have been up to with the vintage items!
      What a good week! Have a wonderful weekend! I feel as if I need a slow weekend and recovery. Also we had a hail storm yesterday and it was the biggest hail I have ever seen in my life! I was waiting for the windows to start breaking! (they didn't) but around town peoples cars were dented etc. Everything is a soggy mess but I figure the garden is soaked and will grow like th amazon jungle as it is warm! haha
      Much love to you Mimi,

    2. Mimi I will be interested in finding out about this shop - bargains like that would make a drive worthwhile.

      The lady that I worked with at the shop and I were discussing the need for grub roses on singlets - I think they would fly out the door so I am going to get myself started on them and add them to what I put into the shop.


    3. I agree! I think many people want a sweet gift that is not too expensive and these would go like hot cakes. Years ago I embroidered grub roses onto other peoples items and I think I charged $2 each back then... which doesnt sound like much but I can do one in about five minutes.xx

  2. Holy guacamole, you were one busy lady this week! I applaud you for so many accomplishments. And your friend, Hilde...what a blessing! Your cup sure raneth over!

    1. Dear Debby, It was a busy week! I didn't realise it until I wrote it all down! Now its Saturday I am really tired!
      I really notice how friends that help and encourage are really valuable. They have a big impact. I was blessed! Have a lovely weekend Debby, love

  3. Annabel, I hope you are enjoying some rest time, my gracious you have been busy! Your roses are beautiful and your lemon butter looks like sunshine in a jar. I love, love, love your lemon butter. I made some last year and enjoyed every bite I put in my mouth! Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      Yes it is Saturday and I slept in! The lemon butter freezes really well. It stays quite soft so you can use it a few minutes after taking out of the freezer. This is quite handy.
      What a week it has been for all of us! Have a lovely weekend! Love

  4. Dear Annabel, wow what a wonderful week you had , roses, lemons, chickens in baskets of rose petals that sounds like an adventure in itself. My week was quiet by comparison but I had a good week too.
    I have been struggling to do simple things around my unit due to my disabilities. My mum makes some meals for me but I also make some meals myself and I struggle with the cooking and doing the dishes as I cannot stand up or even sit down for too long. So I considered hiring someone privately to help me because I was not courageous enough and too proud to ask Centacare for more help.( they already do cleaning for me and social support) .
    Anyway I got up the courage to ask for help and found myself in tears as I tumbled out the words. The result is that I will now have one of my lovely ladies here one hour twice a week to prepare meals and do dishes for me . So that means an extra 4 hours subsidised help per fortnight and I won't lose my hour of social support like they thought I might.i am so happy!.
    Otherwise this week I have had two hours of subsidised cleaning , made more cards, received a savoury mince and veg pie from my parents as well as some cooked vegetables and I also got some shallots ( spring onions ) from their garden.

    I really wanted a certain magazine and I have put off buying it for weeks. I buy two regular magazines out of my " fun money" and I collect stamps on my loyalty card each week. I finally qualified for a " free magazine" this week and got the magazine I came with a free baking tin which I am going to use to make Your easy shortbread Annabel.
    Other things I did this week to build up my nest was to buy some curling ribbon on special with my groceries( about 60 metres of foil curling ribbon in individual balls of different colours for $2) , Did some more decluttering and made use of some of my baskets in my new shelves/ cupboard in my kitchen to store things. I also put away some more coins in my late partners wallet, I empty my purse of coins each time I come home from being out( it really adds up) .
    I just got my electricity bill and I get a really great discount on my electricity bill, a total of 21% off usage charges and extra usage charges plus a government pensioner rebate , it adds up to a great saving. I better finish this comment, I always seem to have really long comments sorry Annabel.
    I hope you have a great weekend Annabel and " Annabels mob" . I have been thinking about Jane and Bluey, Rachel , Cookie and your husband, Teri and her son and family and others here who may be struggling. I hope you are all going ok?.
    Take care everyone. Love Barb W .

    1. Good on you, Barb! You've had a positive week!!

    2. Dear Barb,
      What a great week! Sometimes it is really hard to ask for help but we should as you never know the result if only we ask! So well done and I hope that makes you feel much better and is a big assistance to you.
      You had wonderful savings as well! I love that you ended up with your magazine and it had a cake tin! Thats shortbread is such a good gift! I will be making it in December as well and am making it for my uncle and a few spare gifts.
      Have a great weekend Barb! With lots of love

    3. So happy to hear you have been able to get more help around the house Barb, despite the pain you're constantly in I've never known anyone to be so positive & courageous. Big Hugs xxx

      Annabel - a truly Herculean effort this week, you have every right to be proud of yourself :) Love & hugs xoxo Susan

  5. Dear Annabel,

    Everything looks so beautiful and luxurious and abundant! I love it! :-)
    How lovely your roses and lemon butter and gift and everything else look.

    It has been sunny and so spring like here as well. It does lift the mood after such a long winter for us. Have a lovely weekend.

    Love, Kaye xo

    1. Dear Kaye, Thank you!
      The week ended with the biggest hail storm I have ever seen! After all the lovely days suddenly a massive storm. I hope you don't get it. Cars and houses were damaged! Crazy weather! But the garden is soaked! So that bit is good!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  6. Annabel,
    Wow you have been one busy lady! First those crab look like good eats I really like crab legs and they crab is expensive here. Yay on finding Harper some new playthings. That is what I love about children they don't care if something is designer or has a high price tag they just enjoy things. Your roses are beautiful as is those jars of lemon butter! You are such a wonderful example of industriousness! I am still just moving things around LOL I am thinking about chaining Rick in that room and not letting him out until it's done, but Mama would probably tell on me she likes him!
    I did get to do some sewing finally! And that always feels nice.
    I am glad your freezer is full and you saved lots on your purchases too! That is awesome!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Crab is expensive here too... I will be checking on the prices to convert it for my Vicky challenge on Monday. That always amazes me! I did weigh one crab I thought was average and multiplied it and it was 2 kilos. (2.2 pounds = 1 kilo) so it was a fair bit.
      Vicky's Mum! Do not tell on Vicky haha
      I am amazed you got time to sew with everything else you have going on! But well done!
      You have a wonderful weekend too! It has been a big week! Lots of love

  7. Hi Annabel

    We have been having a great time with roses as well. My daughter's wedding is one week today, and at the wedding/reception venue you cannot throw anything but rose petals. So Jo has been busy drying beautiful rose petals in the microwave. We have had the best results and the petals keep their lovely colour. He also tried to dry a few tea roses whole using the same technique and these have turned out just wonderfully. They are so pretty and bright.

    I am continuing to try and do just one monthly shop with fresh fruit and vegetable top ups. This was the first month of the monthly shopping and I bought a few things short and a few too many of other things. This is a learning curve and it was a poor month to start as I have my brother his wife and two nieces coming to stay for the wedding and they have some particular dietary needs that I forgot about. So I have to buy these and also the girls have examinations and they have a few lollies each in a bag to eat during them. It does not sound like much but 9 exams with a bag of soft lollies in each certainly adds up. I also had the extra expense of making your wonderful Christmas/Fruit cake. Oh it is soooo good. Not expensive when you add up how much cake you get out of it but when one piggy Mother (namely me) eats one of the cakes all by herself well there you go. I also made your Sunshine Cake and froze forty cup cakes and ate one bar cake of it. SO it is all a learning curve. Overall I believe though that monthly shopping will save me money.

    I am preparing for surgery and my recovery. It is entailing me spending money at the pool for five entries a week but it improves my chances of a speedy recovery so it will be paying off in the long run.I have also taken up the opportunity of free physio workshops run by the hospital. These just cost whatever the refund on the private health insurance was. It ran for two hours and gave a great deal of information in recovery. I was also given free advice on pre surgery exercises.

    I cleaned out my kitchen drawers and found lots of freezer bags I did not know I owned and some zip lock lunch bags. I sorted through my bigger storage freezer in the shed and found a tub of butter and a bag of grated cheese. As well as some dog food and a several bags of chicken pieces which I made into Apricot Chicken tonight and it will last two meals at least if not three.

    I have been making gifts for Christmas for my girls and my granddaughter. All very fulfilling to see that you have made come together and to be appreciated by the recipient.

    We cooked all meals at home and only ate one meal away from home and that was at a restaurant for my daughter's Wedding rehearsal dinner. Feeling good about the efforts I have been putting into the garden will pay off in the future for all my family.

    God Bless and have a good week taking some time out for yourself

    Love Mel

    1. Dear Mel, I have to learn how to dry roses in the microwave! I had not even thought of this so my mind is in overdrive imagining the possibilities!
      I am glad you liked the cake Mel! It is the most expensive Christmas baking time really. The keeping factor is a big bonus with it. I have slightly over come this with giving smaller cakes than I once did.
      Swimming is so good that you will get benefits beyond your knee and recovery as well. So that should be a good investment. The physic workshops sound excellent.
      Well done on all your gift making. Your crafts are beautiful. This is one thing you will be able to keep going on when you come home from hospital and it will keep you from getting bored or frustrated.
      Your garden is a great investment for the future! And fruit trees produce quite fast. I have been surprised by that so you get some rewards even in the first couple of years.
      I hope you are having a good weekend and the wedding plans all go smoothly! With lots of love

  8. Hi Miss Busy and your CPW's,
    I am so glad that a number of you have managed to get lots done. This week I know I have been busy but I don't know what it was that was keeping me busy. There was a big trip to Nambour for Bluey to have a followup with the surgical team. They are amazed at how well he is doing. He thinks he is not progressing at all. There was another visit today with his GP and he now has a big zipper scar open to the air. The last of the dressings are now off. I am researching ways I can get nutrient and protein dense foods into Bluey. He eats very small amounts and has dropped close to 20kgs since all this started in July. I really need to get him down to the beach and doing a bit of fishing. It's just too hot right now.
    I've been stitching a special Christmas stocking for my GD.
    I've been finding other gifts to post to my extended family as we wont be travelling to them this year. Found some great deals on trendy clothing for the teenagers. Grub roses are also featuring for my SIL's.
    The gutters have been cleaned out of leaves and the grass is being kept down. My garden is starting to look like I have some control over it. There have already been some big bushfires around. Whilst we are in town the ash has been floating around. Just needs one stray spark and town will be in trouble.
    So there has been lots of busy bits happening. No fishing has occurred for ages and I am missing it very much. Mind you there is still several meals worth in the freezer so we wont be missing out.
    Barb W you're not the only one who has long entries here. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
    Life is good.

    1. Jane, so Bluey thinks he is not progressing at all? Tell him that after about seven weeks, I can finally rub my eye! That, in itself, helps more. Now, I know Bluey has been healing well ahead of schedule. I am reckoning, then, that he can already rub his eyes ..... and this helps!
      I am thinking of chicken soup, bone broth type stews, meat pie, more roast lamb and dumplings for Bluey. What do you think?
      I thought of you when I learnt, this week, that the US sells home freeze driers, and this is a great method for preserving even avocado. Just add water to eat!

    2. Jane just remind Bluey to go slowly - going too fast will only send him backwards and we really do not want to learn about that.



    3. Dear Jane,
      It sounds like Bluey is doing wonderfully well and I agree with Rachel and Lynette he is doing great and he better go along steadily. Tell him there is a Bluebirds drone. I invested millions in it. It looks exactly like a mosquito. But it is us spying on him so he better not over do it or we will know! haha
      I think bone broth is a good suggestion. I also think possibly ask your doctor or chemist ... I think protein is good for repair and if he will drink thick shakes then add protein to them even. Truly though he is going well and ahead of schedule which is wonderful.
      Fires are our worry too. Yesterday we have a huge electrical storm. Here it quickly resulted in rain and hail but at the farm they just had dry lightening and this is how most of the fires start. Luckily it started to rain a bit later and everything was fine.
      Your Christmas presents sound like they are going great. Soon you will be fishing again! Does Bluey have a comfy fishing chair? That could be good. I 100% believe the beach is the place for getting better too like in the old days they sent people recovering from surgery to rest near the ocean.
      You had a great week and busy! Have a good weekend! With love

    4. Crafty Prayer Warriors if anyone is wondering!

  9. Your gift came out lovely and so glad you got lemons! Your lemon butter is beautiful and I love seeing the pictures of your infusion -- that made me smile... And alas, those yellow roses are gorgeous! We have pink and white here but I would love to add that buttery color to our back yard. Have a lovely weekend! :)

    1. Dear Jes,
      I was so happy to get some of your recipes started! Lemon peels are drying as well. Your book lives in the kitchen and is full of bookmarks!
      Roses are my main easy way to decorate a cake. They look fabulous and distract from my lack of decorating skills!
      Have a good weekend Jes! With love

  10. Dear Annabel, such a week of lovely achievements and jobs done for you.Hilde sounds lovely too and I love the yellow rose and butter so cheery looking.The thought of your chicken in rose petals was a picture to behold, how funny and sweet.No wonder you had no thought of taking a photo!
    The items for Harper will get well used Im sure. Ive noticed with my little DGC that they are just as happy playing with water either at the sink or with a basin of water outside and odds and ends from the kitchen.And of course a bath with small kitchen items different size containers and plastic tea sieve or strainer and a spoon.
    My week has been more a one of keeping my head above water and working on ideas .Visiting my older family members,and working out how I can help a tired,close family member- sorted that out and took easy/basic food groceries - as she has small space. I feel better for having done that, taken some of my worry away.
    Rearranged the now empty bedroom we have , and moved back all the gift items, wrappings and card stores , tidied up and opened out the tea trolley to use as my working table.That has decluttered our smaller office room.And cooked extra curry and rice mix which we had for one dinner and the rest packed into individual curry and rice meals ,and the sauce left to be used with pasta and veges for another meal.Also two snack bags of the rice mix to pad out other meals for DH and I. Flatpack froze those items to fit into my small top freezer.
    Happy weekend to all , and wellness to those still unwell.Love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria, This week was mostly warm and I babysat for a little while... I took Harpers dress off and filled up all kinds of plastic cups and bowls etc with water out on the back veranda. Yep she was just so happy to play with all of that and chuck water around! Best thing ever!
      You did heaps this week! I think delivering groceries to someone is a lovely thing to do.
      I love the idea to flat pack frozen things as they thaw out must faster when you need them!
      My chicken found somewhere else to lay her eggs... in an empty flower pot in the garden... so she can have that for herself! Weird bird.
      Have a lovely weekend Maria! With love

  11. I feel exhausted just reading what you have accomplished this week, Annabel...all while I was strolling on the beach on holiday :-) I hope you have time to relax this weekend. You must feel very satisfied with your week.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Your holiday pictures were lovely! It looks heavenly! I am glad you got this restful time away.
      I am pretty much relaxing this weekend! It was a good week! With love

  12. Dear Annabel,
    What a productive week you've had. The lemon butter is gorgeous. It's one of my favorite things. The roses -- exquisite. Harper will be so happy with her toys. The gift basket is lovely. I enjoyed seeing Andy's blue crabs. Years ago we lived in a state where blue crabs were native to the area. We used to take our children out crabbing on weekends. Then came the cooking and eating, and with the small claws we made crab soup. Seeing all of your beautiful roses has me missing summer already.

    My husband is recovering nicely, although he thinks not fast enough. Men!!! A little nest feathering got done this week, some of it catching up with things that were put aside. I made and canned tomato sauce from the tomatoes that were just packed in the freezer because they couldn't be gotten to. Baked a crumb cake, 3 dozen chocolate chip scones, tried some new recipes for dinners that were well-received, got to play in the sewing room each day, crocheted edgings for the tea towels found in stash, worked on perfecting grub roses. I think that's it for me. My husband has a friend coming to visit today so I'm hoping to make a quick fly by to Aldi's to pick up a few things while he's here. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, What a good week! It was good thinking to put the tomatoes in the freezer until you could deal with them.
      It must be men as Jane said Bluey also thinks he is not recovering fast enough and yet the doctor is thrilled with him!
      Your baking sounds beautiful. And I am so happy you have been able to sew and crochet etc. Also I am really pleased about your Grub Roses!
      I hope your trip to Aldi is like mine... I was so pleased! Big swing there and I am stocked up! Have a good weekend to you too!
      With love,

  13. Hi Annabel!

    I grabbed some preserves on our way out today, for giving! It's a lovely feeling to have these in store! I appreciate that you experienced the same with your generous basket of beautiful, homemade gifts!

    That jug of roses is so gentle!

    I love that you had a car load of beauty! Lemon butter sure is wonderful, and Vicky will love your pictures of lemons! I hadn't realized that citrus is such a treasure until I learnt how it is a bit of a rare commodity in parts of the US!!

    I was pleased to finish using my lemons during the week. I'll just need to wait for next season to get to dry some peels - which is what I am really looking forward to. Some lemon vinegar is sunning in the sunny sunshine during the day!

    I have nearly finished cutting nettles! I cooked a chook outdoors, including bay leaves and nettles! I burnt some weeds as fuel! I discovered sandpaper figs, and will be starting to pick small wild berries.

    I was pleasantly surprised to be given crochet threads from an op shop by my parents! They hadn't known that I am planning to learn some crochet!

    Enjoy the good things!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Hi Rachel,
      I'm definitely envious of the availability of lemons in other places. They're $1.49 apiece here at the present time. I'm already missing summer. Blessings. Cookie

    2. Dear Rachel, The crochet cotton is a sign! That is just what you need!
      I do not know about sandpaper figs. You better tell me about those. Maybe they are a wild thing?
      Lemons vary in price here but lately have been expensive i.e. $1.75c each... and Cookie is also seeing them for a lot (above). It makes me appreciate them that is for sure.

      I hope you are having a good weekend! With love

    3. Annabel, Sandpaper fig trees grow in the wild here, so I guess that makes their figs wild, too! The story is that I noticed some little fruit on a young sandpaper fig tree (the leaves of which can actually be used as sandpaper!), and I got around to looking up the tree on the internet. It turns out that, though they are a smallish fruit, the sandpaper fig is the best of the wild figs, and supposed to be quite good (although the rough skin is not recommended for eating!) Now I'll have my eye out for sandpaper fig trees!

  14. Dear Annabel,
    I'm back! It looks like you had such a lovely week. Your roses and lemon butter are just beautiful! I am imagining all the luxurious bath products you are going to make with your rose petals.
    I have a miniature rose bush in a pot on the patio that had new growth all over it and was covered in blooms and buds. A couple mornings ago I looked out to see that all of the leaves had been completely stripped overnight! I looked all over and couldn't find any signs of what might have done it. The next morning I went out and every single bud and bloom had been cut off! It is so disappointing but I scooped up all the flowers and have them drying so at least I could salvage something.
    As Thanksgiving is getting closer here, the stores are starting to run excellent sales. I bought 40 cans of vegetables for $20. I also stocked up on other pantry goods and did a rearrange of my pantry. I transferred a lot of packaged goods into glass jars to keep things fresher and safe from potential pests.
    Our local feed store had a small chicken hutch marked down from $160 to just $60, so we snatched it up. I will use this to raise chicks when the time comes.
    I met my neighbor last week and we have been chatting ever since about ways to save, inexpensive gifts, homemaking, homesteading, etc. It has been really nice. Of course I sent her over here and she loves it!
    Our new roof was put on the week before last! It looks so nice and really freshened things up. (And it doesn't rain in our closet lol.) Now to get the yard to match. I have been fighting an invasive plant in hopes of planting grass this spring.
    I told my husband the news... I'm in the mob. I think he had his suspicions ;)
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I have really missed commenting but I think of y'all every day!
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Hi Kelsey!
      I'm so glad you're back. I was thinking of sending out a search party for you! I missed your comments.

    2. Yay! Kelsey's here! Glad to **see** you!
      ~Colette xxx

    3. Dear Kelsey,
      Something found your rose bush just delicious! Could it be a rabbit? or a deer?
      Well done on stocking up on things while they are on a great special!
      It sounds like you have a lovely neighbour! That is fantastic! Welcome to her! The two of you could help each other in so many ways!
      The new roof is a big thing to have done. I laughed about it no longer raining in your closet. Thats an improvement right there!
      I am so glad to have you back! Have a great weekend to you too! Love

    4. Thank you, Ladies!
      Annabel, I am thinking maybe it was ants that got to my rose bush, as I have seen them cutting leaves from the pomegranate tree.
      Yesterday, my neighbor had me over for tea and it was wonderful! She said she met another girl who just moved to our area with similar interests and we are planning to get together for tea and crafts. I'm so excited!
      Did you happen to get my pin about the rose sugar scrub? It looks lovely!
      Glad to see the men are improving, and Rachel too!
      With love, Kelsey

  15. Dear Annabel,
    The lemons look so delicious!! I love lemon bars and make them once in a while, when lemons go on sale. A sale here is about $1.69 lb for organic lemons; that is a good sale.
    Your roses are, as always, absolutely gorgeous. I can't even imagine how heavenly it smells in your home.
    The week, other than the normal chores and my five small things a day, I vacuum sealed food for about eight hours. We ordered quite a lot in bulk and to preserve it for long term storage, I needed to get it into either canning jars and sealed or vacuum bags and sealed; I did both.
    It was a stressful week at the beginning, but a relief at the end. I am so thankful Cookies husband, Bluey, Teri's son, and others are doing better. I hope Billy is doing better, also. So thankful for the CPW.
    Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, I am realising that a lot of lemons is worth more than I ever knew! I always loved them though and I think a lemon tree is the best thing ever.
      Well done on all the food preserving. That was a lot of work but very good!
      I think the Crafty Prayer Warriors is a great name! I think that might stick now!
      It sure was a stressful week but a good one! Have a great weekend Glenda, with love

  16. Wow Annabel!
    You had a great week. It is fun that you found toys for Harper. The lemons and lemon butter are lovely and the roses
    so perfect. The chicken made me laugh :)Maybe she likes roses
    too. It was a little slow this week for me. I did a little
    shopping and got some things for the pantry. It has been unseasonably warm here S Cali in the 90's. I found some Christmas fabric in my stash. I washed it and I think I will make a pillow. It is about 7 yards and has many different projects on the fabric. I got it years ago at a thrift store.

    I still have not heard from Billy his phone seems to be out of order. Thank you everyone for the prayers. I hope to have an update soon. I did get some Christmas things to mail to him this week. To make his apartment more homey.
    I am glad to hear the others are on the mend even if it is slow going for Bluey. I will keep you all in my prayers.
    Barb I am glad you got some help. I always enjoy your posts it gives me glimps into your life :)
    Blessings from California,
    Much love,

    1. Dear Patti,
      The Christmas fabric sound lovely and you have heaps of it!
      I am hoping the new President honours what he said and makes things for Veterans much much better and that benefits your brother. That would be wonderful. It would be very handy if you knew one of your brothers neighbours then you could have them check on him.If you ever travel there that would be a good back up plan to set up. Hopefully you hear from him soon.
      I would love to see your pillow when you are finished!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  17. The roses look beautiful Annabel. You've had such a productive week. Having a present cupboard save a lot of money and stress.
    Here's what I got up to this week -

    * Rescued a half dead tomato plant from Bunnings for 50 cents. After cutting off the dead bits and giving it a good drink of water all week, it's looking much better.

    * Saved all the washing machine rinse water for each next load. Saved the shower water for our pot plants and fruit bushes. Poured drink bottle water into the watering can.

    * Kept the heater off as much as possible. With the changeable weather we're getting, the heater is only put on every now and then.

    * Used a couple of Flybuys vouchers to get bonus points at Coles.

    * Sold two dozen eggs and lots of white choc and raspberry muffins to my cleaning client.

    * Mended holes in three socks.

    * Picked silverbeet from the garden for three meals.

    * Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.

    * Picked up another fortnightly cleaning job this week. I'm very grateful for the work and God is certainly supplying our needs.

    * Posted off a few Etsy sales from my shop.

    * Made a batch of double strength Miracle Spray. I dilute it down to it's correct strength when filling up the spray bottles.

    * Made a creamed rice dessert and egg custard desert using mostly ingredients that were given to us. I'll be posting the recipes shortly.

    * Dried the washing on the line. I'm so glad the weather has changed and I can put the clothes horses away ( most of the time )

    I have some photos on my blog of a few of these frugal tasks

    1. Dear Wendy, I am glad for you that you still have cleaning work! It is a really good idea to make the Miracle Cleaner stronger and saves bottles!
      It is wonderful you are doing well with the Etsy shop! And as word spreads and peel discover it this will only increase!
      That was a very good week! I will head on over to see your photos! Hope you are having a good weekend! With love

  18. Hi Annabel,
    I didn't get to comment on the beautiful gifts last Wednesday as we had a couple of days away. I can see some very happy folk at Christmas with the wonderful display of handcrafted gifts that we see each week here on your blog. I love the fact that the gifts reflect the different seasons as this gives us a chance to gather materials. patterns and ideas for the whole year.
    Your roses are a real delight and the colours simply gorgeous. They are such a beautiful flower, pity about the thorns! It was my job growing up to weed the rose garden at my parents - the smell was always divine, but the scratches from the thorns, OUCH!! My favourite is still 'Mr Lincoln'.
    Every time I see your lemon butter, I drool and can't wait for my little lemon tree to start producing.
    As far as feathering the nest goes, I made a huge batch of bolognaise sauce which gave us 2 meals, plus some for the freezer, and a few more gifts completed for Christmas but best of all was having our 2 grandchildren for the day at playgroup and seeing the enjoyment on their little faces.
    Have a good week,

    1. Dear Janine, Thank you! Roses are my no 1 flower followed by Peonies.
      I agree about the seasons... both weather seasons and occasions. In winter I get most needlework done and in summer more things like drying flowers and making jams etc but it all fills the gift cupboard.
      Your bolognaise sauce sounds wonderful and so handy to have int he freezer.
      I am having my Granddaughter for the afternoon tomorrow! She is really fun to play with! Everything is magical to her! So Christmas is going to be fun!
      Have a good new week Janine! With love

  19. Those roses are exquisite!! No flowers up here in the tropics until next winter so I enjoy seeing them in blog posts. Enjoy the lemon butter - one of my favourite treats! Have a blessed week. x

    1. Dear Jenny, We had a long winter and no flowers much then either so I am really enjoying being surrounded by so many! Today I gave my daughter a huge bunch of yellow roses to take home. Thank you, you have a good new week too! Love

  20. Hey Annabel, amazing week. You achieve so much. I had a sleep in this morning after three evenings at work and not much sleep. Then channeling you, I made a cake, three egg and bacon quiches medium size and one large one, a family meat pie, a batch of bakewell tarts and a batch of choc chip peanut biscuits. They are all lined up on the racks looking great.

    You always make such great purchases at the op shops, I'm sure yours are better than ours! The lemon butter looks yummy. I have a couple of lemon trees and a lime tree that are prolific and we have new orange and mandarin trees that are newish and already have some fruit on them which is exciting.

    Great finds on the toys for Harper too. She will love them. I love the chicken that came in to your basket again to lay, very cute. I am excited to report that I sold eggs this week, we are getting around 3 doz a week which is more than we need.

    Anyway, have a great sunday and I look forward to reading tomorrows post. Fi xx

  21. Oh, forgot to say Annabel, I bought Jes's book this week, and printed it out, almost 300 pages!!!!!! Can't wait to try some things. Making my mind up what to do first. Thanks for putting us onto it. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, Wow I love your cooking! You that all sounds so good! I have never made Bakewell Tarts but I love them! I would love to know how you make those. Feel free to take photos too! That sounds so beautiful to me!
      I was thinking of your lemon tree in regards to Jes' book. You re set. Lemons are still $1.75each here! As I make things I will report how they go but currently I am aiming to make the lemon hand wash, lemon essence and then the lemon honey soap. Also check out Mimi's Limecello as that is lemon peels based and really an amazing luxury item or gift... I am seriously thinking I make that.... I have enough lemons to do it.
      Plus the loom butter freezes and you can make lemon meringue pies.... all look impressive but are easy really. Plus you have eggs! Heavenly!
      You have a great set up there. Have a wonderful new week. You did so much even when tired after being at work. Have some rest too! With lots of love

  22. The lemon butter looks yummy - but the roses are absolutely gorgeous.
    Sounds like you have a very eventful week.

    Oh yes the election was nail biting on this side of the pond too! Of course there are many who are still agitated by the results. There will always be someone who doesn't like results.

    I love how you can go pick out lovely items for a gift. It IS the best feeling to be able to do that.
    God bless you in this coming week.

    1. Dear Cheryl, Thank you so much! You have a good new week too. I hope things settle down. Thank goodness for democracy. I hope everyone can work together and help each other.
      Thank you Cheryl, with love


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