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, 19 January 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 20th January. 2017.

Every Friday I am amazed at the good it does me to stop and look back at the week.  Last Friday seems like a month ago at least! I am so thankful for my little notes on the fridge or I would not have a clue about half of the stuff we did this week. It is my moment to appreciate all the blessings that came our way  and what we achieved. I feel so happy when I do this.  If we don't consider how we are going I think then we are only looking at what needs doing which, lets face it, is never ending.  So I love Fridays for this reason.

This time last week I had figs and had used some for dinner. Then I went on and made four large pizzas with them.  They were really tasty and easy.  I spread the bases with cream cheese and sliced figs and baked. Then I topped them with rocket and drizzled sticky balsamic vinegar over the top.  Very simple.


All the remaining figs I made into jam.  This is good as you can use it like fig paste with cheeses etc or with cream on scones or toast.  I add almonds.


I got ten jars. Two for Dad, two for my sister in law who gave me the figs, three for gifts, three for us. 

I used the labels Chloe made for me...


I had free bananas so I made four dozen banana muffins.


Also a lot of basil ready in several pots.  I picked most of it and make pesto. This was another dinner and a gift.  


I forgot to take a photo of the pesto. It was so bright green!

My Hydrangeas this year haven't been very good. I picked some that have dried off and used them to fill a bowl and make some use out of them.


I had too many eggs so I made a huge baking tray of self crusting quiche which also used up a few left over sun sided tomatoes, a few leaves of spinach, herbs from the garden...


I have been asked how I make quiche.  I don't really use a recipe as to me its something to use things up but I used ten eggs, a large carton of cream, grated cheese, two fried onions, a bit of bacon, left overs all went in. I had no pastry so I added about 3/4 cup SR flour. Line a pan with baking paper. I pour it in and let it sit for a few minutes so that the flour hopefully sinks. Then you get a crisp edge to make up for no pastry!  It is very flexible. I might use milk, cream or evaporated milk or any combination depending on what I have. More eggs make it more eggy, less makes it more quiche/custardy.  Other use it up ingredients are grated zucchini, ham, tomato... or things like roast sweet potato which them make it more like a frittata. Truly use what you have. 
Anyway we had it with salad and relish for dinner then it was lunches/lunch box food.

This week I picked another ten kilos or so of peaches. So far a few have ripened and we have eaten those fresh. Sometime soon a lot will all be ripe at once then I will start working on them. I have a fair few more to pick yet. So between basil, figs, peaches this has been quite a lot of free food with a lot of potential for different uses. I have big plans for these peaches. I think everyday next week I will be busy on these.

On Monday we were talking about free ways to improve our preparedness.  Jane mentioned having a bike and using it in case fuel was in short supply etc. Joy agreed and so did I... I have thought about this before even looking at bikes but didn't go ahead and do it.  Lucy's house is only a few kilometres away.  If feel and communication were out I would want to get there. A bike with a basket to carry things could be a very good thing to have.  
I had been shopping and driving past the flats around the corner from us there was a bike. I had noticed it earlier but did not see the sign on it.  
The sign said "FREE" I could not believe it!  Vicky always says free is her favourite price! We have had a lot of laughs about that.  


It is a ladies 18 gear bike. I said I only need one gear (downhill) but all I need is a basket.  We also laughed how the free sign is so neat.  Very nice.  
So I am going to get that basket and consider this part of my emergency preparations.  So Jane we better get into training!

Also I found a beautiful old chandelier shaped light. It is quite big with scrolly pretty arms and a lovely shape... but without crystals.  I am going to make it over so we will have a chandelier at long long last in the bedroom! 

In the mail I got a $40 grocery voucher from Flybuys. Mostly I earned this using dockets that got me thousands of extra points. I stick the weekly deal tickets in my diary and make sure I hand in each one. It paid off!  I will turn this into $80 by waiting for half price deals and will build up my pantry with it. Yay!


My Vicky Challenge: 
Packed lunches for a short week $80
Four large pizzas for almost free $80
10 jars of fig jam  $30
10 kilos free peaches.... $40
Use it up meals plus quiche $20
Free bike $100 ( I counted $100 as it would cost at least that to go buy a second hand bike)
2 big jars of pesto $10
My $40 voucher.
So I wrote $400 into my savings book. 


Last night we had another storm. This one we got a red alert on the phone and by email. Other storms have been an amber alert.  When this came the sky is perfectly clear.  It was late afternoon. We had dinner and it was still clear. I decided to go pick more peaches while it was ok as strong winds and hail were in the warning. 
I got a basket of peaches and then brought in  everything from the clothes line.  By then we could see a storm was actually coming.  Then another warning came and it hit fast! 
For us it passed fairly quickly and although a mess the garden is well watered. But thousands are without power again and traffic lights are out again as well.  Our power stayed on so I am thrilled about that! 

How was your week? How did you feather your nest, save and get ahead? 
Have a lovely weekend!  xxx











71 comments:

  1. What a great deal on your bike, Annabel! For my basket, my husband took an old plastic milk crate we had on hand and used zip ties to hold it onto my bike! hahaha

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Jenn it probably fitted in more than a bike basket.

      Lynette
      XXXX

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    2. What a clever idea for a bike basket! Very practical.Love, Bridget

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    3. Dear Jenn, That is a great idea. Zip ties are to Andy what craft glue is to me! I want to be able to carry plenty so this could work well! Thank you! Love Annabel.xxx

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  2. Dear Annabel and my fellow bluebirdians,
    Oh what a lovely and big week you have had. How did I know you would find a bicycle and free how wonderful, is it in good condition?, it looks pretty good. Wow how great!. My week has been pretty good but savings wise I am not sure( again I didn't write it down but I will try and remember, I have some new exercise books that I bought for 10 cents each in the back to school sales so I will use one of them for the vicky challenge starting today!.
    Ok here goes,
    I had my usual 2 hours cleaning , $36 savings compared to a professional company ( this is the minimum I would save I am sure it's more )
    I had an hours meal prep service on Monday and will have an hour of that today , I will base my savings on what it would cost for takeaway or convienveencelike meals . I get two meals made every Monday and two more every Friday, each meal does me at least one dinner and a lunch sometimes 2 dinners . Savings for This is about $50 because I get my own personal chef also!. . $10 grocery savings , made 4 cards for birthdays $20 savings ( I will save $5 per card as handmade cards in the newsagency can be up to $20 but I would never pay that ) . I gratefully received 3 meals from my parents and some shallots/ spring onions from their garden $25 savings approximately, I am getting some coffee jars from a friend today to use in my pantry , I think I am getting 4 large and 2 small jars. I have been looking at canisters for my rice, pasta etc , they ( the canisters I was looking at ) are about $15 to $20 each , I will say a $35 savings for these . i have saved $30 on taxi fares this week by getting a ride with my dad one day and staying home another day . I saved $11 on supermarket grocery delivery by getting my dad to do my groceries when he was able to ( it's been a busy week ) , I am saving $40 on a day out today by staying home , this includes. Taxi fare, lunch and groceries I might " need" because they are on special. I think that is it Annabel . My vicky challenge total this week is approximately $257 . I have had another fairy average week savings wise but I am happy with that. Your jam and the labels on the jars look really lovely Annabel.
    I hope everyone has a great weekend love Barb W.

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    1. Dear Barb,
      Well done! I think the help with meal prep is so valuable and sets you up to eat well. You have had lots of good savings and a nice week! Doesnt it all add up!
      Exercise books for 10c each is such a bargain!
      Have a lovely weekend Barb! With lots of love Annabel.xxx

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  3. That bike is a great find, Annabel! I can just see you tootling around with your basket full of fresh goodies ;)
    I believe the storm you just had is on it's way to us today. It has just started raining, which is very welcome after the heatwave. DS and I went for a walk this morning, and got home just a the drops started falling. Great timing!
    I am very jealous of your peaches. I actually had some ripening on my tree, and I was very hopeful that this would be the year that we would be able to eat some homegrown fruit. But it was not to be. The pesky possums ate them all, seemingly overnight. Climbing in and around the net I had put over them. I have had smallish battery powered sensor lights which I think has helped somewhat this year. So I will be investing in a proper powered one. Those possums better be prepared!
    Love, Fiona xx

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    1. Dear Fiona, I have seen you have had some very hot weather also and storms. It is kind of wearing!
      I did try solar lights. The really bright blast of light from electric ones has been the only thing that has worked. We have possums here every night and it has worked. They are quite tame too and if I throw food onto the lawn they will come and get it right in front of us! I don't mind them if they don't pinch my fruit! We have it set to stay on about two minutes, that is time that they will move off. Good luck! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Yes, solar lights are not all they are cracked up to be...in certain circumstances! No hurry to get a powered sensor light though, no peaches left! Although I do have lots of figs coming, and a late fruiting apricot tree which I hope will give me something at some stage ;)
      We were lucky this time with the storm not being very powerful by the time it reached us. Lovely rain for the parched garden though xx

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  4. Hello Annabel, lovely to read your week.

    The jar labels are gorgeous!

    The basil looks great so now I want to try to grow some in my outdoor area.

    Love hydrangeas. I hadn't thought of displaying them dried. I would love a pink one. Over Christmas I heard they like morning sun so I have a spot for one.

    The bike lol. Things happen for a reason and I know my dear mother looks after me from above. I've been thinking about an exercise bike. Did my research and expected to pay $300-$600. I mentioned it to one of my girlfriend's this morning and she's selling hers for $100! I only wanted calories burned but I can plug my iphone in and it has a fan! I'm so excited!

    One of my work colleagues brought me in dinner leftovers of quiche. So now I'll be digging out my quiche recipe.

    You are such an inspiration! Enjoy your weekend x

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    1. Thanks Michelle it was the week of bikes! Quiche is so versatile. We like it hot or cold. Very handy.
      I dry all the hydrangeas. I have a wreath planned even though my flowers weren't as good as usual. Have a lovely weekend! Love Annabel.xxx

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  5. Annabel a free bike is just wonderful! I did wonder at your cryptic clue the other day. M y trike is on the veranda and will be getting a good service over the weekend. It is supposed to cool down a little by Sunday. Yes please. If it does cool down, little Cobber and I might hit the Esplanade bike track for a bit of a spin. If it doesn't cool down no way am I going anywhere.
    I love those labels. Did Chloe design them or did she pull them off the web somewhere. This is a skill I would like to develop a little more.
    This week has seen savings of around $250. Our son and his family left on Tuesday and it is so quiet without them. We are no longer having cooked breakfasts, big lunches and dinners. I think we will notice a big drop in grocery bill shopping.
    A big clean up occurred after the family left. Our son's big dog had a lot of fun being allowed to come inside. Freddie is black and my tiles are white. I am still finding big black dog hairs. It's amazing how much more dirt and dust occurs with extra people a baby and a dog.
    I have cleaned out all the kitchen cabinets. I'm pleased to say that very little is being purged. A few things are being returned to the caravan and a couple of cake pans are off to Vinnies. I did find a few large coffee jars I had hidden in a corner. These are now washed and ready to be put into use.
    The fridge is on todays cleaning agenda and the pantry on tomorrows. I have purchased some plastic placemats from the cheap shop to go in the fridge as shelf liners. I'm hoping this will help with keeping things a little cleaner. The fridge is that appliance that is the bane of my life. I hate having to clean it and put it off for too long.
    It's so HOT AND DRY!!!!!!!!!!! We need rain badly. Our farmers livestock dams are getting very low and the bush surrounding our town is so, so dry. We have a bore and it is going everyday trying to keep our lawn and garden from going crunchy brown. This may be a battle we will lose.
    In the hopes of a cool rainy day soon I will sign off.
    Life is hot but good.

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    1. Jane we have been missing out on the rain here too, so blue skies, hot and humid weather with no end in sight.

      Lynette
      XXXXX

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    2. I understand the dog hair! We have dark floors and a granddog with long white hair. I clean that up for weeks after he comes.

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    3. Jane the fridge is a big job. I have been able to do it in a little bit at a time with the shelf liners. Rather than the whole thing on one day which is massive. They really help. Also you can carefully cut ones to fit the shelves on the doors and the crispers etc. Has helped a lot.
      I hope you get rain. It is so green here it looks tropical! Normally it is dry as a crisp.
      Have a good weekend! Love Annabel.xxx

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    4. Jane the rain is on the way - we have some here. Love the sound of it hitting the tin roof. House is still warm though because we have had to close the windows up where the breeze often comes in.

      Lynette
      XXXXX

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  6. Annabel, I was reading on Weatherzone that SA had another power outage. I guess it will be the same here in Qld once the cyclones start up. So far most of the storms have bypassed us and hit Brisbane. We are just having day after day of above average temps for us anyway. It has been too hot to even make a quiche which I normally cook regularly but once it cools down I can use up some of the eggs we have. Have a lovely weekend.

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  7. Dear Annabel,

    We must all be thinking along the same lines. Phil and I bought bikes for our Christmas presents. I already had a basket from my old bike so that was put on straight away. It is about 7kms to the main street here, but I am thinking seriously about riding down there for my groceries. Of course I need to get fitter first as I wont even make it down to the end road at the moment! Oh my poor butt when I get started lol! That bike was a great find!

    I think I am going to start writing things down again as I forget by the time feather your nest comes around. I know I have been good and didn't spend too much money this week. I have been using up what I have here in the pantry and freezer.

    This week I
    * Baked some sourdough bread and rolls.
    * I was given some yummy peach jam and it was delicious with our rolls and cream. Childhood favourite!
    * Picked zucchinis, kale, celery, tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers and an eggplant from the garden. I also harvested quite a bit of rhubarb.
    * The nectarines are almost ripe and so are the grapes.
    * Hubby has been collecting wood for our winter fire. All the trees down from the storms have been really handy.
    * Our rainwater tanks are full. We can now start using more of it around the yard and veggie garden.
    * Gathered my soap making gear together ready for the big day.
    * Cooked all meals from scratch.
    * Used surplus eggs and zucchini to make a slice (quiche).
    * Also sold eggs.
    * We are looking after a friends house and yard while she is away and some of her fruit is ready to pick. She has delicious figs!

    The storm passed through last night and we received heaps of rain again. We didn't lose power but the west coast will be out until tomorrow! They really need to do something about that!

    Wishing you and everyone here a lovely weekend,

    Love Tania xx

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    1. Tania, I love the sound of the bike-riding. Such a good way to do errands and stay fit and healthy. Good thinking. Love, Bridge

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    2. Peaches and cream! Home grown grapes!
      This is wonderful to read, Tania!
      More bikies!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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    3. What a good week Tania. Building up the firewood supply that was is wonderful. I love a big stack of firewood. '
      We will all be in training with our bikes! The rain is good, I cant remember a summer that is so green in the garden.
      Much love Annabel.xxx

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  8. I am exhausted just reading what everyone has done this past week. We stayed home this past week so no eating out, my hubby loves to go out at least 1 night a week for a good steak dinner, average cost here $50.00. The week before I had found 2 good sized rib eye steaks marked down to $6.00, had plenty of potatoes already I added a small side salad I made with leftovers, total cost maybe $9.00, saved $41.00, made all lunch's at home $20.00. Needed to trim my hair, I do it myself also needed to color my hair,savings$100.00. So I added $ 169.00 to my savings. Tomorrow I plan on doing a mani pedi myself so I think around here i saved $75.00 and I will add that to this week's savings, grand total=$244.00, if I can add in my head.

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    1. tealady, I'm with you on the steak dinner. My husband can grill a steak better than a restaurant, and who can't throw together a great salad and baked potato? Huge savings there, 'bigly'. My big excitement is that I'm going to purchase a food dehydrator with a $50 gift card from a friend. I hope to really put it to use this coming summer when we again have a wonderful garden. I'm planning on growing and drying herbs also, and will try to dry fruit in season. I was thinking about how a bike can save so much money, if you are living within reasonable biking distances to stores. Just think, no car, no insurance, no fuel, no repairs... if you can use your bike (and basket!) for nearby tasks, you are saving a bundle, plus, think of the exercise!

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    2. Dear Tealady, Andy loves a steak. I am pretty good at cooking them. I watch out for really nice steaks at ok prices and keep some on hand if I can. Sometimes we will have a BBQ other times I wills ay Im cooking a steak. I do mushroom or chips or something big on the side. In the end Andy had a streak out somewhere and said it wasn't as good as my steak. So yes it is a big savings right there and they can still have a steak!
      Well done on your DIY beauty services as well! Huge savings there too!
      With love Annabel.xxx

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  9. Annabel we were thinking of you last night, then again early this morning when the rain finally hit here. Boy did it come down - even woke Wayne up, something I'm never able to do :) So glad to hear you are safe and well, and didn't suffer too much with this storm. Our garden is a bit of a mess too, with another branch off our apple tree. Between the weight of the apples, the rain and the wind it just couldn't holdup. I think I'll use the apples to make apple sauce and bottle it. Like you I'm praying prayers of thanks for the rain to water the garden, it will save me using the tank water (which is full again with the rain) to water.

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    1. Dear Cath,
      The rain is good but I hate to hear of a branch of your apple tree coming off! It is good that they are far enough along to still be able to use them.
      Full rain water tanks at this time of the year are rare! Big bonus! Have a lovely weekend! Love Annabel.xxx

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  10. HI Annabel,the jam lables are gorgeous! I used the vanilla bean to make rhubarb & vanilla jam, all with gifted items & it is a lovely jam! Tastes really fancy with the vanilla.
    After reading your post I am going to make up some mini quiches as we have lots of eggs & I have sour cream to use up also.

    Have a lovely week

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    1. Vanilla! Karen, you're on the mark with that! How beautiful!!
      Regards,
      'blog secretary'

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    2. Dear Karen, I love to use muffin trays to make little quiches. I think they are something that are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
      The jam sounds lovely. I love vanilla.
      Much love Annabel.xxx

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  11. Thank you for a very uplifting and positive post, Annabel. I LOVE your free bike. It is perfect. I really love the idea of getting errands done, or getting places and staying healthy and fit. Double win. You did lots of cooking and your food sounds delicious. I love how you made lots of things at once. I need to do that more, instead of doing one dozen- do two or three. I can't wait until we can buy a big freezer one day. I will put it to good use. I very much enjoyed my time with my son, lots of walking with the pram, parks and sunshine. I did lots of double up cooking, which saved me on the couple of really busy days. I also really learnt that speaking up is important. I emailed two different places that had billed us- one returned us $200 and the other $270, all from a few emails. Normally, Iet things go, but I am getting stronger and more assertive. I also found reduced meat at the corner store (who would have thought?!), it was much, much cheaper than a grocery store...so like you have said before, keep an eye on prices. I need to really broaden where I shop.
    Love, Bridget

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    1. Thank you for your very uplifting comments and replies, Bridget! Little by little, the Bluebirds are chirping between nests. There is richness as more contribute!
      Regards,
      'blog secretary'

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    2. Dear Bridge,
      Wow those two emails saved you so much money! You earned $470 from a few minutes work! Well done!
      The discovery with the corner store is a good one! I would try and see if they do it regularly and if so when, days and times! If it is a pattern then you are set! Many places seem to have a pattern i.e. 4 in the afternoon or whatever. If you are really brave just ask them. Theres a fair chance they will tell you. Well done on keeping your eyes open and noticing this!
      When your son is bigger a freezer would be so helpful. I only have a side by side fridge/freezer but I can get a lot in there. Its very helpful!
      With much love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Hi all! Should I call you the 'Bluebird Bikies'?!!!! Well, Michelle is going for an exercise bike, Barb for exercise books, Jane for her trike, and Annabel for her lady's bike! Jenn likely looks like she is travelling on a milk crate! What a group of bikies that would make!! Ha ha!! Then, years ago I was given a little old fold-up bicycle. I guess that means I could carry it up our hills! Fiona and Nanna Chel might catch up on their bikes later, on account of their weather!! Ha ha!! You're a wonderful bunch!!

    I was reticent to say that the best thing about the week was good rain last weekend - 75mm, then 45mm. Jane and Lynette, when you do see good rain again, you will love it, so long as it is not too much all at once. This is just a reminder to you that rain exists!!!! I am so grateful for little beans on my plants, cucumber vines growing beyond head height, and some areas of long green 'spaghetti' grass - after so much dry. Tonight, there was enough growth of warrigal greens to make toasted sandwiches with them! Yum!

    With tomatoes having been so dear, it was nice to buy a couple of good-sized bags of soft tomatoes for $1.50 each. I washed them in washing soda water to help remove spray residues. They are cooked now, and being kept nicely chilled! I had some with billy-boiled egg pasta!

    We've been working away at a variety of tasks, still. Bit by bit, it all makes a good difference.

    We are in vital times. I am so very thankful that we can look to our Creator, who is well able to protect us from the wrath of the enemy, and to complete His purpose in each and every one of our lives!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    1. Dear Rachel, The bluebird bikers. lol. With little bluebirds on bike helmets.
      Cooking up your tomatoes was great! This reminds me I have about 8 that need cooking...
      What a lot of rain! It is lovely to have a green garden, for us this rain and lush greenery at this time of year is unusual.
      Thank you for your secretarial work! With love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Dear Annabel,
    That bike's an incredible find. All of the food looks delicious, especially the fig pizza. The labels Chloe made are gorgeous.

    We've been home all week as it's either been sleeting, snowing or rain, getting some things done around the house.
    I've been happily in the sewing room everyday working on finishing a quilt and crocheting in the evening. I've also been taking on "inventory" of things saved to be repurposed as containers for gifts and other things. Baked 2 dozen scones, 1 dozen corn muffins and 2 dozen cheddar biscuits for meals and the freezer. Made all meals at home. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

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    1. Dear Cookie, What weather for nesting inside! It is lovely that you are busy and happy when outside it is so cold! Baking would also be beautiful and warming. I will look forward to seeing your projects! With lots of love, Annabel.xxx

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  14. My reply to myself! - P.S. Annabel, your work in your home is beautiful - pizzas, fig jam, fresh basil AND a free lady's bike! This is all wonderful!
    Regards,
    Me!

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  15. I will be preparing some fig pizza! Thank you for the meal inspiration!

    P.S. I included Bluebirds in our preparedness post intro -- Thanks for all you have shared!

    http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-time-to-come-proverbs-31.html

    Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Dear Jes, Thank you so much! I am looking forward to your preparedness course so much. I am on board! With love Annabel.xxx

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  16. We actually had a thunderstorm last week, which is very, very rare in January in the Midwestern USA. The wind whipped up enough that I pulled out emergency lights and filled a bucket with water to flush toilets in case the power went out and we lost the well pump. Thankfully the power stayed on and everything was fine. I've been enjoying everyone's preparedness suggestions (across a couple of blogs) and appreciate all of the ladies' good advice.
    Blessings, Leigh

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    1. Leigh, isn't it wonderful when emergency actions just become second nature! It surprises me that I can subconsciously detect when our diesel generator is slowing. We take the load off it before it stops .. when it is simply running out of fuel!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  17. Annabel, Yea on the Free bike! Your week has been busy.
    We have been really snowed in this past couple of weeks. We had a huge snow storm hit us on the 10th and as of today we still have some snow out there in the yard but the roads are clear so I can get out in my car. So while I couldn't go anywhere I crocheted a couple of hats and have started another one for the donation stash. Yesterday it warmed up enough that I am able now to do more canning; I use my waterbath canner outdoors. Yesterday I made cranberry sauce, 12 pints some for us and some for gifts. I also put up 6 pints of pineapple chunks.

    I also want to mention I loved your soap making post from last week. So I checked out Pinterest for more ideas.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Wow! .... water bath canning outdoors after snow! Good on you! I guess you were well rugged up!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  18. Lots of rest here for healing from hubby's heart attack. A friend brought a wonderful pot of soup that has fed us on and on and gotten better and better. Slow days are good for us right now and I am not too concerned with the pennies but we really have not spent since we are home.

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    1. Lana, I hope you and your husband find mercies new every morning!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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    2. Hope you are both resting. What a kind friend to bring over the soup. I hope your DH is getting stronger day by day. Love Bridge

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    3. Dear Lana, Just focus on quiet time and going along gently. You have been through a harrowing time and it is exhausting. I hope each day your husband is improving. Simple things like lovely soup and home comforts are what you both need now. With much love, Annabel.xxx

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    4. Dear Lana, remember that with all that you have been through, you have used up a lot of your bodies adrenaline. This needs to be paid back. If you wake up one day and simply need to sit all day, do it. Your husband needs you to be well, so listen to your body rather than trying to fight through the lethargy. Much love.

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  19. Hi all. I live in the Center of Canada, needless to say we are still in the depths of winter, though we are at +2C today instead of the usual -30C. So no gardening here. I am a tad jealous of all you can grow in Australia. Someday I would love to visit. I am a widow, so only have myself to provide for. I still work part time in the city, but live an hour away in the country. I canned and froze quite a bit last year, so it is like opening up a jar of summer each time. I followed you all on the Vicky challenge last year and have chosen to join in as I really would like to know how much I save per year. I budget $125 per month for groceries. This month I have spent $95 of it, though $30 of it went on a car part. I have eaten from my freezer all month. I also made 9 helpings of turkey wild rice soup, 7 of chicken pasta soup, 5 of burrito soup, and 9 servings of pasta bake. To buy all that at the store would be roughly $85 as these soup would be "specialty" items in the stores. I have made a loaf of cracked wheat bread which will do about a week and I have made 3 medium size pizzas this week. The turkey sausage was on sale for $2 and contains enough slices for the three pizzas. Onions from my garden, peppers, mushrooms on sale, and olives will also go on two of them. I have some pineapple that needs using and that has been used on the third one. The rest of the pineapple will be made into a sauce for cubed chicken on top of rice. This should make four servings. Between the pizza and this I estimate it at $45 for the pizza and $15 for the chicken meals. I will make homemade laundry soap today and that will last about six months. A savings of $50 there. So overall I have saved a couple hundred dollars this week. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Jean!
      On behalf of the Bluebirders, "Welcome!" We look forward to hearing more from you! Your canning and freezing sound good. Are you able to contribute photos of your canning? I hope we Aussies make you more jealous of our gardens!! Keep warm!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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    2. Dear Jean, Welcome! It is lovely to have you here. All your cooking sounds just wonderful and it is such a saving but also so healthy.
      Your country life and garden sound very nice! Have a great weekend Jean, love Annabel.xxx

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    3. Hi Jean!
      How lovely to have you join in from Canada! Eating from the freezer all month is excellent! That can really help free up some of the food budget to stock up on specials!
      XOXO
      Vicky

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  20. Hi Annabell and lovely ladies,
    I have been enjoying sorting and remaking things. I was able to sell a small thing on Craigslist and add that to grocery money. I made a draft catcher for the front door from a chair cover. Now the wind does not come rushing under the door. We have been enjoying all homemade meals. Breakfast I have been making hot egg sammys, and breakfast taco's and breakfast burritos to go wrapped in wax paper and foil so they are a good start to the day. Also sometimes 2 boiled eggs in a little bowl with salt to go. We have been having plenty
    of rice since we found out the rice cooker can be used for that. You just take the little paddle in the bottom
    out that stirs the bread. Then you add a little oil 1 cup rice 2 cups water cover pan with foil and turn on. Perfect rice every time. I use this to bake outside when temps are hot. We have been having a lot of rain here. They say the drought is over.
    I have also found enough diapers and ribbon to make several diaper cakes. I used to make these all the time. I might try to sell some. We will see.
    so I have put these away in the craft area. I also was able to bless the children next door with beanies and scarfs to stay warm.
    Annabell you meals look amazing! I love figs of any kind. It is great to make jam so you can enjoy them later. I think it is great that you were blessed with a bike. That will be so fun and quite useful. Hoping everyone has a safe, frugal and productive week.
    Love,
    Patti

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    1. Patti, can't making do be so very satisfying! Keep up your good work - and in winter, too!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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    2. Dear Patti,
      I hope the drought is over for sure! You have been busy with lots of really good things! Finding supplies to make up into gifts or even to see is great too. I love those cakes! If you make one up please send me a picture!
      Your meals sound delicious to me Patti! Have a good weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

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    3. How funny when I was reading my comment I meant to say I started making rice in the read machine. It has a rice setting and a jam setting πŸ˜„ I can't wait to try the jam setting. Love Patti

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    4. Yes Rachael I love making due. It is rewarding!πŸ˜„

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    5. I will send photos when I make the diaper cakes! They are so fun!πŸ˜„ Hugs Patti

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  21. What a great find with the bike and it looks in great condition. I hadn't thought of a bike or some sort of transport if fuel is hard to come by but now I have :)
    The jam looks lovely and the labels are beautiful.
    I save a fair bit this week. I have been getting rid of things that we don't need on Facebook buy swap and sell and made $750. I made quiches also and froze some ripe bananas for cakes or muffins cause it has been too hot to use the oven a lot. I cut and dyed my hair. Cut Glenn's hair. I also made some chutney one morning. We cleaned the pool and saved there as a pool cleaner is not cheap. We haven't saved on electricity though as we have had really hot humid weather and the air conditioner has been going nearly all day every day. This weekend is supposed to be cooler so hopefully will get heaps done.
    Have a lovely weekend Annabel and the Bluebirdians :)

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    1. Dear Debbie, Wow you did really wonderfully with the Facebook sales. What a good week! I understand about the air conditioner. I look at it that I can keep going and getting things done vs being in a heap from heat exhaustion. Worth it!
      That was a very good week so I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Debbie,
      That was really good $750! Added up with your other savings this week I would love to say good job!
      XOXO
      Vicky

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  22. Now this is not meant to insult anyone who does ride a bike, but I can't imagine you on a bike Annabel, you are too glamorous. I just can't see it. What a great find though, a free bike, you sure do come across some great things in your travels. I never had considered cream cheese being spread on the base of a pizza, was it sweet? My hydrangeas are huge this year, they were cut back really hard after last year and with all the rain, they are way over six feet tall and full of blooms. Very sad here in Victoria with that bastard killing and injuring so many innocent people, I am speechless. One of the critically ill is a 3 month old baby. I hope that all the readers here are safe and well and you of course Annabel. Life is precious. Fi xx

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  23. Good evening Annabel, I always enjoy your feather your nest posts ❤️
    I think you're amazing. And what a cute free bike!

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  24. Oh what a blessings about the bike. Your hydrangea's are still so pretty. One of my favorite flowers. I'm just trying hard to not spend anything not needed. I'm decluttering here and there weekly and making donations. I'm also practicing more baking.

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    1. Dear Chrissy, Thank you. Well done and the baking will pay off so much as you have teenagers and they sure can go through food! I remember well! There is nothing like walking in the door to the smell of baking either!
      Have a great weekend, Love Annabel.xxx

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  25. Oh what a blessings about the bike. Your hydrangea's are still so pretty. One of my favorite flowers. I'm just trying hard to not spend anything not needed. I'm decluttering here and there weekly and making donations. I'm also practicing more baking.

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  26. Dear Fiona, I am definately not too glam to ride a bike but Ill take that as a compliment!
    Yes shocking and upsetting about Melbourne. Beyond words.
    Your hydrangeas sound incredible I can only dream of getting them that huge! I will keep trying.
    The pizza was still savoury. Some other spreads over the base I use instead of tomato base are pesto, caramelized onions, onion jam, BBQ sauce (good for chicken pizza) and I really have loved some of these as they make it totally different. And I have endless dough....
    I hope you are having a lovely weekend, with love, Annabel.xxx

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  27. Annabel,
    poof it went so I will try again! LOL Everything as always looks so well done and I bet the pesto is very pretty! FREE my favorite price! Very economical transportation. We have bikes in the barn, but I haven't ridden one in years. I should probably get it out and start scootering around!
    Rick and Todd worked cutting down a tree this week and got to bring the wood home so free firewood and we have been working cutting some of it up it has been hard because most days we are getting rain. I am still trying to use up some things from the freezer and I hope to have one completely empty within a few months then I will inventory all pantry items and make my list of what to stock. We started cleaning out the basement so that has been my feathering mostly for this week. I am ready to start next week!
    XOXO
    Vicky

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  28. Dear Annabel,
    The things you find put out for free continue to amaze me! Great find on the bicycle! I am so happy for you!
    I have been getting points from one of our department stores and used them to get some new pajamas for youngest granddaughter for less than $1 with original price of $34. I just ordered another pair for $2.51 and will save them for part of her birthday. I also got a knit "beanie" hat for my husband for$.50 with original price of $25.
    We have been enjoying the fresh produce myy daughter and I got last week. When I was at Costco, I saw containers of grape tomatoes about half the size of the ones we each got for $5. So, we got about $20 of yummy grape tomatoes for $10, plus a lot of other produce. I made a big batch of calabacitas, a southwestern dish, using the yellow squash, corn, tomatoes and green chilies from that produce purchase. We'll eat some and freeze some in individual portions.
    I made extra breakfast burritos today so we could have enough for 2 or 3 meals.
    I hope you and the rest of the Bluebirds have a wonderful weekend!
    Love from Arizona,
    Elaine

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    1. Dear Elaine,
      Thank you! Well I think your special sale buys are incredible! Little pyjamas for your granddaughter for $1! And on points!
      The tomatoes sound lovely and so does your cooking. I hope you have a lovely weekend too... ours is almost over but has been very nice. With love Annabel.xxx

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