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, 4 May 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 5 May, 2017.

The main thing to report this week is that Andy got a job!  Thank you for the prayers on this situation and I have to say they worked in amazing ways.  First of all he got a heap of phone calls from people wanting jobs done. (i.e. one guy was converting a house into a dental surgery and needed plans for that)   These kind of jobs kept coming in and Andy was busy everyday.  In between he was applying for jobs. Then he got a call from someone he did a small design for recently and they offered him a regular 30 hours a week in their business!   While not full-time this is enough to be good for us and Andy can still work on these other kinds of jobs that come in.  So this is a big boost!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week include:

My soup of the week was pumpkin and sweet potato.  I love this soup and that has been my lunches.

I altered three more skirts and have been wearing them (vs them hanging in the cupboard unworn!) 
I did the same with three more scarves, reduced them and turned them into infinity scarves.  Then I wear them!  Actually have worn a different scarf every day since it has been cold.

I re arranged our fridge in a way that gives me an extra shelf.  Much better! 

We got bantam chicks!  They are a grey blue colour. I have wanted these for a long time and saw an ad.... off I went up into the hills on a adventure! 

I cut Andy's hair (for first day at the new office!) 

Overall the last few weeks have been low in savings with the job situation, bathroom renovations and not being well.   I know we all go through patches like this.  Just as well we do make hay while the sun shines when it does!  Actually it is a really good reminder. This is WHY we work so hard to get ahead... whether it is meals in the freezer, a well stocked panty and gift cupboard, an emergency fund or whatever.  Suddenly we need them!  
Now I hope we can get back to building them all up again. 
I will be working on it! 
Today the sun is shining.  I have my biggest crockpot full of broccoli as that was on a big special. This will become soup of the week!  

Chloe has her rescue chooks and to add to the numbers she got five more.  (also reduced, this time they are x chicken farm chooks that you can buy for $5 each)  Introducing new chickens into the chicken yard is always interesting.  Chloe's favourite chook is white and fluffy.  Her name is Thelma. 
Well, Thelma does not like the new chickens!
This is Thelma avoiding all the nasty new inhabitants! 

The good news is Chloe will be getting almost a dozen eggs a day!  She will keep the whole family in eggs!

I hope you have had a good week. How did you feather your nest and get ahead?
Have you had times when you were so glad you were ahead due to illness,  job loss or other things life throws at us?
How did you build back up after that time?

I wrote $90 in my Vicky Challenge. Next week WILL BE better! xxx


  1. How exciting!!!! A job loss is so hard on everyone. I'm glad this one didn't last too long! Congratulations, Andy, on your new job!

    I had an illness five years ago that was tough on the finances. It took me probably two years to fully recover financially. It was slow going, but I did it!!!!! One thing I learned from that experience is to always ask for a discount off of the bill if you can pay it in full. I received a discount off of every bill I had to pay! That was a LOT of saving! During this same illness I relied heavily on my very well stocked pantry which made everything a little easier to handle!

    I hope you are feeling better and have a wonderful weekend!
    Hugs, Holley

    1. Dear Holley,
      Thank you!
      I am glad you are over your illness and financially recovered. Well done too on persisting with it. I always think it can be easy to go backwards and then keep going backwards which is very scary. Rebuilding is so important! Also it is a good tip to asks for a discount every time!
      You have a lovely weekend too! With love

  2. Hi Annabel, first time posting here. I love your site and read it every week! Congratulations on Andy's job, I was hoping things would work out smoothly. Once again, thank you for your writing, great ideas, and Positivity!

    1. Hello Halogen, Thank you so much! Have a lovely weekend! We are working on the bathroom and are very glad how things have worked out this week, thank you!xxx

  3. Dear Annabel,
    I was so happy to hear about Andy's new job! It also sounds as if you are both feeling better!

    The hot weather has started here with our first days over 100 F. The sunshade material we put over my garden is helping my plants keep going. I think it is keeping my ripening tomatoes from being spotted and eaten by the birds. I have a cherry tomato plant and a plant with small yellow tomatoes that actually lived through last summer's heat and started producing again in the fall. They are both huge plants now and give me a handful of tomatoes almost every day. I have some sweet potato plants that started on their own from where the vines were trailing along the ground outside the container. When I was digging them up to transplant into containers, one of them had a potato big enough to eat. I also have basil seedlings that have come up on their own. I put one of the basil seedlings in a little pot wrapped in pretty paper to be part of a birthday gift. It's fun having plants that start themselves!

    I did a batch of cooking earlier in the week---tomato sauce, spaghetti, meatballs, taco meat,and a double recipe of lemon, blueberry zucchini bread and muffins. It has been handy being able to just add salad and a couple other things and have dinner ready to go. I tucked a few loaves of bread in the freezer.

    This week was senior discount at the grocery store. I was able to combine that with sales and coupons for a nice savings. A couple of the stores have had contests. Although I haven't won anything big, I have won a few useful grocery items.

    We took dinner to friends a few days ago since the wife had suffered a mini stroke. When I offered to bring dinner, they insisted we stay and eat with them. We had a lovely evening eating and visiting together. I took them a large pan of chicken enchiladas so there would be enough left for them to have another meal or two. While preparing the chicken and the sauce, I made enough so I could make another small pan for us later.

    The decluttering is still going on. I keep reminding myself that someone can make use of the things I donate and we will benefit with a less cluttered, more enjoyable home.

    Wishing you and the other bluebirds a lovely weekend!

    Elaine from Arizona, US

    1. Dear Elaine,
      I think Arizona and South Australia have a lot in common weather wise. I am loving hearing about your spring when we are in Autumn. Self sown plants always seem to do very well. If they come up they deserve a place to live I always think and always transplant as you are doing.
      Your cooking sounds beautiful. Enchiladas are such a good thing to take and share. That sounds like a lovely evening and Im sure it was very much appreciated.
      I think blessing someone else with things we don't need is fantastic. It is helping someone or a charity (or both) and freeing up space we could use better or just enjoy the space and peace.
      Have a good weekend to you too, your week was very good! With love

  4. Annabel,

    This comment will be brief due to time constraints. I choked up at reading the news about Andy's job! PRAYER WORKS!

    Loved all the other good news and pictures, too. Really glad you're on the mend, too!


    1. Dear Kelley,
      I should not be surprised at all but I was still amazed how much happened in a short time and how many times Andy's phone rang with work! Nothing like ever before! I just knew it was prayer. Also sometimes I find in a situation it is hard to pray for yourself... this is when having family and friends who will pray for you helps so much. Thank you so much! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  5. Yay! I'm so happy for you and your husband! Now you can breathe a little easier. My pantry and storage have saved us quite a few times over the last year, from illnesses to cut work hours. I'm thankful I found you ladies a couple years ago and have been on this valuable journey with you all. Thank you for all you share and teach us!
    💗 Melody in OR

    1. Dear Melody,
      I am so glad you have been on this journey with us! We have to keep going as we can. So many ladies have said things to me... job loss, cut hours, higher prices, medical expenses.... all kinds of things... and being ahead with the pantry and other ways has helped a lot. After the last few weeks I have a good reminder why I need to keep doing all of this! Thanks so much! Keep up the good work Melody, with love

    2. I, too, am so thankful that I found Annabel and this group! The encouragement, prayers, helpful tips, beautiful photos, stories and sharing are something I look forward to. Thank you all! Love from Arizona, Elaine

  6. Annabel,
    I am so happy about Andy's job! I've been thinking about y'all a lot. I hop things continue to move in the right direction!

    1. Dear Anne, Thank you! It has been big and a few adjustments! Have a good weekend! With love

  7. So glad Andy got a job! I know that is such a load off your mind. Answered prayers! You are going to love your chickens! Have a great day!

    1. Thank you Vickie! Have a lovely weekend! I am having a cook and catch up here as the week got away from me! xxx

  8. To get a position doing something you love is brilliant. Well done Andy.
    I didn't win the chook mahal contest I entered. Oh well it will be a little while yet before I can get my own chookies. Enjoy all the eggs from yours and Chloe's chookies. Give the feathered girls a hug from me.
    My garden is coming into full production. All the greens are coming from the garden. It wont be long and we will be having our first fresh tomatoes. I'm very much looking forward to this. Our neighbours gave us a pumpkin so we will be having this as a veg and soup. I have New Guinea Bean growing at a rapid rate and in numbers. You eat this like zucchini. I might be making this into soup as well. Tomorrow I plan on making zucchini slice for dinner and some lunches.
    It has been a quiet week here with small savings.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      You would love having chickens! Is the main issue getting a chicken house or something else? With your garden chooks would be so good as all the scraps and greens would feed them!
      Your seasons are so different to ours! I can imagine having tomatoes nearly ready now. I didn't know about the New Guinea beans being like zucchini either! It sounds fantastic! Have a good weekend Jane! With love

  9. Congratulations on Andy's new job!

  10. Dearest Annabel
    Well a good pantry well stocked is such a blessing. Having had two periods in the past four years where I needed a fair amount of time off work not paid and we would not have coped without my pantry and bulk buys. It does take some time to replenish funds and all I can say is slow and steady wins the race. Small amounts tucked away regularly soon builds to comfortable savings. Since my last time off without pay I have been working any extra shifts I am offered. I never say no to work that is for certain when I can get it. Eventually all things come out well.

    This past week I have added more than twenty five single serve meals to the freezer for use when I am in Sydney and in hospital. We tried two new recipes and they both were hits. I harvested capsicums and eggplants from the garden. I culled a lot of clothing and repurposed several pieces of clothing and cut them up for making gifts. I cooked up old vegetables out of the fridge and added them to the dog's dinner as they are both overweight and it saves on their food at the same time. Accepted the gift of a big bag of cleansers, toners, moisturisers,face masks, hair products, makeup and a sun catcher from a friend at work. The girls and I then had facials at home. Lots of fun and also good for our skin. I began sewing a gift for DD for CHristmas using materials I already had at home. I bought a jumper reduced from $49.95 to $14.50. I did the budget for the next quarter and paid bills over the internet and phone to save the postage and the cost of a bank cheque. I have lost more weight and needed new clothing so I went to the local op-shops and bought a bag of clothing for five dollars. In it I got two cardigans, a knitted dress and vest, two blouses, a top, a pair of pyjamas, a top for DD and three scarves. I also bought two large oval doilies for $1.50, a piece of cotton fabric three metres long for $6, and a few small pieces of fabric for 50 cents each. I was very happy with my haul.
    I cooked all but one meal at home for I got some bad news about my Mum's health and was very upset so I caved and bought and learn I think. I am still actively culling clothes from my wardrobe and also nick knacks from the house. I am getting there.

    God Bless and have a good week ahead xxxxx

    1. Dear Mel,
      You are right, slow and steady does win the race. Consistency really adds up. And just taking every opportunity. Some are small, some are big!
      I think its fair enough to be upset and have a reaction to bad news about your Mum. I think you've done very well for the week.
      The meals and the clothing bargains would be worth a fortune! That is really getting ahead!
      Have a good weekend! I hope there is a rest involved! With lots of love,

  11. Dear Annabel,super news to hear Andy has a permanent job and other jobs to fill in with. Indeed all our prayers have been answered :-)
    How sweet of Chloe's white chook to perch over the newcomers , she's going to keep a good eye on them I can see.Enjoy your new bantam,nice colour too.
    Yummy Pumpkin soup with kumera,Ive had soup this week for most of my lunches too it's been cold though sunny on and off.Thankful for the sun and calm as Ive been ablle to continue painting our guest room, just last coat on one wall left to do in the morning and the paint that needs scraping off one window then I can vacuum and put curtains back and decide about what bedcover will look best and cheerful.And what to put on the walls to finish with.Have a relaxing weekend,love Maria xxx

    1. Hi Maria
      Love the crochet dress you made, is the pattern available online? Exciting to be nearly finished painting! I love putting a room back together :)

      Jen in NZ

    2. Dear Maria,
      Thank you! I love soup for lunches, even a cup of soup as an afternoon snack. I forgot that my new motto is to put in a spoon of turmeric but I will do that next time!
      I hope your painting is coming along! That will be lovely to have done. I have the bathroom ahead of me when everything else in there is finished! You have a lovely weekend too! With love

  12. Awesome news about Andy's new job, great to hear. Love your new bantams. I had bantam hens as a child, they're gorgeous. Loved Thelma being very dismayed at her new mates too.

    Just a quick pop by but congrats again. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      I have always loved bantams. I thought for Harper and Scarlett they are just right!
      Now to come up with names as Chloe gives heres! THELMA! yet... it suits her! haha!
      I hope you have had a lovely weekend! With love


  13. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    It sure is lovely, Annabel, that you and Andy are thriving in your work!!

    Having chooks in the family is a wonderful thing!!

    Ha ha!! We've had to survive before being able to get ahead!! Now that is challenging!!

    Our work this week has been good. We just keep on keeping on!

    Short, and sweetly,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, You are exactly right, first we need to survive before we can get ahead. Sometimes I am glad to be treading water and not going backwards. Sometimes we go backwards and I am not keen on that. I hope this week will be one of going forwards and even catching up!
      I hope you have a good new week! With lots of love,

  14. Dearest Annabel,
    Wonderful to hear about Andys new job & I hope everything starts to pick up again quickly, just think of how much fun you'll have finding bargains & restocking the pantry & freezer :)
    Not much happening here, the garden is still producing tomatoes & a few other bits & pieces but as we head towards winter I'm looking forward to pruning back all the fruit trees which have grown over the paths. We planted out the garlic last weekend which made me smile as there's nothing better than home grown garlic :)
    Have also found some lovely shabby chic material I had in the cupboard which I'll use to cover an old padded stool that needs a face lift, might even paint the legs as well!
    I so enjoy reading everyone's posts, the lovely ladies that write to you always make me feel happy with their wonderful descriptions of life in their little part of the world :)
    Sending love & hugs xoxoxo Susan (Tasmania)

    1. Dear Susan,
      Thank you so much!
      Garlic is a great thing to grow. I am not successful with it and don't know why! But I love it.
      Shabby Chic fabric sounds just lovely. I have some in the form of a doona cover and Im thinking table cloth and napkins.
      We do have a very happy and helpful little community. It lifts me up a lot! This is what we need... a bit of encouragement goes a long way. Thanks Susan, have a good new week! With love

  15. Hi Annabel

    Thtilled to hear Andy got a job.
    I love your bantams; they are so cute!
    The soup looks yummy. Do you serve it with your delicious looking sourdough bread or eat it on it's own?
    I hope you are feeling a bit better.



    1. Dear Kerrie,
      I love soup. For lunch I just have soup but for dinner I would do soup and crusty bread, or pumpkin scones or melted cheese sandwiches or something like that. Then its more of a dinner or I might do a desert.
      Yes Im feeling much better thank goodness! With love

  16. Dear Annabel,

    Hooray for Andy's new job! I hope you are both feeling much better these days!

    It's been VERY busy here this week with spring full on and company coming next week. I've been removing wallpaper (which is a job I'm doing in the guest room...not smart right now :)) but today will have to put a halt on that and get the room cleaned up and ready for guests. The walls might not look pretty, but then again they look better than they did before! Started some seeds, washed outside windows, sewed on a shirt and cut out a dress, made lots of bread to put in the freezer for when company comes...we have a busy weekend ahead of us as we continue on in this vein. There's a birthday happening right after company leaves and a reenactment to attend right after the birthday and I am just barely keeping it all together as I (almost) hyperventilate looking at the list! :) I know, breathe deeply and have a cup of tea. I know it won't all get done.

    Hoping to send a photo of the little goat kids later...loved the picture of Chloe's hen harrumphing at the new hens!

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Removing wallpaper is not the best fun! Its all progress!
      Ye please to the photos! I also think Chloe's chicken is somehow hilarious.
      Enjoy your visitors, it will be a busy week I imagine!
      I hope it all goes well, I am sure you have prepared and it will be ok! With lots of love

  17. Annabel, What wonderful news that Andy has a job ... just as we went to God in prayer on yours and Andy's behalf, now we will go to Him in praise and thanks! This week has found me canning more stew meat and getting the garden planted. Regarding chickens, we have a hen setting right now with 12 eggs under her. It will be exciting to see how many she hatches. It is our daily thing to go check on her, we are like expectant parents!!!!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      Thank you! Oh wow I hope you get chickens and if you do you take a lot of photos! You had a productive week! I hope the new week is a good one. When are your chickens "due"? So exciting! With love

  18. Jen,
    Thanks for the pattern numbers! That you're attending a reenactment caught my eye. What type of reenactment do they do in NS? We live in a small town in a small town in the USA steeped in history where reenacting is part a part of everyday life. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Hi Cookie,

      You're welcome. There are a few reenactment groups in NS, but the closest one to us does military history, mainly WWII. We are new to it, so are still trying to get everything together. I love that your town is so involved with reenactment! Is that civil war, Revolution, or something else? It's a lot of fun, especially for history lovers with a dramatic flair, and for those who like to "dress up"! :) xx Jen

  19. Thelma looks like she doesn't want to mix with the common chickens who don't have a fancy hairdo like her (I love the fluff on top of her head!)

    Hooray that Andy has a new job! Good news is always wonderful to hear. God is good!

    1. Dear Chipmunk,
      I think you might be on to something... Thelma definitely has the best hair do!
      Thank you re the job! We are grateful! Have a good new week! With love

  20. Yay on the new job for Andy! My husband started his new job this past Monday. Sheesh. Starting a new job in one's late 50's isn't for the faint of heart! We will have adjustments (less money), but at least there is a steady income and benefits to rely on. Big weight off my shoulders. We're now in the adjustment period of finding a new normal, a new schedule, etc. I'm sure you can relate!

    During the stress of the job loss, I did very few artistic things and that's my therapy! I am no artist, mind you, but doing any kind of art, painting, etc. really lifts my spirits. I continued to sew, embroider, etc., but that's more of a necessity than just creative. Well, today I'm going into my craft room and plan to create! I am looking so forward to it. :)

    Debby in KS

    1. Dear Debby,
      Boy did I understand your comment! We are just the same. I am grateful for regular income we can count on. It is a baseline to work with. And finding a new normal. I like routine... My routine has been all over the place! So this week will start us off to a new normal!
      Congratulations by the way about your husbands job! That is excellent!
      Also I agree... crafts calm me down mentally and even help me sleep. You have to channel energy into something and not worry. Crafts are a win, win in my opinion. Very soothing... especially knitting and crochet for me.
      We are going through a few of the same things at the same time! Have a very good new week! With love

  21. Dear Annabel, So happy to hear about Andy's new job!! It is such a blessing you were so prepared. I know it is still stressful but pantries full and supplies in cupboards are truly a gift from God!!

    I'm glad you are on the mend, also! And your new little chickens are so cute! Chloe's Thelma is so funny up on her perch looking down at the new comers!

    We have used and replaced our pantry/bulk items multiply times. Make hay while the sun shines is such a true statement! There is always so much to do but it's the kind of work I love!:) And at times when one is in survival mode, meals don't have to be stressful.

    Love everyone's comments! Have a great weekend, bluebirds! Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri, Thank you! You make a very good point... in stressful times simple meals are just fine! We need to realise this. I am happy with a toasted sandwich or an egg on toast really or a bowl of soup. It is ok to keep it simple and easy especially when there is a lot going on!
      Also I find the process of building up the freezer, pantry etc so enjoyable and it goes up and down. Thank goodness for the ups! Thank you Teri, with love

  22. I'm so glad Andy got the job! So, is he an architect? I've read back through most (maybe all) the older posts and don't remember ever reading exactly what his profession was. I did read about how you met/met again. Loved that. So sweet.

    I baked and decorated a wedding cake, groom's cake, and a birthday cake, as well as my grandson's smash cake all in a few days. Whew! The young lady who got married is one of my daughter's best friends, so I was so happy to make her cakes as a gift. Your cakes are lovely, Anabel, but if you ever wanted to add to your decorating skills, you could do it! It's a learning process like anything else, but there's no way it's more difficult than your intricate hand embroidery, which is what I want to learn next.

    I hope you're feeling better. Love your blog.

    1. Dear Amy,
      I am glad you read how we met! We took a long time to get married! haha!
      He is a structural steel engineer and design draftsman and also worked many years in agricultural irrigation. He also writes manuals that go with new buildings and systems. So that is a mouthful! He likes design the best of all and this job is design job. So he is happy!
      Wow all those cakes! I KNOW that is a huge amount of work! Please feel free to send photos in! :)
      My friend who has passed away now was a great cake decorator. He icing roses were just fabulous. I feel maybe one day I would like to do that. It would suit my love of flowers! Like the embroidery, as you say , there are similarities in some ways.... Do try embroidery! With you tube and blogs etc its all there for us and a new challenge is good. I will file this thought away! Thank you so much! With love

  23. So happy that Andy got a job. That has to put your mind at ease.
    Your soup looks so good.
    Sounds like a lovely week for you.

  24. Annabel, that is the best news ever that Andy got a new job! I'm so happy that you are feeling better as well!

    My days have been seeming very short and I'm not getting much done other than going to work and the basics at home. I'm feeling old and out of sorts. I think I might need a vacation.

    I missed commenting on everyone's Show and Tell, but I absolutely LOVED everything that was showcased! The felt rhino and giraffe really piqued my interest. I have wanted to work with felt for a long time and even have a Pinterest page full of ideas. I just need to purchase some felt and get started! I thought I'd begin by making some simple Christmas ornaments. I've also seen some adorable "Tooth Fairy" pillows that I'd like to try.

    My husband is in Washington, DC this week on business, so I am home alone and hope to spend lazy evenings working on my crafts and snuggling with our dogs and cat!



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