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, 14 September 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 15th September, 2017.

What a week!  We emptied out the kitchen, lounge and dining rooms and the floors were pulled up. Then there was grinding and surface preparation and wheel barrows through the house. Not one room was spared as there were things stacked up in each. The house was wide open most of the time due to workers going in and out and also dust and fumes.  And it was cold and raining...
And Harper was so ill with the flu.  This was her first illness apart from a cold.  Our state has a huge breakout of a bad flu strain and the hospitals are overflowing.  At first we were worried what was wrong with Harper (she went to the Doctor twice) but then her Dad got it.  He said his whole body aches, his skin hurt, terrible stomach pains and headache, temperature and so on. Classic flu symptoms.  Wednesday I was very worried about Harper. She looked terrible.  She cried constantly.  I felt sick.

Yesterday finally (the 7th day) Harper seemed much better and now Lucy has it.
Scarlett is only seven months old. It will be really bad if she gets it.  I am so worried.

So my week has been mornings here and afternoons at their place.  Two houses in messes!
I went to bed last night with a bad headache hoping it is not my turn with this flu.
So this week was a real barrel of laughs!

I am behind on everything including replies and correspondence.

Ok now to what I do have to report that is good!

We found one of our chickens had made a nest in the garden and was hiding her eggs...

Before the work on the floors began I started replanting our herb pots.

I have two stacks like this.  They look bare now but soon will be overflowing.  I planted lots of basil plus some cherry tomatoes around the bottom.

Chickie and Willie were helping!

Then the floor work started. Emptying my whole kitchen pantry was a big job! 
This is what my kitchen looked like...

And this was the lounge room...

These were the "clean" photos of the tidied up stages! 

However now the floors are down!   There is still a lot of work to do as I have to repaint all the skirting boards and other jobs but I have a floor!  

I have to admit it was tough to take photos but these areas are at least clean and basically put back together...

The floor looks kind of like a farm shed floor. I really love it.

There are things in wrong places still like the mirror but you can see the floor at least.

I got my spice cabinet painted and into position...

It fits this corner just perfectly!  I still might rub it back and age it a bit but at least the painting is done.

I added a wooden appliqué to the top which I got on eBay for $5.  And I used a bird Christmas decoration to hang from my key.  (it came with a filthy old cord key holder!) 
This weekend I hope to set it up with my herbs and spices.

In the store I found shampoo and conditioners I like out for $1 and $2 plus bubble bath for that price as well.  I stocked up on these as they were well below half price.

Overall, even though I have a lot of unpacking to do, this was all big progress!

I washed all my lounge covers. I thought while we are moving everything I might as well spring clean the covers. 

We lived on meals from the freezer and I was able to feed us and Lucy's household while in a crisis with wholesome meals.  This is the power of getting ahead in action.  When my kitchen is properly up and running again I will get back to building up the freezer again.  But it has been wonderful to have things to just thaw and heat. 

Now to set up my kitchen in a whole new and better way!  Hopefully by this time next week it will all be really good.  

I can't report on my Vicky Challenge but I will attempt to work it out over the weekend.

I hope you had a good week! How did you build up your home, save or get ahead?   We all have good and bad weeks!  Some weeks we are just treading water! These are the weeks that getting ahead pays off.  They remind me of why we should make hay while the sun shines! xxx


  1. Annabel,I love your floors! So sorry to hear that your loved ones have been sick. I hope you don't come down with the flu. Take care dear one and enjoy putting your home back together.

    1. Thank you Patsy! Progress is being made here and my spice cupboard is stocked! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Oh Annabel, poor Harper and Lucy and her husband , I sure hope baby Scarlett doesn't get sick. Please take care of yourselves.
    I have had a pretty good week Annabel, my week included:
    I saved$20 on groceries
    I received a coupon code from Woolworths for my birthday for $10 off my groceries , so that's another $10 savings.
    Last Friday I won $153 on a radio station trivia quiz , so another $153 " saving"
    I received $80 birthday money.
    I needed some clothes and my favourite clothes store had some wonderful deals going on . The manager of the store gave me two deals on top of each other which they don't normally do , I saved at least $135 on my clothing purchases.
    I received a lovely birthday gift from a friend and she has just told me she is sending me another parcel ,As part of my birthday parcel she sent me2 bags of a lovely chocolate covered fruit pieces product which are a South Australian product called fruchocs ( this friend is not Annabel ! But she does live in South Australia) . I asked my friend if she could send me some more fruchocs if I paid for them . She messaged me an hour ago and said don't get mad at me but I am sending you 4 packs of the coconut fruchocs and a 1 kg pack of dark chocolate fruchocs. I am not counting these gifts as a part of my vicky challenge because I don't think I should but it's a part of getting ahead this week.
    I received a free magazine this week using my magazine loyalty card, a $10 saving.
    I received 2 hours of my usual subsidised cleaning this week , saving at least $40 compared to hiring a private company.
    I won $90 on a competition when I went to lunch on Wednesday.
    I won $25 on lotto on Wednesday night, I only play 4 lines and I won on two of them!.
    I received $10 off my lunch on Wednesday a s a birthday gift from a local sporting club.
    On Saturday ( my birthday) , I received $15 worth of points from another club for my birthday and I had enough points built up to turn that into $20 , so a $20 savings.
    I received a $10 voucher from a craft store for my birthday
    I received a $5 voucher from a store for my birthday.

    Total savings this week of $608 , not including my birthday gift and extra gift from my friend .i am happy with that .
    Annabel your spice cabinet looks beautiful. I hope everyone has a happy weekend. Love Barb W.

    1. It sounds like you had a great birthday Barb. Well done on winning all that money and making the most of your vouchers.

    2. Happy Birthday for last weekend Barb. My goodness you had a great week of savings and winnings.

    3. Wow Barb! what a weeks worth of savings and wins, and all in your birhtday week! Happy Belated birthday! love Maria xxx

    4. Happy birthday!! That sounds like a great week.

    5. Happy Birthday Barb,
      It sounds lovely great job on the winnings and the savings!
      Big Blessings to you,

    6. Dear Barb, I hope you had a wonderful Birthday! And your savings were just great! This all added up to a lovely week for you! Have a good weekend Barb, with love

    7. Happy birthday Barb!!

    8. Dear Annabel, Margaret, Jane, Maria and Kathy.thank you all for the birthday wishes, I had a lovely birthday and I was able to save a lot . I still have vouchers to use , including one from a craft store. I should be able to get some craft supplies for free. My Dad will take me on Tuesday I hope. I will have a look at the craft stores website and see what I might like to get. Thank you again ladies. Love Barb W.

    9. Dear Patti, thank you for your birthday wishes and kind words . And i don't think I thanked you when I thanked the other ladies this morning( yet to be published!.) . Thanks again Annabel and beautiful bluebirds.
      Love Barb W.

    10. Dear Vicky, thank you for my birthday wishes .i had a lovely day . I loved getting lots of birthday vouchers a,nd discounts!.
      Love Barb W.

  3. Annabel - Oh my goodness!!! You poor thing! Just when you thought it couldn't get worse with all you had to do, the flu hits!!! I am praying for all of you! I pray you don't get it too and Scarlett as well! Try to get some rest!
    Hugs and prayers,
    Holley xxxooo

    1. Thank you Holley, I appreciate the prayers especially for Scarlett. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  4. So lovely! Congratulations on your new floor and on thriving during a crisis. :) Your rooms are so serene. I love the spice cabinet. Thanks for being brave and showing the "Before" photos.
    I have been canning tomatoes as they ripen. And with the on-set of Fall, made 2 batches of applesauce. My pantry is growing. My mother-in-law hadn't been in the basement in awhile and was surprised at how much I have stock-piled. Tomorrow I get to tackle green beans. I blanch and freeze them as home canned come out too salty.
    Oh, i have a tip. If you have a collection of mature green beans, set them aside to slow cook with bacon and potato chunks. Yum! They are an old Appalachian Mountains (U.S.) method. Then serve with cornbread or your favorite rustic style bread.

    1. Dear Leslie, Thank you! Thanks also for the beans recipe! That sounds good! And well done on the pantry! Things do build up, a little at a time adds enormously! The applesauce sounds lovely. I love apple.
      We are all making progress! With love

  5. Dear Annabel, your new floors look amazing! You will be so happy when everything is back in it's place, which will take some work but it will be 'pleasing' work!

    I am sorry to hear of the terrible flu hitting, and I also hope it doesn't spread to Scarlett or you xx

    It's been a terrible winter of illness up here too. They say that as well as the flu, there's been a really nasty cold virus which presents the same as flu. I think that's what we had in our house, but thankfully we recovered reasonably quickly. It still hung on longer than it should, though.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend getting things back in order, and that all the germs stay away!

    Love, Fiona xxx

    1. Thanks Fiona, I heard that the eastern states have had the flu badly and hospitals very busy.
      As far as the house goes I feel like I am getting somewhere now! The piles and lists were overwhelming! I hope you have a lovely weekend! With love

  6. I hope you are all feeling better soon. Love the new floors and your spice cabinet. Nancy

  7. Oh wow Annabel, what a big week you have had. How wonderful that even while being so busy yourself, you were able to fully help out Lucy and your granddaughters. You have such a generous, loving spirit. The new floors looks beautiful and it will all be so well worth it. It will feel like a whole new space and all that spring cleaning will pay off. You're getting so much done at once. How wonderful you had so many freezer meals as back up. So clever. Nothing like a home cooked meal when sick or during renovations. I keep thinking we aren't getting ahead much, but I think we are. I planted a heap of basil and parsley. Then we have completely re-done the way we grocery shop, thank you for your encouragement and posts. Now, we go to the bulk butcher and do a big shop fortnightly (with a little shopping between). It's too early to see results, but I'll be tallying it up for the month. Then we made yogurt (great post by the way-I haven't tried using already made yogurt as the starter, we usually just use a few tbsp of Easy powder with milk powder) so I'll have to try this. I got 2 big bags of goods from the op shop-they were having a sale, each bag being $5. In it I got baby clothes, sheets, clothes for family members. It was lucky that I was there. Thank you so much for your encouragement, positivity and generosity. Your love shines through! Lots of love, Bridge

  8. Prayers for you and your family that the rotten flu goes away real fast. I love the floors also, very country chic looking. Thank goodness for freezer meals, you need to add those to your Vicki challenge, because there are a lot of people who are not prepared. Could you imagine the money spent for meals if you hadn't had them prepared ahead. Makes my head spin just thinking of all that money wasted.

  9. Dear Annabel,
    I was so sorry to hear about Harper and her mommy and daddy being sick! I am praying that they are soon much better and that Scarlet doesn't catch it.

    Your new floors and spice cabinet are beautiful! I'm glad that is finished so you can get things back to normal and enjoy them. I also hope you stay well.

    Today was a difficult day for us. My husband was using the pull cord to manually open our garage door when the cord broke causing him to take a nasty fall on the concrete floor. Thank God, he had his phone and called me to come help him. We went to the ER and found he has a fractured rib and contusions of ribs, sternum cartilage and chest. It is quite painful some of the time. He will need to rest and be careful what he does. I am thankful he wasn't hurt any worse.

    I planted several pots with tomato seeds in the hope of having seedlings to plant when the weather cools more.

    Our church is gathering "crisis care kits" with toiletries, bandaids, etc., to be sent to various areas around the world. I was pleased that I had enough of most of the items in my pantry so I only needed to purchase a few things to assemble 3 bags. Just one more reason to keep a well-stocked pantry.

    Wishing you and all the bluebirds a beautiful weekend!
    With love from Arizona,

  10. What an effort Annabel! That was one huge job moving everything to allow the new floors to be laid - they do look amazing, no wonder you're pleased.

    The flu bug has been really nasty this year and I'm sorry to hear Lucy and her family have been laid low, as you say, hopefully it will skip Scarlett. Thank goodness for freezers and prepared meals.

    Every year I admire your herb plantings and this year I definitely plan to copy the idea. I found a couple of empty pots when we had a garage cleanup that I think will serve the purpose, I just need to get some potting mix.

    We've been enjoying some family time with DD, so not much is being done around the house, but it will still be there in a couple of weeks. We only really see her maybe two weeks once a year, though this visit is going to be longer while sorting out a new job/contract.

    Have a great weekend everyone,

  11. Hi Annabel, this is the flu I had about a month ago and it lasted weeks. I did have the flu shot but my Dr did a swab for para influenza b. Associated with bacterial pneumonia. Our hospitals are also in melt down. Please get your Dr to swab the children mouth and nose to see which strain they have. Little kids can get the flu vaccine you just have to ask how young. Its also contagious for 10 days sorry to say !!! I barely went out when I had it and affected my asthma so bad.
    I do hope and pray you remain well. We think of those and pray for those in the Florida storms and Texas where I have friends.
    Love sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      Thank you for this suggestion. I am sorry to be so slow to reply, you can probably understand why though! Thanks also on the information about being contagious as I was unsure about that. I have asthma too and any illness makes it flare up.
      I hope your friends are doing well through all they have had on their plates. Not a good run lately! With much love

  12. Hi Annabel, your new floors make your home look so bright and fresh. You were right about how your spice cabinet looks like it was built just for that space. It's good to hear that Harper is starting to improve. I so hope that the rest of the family improve rapidly.
    This week Bluey got lots of free tomatoes and capsicums. These have become tomato sauce, tomato relish and sweet chilli jam. Bluey also picked up a number of great deals to add to our pantry and freezer.
    I've been doing some sewing and adding to the gift cupboard. I have been sticking to my use it up challenge and have been crossing off from the list.
    Have a lovely weekend with hopefully some rest.


    1. Dear Jane!

      This sounds wonderful -- tomato sauce, tomato relish & sweet chilli jam!
      I have three trellis tomato plants grown from scraps, and, having made it through our mild winter, they are setting plenty of fruit ..... so I am enjoying this little garden, and dreaming of tomatoes!!

  13. Dear Annabel , so sorry to hear about Lucy and family's unwellness, sending healing and wellness their way and to keep you well at this very busy time.
    Love chookys hidden eggs , she's a treasure keeping these for you to find on a busy week.
    Lovely floors with your white decor , love the embellishment on the new cabinet too ,finishes it beautifully.
    This week I made your lasagna which is now a family favourite :-)Hubby had some for lunch and 9 serves went into the freezer.I have now used all the meat and cooked meals and soups that were in our freezers and now building them up again.Chickens and corned beef and roasts pork cuts have been cheaper cuts of meat lately in my area so Im looking at freezing those.
    Taking it fairly quietly here after a few busy days. Have a lovely weekend Annabel and everyone , Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      Can you rub your eye yet?!

    2. Hi Rachel! Thanks for asking :-) My eye is heaps better , and I can rub it gently, lol, my hayfever drippy itchy eyes have returned so my eye must think its better haha. I just have a little whiplash niggle from the accident ie which connects up to opposite top tooth and gum .Cheers Maria x

  14. I hope everyone begins to recover from the flu soon Annabelle! My dh has had a nasty cold for the past week, with temperatures and a cough. We're so thankful he didn't get the flu. Our GP put him on antibiotics a few days ago and now he's getting better. Our GP was saying that normally the flu is begining to pass by August, but in our area people only started being diagnosed in August.
    Unfortunately I've also been unwell so dh and I have cooked or reheated a lot of food but we had t/away tonight. I will need to re-stock our freezer over the next few weeks. All the meat and frozen veg I had stockpiled have been very helpful.
    When our next pay comes through in a few days I will be looking to change my shopping method (as much as I can) by using your suggestions from Laine.
    I also enjoyed your post on using yoghurt - I think I will be adding it to my weekly prep as another way of filling Miss 11 up. She is growing very quickly and has hollow legs ��

    1. Dear Melissa, Your daughter must be going through a growth spurt! But I love it when they are eating and growing and healthy and the yoghurt muffins and smoothies etc are really quite filling and good. We say hollow legs in our family too!
      I will report more on how the menu planning is going but now I am just shopping great deals and working out my plan. Because this week was a kind of mess this weekend I am planning meals from the random things I have in the fridge and what I can make from the pantry. I know I can get quite a few meals out of whats there. I can still not buy anything unless it is a huge deal! This has made so much difference!
      I hope you all feel better. I hope we all feel better! There are really nasty bugs. My daughter fainted this morning her stomach hurt so much and everyone has had this part of it.
      Have a lovely weekend! I hope next week you find deals that help you build the freezer back up! With love

  15. Hi Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) .

    I am sorry your family has been so sick and they will be in our prayers. It really is a nasty flu season everywhere. I love your floors are they are vinyl ? or new wood floor boards, the spice cabinet looks beautiful too and fits just perfectly.

    We had a similar week to yourself this week in that we were helping our neighbour move home and deep clean his home, shed and yard which turned into a much larger job than anticipated. Can I say and strongly suggest he may be a hoarder which we knew but couldn't see him struggle doing it himself when he has been such a good neighbour to us. We are swapping our labour for 30kg of honey which he will bring around middle of next week.

    We really didn't get a chance to do a lot in the home bar the basics so our Vicky Challenge added up to $67.98 last week.

    Blessings and gifts -
    - Our neighbour on the other side of us gifted us 25 Meyer lemons from his tree that he doesn't use saving $16 over purchasing.
    - Our other neighbour gifted us a piece of galvanised steel as we are having a friend make into a large hoe to pull manure off our trailer with when we have loads. Not sure what this would be to buy. He also gifted us a new cutting disc for our angle grinder.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 1lt of lemon cordial with our gifted lemons saving $4.31 over purchasing them in the supermarkets. It has a lovely orangey lemony taste to it.
    - Roasted a family sized chicken purchased earlier for $3kg which we had one night with fresh turnips, carrots and capsicums picked from the gardens baked with the chicken.
    - We separated the chicken meat off and made 3 more meal sized portions for the freezer which we had one portion for lunch today.
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Had 3 freezer meatless meals one being porridge and the other two being tinned oysters, cheese or sour cream and crackers.

    In the garden -
    - Picked 2 large turnips, 2 large carrots and 2 capsicums from the gardens saving $7.72 over purchasing them.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on our hot water system on for 13 hours this week and used our solar lanterns to light our home instead of mains powered lights saving $9.95 in electricity costs.
    - Put on 2 loads of whites in the washing machine only on 1 rinse cycle saving 22 mins of normal electricity use.

    Water preservation-
    - Hand watered all of the house paddock lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.

    Purchases -
    - Bought 3 new cotton knitted jumpers on winter clearance for $15 saving $30 on the original prices.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, You had a very hard working week that is for sure! But being a good neighbour is wonderful and 30kilos of honey will be fantastic! What a good addition to your pantry! I love honey. I love that it keeps and it has so many uses. The lemons are great too!
      And you still did a lot more! I think you would be needing a restful weekend so I hope you are getting that!
      The floor is vinyl planks. They are quite thick and look like planks, go down as planks.... we love them. I had seen these on a floor in a shop. They looked so good and you cannot tell to look at them. To me they look like the shearing shed floor. But they scratch and mark less then real wood. In the front of the house we have original wood floors and they are beautiful but they do mark pretty easily. So now it looks like we have wood right through. What a week we both had! We need an easier week this week! Thank you so much for sharing your challenge! With love,

  16. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    Isn't it funny how, when we least feel like things are working for us, things actually can be happening!

    My husband gives your new flooring the thumbs up, Annabel! We've noticed this style of flooring a couple of times recently, and really liked it! .... "Like a farm shed floor"!

    May the God of Jacob be your family's help in fighting off this flu.

    The new spice cupboard looks beautiful! I thought that the appliqué and bling looked just right!!

    My husband bought some twenty litre buckets this week, and is beginning to fill them with staples (not stationery! Ha ha!).

    I also enjoyed seeing Cheri's lovely ravioli-making tutorial ..... all the way up in Wisconsin, I think!

    It's so good to have that week completed!!

    Warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Hi Rachel

      It must be storage bucket collection time as we are doing that too and purchased 10 x 10lt ones just recently. Like you we are filling them with staples as well as it fits into the budget.

      We have filled up 2 so far and shortly 2 more will be filled with honey as well. It feels so good to have a good stockpile in the home to make whatever you want out of.



    2. On that note, Sewingcreations15, a friendly Woolworths bakery staff member is intending to collect lidded plastic buckets for me. The larger ones I estimate to be a ten litre size. I'll wait and see how it goes!! Bucket season it is!!!!!

  17. The floors are so beautiful, it'll all be worth it in the end. But what a week for Lucy's family to get sick! Prayers for you all and especially that Scarlett escapes it! x

    1. Thanks so much Allegra I appreciate the

  18. Dear Annabel,

    I do hope everyone is feeling better in Lucy's household and I am hoping, too, that you and Scarlett stay healthy! What a nasty bug!

    Your floor looks gorgeous, as does your spice cabinet! You have such an eye and knack for beauty!

    I have been AWOL here with company and other comings and goings and the garden. No rest for the wicked! :)

    Lots of love,

    Jen in NS

    1. Thank you Jen! I knew you had visitors coming and you would be busy! Have a lovely weekend and hopefully we all get a bit of rest! With love

  19. Oh my, Annabel! Prayers for Lucy and family. I do hope they are all on the mend and that you and Scarlett don't get sick too.

    Your spice cabinet looks like it was made for that spot! Just gorgeous! And your floors are stunning!

    I love your herb pots, too.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you Jenn! I have been filling my spice cabinet. I am so pleased. It was amazing to find an old cabinet that fitted like this!
      Its a sunny weekend and I am planting more in my pots. I want a lot of basil to make pesto! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  20. Dear Annabel,
    What a week! I am so sorry for your granddaughter to have been so sick. It is so hard to watch ones so little, who can't really tell you what is wrong, to be so very sick. I am glad she is on the mend. Hopefully that flu leaves the house soon, and doesn't come to yours!
    The pictures of your home are beautiful, you are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place!

    Ok, I have been waiting since Tuesday for Feather Your Nest Friday! We went to the city for an appointment and stopped at my favorite Goodwill, and they were having a big one day sale on shorts. I have 6 kids to clothe, and I got 2 pairs of jeans for me, a pair of black slacks one of my girls needed for her Christmas Orchestra performance, and get this, 22, that's right, twenty two, pairs of shorts, all for $40! The first thing I thought when I came out of the store was "I can't wait for Friday!" because I knew all of the Birds would understand my excitement!

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Sarah,
      I love that you were waiting for Feather your Nest Friday! I feel the same when I have a lot to report! Well... 22 pairs of shorts is incredible! With six children this is a huge money saver. I am so glad you check out the store when you go to the city. This is a big bonus to your trip. And I do understand your excitement! The other items were great to get too!
      We have sunshine today and I got heaps more put away, plus Harper has improved a lot. So this was a good day!
      Have a lovely weekend! I hope next week has some more great savings for you! With love

    2. Sarah- what a fantastic deal! I would be very excited too that was an awesome find and such savings add up in a big way! I imagine with 6 kids the savings will go on if your passing them down to the next child they fit as well!

  21. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Poor Harper and family! I hope everyone is feeling much better now.

    The country white color of the spice cabinet is gorgeous, I love it! The new floors are very pretty, too.

    Cooking: Roast, potatoes and gravy, bbq chicken breasts, quinoa, and chocolate brownie pie for the week. All work lunches were packed and brought from home (saving $150). For the freezer, I made a double batch of won tons and more waffles. Some of the won tons are a gift for my friend who is expecting. I made applesauce from some apples that needed to be used. We also enjoyed fresh cucumbers and herbs from the veggie garden.

    Gardening: Saved more lettuce and basil seeds, and rooted some green onion ends and mint. The herbs that I repotted into larger containers are doing very well! I thought the lemon balm was done for, but it looks so healthy now. Some of the seed mix that we put out for birds has sprouted in the back yard - this was a happy accident, but I see some lovely sunflowers coming up in an area that has poor soil - they will be beautiful, and cost nothing.

    Home: I re-arranged the living room furniture, giving us a cozier space and a fresh look. Our new mattress was delivered (on sale [saving $100] and free delivery [saving $150]), and we have both been having such better sleep and happier joints since it arrived. Yippee! My husband mowed and edged the front lawn, saving $45 over having a service do it.

    Crafts: I'm working on a pair of knitted socks, and did some cross-stitching on a hanging for our living room. It is so close to being done!

    We checked out 2 movies and 2 novels from the library and enjoyed them this week.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend,

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Your lunch savings alone are wonderful. That is so much. People don't even think of this or how much it is a year!
      The food and the won tons for your friend are all very good too.
      I am also painting basil like mad. Last year I made such a lot of pesto and I want to do it again. We found several meals we really loved using pesto.
      A good furniture re arrange is great. Also like spring cleaning too. This is what is going on here with putting stuff back in the lounge room and kitchen.
      You have a great weekend also! With love

  22. Your floors are lovely, and our family takes Oreganol which fights viruses​. However, it might not be recommended for children under 12.
    Renee @Totalhonemakeover

    1. Dear Renee, Thank you I am going to look this up as I have not heard of it and Im very interested! Have a lovely weekend! Love

  23. So sorry that everyone has been sick, and hope everyone gets well quickly. I hope you avoid it.
    LOVE the floors - they are beautiful. You have such a lovely home.

    1. Thanks so much Cheryl. Blessings and a good weekend to you

  24. I'm so sorry to hear about the flu. Were you all vaccinated? I never really knew the difference between a cold and the real flu. People around me used "the flu" to describe even the most minor sniffle. Then, I got it. The real thing. I was 28 and lived alone. Honestly, it's a miracle I didn't die. I ended up with pneumonia and an ear infection severe enough to permanently damage the hearing in one of my ears. I haven't missed a vaccination since. I hope you all feel better soon! It might be good to have all your doors open to keep fresh air in the house.

    And your floors are amazing! They are so beautiful! I've never seen that color/design and I love it!! We're trying to save for wood floors now & I dream about it! Your spice cabinet turned out so nice, as well. It all looks wonderful. With your recently finished bathroom, you must be feeling all sorts of fancy. ;) Enjoy!

    I love your tiered herb garden. I believe I'm going to steal that idea for next spring! I have just the place for it!

    Take care!

    1. Dear Debby,
      I know exactly what you mean. I had only ever had bad colds etc and when the girls were little I got the Bejing flu. It was going around and bad that year. I started feeling terribly achy and it hit fast. The ache was terrible. In the night I got up to go to the bathroom and I could hardly walk. I knew I was in trouble. The next day I could not walk at all then I don't remember anything and I was in hospital and had encephalitis. I was told then to always have my vaccination. So each year I have since. So our stories are a bit similar! The weather has warmed so we can both open up the doors and windows for fresh air. Lucy had her vaccination but Kato didnt and not Harper of course... but Lucy still got it. It is either another strain or else her vac had worn off maybe as that was much earlier in the year.
      Thank you re the floors! The herb stacks... I have two of these. One had a half wine barrel as the base. They grow an enormous amount of produce in a small space. Also they are at the back door so I use kitchen water i.e. when waiting for hot water I fill a jug. Plus I lean out to grab herbs as Im cooking and serving a meal. So I really uses so many fresh herbs!
      Thanks so much Debby, with love

  25. Hello, Annabelle and bluebirds!
    I hope and pray you and your family recover soon!
    Your floors and the cabinet are beautiful! I would never have thought to have painted it white- and the key foible is perfect!
    I'm trying to stay out of stores, as I did a big shopping about two weeks ago. I went yo a bulk Mennonite store today to get broccoli and bananas, and found some wonderful prices on things like clear/gel, ground sirloin, and even Korean beef and noodles. They have s big selection of wheat kernels, and all types of flours at good prices. I checked out some prices for some holiday baking I will be using. I will be back later. I bought a pound of the ground sirloin (2.69) and a small take out of the Korean beef to try out. Then, on the way out, they were selling beautiful mums for 3.00. I bought a huge bronze-colored one. I'll plant it, and it is a perennial here.
    I enjoyed the beautiful drive and thought of the merchant ships. It's beginning to be Fall here, and I was thanking God for all the blessings that He gives. I especially thanked him for the feeling of peace that living within your means brings.
    Have a good week, girls!

    1. Dear Megs, That store sounds wonderful to me! It really paid to go there! The merchant ship mentality really works!
      I really love what you said about the peace of living within your means. That is so true. I think we can find great happiness in appreciating the beauty around us and enjoying our blessings just as you did. Many thanks Megs, with love

  26. Annabel, I am so sorry you've had sick family members. That sounds awful! I will be praying for your family.

    My Nesting has been pretty good. I am trying to learn the method of grocery shopping you and Laine are teaching us. I find it a difficult transition to get over the normal way I shop, but it is saving us so much money! And we feel that we have more food in the house, because we know what we plan to do with all (most) of it. We are at the 15th and I still have a lot of food in the house ready for specific meals. To my recollection, that has never happened before.

    Right now we are on budget to save $100 over our normal grocery month!! I am hoping we are able to pull it off, because, with the number of expenses we have incurred this year, we NEED this to work.

    Thank you so much for teaching us this new method. I am really hoping it will make a permanent change in our finances, but even if all we get out of it is $100 savings, it will certainly help us.

    1. Cristy,
      You will start seeing a difference it is probably just too new yet and change takes time to adjust to. I have always shopped at different stores and the if you get ads for the stores in your area the best thing is to sit down and really give them a good look. For example in my area I have Acme, Buehler's, Giant Eagle, Walmart, Target and a Drug Mart all pretty close and one store has tuna for .50 and canned broth for .50 and I like to have lots of that on hand so that I will stock up on them at that price. Another has cans of chicken noodle soup for .49(yuck) it is hubs favorite so I will stock up on that and tomato soup at the same price. I go in and get the items I am going to buy first and then I take a few minutes to just browse and see if there is an unadvertised special or clearance items and then I'm out and on to the next store. It also helps curb impulse shopping. Cherry picking the sales is the best way to maximize grocery dollars and build a nice pantry and keep the pantry stocked. I hope this helps some.

    2. Dear Cristy, Well done! I think you are doing really well with this. It takes time to adjust. I am still making myself try new shops and use each trip somewhere to check different stores. With a selection of meals up my sleeve I know I only need to buy amazing deals. This stops me buying a normal list I used to have. I am sure you can achieve the $100 a month savings!
      One area I notice and it might not apply to your household but I will try it anyway.... is breakfast cereals. Mostly these are expensive, you don't get much and many aren't healthy anyway. Yoghurt, eggs, breakfast muffins, smoothies etc are miles better and cheaper. (or at least here in Aust!) And of course snack foods are next... I used to find after school plus lunchbox snacks a thing that put the budget up and making little pancakes, cookies, homemade ice blocks etc saved a lot in that area. I think this is working for you though as you say you have a lot more food in the house. So I will pray that this week you find some wonderful deals this week and ways then to stretch these into many good meals. You are doing a good job! With love

    3. Dear Vicki and Annabel, Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. With some encouragement from my husband yesterday, I have the courage to keep trying in this hard year full of emergencies. Don't give up yet! That's my message (to me) for the week.

  27. Praying for healing for Lucy's family and that her Scarlet stays well. Everything looks lovely and the spice cabinet is wonderful.

    On Fridays I get out my budget ledger book and enter what we spent since last Friday. This morning I got it out along with my check register and we had not spent one penny since last Friday! That is my number one way to save money! The mattress that I bought clearance for only $76 arrived and my husband managed to get it upstairs. It is so wonderfully tall and comfortable! I am still pinching myself at the wonderful deal it was. God is good!

    1. Dear Lana, That was a good week! And what a deal that mattress was! Every night I am thankful for a good mattress!
      Thank you re the spice cabinet. It is full now of my jars and I love it! I am so much better organised than I ever was! Things are starting to pay off! I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love

  28. Dear Annabel,
    Your new floors are beautiful. The spice cabinet came out so well. I love the extra touch with the applique.

    Hopefully you and Scarlett will not succumb to the flu that the rest of the family has. We'll be praying for their speedy recovery.

    As for nest feathering, 4 more quarts of bone broth got canned, and heaps of tomatoes were dehydrated, some of them now residing in olive oil to be rehydrated. We smoked 2 briskets and after having some for dinner, 9 packets or 18 meals from them got put in the freezer. I made a new recipe for chicken tika masala in the slow cooker and we had it for dinner one night and 4 more servings were frozen.

    I found some spray paint that makes glass look like sea glass that's washed ashore, so I've sprayed a few of my jars with it. They came our great and will make a good background for more painting. I also found some spray paint that makes glass look like milk glass and am experimenting with it. Some more of the tins I had on hand got painted this week as well. I think that's it for me. Wishing everyone a beautiful and restful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I love the sound of that paint! I love sea glass!
      All that bone broth and the dried tomatoes ... yum and so healthy. Also the meals you put away were wonderful.
      I thought of you very much the other day (9/11) and I wasnt in a position to write. But it was on my heart.
      Thank you for your comment on how I did the cabinet. We love how it fits the space and our room. Now this space is used so well I don't know why I didn't think of it before!
      Have a good new week Cookie. You really were so productive last week it was wonderful. With love,

  29. Oh I love those floors. They are similar in color to what we put in our home last year in October! I've just weathered Irma which was downgraded to a Tropical storm by the time it hit us. We've had worse winds in winters! We did however have two power lines go down and it took from Monday until today for our work ticket to come up on the work orders. I was never so glad to have power back! I lost all the contents of my fridge but my packed freezer held it's own. I lost very very little out of that just fruits I'd saved to make jelly. Not a big loss in the end. Hope all is well with your sick family and that your headache was flooring related rather than flu related.

    1. Dear Terri, You did not have an easy week! I am so glad your freezer was ok! I know I can get several days where mine will stay frozen solid if I don't open it and I have kept it full. We must keep them full even if only with bottles of water in the gaps! I am glad Irma was no worse for you as that was bad enough!
      I hope next week is easier! Thank you re the floors! With love,

  30. Oh Annabel, I sure hope you and the baby do not come down with that horrible flu. I am so impressed how well you did in very difficult circumstances.
    The new floors are beautiful. I know you will enjoy them and will have your home back in A+ order soon.

  31. I hope everyone is well now! I love the "hidden" eggs in your garden. And your floors! My husband put in Pergo floors in our house. Similar to yours but a bit darker. I love them...I call mine the "barn" look. Andrea

    1. Dear Andrea, Thank you! I was aiming for the barn look too. I love rustic. I am sure there are people who think its weird to have new OLD floors haha! Love

  32. Oh dear! I hope Harper improves quickly. The flu has been much in evidence here too. My hairdresser was so sick with it when I was having my hair done the week before last. She was running a fever and could hardly lift her arms to cut my hair. I encouraged her to go home and rest. I hope she did.

    Your floors look so lovely! No doubt worth all the bother and upheaval.

    While I was at a Spiritual Retreat yesterday Don went to a garage sale and picked up two 'pantry' cupboards for $20 each for extra storage in our garage. He also bought a 9 quart camp oven, 2 as new crab pots (I have been asking him to try and bring home some mud crabs when he goes fishing) and two huge plant pots. He caught some Brim during the week and he ate it all while I had leftovers for dinner that night :-) He likes fish a lot more than I do.

    We took Banjo to the Vet during the week to be castrated.

    All meals here were made from scratch. I made a new batch of soup and sauce mix. I made up a litre of powdered milk to use in cooking. I made Zucchini slice for lunches. I worked on some new garden beds and planted out tomato seedlings I had grown from seed. I also decluttered and reorganised some of my craft supplies.

    1. Dear Sherri, I am so pleased about those pantry cupboards! What a bargain too! Andy loves Mud Crabs and we cook them in a pot on the BBQ outside. This is a really good idea!
      I have been working in the garden too as the weather has improved! Sorry for the slow reply... I have been plodding along with so much going on here! Have a great new week! Love

  33. The flu pandemic is right across Australia. I am still vaccinating people for the flu which is unheard of this late in the year. Fingers crossed Scarlett gets some immunity from the flu 😷 because her Mum is building up antibodies and will avoid it.
    I have had an upside down week as I had a little operation and it has really slowed me down for quite a number of days.
    But I have managed to feed the tribe with what we have at home 🏡 Maybe not fabulous meals but their tummies were full.
    Next week I will be starting my Christmas stock pile and we have put a generator down on our wish list. Not sure if solar panels would be much use in south west Victoria or not. We have gas heating and hot water
    Anyway get well soon Bluebirds


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