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, 22 February 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 23 February, 2018.

It does't feel like Friday!  I don't really know what day it feels like.  The week has gone fast.
I headed off to the farm on Monday.  I had a good trip but for the first time ever I had no luck in the op shops and came away with nothing. I could hardly believe this!

Before I left I did some shopping and stuck gold with a leg of ham for $3.50 a kilo and some of Andy's favourite things i.e. salami and other deli meats. With me going away these were great and also they were mostly things that will keep ages.  I saved $38 on these things alone.  When I came home I baked the ham and we have ham and salads for dinner as well.

Also before I left I made two little gluten free cakes for Mum.  I just used the Aldi packet mix so she could find out what it is like (as she uses another one) and while I was at it I made myself two little orange and almond cakes to try out a grain free recipe.  These turned out really lovely and were nice to take away with me.

At the farm Chloe gave me eggs and picked me figs.  These are the first figs this season!

Some of these will be dinner tonight.

Dad came home with apples.  He said he had picked them on the side of the road.  Since apples are not exactly common in the south east I said I bet I know what that tree is!  I used to pick apples every year on the side of a main road at an intersection way out in between two towns. Sure enough he picked them from that same tree!   So I made a tray of baked apples for dinner that night.

They had dates, sultanas, sago, golden syrup... they were yum.  Dad loved them and later I caught him scraping off the sticky baked on bits with a spoon.  😊

I brought home about two dozen apples so I have those to cook with as well.

I found a little nest. It was finished with and just starting to get weather damaged.  But it is so lovely.  

I love that a bird will make something exquisite from what she has.  In this case a lot of spider webs! 

Mum gave me six bottles of shampoo and conditioner and 9 moisturisers!  I will add these to my stock.  

The biggest windfall of the week was Mum gave Andy a machine... I don't know what it is called.... but it measures blood thickness.  Andy has to monitor this as he has a stainless steel heart valve.   When traveling, or say if living in the country,  this constant monitoring is difficult and can be expensive too.   The cheapest we could by this device for is around $800 (that we have found so far) and Mum had one in the cupboard that is not used.  So I came home with this and just now Andy is learning how to use it as it comes with a video to watch etc.  So this will be a big boost on The Vicky Challenge this week! 

My spare time (late at night!) has been spent researching essential oils.  Boy have I found out some interesting things!   I also have a lot of crafts to post.  So I am just going to have to forget about my Wednesday post and regular routine and do extra posts as I can to get through it all!   It has been so interesting and I have realised that learning about essential oils is a great part now of what I would consider my pantry and emergency preparedness.  

I hope you all had a good week!  How did you save, get ahead, stock your pantry or build up your nest? 
I am unpacking, working on apples and figs and washing! xxx


  1. You got an awful lot done for being away so much. That is wonderful about the machine for Andy!

    This week has flown by here , too. Coming home from the lake on Monday has made us lose a day or it feels like it.

    We need new towels for our bathroom so I found them on sale at Macy'S which saved $90 over retail price and then I used points earned at the grocery and buying gas to pay for $62.28 of the total. I paid $6.39 for 12 towels! Savings of $150.28.

    We met friends for breakfast and paid $4.51 total for our meal and caught up with our friends. I call that a great deal. The other guy told my husband that they are not into the savings deals thing. It is how we roll every single day!

    1. Dear Lana,
      First I want to tell you I have my very first order from Hopewell oils and I am very impressed. They included great info. I got Plague Defence and also Manuka oil so far. I need to talk to you about a million things but I am behind with being away and behind the scenes things. I was helping Mum and Dad go through fifty years of photos for a project and so on.
      I laugh about someone saying they are not into saving. Maybe they are multi billionaires! The way I am thinking currently is if I can save somewhere maybe I can buy another oil! I am very happy with my start though! Many thanks! Love Annabel.xxxx

    2. I hope your box arrived from Hopewell with the wonderful scent that is all those oils they sell. When my order comes I just want to drink in that wonderful smell! Whenever you have time just ask away. I am always glad to help.

    3. Lana and Annabel, Hopewell Oils has a lot of good info on their site. I hope to be able to place an order in the near future.

    4. Patsy, Linda is such a blessing to all of Hopewell's customers with all the information she shares. The testimonies are very helpful, too. Any testimony posted by C.P. is my practitioner who healed me and trained me. Do sign up for the newsletter as they are often timely for whatever illness is going around. They come sporadically but are always worth reading. Old newsletters are under the Education tab.

  2. Annabel I was smiling as I read the post about your week. I am so glad you had such good fortune with the free fruits that once again have come your way. Dad obviously enjoyed his baked apples. The gift of the machine for Andy is a real blessing.
    We are up to day three of gentle rain. It is such a blessing as it was so dry here. I dont have small children so I am loving every single second of the rain. The washing can just wait until the sun comes out again. The rain has also washed the severe heatwave conditions away.
    I harvested my first ginger ever this week. It smells divine and is the most gorgeous cream and pink. I guess as it dries off the brown will develop. There has already been a discussion as to what we will make with it. As Katie and Bluey are both a bit snotty I will make some lemon, honey and ginger for them to have. I think I will have a little as well. Katie wants to make her ginger chicken soup and Bluey and I are quite keen for her to do so as well. Bluey wants me to make a ginger cheesecake. We are fans of ginger in this household.
    There has been a lot of garden prep done as we come into the best food garden weather for our area. Seeds are up and more have gone in to make sure there is some succession planting. The rain is giving these little seedlings such a boost.
    I finished a bunny rug for a dear friend of Katie's who is expecting a little girl, Willow, in August. I finished off a little bunny purse I was crocheting for our Tilly. I have a little squishy bunny cut out ready to be made up. Once this is done, Easter gifts for Tilly are complete. I have started cutting up 3" squares for Tilly's "Eye Spy' quilt I am making for her 2nd Birthday in July.
    It has been a busy week of pottering around here at home and loving every minute of it. Life is good.

    1. Oh Jane, lemon and ginger cheesecake YUMMO

    2. Oh, that cheesecake does sound so very good. Please share the recipe with us :)

    3. Jane your gifts for Tilly sound absolutely gorgeous and she is one blessed granddaughter to receive such lovely things. These things that you are giving to her will be treasured by her and no doubt become family heirlooms. I treasure and love the things my great grandmother and grandmother made for me. I can feel all that love! Love, Bridge

    4. Dear Jane, You are well ahead being ready for Easter. I am on the way with this but still working on things!
      I am so pleased for you about the rain. I just saw it looks like QLD is going to get heaps more! Rain will do your seedlings so much good they will be off to a great start!
      Have a good new week! I saw your ginger it looks amazing!
      With love

  3. Oh, all your baking looks so good! I shouldn't read here at bedtime ;-)
    How blessed to have farm fresh eggs, figs and apples your daddy picked!
    What a treasure your parents are. You are, too.

    1. Thank you Mary. I have been using the figs since I got home as they need using first. On to apples next! xxx

  4. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) . Annabel what a blessing that blood thickness monitor was to your household in huge savings.

    Not a lot happening here as we are concentrating on only spending on essentials until we pull back some expenditure from our bulk grocery pantry stock up shop and buying our new mattress.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to - $186.30 in savings this week.

    Here is how we saved money and feathered our nest -

    Earnings from my eBay internet shop to date this month -
    - $37.35 which some of this I used for electronic butane windproof lighters for emergency supplies.

    Gifts -
    - Said yes to a friend who offered me 24 figs for free saving $24 on purchasing them.

    Grocery shopping -
    - Used our roadside assist club grocery gift cards to purchase groceries saving 5% off and picked up 2 x 1kg tubs of yoghurt on special for $2.10ea saving $14.80 on usual prices. Stayed within budget even though we topped up on a lot of meat thanks to our bulk purchase of our pantry stock up items previously.

    In the kitchen -
    - Packed our bulk meat into meal size portions and put them in the freezer.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    House organisation/deep cleaning -
    - Deep cleaned and disinfected our kitchen benches with peroxide and wiped down all drawer and cupboard fronts with soapy water.
    - Mopped all vinyl and the slate surround around the fireplace with our usual mixture of 2T of ammonia and 1T of dishwashing liquid in 4lts of warm water. This mix cuts through grease and brings up your tiles and vinyl clean and sparkly.

    Electricity -
    - Saved the usual $7.50.

    Water preservation -
    - Used saved grey water to water the lawns all week.
    - Used dish washing rinse water to water plants in the gardens.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      I had about the same number of figs! It is lovely to have them and something different for a while and yes they are a lot in the shops.
      I know it is work to pack up meat when buying a bulk lot. We have done a lot of meat packing on the farm. Next week Aldi is having the food saver and food saver bags in and I am seriously thinking of investing. Thinking this one over.
      Your floor mixture sounds very good I am noting this!
      It is great about your eBay sales and you invested in good emergency supplies!
      I am officially saving for a new bed now. My Nan (or money from Mum that was left to her from Nan) bought me this beautiful bed and it has been glorious but I am facing I need a new one very soon...
      Well done on a great week! Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Annabel, Sounds like a lovely week you had. I have a food saver for years and love it. We just had pork chops packed in 2016 and just as fresh as the day we bought them. you can even get a glass jar attachment for many uses. I would not be without one. Have a great week. Joyce

    3. Dear Joyce, Thank you! I am going to do it and get one! Thank you so much! Love

  5. I found your blog from Mimi's page and what a delight. I look forward to reading more.

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Fairy, Welcome! I recognise your name from A Tray of Bliss I must have seen you in comments! I am glad to have you here! With love

  6. It sounds like a wonderful week Annabelle!

    1. It was pretty good! Have a good new week

  7. Dear Annabel,
    So glad to read that the trip to the farm wonderful and productive.
    I loved seeing the birds nest and all of the delicious things you made.

    It's been rather busy here as we welcomed into the world our first grandchild this month. I don't think I need to say anything more.(lol).

    Even with this momentous our nest and theirs was still feathered in the way of meals, grocery shopping, fluffing and dusting, for both families. We feel so blessed to be living so close by and can do these things quite easily. Even with all of this excitement I have still found a little time to work on things for the gift closet in the way of hand embroidering on some things. Also just spending a few minutes a day constructing some purses that are being quilted.

    The weather here has been very unusual, a few days of temperatures near 80 F and followed by days of ice and snow, and then more warm days. In other words, some days of salads and some days of soups. Today will definitely be a soup day and bone broth has been in the slow cooker overnight. On the warm days repairs got completed on the back porch.

    Wishing everyone a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, You must be besotted! I know as no one tells you how it is with Grand children. It is like no one tells you how it is to be a Mother. I think no one bothers as you cant describe it. To me you feel the same way about grandchildren as you did your own children. Its just beautiful.
      Laine always said Grandmothers are still Mothers to these children. The child has layers of Mothers in the Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers...
      Also it is wonderful to be close and helping. I am only five mins from Lucys house. I can take a hot meal and it is still hot when I get there. I lost count how many of these I have done! It makes a big difference! So form this I know you are busy.
      We are having yuk and unusual weather too. It is very draining!
      You are doing well. Honestly life just gets busier and busier! But in a good way! With much love, Annabel.xxxx

  8. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, you had a great week! All that fruit sounds like a dream. We have had a wild week here with ice and freezing rain - things we don't usually see in this part of the country!

    Cooking and food: I made a big batch of country ribs in my crockpot; I was out of bbq sauce so made my own with some bits and pieces - it turned out pretty well! All work lunches and snacks were brought from home. ($150 savings on lunches, I would say $40 on snacks - fruit,fig bars, granola bars, and peanut butter crackers.) We also ate from our freezer and pantry and did not need to go out in the icky weather to go grocery shopping, saving stress, anxiety, time, and possibly even injury.

    Household: We cleared some space in our garage by giving away our old (working!) lawn mower. My husband was given a new battery-operated model for his birthday last year, and we just hadn't gotten around to doing anything with the old one. Happy that someone will use it and that we don't have to store it! We re-arranged some shelves in the living room and it is more pleasing to the eye now. I also gave the bathroom a good cleaning and washed sheets, towels, and tons of laundry.

    Shopping: Our appliances are starting to need replacing, and we priced them at a few stores at the beginning of the month. We wanted energy-saving appliances and a good brand that would last a long time and that had a good warranty. This week, one of our local stores had the models that we liked the best, for 30% off, so we ordered them, saving about $1500.

    Entertainment: We enjoyed some books and movies from the library and our own collection.

    Personal care and education: My husband had a haircut at home (he likes it very short, so frequent trims) saving $15. I gave myself a pedicure ($50) and dyed my hair at home (also $50).

    Crafts/gifts: I didn't finish anything, but stitched some small motifs to go on greeting cards and made some progress lace knitting. Of course, I am now knitting on another pair of socks.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, With that weather ribs in the crockpot sound perfect. This is something I haven't done and must try.
      I hope you will be very pleased with your new appliances. I notice many things are designed to use much less power now and this sure is an issue.
      You had great savings! Have a very good new week. I am just trying to plan mine. I got started with some rotating stock in the cellar. Each week I am working on this! With love,

  9. Sounds like you had a very busy, joy filled week Annabel! Your baking all looks so yummy, and obviously it is knowing your Dad was going after all the wonderful little bits. :)

    I tried going several weeks gluten free last fall to look for any improvement in digestive related issues. During that time I relied heavily on Aldi's Gluten Free products, and absolutely loved their cakes. You certainly didn't miss the gluten, as they are very tasty!

    The weather here in Tennessee has been very rainy, flood warnings and such. The temperature has been very nice in the upper 60's to mid 70's. The daffodils (or Narcissus) are bursting up and blooming all over! Such a cheerful flower :)

    Hope you all have a very blessed day!

    1. Dear Kathryn,
      Mum really liked the Aldi cake! I thought with this I could easily stir in some berry, apple or anything... for variety or to make muffins etc.
      Mum gets on ok Gluten free in fact it has made a big difference to her and she was just born before they did celiac tests. Or not commonly anyway. I seem to need to be actual grain free before it does me good.
      Daffodils! We are just seeing Easter Lillies which means AUTUMN! They are tap and pink just lovely. They strongly signal the change of seasons here.
      Have a good new week! With love

  10. Dear Annabel, that blood thickness measuring machine is like striking gold I think. Isn't it bizarre what people have hiding in their wardrobes! What a wonderful saving and a true blessing. Funny that apples are not common where you are. I had no idea. We don't see them often in the suburbs here either. It's mainly citrus, bananas, mulberries, figs and pawpaw. I got some glorious pawpaw from our trees just this morning...we've had so much rain this week, so they look very tempting indeed. I also harvested Cumquat to make my Mums Cumquat Marmalade, and I was given tomatoes, with which I've made her Tomato Jam. My son gave us bunches of herbs and lemons, as he grows them in his teeny tiny courtyard, and I must tell you all, he has won a garden competition with his garden. He has Cerebral Palsy and is in a wheelchair, so it makes you wonder what the rest of us are doing with our! The little birds nest is magical! A great week for us all. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I have always thought if you need a crockpot ask, if you need preserving things ask... people have this stuff unused in the shed and back of the cupboard. This one surprised me though! haha!
      In the Adelaide Hills apples are abundant but down south it becomes sandy and not so many things like fruit trees...
      I saw your harvest! It looked beautiful.
      I am so thrilled about your sons garden prize! I saw it in its early days. How good is that! Also it is lovely you come home with produce. This is great he must have had a boost with this!
      Have a good new week to you too Mimi, with love

  11. Lovely post Annabel, you always make such yummy food. Glad the trip was good to the farm, and I am shocked you did not find good opp shop deals.

    Cookie, great news, congratulations on becoming grandparents. It's happening to me in a bit over 5 months and I can't wait.

    Have a great weekend. Fi xx

    1. Thanks Fi! I am still in catching up mode here. Now planning the new week. I was shocked about the op shops too. They seemed half empty. Possibly the end of the summer season or something... but luckily the farm made up for it! Have a good new week! We both have big things going on! xxx

    2. Thank you Fi. Five months will just zip by. It is so exciting! Blessings, Cookie

    3. Congratulations Cookie what wonderful news.
      Much love Patti

    4. How wonderful that you had a lovely visit at the farm. They sold our family farm years ago. I really miss those long visits. It was like coming home.
      Much love Patti

  12. Hi Annabel, Just catching up on blogs and reading about the machine your mum gave Andy. It's to measure his INR (he must be taking a blood thinner for his valve) I work for heart surgeons so I think that's what it must be!! Good score as these can be pricey and it's so much handier being able to test at home rather than constant pathology tests. I really love reading your blog by the way - your self saucing pudding is a firm favourite in our house!

    All the best


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