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, 17 May 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 18th May, 2018.

I had a good week!  It was cold and rainy... the rain has kept coming and everything is green and rainwater tanks are full.

We had a wonderful Friday night last week, Luke and Chloe came to dinner and we had a celebration of sorts as well.  During the day I had been with Chloe for her wedding dress fitting.  Getting exciting!

Then we had Harper's 3rd Birthday on Monday so that was wonderful.

She is growing up so fast.  She always wants to be helpful.  She loves anything to do with making things.  💗
Lucy made her cake and we had sparklers!

I found some bargains including sausages which I divided up and froze in meal size portions.  Also cartons of cream for 40c. 

I made a giant cauliflower cheese bake and baked apples in the slow cooker.

After a few hours these are caramelised and delicious! 

I was blessed with parcels in the mail!  
Tania sent me wonderful books for my medical cabinet... they are my current reading and some of the tips will be in a Home Pharmacy post.

Mimi sent me a lampshade. It is silk!  Ages ago I found this beautiful lamp base in an op shop and grabbed it.  I LOVE it.  When Mimi saw this she said "don't buy a shade I have one" and she had bought two shades on a good deal but only needed one of them.   So this week the shade arrived.  Now what are the odds that this shade would be the perfect size and proportions for my lamp base?

But it is perfect!  Now I have my lamp out on display and in use! 

Next I get a parcel from the USA from Vicky.  She had a pair of beautiful and expensive black bras sent to her in one of her amazing deals.  Except they weren't her size!   Once again... what are the chances they would be perfect for me (hahaha again we are talking what are the chances of perfect size and proportions!)  Well, they are perfect!   They are so pretty and exactly what I would buy! 

THEN a beautiful reader Belle sent me a package of medical supplies for my cupboard.

Because I try to add to my supplies all the time I have a fair idea of the prices of things and rolls of bandages, compression bandages, dressings etc are all very expensive.  This all was worth a fortune.  Yesterday I spent some time putting it away and adding some to the car kits as well.  Just wonderful.

So it was amazing and I thank you all for so many big blessings this week!

I found some post Mothers Day sale items and this included $3 stainless steel drink bottles we were wanting and some gifts for the present cupboard.

A local supermarket has been having amazing specials.  I think it is because they have found themselves really close to Aldi.   Last week it was the pork roasts.  This week it was Andy's favourite coffee for $10 a tin.  This is usually $22 a tin in Coles or Woolworths.  (The big nescafe tins) I got five as the date on them is mid 2020.  So I saved over $50 there.

I have been doing some trades and my essential oils have been great for this and also gifts.

Now that I have supplies I can put together some rollers suitable for a persons needs and it isn't too expensive.  Yet to buy rollers of a blend can cost $30 + each so this is a great start for someone.   As I got started because of a gift Chloe gave me I also hope that a gift like this also starts something wonderful.

Andy was busy and he told me to say he saved over $400 in his Vicky Challenge.  

So that was my week!  
Today I am heading off to see my Aunt.  I have farm honey for her and photos.  On this trip I do a kind of loop and go to Spotlight,  several op shops, my Aunts and a wonderful fruit and veggie shop that usually has amazing bargains.   With luck I will have veggies to make a big pot of soup over the weekend! 

I just heard from Jen in NZ.  Several people wished her well for the imminent birth of her new baby.  She has a baby girl!  So wonderful to hear. Congratulations Jen I am so thrilled for you!

How did you build up your home this week?  Didi you save, get ahead, add to your pantry or preparedness?  I hope it was a good week and you have a great weekend.  Tomorrow I am setting myself up to watch the royal wedding!   I remember watching Princess Diana and Charles marry. I was in college then.  I love how literally millions of people will come out to celebrate! 

I better get going as I have a busy afternoon! xxx


  1. You have had a lovely week with all those parcels arriving. Isn't it great when we can share something with another we know will appreciate it.

    1. Dear Barbara, Yes it is! I had more! I took honey to my Aunt as honey is my surplus and she gave me bath towels. And limes! Have a beautiful weekend. With love

  2. Hi Annabel, you have has a wonderful week full of blessings.
    First of all a big congrats to Jen on the birth of her baby girl. Seems like her little boys were right.
    Katie and I went shopping for my niece who is turning 18 in a week. We hunted high and low and found nothing for her. I came home with $2 long sleeved tshirst and a $4 lightweight jumper.
    Bluey has finished the cabinet he found at the dump last year. We have been given the name of a lady who does leadlighting so we will see her to see if she can do the stained glass doors. If not old fashioned bubble glass will be used. The cabinet is now in the house and is slowly filling up. All the clutter is gradually disappearing. Love it. Bluey also finished, a made to order, lazy susan. The cabinet itself is a savings of around the $600 mark.
    I have been doing maintenance cleaning. This is cleaning out cupboards, moving cabinets away from walls, taking down paintings and cleaning the wall and dusting off the back of the painting. Today I cleaned out the fridge. It was yuck big time, but is now nice and clean.
    I too got a parcel in the mail from our gorgeous Vicky. She sent the most gorgeous tuille. It is really soft compared to what I can get here. Tilly is going to love her rainbow tutu.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Life is good

    1. Jane I popped the link in for the bread making tutorial in the previous Christmas challenge thread in case you missed it.


    2. Dear Jane, I love that you got a nice parcel in the mail too! The soft tulle is gorgeous...
      The cabinet is BEAUTIFUL. A collectors item probably too.
      Thank you Sewingcreations for that link. Have a great weekend! With love

  3. Congratulations to Harper for her third birthday and to Jen on her new arrival. I have picked up a few specials this week but can't remember what they were now.LOL! If I could pick up a new memory that would be beneficial I am sure. I am just trying to finish off a few UFOs to get them out of the way. Have a relaxing weekend, Annabel.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I have to write everything down or by the end of the week I would have no idea so my memory is probably the same as yours!
      Getting thins finished off is good! You have a lovely weekend too! Love

  4. Dear Annabel,
    Congratulations on a great week! I love the photos of Harper! What a cutie and growing so fast! I've still been transplanting a few plants that have seeded themselves too thickly or that I wanted elsewhere. Our plants are really enjoying getting more water with the new system. My husband grilled steak, chicken and brats one evening when it was a little cooler so we could be a bit ahead on meals. One of the side dishes I've been making is a fruit salad. We have a few tangelos left in the refrigerator that are so juicy and sweet that no dressing or sweetener is needed for the other fruit in the salad. A client gifted our daughter with chocolate dipped strawberries and cherries which she shared with us. What a sweet treat!
    Wishing you and the other Bluebirds a lovely weekend!
    Elaine from Arizona

    1. Dear Elaine, Thank you! Self sown plants are always the best and seem to grow better than any others. I gentle relocation is a good idea. Sometimes I pot things up and they make gifts.
      The fruit salad sounds beautiful. Simple things are so often the nicest of all. I hope you are having a good weekend! We had a glorious Saturday and Im having a very quiet Sunday! With love

  5. Hi Annabel and beautiful bluebirds and I hope your week has been good :).

    Annabel what wonderful blessings you have had in the way of parcels this week to build up your home. Pass on our belated birthday wishes to Harper for Monday too. The lampshade looks divine with the crystal lamp base and the apples look scrumptious.

    Congratulations Jen on the arrival of your new baby girl, how exciting :).

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $91.35 in savings last week.

    Here is how we feathered our nest and saved money last week -

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 25.67% of the way there.
    - I made $57.11 in my internet shop from the sale of dried sage, bean seeds saved from the gardens and a custom order I did for a lady in the States for 7 curtain tieback cuffs. I banked this to make up the pantry budget back up from a large stock up in February. Since then from selling items in my internet shop I have made up $280 odd in debt in our pantry stocking budget and am almost in credit yay !!.
    - Listed 10 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 2 x 32pk of toilet paper on special saving $10 on usual prices.

    Heating and electricity savings -
    - Unplugged all unused appliances when not in use after seeing "Eat well for Less" as standby power is still being used by appliances even if they are turned off at the wall, interesting :0. They said you can save up to $100 a year in electricity costs per household by doing this.
    - Used free to us fire wood we cut from a friends farm to heat the mountain cottage all week and to boil the kettle for morning hot chocolates on the slow combustion stove rather than turning on the electric kettle.
    - Only turned on the electric hot water system at the power box when the water needed heating in the home.

    Sewing -
    - Made 2 bread bags, one I listed in my internet shop so far and 7 curtain tieback cuffs for a customer order and cut out another 4 curtain tieback cuffs to replace others sold in my internet shop.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made a quadruple batch of honey, almond, sultana, coconut and oat granola from items in our pantry saving $27.85 over purchasing it in the supermarkets.
    - Processed 500g of garlic left over from our planting with olive oil to make 3.5lts of garlic for the freezer saving $19 over purchasing the garlic elsewhere. Processing it with 2 parts olive oil to 1 part garlic makes it be able to be spooned out of the freezer as it remains soft to use in cooking and keeps for 12 months frozen.
    - Blanched and froze 5 bunches of silver beet from the gardens saving $18 over purchasing it and making 8 more meals for the 2 of us.
    - DH dug up the remaining native lilies and got rid of nightshade out of the bed and transplanted the lilies in the prepared and amended garden bed on the opposite side of the house.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, Your internet shop is doing so well! The free firewood is worth a small fortune and using it to heat your water etc is just added savings. I am planning to have a combustion fire and sit my pots on it like a slow cooker. I used to do this when I lived in the country and it was so multi purpose.
      It is wonderful you are getting custom orders! Knowing things are sold in advance is fantastic.
      Now when I hear your week and you mention the garden and produce I have a good mental picture to go with it! Freezing the garlic that way is a great tip. I love garlic... love the flavour but also its germ killing properties!
      The honey you traded for is also such an asset. What a good week! I hope you are having a beautiful weekend! With love

    2. Hi Annabel and yes that is what we use our slow combustion fireplace for as well is to put our vegetable 4 layer steamer on top and steam our vegetables. You can also use it for cooking stews and casseroles in French or Dutch ovens or cast iron cookware. If it is a cold day you can set your stew going in the morning and have it ready by early afternoon for dinner. The free firewood is such a blessing and it costs $200 a cubic metre of hardwood firewood here to buy.

      You are so lucky with having so much rain much of Qld 57% is now drought declared including our area. We are working hard to keep everything alive and using grey water where we can to water lawns (brown hay like looking stuff) and flower beds and clean rinsing water to newly planted vegetable seedlings in the gardens to minimise town water use. We are expecting to go into more severe water restrictions here and will have to be careful on our water usage.


  6. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Gorgeous lamp, and I love the pretty rollers for your EO blends! Those baked apples look delicious, too.

    Cooking and food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were packed and brought from home. I had a baking day and made some loaves of banana bread and peanut butter squares for a treat.

    Household: We put in a small herb bed by the patio; sage, basil, tri-color sage (this is gorgeous!), apple mint, and spearmint. In the spaces between plants, I planted marigold seeds and a new-to-us lettuce, Rosalita. The peas, radishes, melons, swiss chard, and squash are sprouting! Also, some of the dried pea pods that I missed last fall (and got tossed into the compost-y corner this spring) are sprouting peavines back there! Nice surprise.

    My husband mowed and edged our lawns, and we planted 2 types of lavender and a lovely trailing lilac. After digging up my fig that I thought was dead, I spied a tiny green leaf far down the base of the plant. We replanted it in a different area of the yard, and it is doing so much better there! I also planted some wildflower seeds and herbs in the "yucky" corner of the yard by our power box - they are sprouting and I hope will make nice cover for the box.

    We had lots of rain and our rain barrel filled up, so we used that to water the berry patch and part of the veggie garden. I already see a difference in our water bill from last spring before we had the rain barrel, and now.

    Entertainment & Education: We borrowed several nice books from the library. I'm also trying to learn more about preserving food and shelf-stable food storage; it seems we may be up for a rough time ahead in my country, and I would like to be better prepared. Canning etc. seems less scary, the more I learn about it. Hoping to try pickles and more jam this year!

    Crafts & gifts: I finished knitting a cozy bulky-weight shawl, worked on a pair of socks (of course), and put some stitches into a cross-stitch project as I had time.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Shelf stable food is such a good thing. Dehydration is another that can be so helpful and also quite space saving. The Ball Canning website has videos of step by step. I think watching something I learn faster!n In Australia it is slightly different i.e. I make pickles and jam but they are not canned. I had never heard of canning them. However fruits, meats and veggies preserved are canned. I continually try and learn more. I agree there are signs of such trouble and I have felt this way for three years. We have worked to become more and more prepared and self reliant everyday for these three years! And we are upping that effort too in major ways. You have reminded me to go to the library. It is such an asset. I am looking in thrift stores too for book of vital information as these could be valuable.
      I love your socks! Also the shawl sounds lovely! That was a good week and I hope you are having a restful weekend! With love

  7. Happy Birthday, Harper! Y birthday was Saturday and we celebrated by going to a Beatles concert. I could hardly talk until Tuesday from too much woohoo fun.

    The really big news is that my husband's disability was approved so we never have to worry about whether he can manage a job again, which he cannot.

    Packing and heading home from 2 weeks at the lake today. It is rainy and muddy so we are dashing between raindrops.

    1. Dear Lana,
      A Beetles concert would have been lovely. It is happy music.
      I am very pleased about the disability approval. That must be a relief. You have done wonders with helping your husband with his health and overcoming such a shocking time. Not having to worry about this approval will be a weight off your mind.
      Have a good new week back at home! I always find it takes a while to settle back home and catch up when I have been away. With much love

  8. Hello Annabell. I love your beautiful lamp and those cooked apples are inspiring me to make my own. I had a fun little savings happen yesterday. I often check a local supermarket's ad for a sale on their butter. (I usually shop at another store because their savings are consistently better). This is a family owned supermarket and I try to buy there when I can. Anyway, I stopped in to purchase a few items and noticed that the butter was on sale, but not nearly marked down as I have seen it in the past. I know the man who works in the dairy department and I commented that I've seen better sale prices and that is when I stock up on butter. He asked if a certain price would work for me ($2.49 a box = 4 sticks of butter, 2 cups total)? I said that price would be great and said admiringly that I was impressed that he had the power to do that! You know how men are--appeal to their sense of importance and power ;) He went in the back and came out with stickers that said $2.49 on them, and I selected 6 boxes of butter! The regular price was over $5 a box. I thanked him and then jokingly asked if we could move on over to the meat department... ;) So, I guess it pays to know important people and it doesn't hurt to 'butter them up'. Ha!

    1. Dear Joy, Thank you! When I do the apples I make a heap and then they are deserts but often also breakfast! They are so nice.
      Hahaha I like your man logic. Well done on the butter. Butter seems to have gone up enormously everywhere and is in shortage in some places too. So this was very good!
      I continually look for good deals on meat. Now and then I am lucky with reduced prices but you have to be very quick!
      I hope you have a great new week! With love,

  9. Hi, Annabel,

    Sounds like Harper is going to grow up to be your crafting buddy! I have a granddaughter and we are really close - we're crafting soul mates! She loves to stay with me and cook, crochet, all sorts of crafty things. I call the time I spend with my grandchildren "creating memories." I did it with my children, too, but I'm really aware of it with my grandchildren. I treasure every moment. Bet a lot of the Bluebirds feel the same way.
    We aren't just making things or just keeping house, are we?


    1. Dear Phyllis, I am sure I was born loving glue, scissors, needles and thread. In fact I know when I was only four or five Mum banned me from sewing in bed due to accidents. Sleeping on needles etc. I think Harper will be the same... she is very keen. Yes I do feel just the same..I count precious moments and every teaching opportunity too. No we are not just making things.... there is so much more to it... I truly believe what we do affects many generations. So beautiful! With love

  10. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds...what a great week for everyone! And Annabel! The lamp! It's perfection!!! What are the chances, right? Harpers cake is beautiful, and your life must feel full to the brim with the good in the world right now with all of those parcels. I had a great week. I shopped and got great bargains on yoghurt, gluten free granola, meat and chicken. I tidied and organised the refrigerator which felt really good and prepped vegetables, fruit and yoghurt like there was not Daughter was busy with rehearsals for an assessment at Uni, so she loved being able to take healthy food for lunch, just as she did at school. All up a really good week. Love to all. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I wanted you to see how the shade fitted and looked right. I mean size and proportion can be hard to get right but it is just right! Thank you so much!
      It is lovely that your daughter has continued on with the healthy lunches into uni. With adjustments you will be into a new routine now... although uni seems odd hours but still a routine of sorts.
      I think you would have been watching the royal wedding... that entrance.... that music! That heavenly vocal solo.... it all was glorious. So nice... I felt like walking on air ever since! I hope you are having a restful Sunday! With love

  11. Annabel,
    Harper is getting so big and he is so cute! And congratulations to Jen on a sweet, new baby girl! What a gift!
    This week I was blessed with coupons and got 20 tubes of toothpaste and 5 handsoaps free, plus a candy bar for a penny. Since canning season will be here soon vinegar is a must so I used Kmart offers and got 3 small bottles of vinegar and 2 cans of beef broth also jewelry for Em and hair clips for Addy, I got a camera tripod in the mail and a Sephora lipstick sample, but it's red not my shade. I found a 17 pound ham marked down to .99 a pound. I was able to hang laundry out this week and the girls gave us 6 dozen eggs. I added to the gift trunk with a nice picture frame and a set of drinking glasses that I found marked down to 2.15. The nice days have been amazing for getting things done outside it has been wonderful! And Yay! The boy got a full time job, but has to work 12 hour days. I am hoping he will still be a good saver so he has a good start when he gets out on his own. I hope everyone has a great weekend. P.S. My comment must have went poof, but I love your cards the are so pretty and wow are cards expensive!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Thank you! The coupons for all the toothpaste were fantastic! Well done on thinking ahead with the vinegar. The nice weather has been a help. I am the same when it is nice weather I get heaps more done!
      It is very good about the full time job. That is excellent. If he gets in good saving habits right away I think that will set him on the right habits.
      Thank you re the cards! I will look for that moment! With love and thanks,

  12. Annabel, Harper is just beautiful! Happy Birthday to her! I know you are so excited to be preparing for Chloe's wedding. My daughter is getting married next Saturday and I am excited, but certainly feeling the stress now! It is a very expensive business, but I have saved by purchasing items on sale or clearance or with coupons, decorating mason jars to serve as "vases" for bouquets on the reception tables, having a grocery store bakery make the wedding cakes instead of a regular bakery, asking a talented friend to design the "save the date" announcements and wedding ceremony programs, and gratefully accepting the offers to help from various friends and relatives. Also, I am making the ring bearer's pillow, the lining for the flower girls' basket and a little clutch purse out of my wedding dress. It took awhile for me to gather the nerve to cut into it!

    I really like your new lamp and the shade is perfect! Yay Mimi!

    I placed my first order with Hopewell Oils and put your blog as who referred me. My husband has become a true believer with the oils after experiencing relief from his back pain with peppermint oil. It helped my neck so much, I recommended he try it and it helped quickly! I think the essential oil rollers you are making up are great gifts!

    I'm glad you had a good week! Thank you and all who comment on here for the helpful tips and encouragement. I've been following your blog for some time, just not commenting.

    1. Dear Carla, This will be a very busy week for you then! I hope the lead up is wonderful and you have beautiful weather next weekend. I felt quite anxious with Lucys wedding... nervous! On the day it was just glorious. There were so many perfect moments. So breathe and enjoy those special moments.
      I really hope you love the oils. I am so happy with them. That is really good to hear with your husband re his back pain.
      Carla thank you for commenting. I am so glad to hear from you and have you here, thank you so much! With love ps please report back how the wedding goes!

  13. Hello lovely Annabel, what a lovely week. Happy birthday to beautiful Harper. What a cake! You deserve all those lovely things- you give so much. Oh my gosh, THE wedding! I LOVED watching it. Honestly, I love watching the Royals. It's like a real fairy-tale. It will be Chloe next :) Sending you (all) lots of love, Bridge


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