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, 21 June 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 22nd June, 2018.

It has been a good and busy week! We have had a lot of sunny days too.
This week Lucy and the girls were down at the farm.  It was painful missing out on this I can tell you! 
But the girls had the most wonderful time with Nan Nan Pat and lambs and the baby deer.


Mum had a big box.  I think something must have been delivered to the farm in it.  She put mats inside and pinned fabric to make a door curtain.   Success!   Happiness is a big box to sit in!


Harper helped Chloe collect kindling and she loved it!  Good little worker! 



This week I made Gluten Free scones.  As I am bad at scones I always add a teaspoon of baking powder and an egg.  This makes them rise much better.  I made three dozen.  Also no one notices they are gluten free.


Anything GF in the shops is a ridiculous price and when you can buy GF flour well this is the easy solution!

I made a big beef casserole as I found a massive markdown.  This made dinner then meat pies.  Really any casserole in your slow cooker can be used to make pies.   No one even seems to realise they are seeing the casserole again!   Also Chloe said to me that Luke doesn't like casseroles much.  I asked does he like pies?  Yes!  So there you go, you slap your casserole in pastry and call it a pie!  πŸ˜Š
Also pies freeze wonderfully so you have spare and emergency meals.



One time a while ago I bought a fast meal from Woolworths.  It was a Jamie Oliver meal of meatballs and you just baked it in the oven.  Since then I copy it.  I make or buy meatballs.  Very often I will buy hamburgers and cut each one into four and re roll them to get meat balls.  That is what I did this time.  This way too you can re roll them to what size you want i.e. for little kids you can make them really small.


So my copy cat recipe is to put your meatballs in a baking dish with lots of cherry tomatoes.  Bake this for about 15 minutes and roll them around at some point.   Then I pour over a jar of tomato pasta sauce and top with grated cheese. 
Bake until bubbly and golden.  That's it!   I made enough for a couple of nights.   Serve over noodles, zoodles or with veggies.

On the second night I served it with a potato bake.  While I was making that I also made enough for a couple of nights.  I use Hilde' recipe which is thinly slice potatoes,  sprinkle the layers with french onion soup,  pour over cream milk, evaporated milk or whatever you have and top with grated cheese.  For a big one I use about half a packet or a small scoop of homemade french onion soup mix. 
Bake until bubbly and golden.  I allow about an hour so it is beautiful and soft.   

I made honey carrots so these appeared a couple of nights also.

I put a corned beef in the slow cooker as Andy likes this for lunches.

I made a big pot of sweet potato soup.


This was my lunches.

And I made individual baked custards.  I love these!


In the op shops I found a beautiful cardi and a big thermo with two cups for $5. 

I ordered some pantry jar labels from The Little Label Co.  You can order the labels you actually want and need.  I ordered thirty and I love them.  I started putting them on my jars yesterday.  


This afternoon this is my job... to wash all my jars up, put the labels on and re fill them!

I finish a cot sized crochet rug.  It is going into the gift cupboard...


So that is my week!   While we have this sunshine I will get some washing out on the line too.

How did you get ahead, save, build up your home or pantry this week?
I hope it was good and happily busy for you!   All your efforts add up!  Things do not have to be prefect to be good!  

Have a lovely weekend! xxx








39 comments:

  1. What a beautiful and productive week! Your baby blanket is gorgeous! Your soup and pies are making me wish we had winter weather here instead of summer...although summer is nice too :).
    I finished a baby quilt and delivered it to a friend this week. Her husband is a beekeeper, and I also keep bees in my backyard as a hobby, so I used pretty floral fabrics and chose a hexagon (honeycomb) pattern, and included a few hexagons of a bee print. I used one of my grandmother's vintage sheets to back the quilt. I hand-quilted it, which I've found to be such a nice way to pass some time in the afternoon as the kids run around the house and yard, as it keeps my mind free to have conversations with them as they wish, but it allows my body to rest and hands to be productive. I think the quilt turned out adorable and she loved it!
    I mostly built up my home this week by cooking for my family and the kids' friends...hearty breakfasts, picnic lunches, homemade snacks, and well-planned dinners, and managed to avoid the temptation of fast food all week. We celebrated my son's birthday and father's day with practical (but much appreciated) gifts and cake. And I replanted some failed garden seeds with new seeds (I was tempted to buy seedlings at the garden center, but chose heirloom seeds instead so I could be sure that their seeds are savable at the end of the season). I took the kids and their friends to all kinds of free events around town, including a camp for gifted/talented kids put on by the school district, crafts at the library, and so on.
    I hung all the laundry out on the line, which is a strangely satisfying task, don't you think? And that was my week, thanks for asking!
    Have a lovely weekend, Leigh in Colorado

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    1. Dear Leigh, Thank you! I am cooking very wintery things! I think of this when I post that you girls are in summer! I like though how what we eat is so seasonal and how it changes. I am loving winter right now though!
      I love the sound of the quilt and the bees! That is gorgeous. I love bees.
      What a just beautiful gift.
      Your cooking sounds wonderful and I bet the kids friends love come to your place!
      You really made the most of the week and the time with the kids and their friends. This is just lovely.
      I love the way line dried clothes feel and smell. Yes it is so satisfying! This to me especially applies to how sheets feel. Gorgeous.
      Have a good weekend to you! With love Annabel.xxx

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  2. Annabel,
    I have fond memories of our box house we had as kids. We had the best time using crayons to draw windows, curtains, flowers, a door, rugs. The crochet flowers are beautiful! I need to make time to learn how to make them. I've been busy this week cleaning the garage (doing the discard challenge on the Pantry Ladies FB group). I love doing it this way, It's very motivating. I love your jar labels! I love it when practical things are pretty. This week I got ahead by finishing a baby blanket and putting it in my gift cabinet.

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    1. Dear Sharla,
      Oh now you have said this I will tell Mum next time they come to keep the box and they can decorate it! This will give them a whole new range of things to do!
      I am doing the challenge too. I have lost count a bit but today was my pantry... it is all progress!
      I got quite a few more labels on, all my jars washed and sparkly...
      We both did baby blankets and put them away! Oh this reminds me I need to start something new tonight... will have a look at what yarn I have left! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  3. What a busy, busy week! We are home now from our holdiay so I'm playing catch up, and clean-up - why does going away on holiday always mean work when you get home? Turning casserole into pie made me smile. When we were first married Wayne hated stew, but I love stew. So, before he arrived home from work, I'd tip the stew from the saucepan into a casserole dish and put it in the oven, wash the saucepan, call it casserole and he'd always have seconds and loved my "casserole". I must remind him - think I'll put a stew on now for our weekend lunches :) Have a beautiful weekend. Cath xxx

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    1. Dear Cath, Welcome home! I find the same the work and catching up when back home is endless!
      Well when Chloe was little she didnt like quiche. So I waited a bit then called it Egg and Bacon pie. She liked egg and bacon pie so we stuck with that :) There is more than one way to skin a cat lol!
      It is the weather for sure for soups, stews and casseroles! I am really enjoying it! With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. Hi Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :).

    The girls look like they had a great time and the large cardboard cubby house looks a hit and it is usually the simple things that keep them thoroughly entertained for hours. Your cooking looks wonderful as usual and glad you picked up some good bargains at the op shop.

    Our Vickie challenge added up to $306.68 in savings last week.

    Here is how we feathered our nest and saved money -

    Earnings -
    - Earned $6.66 from the sale of 20g of dried sage picked from the gardens and saved sugar baby watermelon seeds saved from the gardens.

    Purchases -
    - Target in town was having a huge sale on a lot of their summer clothing and other items in town as they are moving to stocking a younger demographic on clothing. We purchased a PS4 game for DH, 2 flannel shirts for DH and finally found some in his size, 2 pairs of 3/4 pants for summer, 2 casual shift dresses for me, 1 pair of summer sandals for me, 12 tall glass tumblers to replace ones that were broken and 3 packets of glucose lollies saving 36.82% or $163 on usual prices.

    Listings -
    - Using a free listing promotion on eBay I listed 51 homemade items, saved seeds and dried herbs from the gardens saving $84.15 on usual listing fees.

    House organisation -
    - Organised our plastic storage container cupboard and stacked like shaped containers, threw out excess saved washed and saved plastic containers and wiped the cupboard out along with the front of kitchen cupboards. It looks so much tidier in there now and I can fit in the new high glass tumblers we purchased :).

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - We are doing the final batch of blanching and freezing of our sweet potatoes today to give us a years supply for the 2 of us :).

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 340g of cherry tomatoes, 4 large carrots, 2 turnips and 10.5 bunches of silver beet from the gardens saving us $44.76 over buying them in the shops. We used the carrots and turnips with a baked chicken dinner we had one night and blanched and froze the silver beet for 11 more double meals for the 2 of us.
    - Picked a huge amount of French & English lavender and hung it to dry, separated dried French & English lavender from the gardens saving $6 over purchasing it.
    - We also picked a huge amount of thyme from the gardens that we have on a drying rack on the front veranda behind shade cloth. Once dried we will keep some for us, trade some, and sell the rest on the internet.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15.

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    1. Hi Sewingcreations15,

      I am always in awe of your accomplishments! Your lavender sounds wonderful - mine is surviving, but not exactly thriving in our heat this summer. Do you do anything special to help it grow well?

      Hope you have a great day,
      Kathy

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    2. Dear Sewingcreations, Taking advantage of the free listings is so good! 51 items too! Well done!
      One herb I use so often is Thyme. Mine is growing well too but I must dry some also.
      The lavender sounds beautiful. It takes ages to pick god bunches but so lovely. You did very well from the Target sale too! These are the times to strike!
      We are having really cold nights but the weekend is lovely and sunny so I am busy washing and getting things line dried.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

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    3. Hi Kathy and thank you for your encouragement :).

      We are in opposite seasons here in Australia and not sure what sort of heat you are getting over there. Generally most plants will start suffering from 30 oc or 86 o F, and if you are reaching mid 30 oc days there then the poor things will be really stressed and will need more water too.

      We tend to amend our sandy soil here in all our garden beds with one part horse manure to 1/2 part cow manure and dig that into the soil and we also trench compost vegetable scraps into all our garden beds too. Our lavender and all plants get a drink of Seasol or seaweed concentrate too once a month.

      If you are getting in the mid 30's oc consider putting some not water proof shade cloth over the top to protect them or move them into a more sheltered area like under a tree canopy or near a fence that gets shade.

      Good luck with your lavender and I hope it thrives.

      Annabel you are right it takes a while to get a nice bunch of lavender but it is so worth it for the lovely smell and they look lovely in a little bud vase too dried or fresh :).

      Sewingcreations15.

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  5. Hi Annabel,
    My gosh Annabel young Scarlett looks like her great grandma!Is this the case or maybe it's just in my eyes. What a great week you had. I always feel hungry when I see your photo's. Yum. We are doing really well on our budget of only buying the essentials, since I left my job last month. We certainly are not deprived in any way. It is a blessing to be able to take my time in finding a new job that is the right fit for me. I have an interview Monday week. I organised a visit to the organisation first and really liked it, so fingers crossed.
    Have a lovely weekend all.

    Mandy(NZ)

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    1. Dear Mandy, I see Scarlett as a mini female version of her Dad! But you would be right as also when she was born I saw she had my Pas eyes... Mums Dad and Mum has those same eyes!
      Good luck with your interview! And well done on doing so well in the meantime. There are so many ways to save at home and this time can be an asset to you too.
      Have a lovely weekend there! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  6. Hi Annabel, what a lovely, productive week you have had! I have been trying to improve in my organisation and planning of home tasks and meals, since I feel I've slipped backwards on this since being back at work part-time. I have done better at balancing things since focusing on this, so I'm pretty happy with that. I made a herb & cheese damper to go with soup this week, and it was so yum and very easy. So bread-making doesn't have to be hard or scary afterall! I tried to make your creme caramels in the slow cooker, but unfortunately had a fail. I cooked them for 2.5 hrs on high and they looked cooked on top, but they were sort of curdled and then very watery at the bottom... not sure what went wrong - maybe my slow cooker is too hot, or maybe the ramekins I put the mixture in were too small? Anyway, hopefully I'll have better luck with them next time, will try it on Low & in a larger dish. Have a great weekend. Kelly xo PS. Love your beautiful baby blanket.

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    1. Dear Kelly, The more we have to do the more planning and organisation help. I am not sure with the creme caramels... once the water is really hot I feel they take a couple of hours. I use a t towel under the lid to prevent drips. Water 3/4 way up containers. Set them in there before it is hot so they heat up along with the water and the whole crockpot. mmm thinking what else... possibly your slow cooker is faster/hotter. I stick a knife in to see when I think they are set. I hope it works next time!
      Thank you re the baby blanket. Now I am working on one for Harpers baby pram :)
      Have a lovely weekend to you too, with love Annabel.xxx

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  7. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, I love those labels, and your cooking looks and sounds so good! I am going to try that meatball dish! The rose-patterned china with the custard inside is just gorgeous.

    Cooking and food: All work lunchs ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I cooked up a big roast and potatoes and tried out making rice in a casserole dish in the oven instead of the stovetop - worked great! It was a busy week, so we ate a bunch from the fridge and pantry and didn't grocery shop. Our new kitchen counters are going in next week (yay!), so we are trying to eat up everything that cannot be frozen before that time. It will be strange not to do a big cooking session this weekend!

    Household: We have both been tending the garden and enjoying seeing the results - we should be able to harvest squash soon. It has been wonderful having fresh herbs to cook with, and the echinacea and campanula look beautiful blooming.
    We rearranged some of the furniture in our master bedroom and moved our set of double bookcases into this room. The new furniture arrangement has opened up the space, and it seems lighter and brighter because of where the bed now is. I love it! My husband also reinforced the bedframe, which made a big difference in comfort. (I'm hoping to make this our little retreat and "nest" - and considering saving for an electric fire to make things cozy in the winter months.)

    Shopping: I found three dress shirts for my husband at 50% off.

    Crafts & gifts:
    Some basil and radishes from the garden made a fun small gift.
    A jar candle from the gift stash bought on sale was another gift (these were $13 when I purchased them, and retail for $27).
    I finished knitting a pair of socks and started another pair, and put some stitches in my cross-stitch projects as I had time.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!
    Kathy

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    1. Dear Kathy, Like you were are on a use it up challenge! There is nothing like a re arrange. Things feel different plus the process is always like a spring clean as soon as you move furniture everything leads to it all freshened up so much! I love that too.
      I would love to grow echinacea... I am going to look into this and how to use it.
      Well done on the socks! I am glad you had such a good week! Have a lovely weekend! With love Annabel.xxx

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  8. It always amazes me that children can have to best time ever with the simplest things. I remember I love boxes when I was a kid - they could be anything!!!

    You meals look so good. I will have to make the meatballs when we get back to cooler weather. My favorite dish that my Mom made was what she called meat pie. It was like thick beef stew with a crust. I make them - but they don't taste like hers!
    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Dear Cheryl, A similar pie I make is the thick stew and topped with mashed potatoes then cheese then that is baked until golden. Just beautiful... in cold weather of course!
      My Nan gave me a recipe she made with lamb chops... I follow it exactly and it is nothing like the recipe she made us! It was the way they did it I guess!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,
      Annabel.xxx

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  9. Dear Annabel,
    What a beautiful week you had! The photos of Harper and Scarlet at the farm are adoreable! I remember enjoying a cardboard box playhouse many years ago when I was a child. Also, while visiting in Colorado, we saw our Hannah having a lot of fun with a big box something had come to them in. Such simple pleasures...

    We were pleased to find that the new watering system my husband worked so hard on in the heat really worked well and our garden and flowers are thriving in spite of the heat. The garden isn't producing a lot in the heat but there are a few small tomatoes, long beans, peppermint, basil and green onions. The sweet potatoes aren't ready to harvest, but their vines are green and pretty.

    While in Colorado, I did quite a bit of cooking, laundry and helped some with packing since they are preparing to move. My DIL had me look through a basket of clothes she was getting rid of where I found several tops that will be great for fall or winter. She also gave me a new IPod case that didn't fit any of theirs. Mine was getting quite worn and the new one fits it perfectly. It was wonderful spending time with our son and family! It's good to be home, though, and I agree that there is a lot to be done at home.

    I've been getting a little sewing done since we've been home. Our bathroom window was in need of new curtains. I found a new cloth shower curtain in my fabric stash and used it as fabric for the new curtains. I was also able to alter a shirt I had been given which was much too large so that it now fits nicely. When I took laundry home for the animal rescue I work with, I noticed some of the blankets/beds were coming apart to the point I was reluctant to put in my washing machine. I found fabric in my stash to repair them. The others in the group were very pleased with the repairs and asked me to take a couple more to repair. This will save the group the cost of replacing them.

    A generous lady called our rescue group to offer a lot of items, food, bed, blankets, toys, carriers, a pet tree,etc.,since her kitty had passed away. I was told they wouldn't be able to take the donations since she was quite a distance away and no one could go get them. I realized it wouldn't be too far from our church and went to get the things after church on Sunday. My vehicle was loaded! There were a few things I can use and a load of things I will be taking up to pet adoption for the others in the group to use.

    It was really a week of being blessed in a tangible way when I volunteered! When I helped at the food pantry distribution, they had received more vegetables and melons than they could use and I received 3 mini watermelons, 2 spaghetti squash, 2 cucumbers and 8 zucchini squash along with a package of lobster patties and some banana nut bread that were left at the end.

    We've been eating mostly food from the freezer, refrigerator, garden and pantry, buying mostly just fresh fruit, veggies, milk and free or deeply discounted things. I have my list ready to stop by the store and get double points toward gas discount,too.

    Wishing you and the Beautiful Bluebirds a lovely weekend! Thank you for your encouraging, inspiring blog!
    Love from Arizona,
    Elaine

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    1. Dear Elaine, What a big week! It was great you could collect the donations and also about the produce that was left over that helped you instead!
      Well done on the curtains and repairs too. I need to get my sewing machine out now too as I have several things that need a minor alteration then I can wear them again. Mum is always mending and patching. Dad has jumpers with so many patches but they keep going and he loves them!
      I keep hearing it is hot there... the heat will certainly test the watering system and it sounds like its a huge success! I do not like the heat and dread summer!
      Have a great new week Elaine! With love Annabel.xxx

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  10. Dear Annabel,
    Your cooking always looks so delicious. You had a productive week.
    I don't seem to have the energy, these days, that I had when I was younger, so I don't feel my days are very productive. I guess something is better than nothing :).
    I saved quite a bit this week on sewing patterns, sewing notions, and some under clothing. On the sewing items I spent $55.36 and saved $238.15. When Hobby Lobby has the pattern sales it is amazing how much savings can be had. Also, they had elastics, seam binding, buttons, etc for 50% off.
    I had a coupon, from Macy's, for 25% off, so I used that on some necessities. Normally, I will buy whatever I need on sale then use the 25% off coupon on top of that, but there was no sale on the items I purchased this time.
    Since my 13 year old grand daughter decided to be a Vegan, I searched out gluten free Vegan pastas and found one that I wasn't familiar with; Viviana's gluten free/vegan spinach, basil, garlic linguini. Oh, my, was that good!! She and I agreed that was worth every penny and we would have it frequently. Most rice pasta's get gummy, but this one did not at all.
    I made two skirts, for myself, this week. Since I was short on tops to go with items for summer and short on time to sew, I ordered four tops from Macy's that were on sale for 50% off, which saved quite a lot.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,
    Glenda

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    1. Dear Glenda,
      Wow you had huge savings! Patterns are expensive here, I have lost track how much they are but last time I was shocked! So you did very well!
      I hope you love your tops from Macys. I have heard of that store so many times over the years!
      To me this sounds like a good week! It is very hard when energy is low. With much love, Annabel.xxx

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  11. Annabel what is it with boxes and little people? One of my early teaching years, I had the son of the owner of the local Furniture store. He brought me in some big boxes and these went into a corner. I made some cushions and bean bags and this area was always full of little people playing, reading and generally using their imaginations. It was wonderful. I can see Harper and Scarlett getting lots of use and having lots of fun in their box.
    At the end of last week I cut down all the overhang on the veg garden from the neighbours place. I put it through my mulcher on Monday. I ended up with five feed sacks($20) of mulch going on the garden. My comfrey tea had been fermenting for long enough and this stinky, but oh so wonderful, fertiliser($20) went on all the potted fruit trees. Bales of sugar cane tops hay(Saving of $60 over buying the bagged hay mulch) has been purchased and is gradually being spread as garden beds are emptied. The garden will be a managable size for Katie to keep going whilst we are away.
    I got Esmerelda up and going and have been trying out different recipes for sourdough($18). Not the best of success yet but I keep trying. The loaves were light and fluffy but didnt look like the fab photo on the recipe. I want the fab photo loaf.
    I also made my first lemon merangue pie ($30)in homemade pastry. It ended up as merangue pie with lemon syrup. Katie and her Jared have told me I need to keep trying. They didnt mind cleaning up the not so fab first effort.
    I made a tutu($30), using Vicky's method, to go in the gift cupboard. I showed Bluey and it reminded him of Katie following him around the paddock in her tutu, brothers board shorts, no shirt, yellow gumboots, fairy wand and frangapanis shoved into her mop of hair. She would have been about two.
    I love that little blanket. Pink and grey is a fabulous combination. I have lost my crojo. If anyone finds it could they please tell it to come home.
    Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Life is mostly good with a bit of sad at the loss of my crojo.

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    1. Dear Jane, Ye the box was a hit! Next visit I think we will make it that they can paint or draw on it for "decor" that should go down well.
      You did a lot of garden work! I really want to grow comfrey. Pa used to make comfrey fertiliser and swore by it.
      Your loaves were better than mine I thought and higher!
      Maybe you need a break from crochet. I do have phases and if I hit the wall with something it can take me just ages to feel like it again!
      Life sounds good as you prepare for your holiday! With love, Annabelxxx

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  12. Lovely Annabel what a busy, productive week you've had. All your cooking looks divine, especially that meatball dish. Your little blanket is darling. We are away at our daughters farm, we love it here, near Coonabarabran. They have a small group of Kalahari goats who are like our substitute kids. They each have their individual characters and are so much fun. I laugh so much when I'm around these cuties.
    Last week I made a lovely lightweight shopping bag from one of my daughters discarded dresses. It's very swish to put groceries in. NSW has finally banned single use plastic bags so I'm enjoying making my own fabric bags from my stash of fabric.
    I also made a gorgeous card for my DIL's birthday and some fabric covers for little tissue packets to pop in your handbags. I also made a big pot of pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin, cauliflower and sweet potato and a batch of banana muffins while the oven was on. I'm also nearly finished knitting a cotton dishcloth.
    Enjoy your weekend Annabel
    Hugs and best wishes, Lorraine 🌷🌷🌷

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    1. Dear Lorraine,
      I love goats! I think at the farm I would like miniature goats... I am not sure if Andy will be on board though! Being at the farm sound s just lovely!
      The shopping bag sounds so nice! I like them to be pretty. There are some ugly shopping bags out there and I hate the green ones so I avoided those and have baskets and Jane made me a gorgeous patchwork bag.
      The cooking all sounds just beautiful! That was a very productive and happy week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Beautiful photos Annabel, priceless those two gorgeous little girls in their very own cubby. Lots of fun with that one com8ng up. I enjoy photos of your grandchildren as I know the stage mine will be at by looking at the girls. This week on the way home from the specialist appointment I purchased my first ever slow cooker. It’s de boxed and washed, waiting for me to try something out.

    Hav3 a great weekend. Fi xx

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    1. DearFiona, As you know I love slow cookers. Sometimes I have three going! In my index I have a fair few slow cooking tips and recipes. It is such a help. Lamb shanks the other day were just amazing. I hope you love it. Really any casserole, pot roast, curry or soup is amazing. Rule number one is never add water to anything unless you are making soup...
      I hope you have a good new week after a relaxing weekend. With lots of love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Our biggest savings this week has been to use our Amazon Prime to get free shipping and delivery on big items to the house. $80 the store wanted to drive it the 30 miles to our home! No way! Second we vowed we'd stick hard to our grocery budget just now despite feeding six (four extra) and it's been hard but we've done it. I think I am at the very peak of that point now. We'll have to buy cheese this weekend but we keep finding ways to stretch foods and make do.
    Funny boxes here are a huge hit too but we have learned to be careful. The 16mo old has learned to climb and he uses any sized box he can find to use as a step to reach the next level of things, lol. So mostly the baby and his 4 yr old brother are happily playing in the drawer where I keep my food storage plastics. It's amazing how much fun they have playing with those plastic things and the stuff in the toy box goes untouched for the most part!

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    1. Dear Terri, You are doing so well with feeding extras and staying within your budget. That is a skill and work right there.
      Some kids are climbers! My brother was one.. the places he ended up!
      It sounds like Amazon Prime really pays for you. That is a big savings.
      I hope you have a wonderful new week! With much love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    I apologise for my late reply Annabel, I have had a really tough week , my knee is getting worse and I feel as though I will end up in a wheelchair before they do my knee replacement.i am going this week to have my other knee x rayed as it is getting to be nearly as bad as my left knee. My left knee has been bad for many years ( at least 8 years) and is getting more and more painful.
    My week has included :
    Earning 2000 bonus flybuy points when I did my regular grocery shopping( I had a flybuys offer) . This equates to $10 in Flybuys $$ .so a savings of $10 which if I buy half price specials I could turn it into $20 worth.
    I bought some reduced to clear grocery items , saving me $20 at least.
    I saved a further $25 in grocery savings by buying half priced specials and discounted items.
    I gratefully received 3meals from my parents plus some passionfriuit cheesecake type slice and some chocolate slice, saving at least $50.
    I received some mandarins and oranges and limes and lemons , a few of each from my grandmas trees$12 approximatesaving.
    I had a bulk billed appointment saving $70 .i received free medication due to being on the safety net$ 50 worth this week .
    I received a kind gift from a kind person who wishes to remain anonymous, the gift is a membership to a website I have belonged to for 2 years the gift is for a year and is worth at least $21 maybe more.
    I had my usual subsidised services , saving me approximately $150.
    I am using gifts I bought marked down for a part of my nieces birthday gifts ( both nieces birthdays are coming up) , a saving of $30.
    I added to my stockpile by buying some millet spray for my budgies, I bought two pouches of it for approximately $2 .50 less than normal price per pouch, each pouch has enough millet in it for six weeks or a month for my two budgies.so we are set for months as I have nearly 3 full pouches, that's a saving of about $5 a month , if I watch out for the specials .i have just been buying it as I finish one because I did not think to buy it on special and itwasnever onsale when I needed it but now I am ahead I can stay ahead with it.
    I had pizzas for dinner ( homemade ) using leftover steak and some veg from my fridge , cost me very little and saved approximately $15.
    I renewed my library items, giving me another month of free entertainment, saving me about $30 .total savings .
    I put off getting my haircut for another month, saving me $15. A total saving this week of nearly $500 ($498) .
    Thank you for another great blog post Annabel, it's amazing how much entertainment children can get from a cardboard box and a few accessories , virtually free.
    I make a meatball bake similar to your meatball dish Annabel, it's really yummy , I do not add tomatoes to mine except maybe a tin of crushed ones.
    Have a great week Annabel and bluebirds .love Barb W.

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    1. Dear Barb, I am sorry about your knee. My Mum has had a very bad knee and I know how difficult it can be. You still did very well with your savings!
      The library really is a great asset, they have so much stuff these days!
      Meatloaf is good! I make it now with no breadcrumbs so I can dodge the wheat but it is just as good!
      I hope you have a much better and easier week this week. With much love, Annabel.xxx

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  16. The pictures of the grandbabies are so precious. The box is a wonderful place to play. Scarlett looKs like she is almost as big as Harper now.

    Your scones are what we call biscuits. I did a big tray of them as well and most are tucked away in the freezer. My husband says that they are like money in the bank. There was a sale with pasta 50 cents a box with a limit of 20. We could not get there until 6 hours after the sale started and thought the shelves would be cleared out but they were still fully stocked. We got our 20 and probably have pasta for a year for $10. We also got packages of real bacon peices for 50 cents each. We put 12 in the freezer. We needed a new BBQ grill as ours needed a lot of repair and the parts were $80. I looked on Amazon and found a great deal so we got a new one for only $109. Our youngest son and his,wife were in town this weekend and I made a French toast casserole with a bag full of cubed leftover bits and ends of bread from the freezer for hreakfast and they loved it. We enjoyed two breakfast picnics at a nearby park overlooking a beautiful lake last week. This has been our favorite thing this summer. It is so peaceful and there are big trees for shade.

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    1. Dear Lana,
      I think there is a chance Scarlett will end up bigger than Harper she is catching up!
      Yes we say scones... I think we might use them more for sweet and you more for savoury? However I do make them to go with soup as well, otherwise they often have jam and cream on top.
      You did very well with building up the pantry for amazing prices!
      I love picnics! They are wonderful especially in a gorgeous location.
      That was a good week! I hope the new week has started off well! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. We do both sweet and savory with biscuits. We often eat them with jam or honey but also use them for breakfast sandwiches with meat and egg and this morning we heated some and put sausage gravy over them for breakfast. They have so many uses that I love being able to just reheat and eat. Is Scarlett camera shy? Seems she is only in pictures from far away. Some of our grandchildren can spy the camera or phone so quick and then I cannot get a photo. But, some of them pose for the picture which I don't want them to do either.

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  17. I'm in a busy canning season. Last week my mom and I put up 71 pints of green beans. Tomorrow will be another round of canning green beans and making pickle relish. I finished snapping the beans at 10 this evening and I keep telling my tired self it will be worth it when I see them on the pantry shelf!

    The meatball dish looks wonderful! As soon as it cools down I will be making that. Thanks for sharing how you made it and as always thanks for your encouragement!

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    1. Dear Wendi,
      Well done that is a lot of work! Yes it will be worth it and a beautiful sight when they are all lined up!
      I love on tray, one pot recipes... so easy! I am trying to collect more of these! Many thanks Wendi, love Annabel.xxx

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  18. I just discovered your blog & have been browsing recent posts. I can't remember where I saw the link? Another blog but for the life of me I can't remember which one.

    I love the meatball tip! I'm trying to use up some things in my freezer right now & have some hamburger patties I'll be shaping into meatballs. I may try some kind of onion/mushroom sauce though instead of tomato. My husband has a hard time with the acidity in tomatoes. Or barbecue sauce...he loves that.

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    1. Dear Jenny, We sometimes just do meatballs with gravy and veggies... no tomato... it is good! Also you can do them IKEA style which is creamy. Maybe google Swiss meatballs... I am not sure if that is right... maybe google how to make IKEA meatballs!
      You might have seen me on A Working Pantry, My Abundant Life, The Cheapskates Club, there are quite a few and I probably am not aware of some! But we all tend to think along the same lines! Thank you for commenting! With love Annabel.xxx

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