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 26 February 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 27th Feb 2015.

We are almost into March! Somehow this is amazing to me. But I am pleased with things overall and having a little review of my goals and aims. It's too easy to wander off track (as everyone knows) from the goals we set in the New Year. If you get them out and look them over every month and make some plans then things happen!

Some of the ways I saved money this week were....

I made 3 dozen berry muffins from only one cup of berries. They were the best muffins I have ever made. Stretching one measly cup of berries into three dozen muffins is a bit "loaves and fishes" but this is how I did it...

I had one cup of berries... it was some blueberries and some blackberries. I am using fresh ones as the frozen ones here, or some of them, have had a health scare and have come from a dodgy location. So I have used fresh Australian grown berries.

So 1 cup berries,
3 eggs,
1 and a half cups milk,
1 cup melted butter.
1 cup yoghurt. (any type)
1 and a half cups sugar.
4 and a half cups of SR flour.
About half to 3/4 cups of berry jam. I used strawberry. Mine was runny so if yours is very thick warm it so it will be soft to miix through.
This should be a thick batter like cake mix. If you think it's too runny add flour, if you think it's too dry add some liquid.

Beat your sugar, butter, eggs, add milk, yoghurt.  Add in flour and mix until smooth. Fold in berries. Fold in jam. Mix so there is a swirl or strawberry ripple effect but no more.

Makes 3 doz. You want to make three dozen as it saves time and cooking and they freeze perfectly. You will thank me later that you have these :)

Bake medium oven until golden and test with skewer. Mine took about 14 minutes.

Once cooked sprinkle icing sugar over the top.
If you have kids hide behind something so you are not killed in the stampede.
That's it!

I did this because I just didn't have enough berries and my jam is just thick chunky berries and sugar. So I used less sugar (which I have already altered in this recipe) They look beautiful and taste beautiful. Now another use for jam! This is a real stretcher.

I went through my junk mail carefully and found several great deals to follow up.

I bought a sage plant. Both Mimi and Hilde have taught me how to make Gnocchi with sage. They both told me the exact same thing. This means it will be a winner for sure. And I am doing this as it will be another 100% pantry/garden meal and I am trying to build up more of those. When I have made this I will post the recipe. Hilde taught me to buy Gnocchi vacume packed which lasts for months so it is a pantry meal. I already grow every other herb I regularly use as the cost of buying the plant is onlly the cost of buy a bunch of herbs once or twice.

With the last of my Quinces I made Quince Paste. On a cheese board this is just beautiful. Plus it keeps a long time. Once you have tried this there is no going back. After that a cheese board HAS to have Quince Paste. If you are in Australia try Maggie Beer Quince paste with a nice cheese and crackers and you will understand.

I gave my hair a deep conditioning treatment. I just slapped on a good conditioner and left it there while I did housework for an hour then had a shower and washed my hair. It is amazing the difference it makes. Wrapping it in glad wrap and a warm towel is even better and even more attractive. :)

I built up my home with my storage trunk make over, lots of work on my organisation, pantry. preparedness and a fair bit of cleaning!

Every week or two I pop into our local florist. Firstly it is a hit of pure joy and I love the experience. Secondly I drop helpful hints to Andy! Thirdly I get so many ideas of things I can easily make! Recently they had an idea that I straight away thought yes I am doing this one...

It is just a big open jar with some dirt and pebbles then planted with little succulents and tied up with string. $49! It is sweet and would make a nice table centre piece. I can collect succulents for free. I can do this!

Truly gathering ideas and inspiration is wonderful. Go to the places you know you will see things you just adore and gather ideas. It is the best fun. Look at the prices too so you know what the things you make are selling for!  Truly easy and simple things that we can do for very little are just waiting to be discovered. I really feel nothing adds to my contentment like creating something.

(the flowers at the top are in this florist)

I hope your week was wonderful and your February was fruitful! We still another whole day to get things done!

What did you do this week to save money or build up your home?

Thank you so much for all the encouragement and help given in the wonderful comments. xxx


  1. Hi Annabel, my son really likes succulents. I will show him these. They are really classy looking, but $49?

    1. Exactly Rhonda... and people pay it apparently! I have often overlooked big jars with no lids but they are just right for this! Now I will watch out for some!

  2. I love the roses in the first photo, Annabel. The idea with the glass jar and the succulents is very inspiring and so easy to do as well. We have heaps of succulents growing here as we planted a lot during our big drought as they didn't require much water as we weren't allowed to use tap water outside for a few years. Thanks for all your great ideas and beautiful photos.

    1. Thank you, I love succulents as well and am building up a collection. They are very sculptural and interesting. Plus they grow so easily from a little bit!
      I got tow more sheets this week towards my rug! xxx

  3. Hello Annabel, your roses & muffins look gorgeous!
    I bought new clitppers for our home haricuts & tried them out on me, lol, my hair gets randomly wavy if it gets of any length & I just got carried away, looks ok though.
    Made bradmaker pizza dough with normal flour, half wholemeal & it is great. Looking forward to making it again ths weekend.
    I love sage & have 3 plant s here, we do sage & lemon as pasta sauce its so quick easy cheap & tasty. Sage is also my fave herb for stuffing fish.
    Made bickies, slice & cake for my lot, all yummy & being enjoyed.
    Still using fresh produce here, working my way through a glut of zuchini, and digging up the spuds tomorrow.
    Still picking up lots of passionfruit also!

    Bring on Autumn I say, I love the cool nights & mornings of Autumn.

    Blessings, Karen

    1. Karen we really liked the zucchini and haloumi fritters that was a winner. I like to freeze zucchini for soups later. Its very good stuff... oh I like it in impossible pie too.
      You had a good week! Feeding the hungry family is a full time job I think. Wait until you have teenagers!
      I have been trying different pizza bases. I got this tip from Jamie Oliver and it is really good... when you roll your dough out, flour the board with cornmeal. Magically when you cook the base the cornmeal turns really yum and crunchy and makes the base extra amazing. I was amazed by this. Now I do it every time!
      Have a great weekend and thank you for your comment.xxxx

  4. Annabel I will have to remember that tip for the pizza bases - I am wheat free so use cornmeal (Polenta) instead of breadcrumbs when crumbing chicken - way cheaper than the gluten free things on the market.

    This week for me it was all about moving things out that do not belong here. Today I took 3 large plastic boxes of craft and assorted items over to where they need to be and reorganised the cupboard over there. I brought back some items for the bin which doesn't make much difference to us because we are rarely able to get the bin 1/2 full.

    I took advantage of some great specials and have picked up some bathroom and cleaning supplies.

    Also got to talk to our daughter about her trip and it sounds like she is going to head to the UK as she originally planned - she has trouble understanding how people who earn more than she does cannot save. Her new boyfriend is a case in point.

    Obviously our daughter picked up on what we were doing because we never really spoke to her about how to save money. It is only now that she will sit down and discuss things with us.

    We had more rain this morning so my day started with 'oh not again' - luckily it wasn't a lot of rain and the puddles that were in the backyard have now dried up.

    Have a fantastic weekend


    1. Lynette your daughters saving abilities will serve her well when overseas. Such different prices for things in the UK.
      Well done on your week and savings! And on the craft organisation.
      Im glad the rain wasn't too much, I would think things were soggy enough!
      Have a lovely weekend to you too. xxx

  5. Traded a mechanic friend to come and use his area of strength, doing a bit of work on my car, for some couch(sweat soaker) runners for his place. We both ended up very happy with the trade. Made apple cake and added some ginger as well. Didn't have the walnuts so used our macadamia nuts. My new favourite recipe. Getting the garden ready for the autumn planting and looking forward to cooler weather to get back into cheesemaking.

    1. Excellent swap Jane and what a saving that would probably have been. I love bartering!
      I often swap one type of nuts for another. There is a big price variation. I always swap out pine nuts ie in pesto for other nuts as pine nuts are very expensive.
      I think I will have to get you to tell me more about your cheese making! When you get going again please share what you are doing! It is hot here today but tomorrow is meant to be better. (hopefully) Well done on your week! xxx

  6. Beautiful flowers Annabel!

    I have noticed Australian berries on special since the health scare. I might just have to grab some and try your yummy sounding recipe.

    I have oodles of succulents and oodles of jars, what sweet gifts they would be. I was nosing around on eBay just now and found a gorgeous shabby cushion. I will post the link so you can see. I am thinking it couldn't be too difficult to reproduce and I thought of you lol. I cant see the $60 value!

    Well the feathers were flying at my place this week lol! Even though it was hot I achieved so much. I cleaned a great proportion of my house, and I am very happy about that as I had gotten so behind with things.

    Here are some of the things I did to feather my nest this week;

    ~I deep cleaned the bathroom and our ensuite. I scrubbed the tiles, cleaned drains and toilets and de-cluttered our bathroom cupboard and tidied vanity draws.
    ~I gave my floors a good clean, they were in bad need of a good scrub. They look so much nicer now.
    ~In my kitchen, I totally scrubbed the oven, stove-top and exhaust fan; it took me three hours from start to finish.
    ~I tidied and de-cluttered the plastics cupboard, junk drawer and pulled all the tea-towels and hand-towels out and sorted through them, then refolded and put them away.
    ~Next I washed the kitchen curtain and cleaned all around the window and the glass. It is so refreshing looking out the nice clean window when doing my dishes.
    ~Outside I swept up the leaves and dirt (before hearing that we are having dust tomorrow as well as heat grrr). I washed down our outdoor setting; it gets so dirty…a never ending job around here.
    ~I cleaned my lounge suite and dusted the furniture.
    ~I revisited my home management folder, rearranged it and referred to my cleaning schedule. I was very pleased to cross off a lot of things on the “to do list”. I also restarted entering things in my dairy.
    ~I baked two cakes.
    ~I cooked homemade meals, mainly just meat and salad.
    ~Baked some veggie pasties and chocolate cake for a family lunch on Monday. My eldest daughter is in London now, she left Wednesday night.
    ~Made a lemon cheesecake at the request of my son.
    ~I had FOUR no spend days, woohoo!!
    ~Paid extra on the mortgage.
    ~I kept up with the washing.
    ~In the veggie garden; I picked all the beetroot and pickled and water bathed them today. It took five hours and I got 12 medium sized jars. I harvested six pumpkins, a huge zucchini, spring onions, tomatoes, rock-melon, kale, celery, capsicum. My garden is just about finished for this season.
    ~Sold excess eggs.

    I am now suffering a sore shoulder, a problem I get when I clean lol!

    Sorry about the long post!

    Have a great weekend Annabel.


    1. Dont say sorry for a long post Tania as I love it! What a big week you had!
      I love crossing things off my to do list! This is the best bit!
      That was a big effort on the beetroot but wonderful to have all that put away. Plus your other produce. Six pumpkins! I think they keep a good amount of time, I used to grow quite a few and they were so handy all through winter.
      I have the cleaning bug too. Cleaning and re arranging. Except you have done much more than me. I will follow your lead and do more next week. It does make things feel so much better.
      If you have succulents and jars you are set! The string and the tag around the top set them off.
      Thanks for showing me the cushion, you were spot on I love it!
      You did so well and must be pleased. Have a lovely weekend and rest your shoulder! Thank you so much for sharing your progress this week! xxx

  7. This week I took an inventory of our walk-in pantry, our kitchen pantry, and both refrigerators. I had let a few items in our food storage get lower than the minimum I keep stocked, so made a Sam's Club run and went to Natural Grocers to take advantage of the sale items. It seems groceries just keep going up, so buying on sale and stocking things used regularly is a hedge against inflation.

    Annabel, you might already know this, but coconut oil is an excellent hair conditioner and skin conditioner. I soften the coconut oil and put it on my hair - leave it for a couple of hours or even overnight, then wash it. We can buy it here in large jars for a very reasonable price at Sam's Club. I buy the first cold pressed organic, then remove the amount I want to use for skin and hair into another glass container. It serves as a multi-purpose item in our storage; cooking, baking, skin care, and hair conditioning.

    I appreciate your blog so much and enjoy everyone's posts.

    1. Glenda I agree groceries overall are just going up and up. I see some prices that are just incredible (like who could even pay that?) and we are saving so much by buying now on specials compared to later at the higher price. I think its better than money in the bank.
      Chloe loves coconut oil. I should do a hair mask with it, thank you.
      I would love to see your walk in pantry! That sounds wonderful to me!
      Have a lovely weekend and well done on your week! Thank you

  8. Just for fun I added up what it would have cost to eat yesterday's home made meals out at restaurants. Breakfast was 2 eggs, ham, hash browns, homemade bread toast, juice and coffee. Lunch was quesidillas made with refried beans, taco meat and cheese, Mexican rice, tortilla chips and salsa and homemade cookies. Supper was white sausage linguine, salads, garlic bread and a glass of wine. My estimated cost of ingredients was approximately $10. The bottle of wine was a gift. I figured the cost of eating them out with taxes and tips to be $90! Plus gas to get there for each meal. What an eye opening thing to do!

    Thank you fro the idea of putting jam into muffins. Sometimes I have a jar that I have opened that really needs to get used up before it gets moldy and this will help keep me from throwing out perfectly good jam.

    1. Lana I am coming over to your restaurant I think what you cook sounds beautiful! It is true that our meals would be expensive if eaten out! Massively expensive. Plus the other things we do are mostly worth a lot per hour or per thing we make. The world charges massive prices for things we can easily do ourselves thats for sure.
      My jams are kept in the pantry but if I have an open jar or a few that didnt set properly I keep those in the fridge then they dont get mould. But using them up in one of all the jam possibilities is a good idea as fridge space is quite valuable! These muffins were so nice. I had one for breakfast as I have heaps in the freezer.
      Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  9. Hi Annabel;
    My goodness, you girls sure have been busy! I did some things this week that I have put off for a long time. I have 2 small file holders upstairs and a large one in the basement. The small ones upstairs are for this years files and receipts for purchases and the large one in the basement is for past years. I completely transferred the files to the basement and reorganized this years. So my household papers are all neat and tidy! I also paid the bills for next month and created a budget for this year. I hope to make blueberry muffins today. I froze blueberries on a cookie sheet last summer and put in freezer bags. So when I have a taste for something made with blueberries I can take out just the amount needed. I meant to do strawberries to, but somehow strawberry season passed me by lol. Love your jars with succulents, will definitely have to make some. Have a good week end. Hugs, Nana

    1. Nana it sounds like you also did a lot of going up and down stairs. We will count that as exercise as well! I need to do some paperwork too. It is great to get all that organised. And you are ahead on your bills too.
      The frozen berries are very handy. I have quite a few strawberries in the freezer as they are the ones I am most likely to get on a great special. I watch out as I think all berries are a huge burst of goodness and flavour.
      Well done on a very productive week! Especially getting paperwork up to date. Have a lovely weekend to you

  10. I've had a much quieter week work wise. This has given me plenty of time to shop for bargains, bake, cook and potter around the house. I love pottering. Collecting an egg or two, picking raspberries, watering our edible garden. Ohhhh, such joy !!! Here's what I got up to this week -

    * Made lots of pita chips to munch on.

    * Made lots of pumpkin scones for morning teas. These have been frozen.

    * A fruit and veg shop opened up in the shopping centre where Darren and Megan work at the church cafe. They had opening day specials of tomatoes for 99 cents a kllo and bananas for 99 cents a kilo as well. Megan picked out some lovely produce.

    * Reduced the amount of clothes washing I do by doing one load every day and only if I really need to . I've been doing this for the last three weeks. The first week I did six loads, last week I did five and this week I did six loads. Usually I do 8 - 10 loads so I'm very happy with the reduction. Hopefully I'll see a reduction in my water bill too.

    * Gratefully received some bread rolls, cheese, sandwiches and small slices,

    * Made a double batch of brown sugar.

    * Made 14 jars of tomato relish with the cheap tomatoes Megan bought. Hopefully I won't need to make any more relish until next Summer. I have over 30 jars of relish for us to consume, to give as presents and to sell.

    * Saved the warm up water from the showers. Some was poured into the washing machine and some was used to water veggie seedlings and my mango plants.

    * Fed the chooks some kitchen scraps.

    * We've been able to source some used coffee grounds. Darren has been putting them in our compost and some around the garden. I must say, the compost smells divine.

    * This week we picked a few beans, corn, tomatoes and lots of raspberries.

    * Gratefully received a few empty glass jars. These came at a perfect time as I was searching for smallish jars to make the tomato relish.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread.

    * Made sweetened condensed milk. Some was used in a lemon slice. The rest was frozen into 1/2 tin and whole tin portions for future choc truffles and more lemon slice.

    * Planted some broccoli and cauliflower seeds for Autumn / Winter growing.

    * Picked lots of iceberg roses to make two posies. I used recycled pasta sauce jars as vases. I think they look beautiful.

    The muffins look great Annabel.

  11. Wendy that was a great week. I also LOVE days where I am at home and can do a bit of this and that and catch up etc. They are very happy content days!
    I love that your family know what is a good price on things and they watch out. Many teenagers would not even look at the prices in front of a fruit shop let alone know their Mother would love some at that price and get them. That is wonderful and you all work as a team. There is a blog post in that subject I think. Our families are all out and about. If everyone knows to watch out then you never know what they might see and come home with. Well that is just wonderful. And now you have all that relish as a result!
    You had a very productive week. Have a great weekend and thank you for all your

  12. Yes February is nearly done. Just one more day and we'll be looking at another month entirely! I was busy today but feel I've done little for the month. I am sure if I looked around I'd find I'd done more. Here's where I saved in my home this week:

    1. Terri I like the change of month. Tomorrow is the first day of autumn also! So a change of seasons as well for us. We can continue with hot weather for a couple of weeks yet though. But I love autumn. It is just beautiful.
      I think writing things down does help us keep track of our savings and make us mindful of them. Have a lovely weekend and a productive

  13. Annabel I so admire your ability to see something in the shops and then realise/work out how you can make it for much less money. The succulents in the glass jar would make a great gift. I will keep my eye out for Maggie Beer’s quince paste, thanks.

    I finally finished the filing of last year’s household papers – receipts and dockets etc. I increased my hours at work to two full days this week. I also rang the tax office as I realised I am now receiving payment from work plus the insurance and was confused about tax arrangements. The lady at the tax office advised me to complete a new tax declaration indicating I don’t wish to claim the tax free threshold and lodge it with either work or the insurance. Otherwise I will end up with a big tax bill at the end of the financial year.

    I finished the granny squares and am now I have to buy wool and find the youtube tutorial for joining the granny squares. I did my menu planning and prepared my grocery shopping list according to my menu plan. My grocery shopping included a lot of the catalogue specials and my docket showed savings of $40.23. I also started tracking our daily spending last week. I am hoping this will be useful in helping us manage our finances better. I baked gingernut cookies, and made a mango flavoured butter cake.

    My doctor’s surgery rang the other week and told me I was eligible for the health check for people in their 40’s, so I had that this week. I was there over 1.5 hours but some of that time was spent in the waiting room.

    My TAFE permaculture studies continue, and I am now working on a site plan for our property. In the garden I have been working on the banana trees – getting rid of dead leaves and excess suckers. My specialist has said I have to be extra careful of sun exposure still, following last year’s chemo. So I try as much as possible to work in the garden in the early morning and late afternoon and in the shade, when my energy levels allow.

    1. Sherri it sounds so exotic to me to have banana trees! I am a person who needs to stay out of the sun mostly. So I do all my gardening in the evening. I feel more energetic then too.
      Now you are up to two days a week at work. I hoe it went ok, I would expect you would get tired a little bit getting used to it again and the routine. You are doing well!
      The quince paste is with the nice cheeses in the fridge area in Woolies at least. It is a bit of a treat!
      I hope you might post a photo when you finish this rug! These projects are so enjoyable and can be restful too. Just lovely.
      I think you got heaps done especially with also working two days! Have a lovely weekend. xxxx

  14. Dear One,
    I must say that I have had a few weeks of just trying to keep up with life so not much progress has been made over here. But the Lord knows the steps we take and He is faithful to see us through...
    God bless you,
    Marybeth xo

    1. Dear Marybeth, there are times when just keeping up or staying afloat are all we can do. And that is enough! I hope you get to an easier time soon though and are well. Each day we just do what we can with what we have. And sometimes we just need rest too! thanks Marybeth. Love

  15. “Building up your pantry, making the most of your space” I think I borrowed all of my ideas for building up my nest from your previous post this week Annabel. I’ve been stocking up on depleted stock in my long term pantry over the past fortnight. Coffee was half price, in fact, everything I bought was half price or close to it. The dockets are interesting in that they say you have saved $72.36 or whatever on your purchases. What they really mean is you did not spend that extra on what you purchased!! So, I am adding up what I did not spend instead of thinking “ I saved”… I did not “spend” over $120 extra by buying specials and loss leaders. And I didn’t spend very much real money at all on groceries either for the week as it was mainly restocking. What we don’t “spend” by buying groceries at great prices, making our own food, gifts etc like you have shown us Annabel is amazing. I really liked a series Mimi had on her blog about insourcing. It really made me think of what our “dollar value” as a homemaker is and the difference everything we do ourselves makes.

    Thanks ladies, it is really encouraging to see how far we can stretch a dollar and make our space that we have available work better as well. xo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      I am so glad some of the things that have been working for me have worked for you! Your pantry is sounding very good to me. Once we are at the stage we have stuff and only need to re buy it when it is on a great special then we are saving about half. That is huge.
      Mimis way of placing a value on our efforts is very helpful to me. It is honestly true that most of my life I could save more than I could earn by doing the things I do at home. This has helped me a lot.
      The thing with re arranging and organising is when you do one area it seems to get you going in another area and it has this domino effect! So I am still going!
      Have a lovely weekend! Thanks so much

  16. Hi Annabel & lovely ladies!

    Well it's Friday night here in the US and I'm late to the party! But it's nice because I got to read so many wonderful posts and everyone seems to have had a nice week. It makes me super hopeful for next week as it's been tough here. I was not well a few days, I have one child sick and one on the mend.

    How did I feather my nest and save money and add to my home?

    ~I cleaned the family room top to bottom. This room is the center and heartbeat of our home, as our kids only sleep and dress in their bedrooms. This is the room where IT ALL HAPPENS :).... there is a piano, three very tall bookshelves, a sofa sectional, tv, toys, crafts, etc. I spent two hours in there and I'm grateful I got it done. I live in the desert in Arizona and it gets very dusty very quickly.
    ~I cooked all meals at home with the exception of Sunday night, my husband insisted on taking the family for dinner out to give me a break :)
    ~Finished shopping under our food budget :)
    ~stripped my bedroom linens and got everything washed, hung out, and put back on the bed. It all smells so fresh and nice!
    ~My hubby made soup for me at the beginning of the week when I wasn't well and I froze two portions--
    **Sidenote Annabel, I have started using glass jars for soups, stews and chile in the freezer as you instructed, leaving about an inch at the top then putting on the lid. Wonderful! No cracks, no breaks! I am thrilled about this.
    ~Added to my pantry canned tomatoes on sale, Almond flour, hygiene items on sale and SOAP :) I'm reading many of us are all lining the drawers, etc. with nice smelling soaps! It's like a sisterhood of sweet-smelling dresser drawers LOL
    ~Tried a new recipe
    ~Read a few other blogs for ideas
    ~Cleaned out two cupboards
    ~Searched my supplies on hand to make a Spring wreath for my entryway. Didn't make it yet, I'm looking forward to this. March 20th marks our first day of Spring
    ~Made some cards, so satisfying!
    ~Made my weekly savings goals. I'm happy that I've been practicing so diligently in this area because we unexpectedly had to use our emergency fund today. That's what it's for right? The unexpected! The other categories are still in tact but it's time to re-build the emergency fund
    ~planned some individual activities with each of the kids, so rewarding
    ~wrote out two new scriptures for me to memorize and one for the kids, and we're reading the Little House series together

    Thank you everyone for posting I love reading every last detail of what you're doing in your homes and how life is going for you.

    To Wendy, or Annabel, Tania, or anyone who makes relish/tomato relish. What is this relish you speak of lol!? Help, please. This sounds like major yum and now that I've got the zucchini slice going I must have that to go with it I think.

    Annabel, the roses and everything in this post is awesome and just what I needed! I have a succulent taking over a portion of my kitchen counter (bench as you say :), and I know exactly what I'm going to with it. So pretty! Thank you for sharing, and have a beautiful weekend! xxx

    1. Colette I am thinking relish might have another name there. It is sort of like ketchup but not smooth it has texture like a soft salsa sort of. You use it as a sauce really on the side ie relish goes with pies, steak sandwich, an accompaniment to many savoury things. You are right it is perfect with the slice. We will make an Australian of you by the time we are through lol
      Ok now to your week! Im sorry you were unwell but hope you are better now. You still did heaps!
      I have the cleaning bug too. Our seasons... tomorrow here is the first of Autumn! Except in Adelaide it wont probably feel like it for another couple of weeks we can still have hot weather yet. I love autumn though! It is beautiful! And our winters are not snowy, we think its cold but not frozen!
      Colette watch for really old fashioned jars. They are thick and strong. I am not keen on plastics which is why I have done this. Also I love pyrex and corningware. I have found heaps in op shops. I even found french saucepans that are similar to pyrex. These things have helped me get away from plastics.
      I am still card making too! Andy is watching some motor race... I have been cutting out my "stickers" while he has this on and getting heaps done. That way I can be there and not die of boredom!
      Succulents are so easy to start and multiply so this is a perfect little gift you could do even for school teachers at the end of the year and things like that. The label could say "thanks for helping me grow this year" or something like that!
      Thank you for sharing your week! It was very productive. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

    2. Hello Colette,

      I just read your inquiry about tomato relish and so I thought I would post my mum's recipe that I use all the time so you can get an idea of what it is;

      6lb Tomatoes
      4 cups vinegar
      3 medium sized onions
      1 tbspn mustard
      1 tbspn curry powder
      1.5lb sugar
      2 small tspns salt
      1 small tspn pepper

      Put tomatoes and onion through mincer/food processor, and then add vinegar, mix to a smooth paste with sugar, mustard, curry, salt and pepper. Add to tomatoes. Boil altogether for 1 hour. Mix ½ cup (3/4 cup for homebrand) corn flour with cold vinegar, add to tomatoes and cook 10 minutes longer. All vinegar mentioned is extra to the 4 cups in recipe.


    3. That is so good of you Tania, thank you!xxx

    4. Dear Tania,

      How sweet of you! I am thrilled! To store it, do you water bath can, pressure can, freeze, or refrigerate? This sounds delish. Thank you so much for sharing your Mum's recipe, I feel honored!

      Colette xxx

    5. It was my pleasure Colette. No need to water bath. The relish preserves well and I keep it in a dark cupboard unopened. Make sure that the preserve jars have a good seal though. Once opened I keep in the refrigerator.

  17. Dear Annabel
    What magnificent roses not to mention the delicious muffins. I am working more than full time at the moment in a very hard to deal with situation but it is short term so I am trying to just see it through. I have been cooking all meals at home and taking a healthy lunch to work. Apart from that we are muddling through.
    I am so enjoying your lovely recipes and those of your readers. The girls do not like cake too much though they do occasionally like a nice desert. I do however cook for a family at work. Last week I made them scones and a lemon cake and a sultana cake which they all enjoyed.
    My goal for this week is to declutter my wardrobe. I am hoping to clean it right up.
    Today was my DIL's baby shower, such beautiful gifts she was given and there were some lovely ladies there that I met.
    I do hope you have a great week and I shall try to pop my head in to say hello
    God Bless

    1. Hi Mel! Oh a baby shower! I hope you had a wonderful time!
      You sound just so busy. I know you are trying to build up your savings and get ahead but also I hope you dont get too worn out. That is a hard balance!
      Have a good week and thank you for popping in when you are so busy!
      With autumn starting I will soon be going through my wardrobe too. I need a bit of a sort and review! Lots of

  18. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I love the pretty plant in the mason jar. Sounds like you have had a nice month.

  19. Hi Annabel and friends. I had a somewhat frantic week last week. My disabled DS's new team are taking up a lot of my time in training them, and my daughters schedule is very busy just now, so I'm playing Chauffeur Mum. My brother was married on the weekend, and a wedding cake although not in my plans, suddenly had to be produced in just three days. Okay for a pro, but not so for an amateur such as myself! Nonetheless we rise to these challenges, don't we! I've read all of what you've achieved this week Annabel, and everyone else, and my pickings seem pretty slim, but here they are anyway. I cleaned my home and polished all my lovely wooden surfaces with furniture polish which made the house smell divine. I cooked and baked and took delivery of a new refrigerator. We'd been nursing ours along for about nine months (like a!), and finally a decision had to be made. So a large expense, but we had planned for it, so that was a blessing. I planted some basil and a chilli bush, as well as some new daisies which are the happiest of things. And I did lots of other invisible things like rearranging the pantry and the craft room to make my insourcing and DIY projects run more smoothly. So really, now that I look at it...not all bad. Well done to

    1. The fact your produced and decorated a wedding cake in three days is impressive Mimi especially when you have so much else going on! And I saw the cake and it looked totally professional.
      You still managed to do a lot! But with wedding, cake, staff, shopping, transporting, cleaning and everything you must be tired. I hope this week is quieter for you. ANd I hope March is going to be wonderful! xxx

    2. Thankyou Annabel. It is largely due to the gentle encouragement and inspiration from our lovely group, that I remain motivated and energetic, even under pressure. So thankyou to everyone who comments here and on my blog as it really does

    3. Thanks Annabel. Yes I am a little weary today, but I have a craft room to tidy, so I'm just going about it slowly and gently. March WILL be wonderful for all of us I


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