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 7 May 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 8 May, 2015.

Friday! I really like our little "stock takes" at the end of the week! Thank you to everyone who joins in too. When there is joy in the ordinary things, of getting stuff done, meals on the table, a little bit extra done here or there... all these little things, we are bound to be happy.

And I am happy with my week. I got lots done and am counting my blessings. Andy started his new job and went really well and loves it. Plus he got extra work last weekend and extra this weekend. It is also a blessing that he just takes it despite no days off for the time being. It is a big thing to me that he doesn't complain about long hours or no day off. He is a good guy.

We had rain and the garden is watered.
We had a storm and we were ok and didn't lose power when many homes did.

Lucy has about six days to go until the baby is due!

On that note... I plan and hope to post as usual. And I have worked ahead on posts so that some are almost ready and lovely Helen is posting for me also. But it is possible when this baby arrives that I will forget I even have a blog for a little bit!
This is like years ago we went to LA and went to Disneyland. On the flight home Chloe must have started to think about home again. She said "I forgot I had a dog!" and it was as if we all were having so much fun we forgot everything else. Well, it could be like that!

This week I saved money and feathered our nest by:

I made broccoli soup. At the end I add cheese and it is yum.

I also made bargain zucchini into a big crock pot of soup. I packaged this into small containers for the freezer.

Another night I made butter chicken and gave the expecting couple a dinner with all the trimmings, rice, salad, raita, bread etc.

I made my raita with mint from Mum's garden. All I do is get a thick creamy yoghurt. I like one that is naturally quite sweet. I pick and wash a couple of huge handfuls of mint leaves and blend this with my stick blender into the yoghurt plus add half a teaspoon of Cumin. I try to do it a few hours, at least, before the meal as I think the flavors improve. This is so nice with any warm/hot dish as it is so cooling and yummy. So easy and nice. I am not much a curry or spicy cook but I can do this!

Mum came and brought me a box of really huge coffee jars. Her friend saves them and has boxes of them if I want more. Yes please! I can make up my mixes! These are giant sized jars, I could even do double cornbread or muffin mixes in them.

Mum made me a scarf. She made me one a couple of weeks ago which I have lived in so she made me another one. (excuse the selfie)

I downloaded quite a few free really good e books. I have mentioned before that I thought I wanted a Kindle and asked for one as a present. The girls told me it wasn't a present as I could download the Kindle app for free to my i pad. Oh. I didn't know that! So in minutes I had a Kindle on my i pad. Now I add free books almost weekly. If you follow Money Saving Mom each week she posts a newsletter. Many of these newsletters have a list of free e books. I just choose what looks good to me and download them. I have a wonderful library of 100% free books. These include cooking, pantry, preparedness, classics, organization and all kinds of wonderful books. What happens is authors now and then put their books free for a day. It helps them get reviews and exposure. So even the expensive books are sometimes free for a day. You just have to be quick as it is usually for a very limited time.

Mum helped me sew in the ends on my blanket... it is almost finished. Maybe another week? Mum has a bad shoulder and is semi out of action but she can still sew and crochet! However Mum's "out of action" is most peoples "flat out busy."

I packaged up lots of freezer meals. The place looks like a take away shop. I did lots for baby week with no washing up using containers I had. I know I will be glad of these.

Mum also gave me an English Country Decorating magazine that is perfect for lots of card making.

I built up my home by adding to my pantry and my supplies in case the power goes out, batteries, matches, candles and torches.

Today I am just cleaning and tidying up. Being at home and catching up are my favourite days.

How was your week and how did you build up your nest and save money? As the season changes there are different things to do. The US girls are planting their spring gardens and getting their produce in. You have to be watchful of the seasons and make the most of the opportunities! Many things have a window of time. For me our season means it is dark very early. It is almost dark at 5 o'clock. So everything outside has to be done. It means I get more crafts made and crochet done as in the evening we are inside. This is the time of the year that I get lots made toward my Christmas presents.

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. You are all set now Annabel! All that is needed is the baby to enter into the world!. :)
    This will be a roller coaster week of excitement and anticipation! xoxo

    I've been able to scoop the bonus offers this week from woolies and Coles! I went into big w yesterday to buy dog food on a cheap price, and I tend to buy a month or two in advance so I was handed a voucher at the door saying buying $90 would get me $10 off at the register! So I took advantage of that as well. In all I was able to score $85 of free goods and even then, spent that money on mark downs, seasonal produce and good specials. So I even made our "free" money work harder. It is always pleasing to gain something back from our efforts of activating bonus offers and loyalty points.

    My daughter also had her nest feathered when we did bulk preparation of meals this week. She was astonished how easily prepared it could be and the possibility of much cheaper meals. It is like a lightbulb moment to her! She is not naturally frugal, so I was overjoyed by this.

    1. Dear Kaye, Thank you! I need to really get organized over the weekend and think what needs doing... but I think Im organized!
      Well done on the great shopping. It pays to be strategic! What a saving!
      I am very pleased about your cook up with your daughter. Also that she wants to learn. This is wonderful. I often put things into dollar value to demonstrate the point. ie the meals you made cost.... $? and if they had bought takeaway for that many meals it would have cost $? and get her to estimate that. Then work out the difference and say ok so for our 3 hours work you saved $$$? and then it seems to bring it home and they feel really proud of saving so much! It looks like she was realizing! And now the time and money saved and probably so much healthier too. Soon you will be able to have similar cook ups for baby food. Big savings there! Check out the baby food prices when next in store so you can do a cost it out on a crock pot full of pureed vegies and things like that. It is a crazy difference!
      I think that week plus it would have been fun with your daughter doing that. Have a lovely weekend! Lots of love,

  2. Annabel, your excitement is almost palpable! What an exciting time is ahead for you all and if you don't blog, well, you just don't. We'll know what's happening and blogging should be the furthest thing from your mind. Your blanket is looking completely and utterly fabulous! I had a sort of bitty week here. Thank goodness for previous, more productive weeks. I baked four loaves of gluten free bread and a dozen gluten free rolls. Making gluten free bread is just like making a cake. It's nowhere near as labour intensive as wheat bread, so that's a bonus. I painted some picture frames white and embellished them with stiffened lace flowers (you'll see them on my blog soon), for my mother-in-law for Mothers Day. We ate well and healthfully using our lovely bargain produce, pre-cut and pre-portioned on the weekend, and roasted and turned into yummy dips and sauces. I supported two friends, a sibling, and a friend of my daughter, through some rough times, and I think this is worth adding as it's time consuming (in the best possible way), and is yet another reason for preparedness. If we have a well stocked refrigerator and pantry, and chores are up to date, then supporting a special person in your life need not take time away from other tasks. We all know that whatever crises are occurring, the cruel fact is that life goes on, so preparedness is a means of freeing time up, should the need arise. And finally, I made some beautiful feather headpieces for my daughters school dance troupe for upcoming performances, saving everyone a considerable sum on buying something similar. These little accessories all add up for the Dancers family, so each saving is a blessing to say the least. I hope everyone had a lovely and productive week. Mimi xxx

    1. That sounds like a really busy week Mimi. You are exactly right... good weeks when we get heaps done are needed as there are always going to be weeks when we get less done! Thank goodness for meals made ahead and things in order so that it all keeps going at these times.
      The feather headpieces I am suspecting would have cost a fortune to buy. Anything fancy like that usually does. So I would think those parents would be very grateful. Also these lovely things I imagine become things the girls keep and treasure and worked into the decor of their rooms and things like that. I hope you post pics on your blog.
      I am looking forward to seeing the frame you decorated! it sounds glorious! Years ago you could buy a formula to dip flowers in called Petal something... anyway they dried like porcelain but underneath was a plastic flower. Genius! But you can do it with runny plaster of paris or just paint or spray paint... I think I would like to try the plaster of paris. Anyway I will wait and see how you did it!
      Yes I am excited... and nervous too. Lucy is just going day by day now... we had a visit to the hospital yesterday... she needs to do less and rest more. She said yes then this morning she is making a cheese cake...
      I hope she can hang on another week!
      Have a lovely weekend, with love,

    2. Mimi I would love to know the recipe you use for your gluten free bread, is it on your blog?

    3. It's not yet Grace. But since you've asked I'll add it later today :)

    4. Thank you Mimi!
      Grace and Mimi... Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth has lovely labels for all your gluten free supplies. They were her latest post. xxx

  3. Wow you really are getting a lot done! We have been as you said - in the garden, the days are getting longer and most of the seedlings we started in March and April are ready to go in the ground. This year we decided to take the time to put in some flowers around as well, we are tired but it is a good tired!

    1. Kathy well done. I know what you mean by good tired! I know exactly! It is really a good feeling. And what a good investment of time and energy. Your season of sowing will be followed by a season of reaping!
      I like flowers too and have flowers in between produce or the other way around maybe. But they all look lovely together.
      Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

  4. Annabel this week is going to fly, that is if Lucy manages to make it to the end of the week.

    I have not been as productive as I wanted to be - my body has decided that I need sleep, probably to make up for the nearly 2 years of broken sleep, waking up at 3 am and not being able to get back to sleep etc that I have had since all of this 'stuff' started so for the first time that even my husband can remember I have been sleeping in until after 8am.

    Anyway I am feeling a lot better and know that as long as I am listening to my body I will come out the otherside feeling a whole lot better.

    My quiet time has been spent knitting, again. Really need to pick up a yarn sewing needle this weekend as my collection of items waiting to be sewn together is growing.

    Next week is going to be a busy week so I am thankful that I can have this time to recouperate.

    Love the blanket and know how your mum feels with the shoulder.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      After all the stress you had I think it is wonderful you are sleeping. And sleep in until whenever if you need it. I have come to the conclusion that one of the best things we can do is look after our immune system. And sleep is one of the best things. So just sleep and enjoy that it has got better AND this is a sign you did the right thing!
      Sewing together (and sewing in ends) is the worst part of knitting and sewing projects! But then it is so nice when done and you have completed items. Show my some photos if you get a chance!
      Mums shoulder has been terrible. She has had a lift of lifting and carrying and its caught up with her I think.
      Have a lovely weekend and I hope you keep sleeping so well. Let your body catch up. xxx

  5. Hi Annabel, You've been very busy! Such an exciting time when a baby is on the way. I have been making stews and soups this week and freezing lots for busy nights. It's always such a treat to take a yummy, whomesome meal out of the freezer when you've been working all day. I'm also making yoghurt tonight. I use an Easiyo maker with a tablespoon of natural yoghurt as the starter, an idea I got from from Cath's Cheapskates website.
    My favourite days are those spent pottering around at home too!
    Have a lovely weekend. Xxx

    1. That has been a good week Stephanie! You will be so glad of those meals. A proper day home is a good catch up and I always feel better for it.
      If you at any time have left over yoghurt it makes an awesome pizza base mixed with flour and milk and pressed into your pan. Sounds terrible but works perfectly. Also my use it up cake uses a cup of yoghurt and I free yoghurt left overs for when I have fruit to use up and make this cake. I linked to that recipe on Monday I think..
      Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

  6. Dear Annabel,

    You had a very productive week. What a blessing you are to your family.The scarf your mom made you is very nice. It's nice to have your mom close by and to be able to share time doing creative projects with her.

    I, too, download the free books to my Kindle. I check the blog One Hundred Dollars a Month, each morning, and she posts the free Amazon books for the day. I've really enjoyed these books and it's nice to have them for reference. A couple of months ago, I joined the Kindle Unlimited on Amazon, so borrow a lot of books to read free, then return them.

    My week was not as productive as I would have liked. I did manage to bake cookies, cupcakes, and muffins for our children and grandchildren; plus some for the freezer. I took some time to schedule household chores for deep cleaning; inventoried some storage areas and formed ideas of what was needed to make them more user friendly; did some garden planning on graph paper; spent time with family; and did some stocking up of needed items.

    I received a $10 off any $50 or more Vitacost order via e-mail, so I checked the website to see if they had any of the items we normally keep in our deep pantry on sale. It was a true blessing. Everything I ordered was 44% to 50% off. Vitacost has free shipping on orders $49 or more, so it was a good bargain. Our orders arrive usually within two to three days.

    We purchase, for the most part, certified organically grown foods, devoid of GMO's, so finding them on such a good sale is wonderful. I like to keep tomato paste in stock, but I won't buy any tomato products in cans only in glass containers. The glass containers of organic tomato paste were 50% off.

    I was blessed to add 42 canned items (in BPA free cans and some in glass); 2 lbs of quinoa pasta; 2 lbs of long grain brown rice; 6 containers of chicken bone broth and turkey bone broth; and 5.5 lbs of sorghum flour to our deep storage pantry.

    We do store some canned beans in BPA free cans for quick use or emergencies, but normally I purchase beans in bulk, cook them, then freeze them to use. I hope to learn to use my pressure canner this summer and can all the bulk beans we have in storage now.

    Thank you, Annabel, for all the wonderful posts that are so beneficial and full of great information. Thank everyone that comments for sharing all of your wonderful ideas; it inspires me.

    1. Glenda you built up your pantry so much! That was really wonderful finding those items on such a good sale.
      Your week sounds productive to me! And I am sure your cooking is just loved by your family. Grandma's cooking is always the best. When I was little my Grandma's cooking was such a big part of life and so beautiful.
      And I have never forgotten!
      Thank you for telling me about the One Hundred Dollars a Month Blog. I didnt know about her. Her blog looks great and I will check it now as you do! What a help! Today already I got the most gorgeous crochet pattern book. Thank you very much!
      I think you had a very good week!
      Have a wonderful weekend. Lots of love, Annabel.xxxx

  7. Annabel,
    I am so excited for you ... and so happy for you! Becoming a grandmommie is the best. If I were close enough to you I would throw you a big 'grandma' party. I was given a surprise one when I became a grandmommie and it was such a fun way to enter the world of being a grandmother. We will look forward to hearing the news that your grandbaby has arrived!

    1. Thanks Patsy and what a cute idea!
      It is quite an emotional time. Actually make that very. I will let you know as soon as any news! xxx

  8. It loks like you've been very busy in the kitchen Annabel. I hope you don't have to wait too long for Lucy's baby.
    Here's my frugal list for the week -

    * Picked lots of lemons from our tree and blessed a friend with some.

    * I cut up some bath towels that looked dirty in the middle section. From the two towels I was able to make six hand towels.

    * A week or so ago I bought a length of cream damask type material from the op shop for $1.99 ( less discount ). From that material I was able to make a table runner for our dressing table, a smaller one for the dining table and two squares to go under our lounge room lamps.

    * Blanched and froze lots of broccoli for future meals. I also cut up the stalks and froze to put in casseroles.

    * Bought a few more sheets of the beautiful rose wrapping paper for $1 each to make more cards. When Father's Day comes around I'll be looking for suitable wrapping paper to make men's cards.

    * Gratefully received some bread, mini desserts, foccacias, teabag samples,

    * Blessed some family and friends with loaves of bread that was given to us.

    * Ate a few meals from the freezer ( leftovers ). I'm desperately trying to make more space in the freezer to store food for Darren's 50th birthday next month.

    * Saved lots of water from the shower for the washing machine.

    * Picked lettuce and silverbeet from our veg garden.

    * Made some gift tags with bits and pieces I had on hand.

    * Dried most of the washing on clothes horses over ducted heating vents.

    * Made a quadruple batch of Cranberry Hootycreek Biscuit dough. Some of the dough was made into biscuits for Mother's Day presents. The rest of the dough was frozen into logs for future baking.

    * Picked flowers from the garden to brighten up our home.

    1. Dear Wendy,
      What a busy week. It is great you did some sewing and about the very good material for such a bargain price.
      I can imagine all the cooking you will be doing for Darren's birthday!
      Thank you for sharing your week. You are always so productive! I love that! Lots of love,

  9. Annabel, what a blessed grandbaby to have such a generous and loving grandmother. I'm so excited for you, I think a new grandchild is as exciting a thing as could ever be. All those lovely soups will be welcomed I'm sure. Isn't it reassuring to know that you have something ready to feed your family on those extra busy days or when you'd rather be doing something else? I love my freezer, I used to joke I'd save the freezer before I'd save Wayne in an emergency (thank goodness he knows me well).

    I was gifted some lovely fresh lemons this week so I've made a double batch of Six Minute Lemon Butter, Lemon Barley cordial (my great-Grandma used to make this for us), and lemon meringue pie is on the menu for dessert tomorrow night for Mother's Day. The rest have been zested and juiced and frozen. I even sat for a few minutes with my elbows in the "cups" while I had a cup of tea - something my music teacher would make me do before a concert or eisteddfod so my elbows would be soft and white :)

    I was also given some cold meats that had to be used up so some was shredded and frozen for MOO pizzas, some went into mini quiche and the rest was enjoyed by the family on their lunches this week.

    We were gifted two lovely big garbage bags of coffee grounds to add to the compost so Wayne and I spent an hour turning over the compost pile and adding the coffee grounds, shifting some to start a new pile and digging some into the garden.

    I've been double batching with meals this week and vac sealing and freezing the spares ready for our holiday in June. Some for us to take away and some for the kids to eat while we're away.

    And of course the usual day-to-day household chores.

    Have a lovely Mother's Day tomorrow.

    1. Happy Mothers Day to you too Cath!
      Lemons are wonderful. A bag of lemons is my idea of excitement and I am not kidding! I also always make lemon butter... in the microwave and it is lovely every time and so easy. Yet people go mad over it. Including me!
      What a treat.
      It was great to get some cold meats. Again so may uses.
      Thank you for your well wishes re the baby. I am a bundle of nerves and excitement.
      It is good that someone would save coffee grounds. Imagine how much of this goes into bins. I think so much is wasted but this will be great for your compost!
      You had a good week (and busy). Many thanks for sharing it here. Love

  10. I so look forward to this weekly post and all the comments. So much helpful information in them and great reminders on things I'd forgotten! Here;s what I did in my home this week:

    1. Dear Terri,
      You had a huge week! And I love the flowers. I am just about to reply to your other comments which I have been reading and LOVING, thank you so much. I am sneaking in a couple of questions in them... Love

  11. Dear Annabel, its almost time now & all of a sudden its only 4 days to go!

    Had a cold this week & enjoyed a day reading by the fire, it was lovely & makes feeling blah almost something to look forward to, lol.

    This week I have had my sons in the kitchen they made Cinnamon Breakfast Puffs, from the Garfield cookbook from the library, & anac bickies for school lunches. That is a promising sign to me!

    I had 2 mornings of full of cooking & made up foods in advance which makes the week flow smoothly & means there is always a meal in the freezer to stretch the budget or for a night off!

    I got 2 half wine barrels refreshed & ready to be planted out again, I like these big pots! They look good and are a good height for me. Think I'll plant broccoli & more silver beet as I eat it as fast as it grows!

    I did some op shopping & found some great items, even some pants for my husband. I start by checking the gold coin racks of course & often find something there.

    Have a wonderful week, glad to hear Andy is going well in his new job too!

    Karen xox

    1. Thank you Karen! You did lots in spite of a cold. The back up cooking is so good.
      My bottom pot of my herb stack is a half wine barrel. I love the size too. You can really grow anything in that size and depth.
      Have a great week... and I hope you had a lovely Mothers


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