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, 18 February 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 19th February, 2016.

It has been a good week! I have to say doing some painting every week adds to how fast the week goes and makes things busier. But I am making progress even if it's slowly.

Some of the ways I saved money this week are:

I made another batch of soap. This time it's the Lux soap with pink colour. I love it. I will add this next Wednesday as I found that by continuing to blend this soap it becomes shiny and silky and amazing.  And I love the pink!

I used up the last figs. The figs were a big and daily job. But what a bonus they were. I made many jars of jam...

And I used the lovely labels Chloe gave me...

Some of these are going to be gifts. My Dad loves this jam.

Also I used left overs from Valentines Day which were rocket, goats cheese and prosciutto and made this into pizzas. The pizza bases were from Aldi and the nicest purchased pizza bases I have ever had. They were really rustic and good. So I used these things and drizzled over balsamic glaze...

When cooked it was beautiful. Best ever left overs dinner and new use (for me) of figs.

I had left over rocket and pear and made a salad with that and it was a great dinner. Left over pizza went in Andy's lunch box as well.

Oh, and left over Brownies went in the lunch box all week too.

My friend Karen gave me Coriander seeds and I planted those straight away as I had a space and I have good success planting this time of year.

My neighbour gave me cuttings from his garden.

I got petrol for 99c a litre and filled up.

At Woolworths I looked at the Valentines Day clearances. Everything was marked down massively. (on Monday). I got heart shaped baking tins for $2.50. I bought all they had left which was 4.

I am keeping one and three are in my gift cupboard.

Some of the ways I built up our home:

I cleaned out the kitchen pantry, re arranged and put forward things that need to be used.

The laundry cupboard got a clean out too and major re arrange. This was inspired but the need to make room for all that laundry soap!

I painted two more doors and some skirting boards and door frames. I have one inside door to go. It has added up to enough that inside is looking fresher and brighter and I love that!

Also I decided my cellar is full. Seriously if I put any more down there I won't be able to get in and find things. So that mission is accomplished. I have covered lighting, batteries, medicines, canned goods, dry goods, cleaning, water, treats, pet food, sanitary and hygiene ...  it is pretty much a shop
with spare everything.
But I still feel to add. I thought about this. Do I stop and maintain and rotate or do I keep building it up?
All along I felt strongly to do this. I still do. So I am continuing. In my life anytime I had a strong feeling about something and didn't act on it, well, things didn't turn out well! So I am not stopping this.  But where do I store now?
Basically I thought what would Vicky do? What would Patsy do? And I had an answer. I have nothing under the bed at all and I bought flat lidded plastic storage boxes. They slide in under and cannot be seen. I have eight of these and can store pretty much anything. So off I go on new storage!

Today I have the front gate and two doors to sand before I can paint them. So that is my goal before the day is out!

I hope you had a great week. How did you build up your home and savings?

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, that is exactly what I would do, use that under the bed space! Your pink soaps are so pretty. I made a trial batch of your soap today using castile pure soap bars that I grated up. So far it looks good. Your tips were most helpful. I'll let you know after I take it out of it's mold tomorrow. I can easily see how this way of making soap could become addicting. If these batch turns out well I want to try some pink soap next.

    1. Dear Patsy, I thought so! You think you don't have space then realise all the places that have nothing and just need to organise it... so after a moment I was off again.
      It is really exciting turning soaps out of moulds. I love that bit! I hope they have worked out well.
      Have a great weekend! With love

  2. Hi Annabel!

    You made me laugh when I read that your laundry cupboard reshuffle was inspired by having so much laundry liquid! I sit my plastic bottles on a duckboard over the bath!

    I think I saw an almond at the top of your fig jam. It's all lovely! Move over, Maggie Beer!!

    I've got my wool wash ingredients. I'll look forward to making that in the new week! That means filling more jars ..... I always think of hanging things from the sky or ceiling for storage place!!

    There's not much of reporting value from my end this week. We have, however, been having warm weather - with free 'Russian steam baths'. It was 36 degrees Celsius the other day.

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Yes I have had to have a serious rearrange but that was good. I am very happy to have great laundry supplies. Plus I am liking this liquid and it is working well.
      I hope you like the wool wash as much!
      We have warm weather coming over the weekend and 40 on Monday. I am looking forward to autumn thats all I can say!
      With love

  3. Dear Annabel,

    Love the pink soaps!

    I did some deep cleaning in the kitchen this week; baked and cooked a couple of days to get ahead a bit; polished the stainless steel in the kitchen; cleaned out two refrigerators and freezers; vacuum sealed some foods for storage; researched some stock up items for the food storage room; worked on some genealogy for the books we are putting together for the children and grandchildren; added to food storage; and did the regular cleaning, laundry, ironing, book keeping, etc.

    John did some research and did find a less expensive source for the soap flakes that are chemical, additive, and fragrance free. By ordering in bulk (large container) the cost per bar of soap, including the milks and E.O.'s would be about $1.50, which is an awesome price for a fragrance free, healthy bar of soap. Thanks again for sharing the recipe links and thanks to the ladies who put them on their blogs.

    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, Thank you!
      You did a lot this week! I hope your soap works well from these soap flakes. If so then please share the source and name as it is very handy you both did this research.
      Here a good bar of soap with goats milk would be between $4 and $7 mostly. But it varies. Soap prices vary a lot. I think that sounds like a good price though. With love,

  4. Hi Annabel, I have read your blog for quite some time, i have never started a list of things I've done during the week to feather my nest. I do hope this little bit will get me started at setting more goals and accomplishing a little each week.

    I bought about ten bunches of bananas that were spotted but just fine for eating and freezing for $3. I put six of the bunches in the freezer and we are eating the rest. I froze four bags of shredded cheese portioned out for pizzas from a large two pound bag I got for half the price cheese usually costs me. I chopped, portioned out, and froze red peppers for pizzas I also put leftover black beans in a bag with chopped onions and red peppers to add to a crockpot of taco meat. I froze 5 cups of skim milk that was almost expired, I can use that for baking. I made laundry soap, and I put shelves in my pantry. The last item I recorded will sound rather silly, but I put all of our clean laundry away tonight even though I was very tired and still had a bed to make and snacks to make and children to put to bed...this will set us up nicely for our busy weekend. Often when tired at the end of the day I don't give that extra push to get things done.


    1. Dear Marie, Welcome and thank you for posting! I hope it helps you to be proud of your week and plan the next one! It does help me. When you see all you did it is amazing and encouraging!
      You did so much! Well done! All that food is wonderful and the shelves in your pantry will be so useful and help you.
      Also you got ahead for the weekend with the laundry. I hope you have a great weekend! Sometimes just doing one extra thing can make the next day go better and get off to a good start. With love

  5. This week has not seen much feathering about the nest but I have really enjoyed the work I put in prior to this week. Sunday night my daughter came down with a nasty stomach bug which moved like fire throughout the family attacking all but husband. But bad as it was we were prepared. My pantry had Gatorade, canned soups, crackers, needed medicines etc. My cleaning cupboard had all that was necessary to clean and sanitize the bathrooms and bedrooms. We were able to be as comfortable as possible without panic induced trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. This has just encouraged me to continue on with building up our home.

    1. Dear Ginger,
      Oh no I am sorry you have been sick and this was your week! But you are exactly right... these times are when getting ahead pays off! No one wants to be home sick without the things you need and going to the shops to get things then!
      These times happen and our being stocked up pays off so much.
      I really hope you are all on the mend and your husband doesn't get it! With love

  6. Hi Annabel,
    Try this for your pantry.
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup cocoa
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp baking powder

    Put mix in plastic zip-lock bags or mason jars.

    When ready to bake, add: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

    Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan.
    From the SS web page a while ago.

    1. Dear Julie,
      Thank you so much! I love the idea to have it ready to go in jars! Also a great gift!
      My husband has decided he really loves Brownies. I can make them anytime, apparently!
      Thanks so much! Love

  7. I'm tired reading all the things you have accomplished this week Annabel. The soap is gorgeous. As you know I make my own soap and the style I prefer after having a go at a few different moulds, is to use a cleaned out 2 litre orange juice carton. Pour the hot soap in there, leave o'nite and then just tear away the waxed cardboard. I like big chunky rustic style soaps the best. It is good to see how many people you are encouraging. Fi x

    1. Thanks Fiona! I notice that Lush do their soaps in chunky slabs and they are divine. I could look in that shop for an hour at a time. Also noticing the prices and what I could do the same or similar.
      I have enjoyed soap making so much. I think I will have an annual soap making week. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  8. Dear Annabel,
    You have had a great week, I love the soap but I am not going to commit to making any unless I can make some without the chemicals , . I simply don't trust myself not to do something very wrong!. I could however be tempted as your soaps look wonderful Annabel!.
    I love your heart shaped tin Annabel, My mum has one and I may have one too but it has been so long since I baked a large cake I do not remember!. I usually make muffins or cupcakes.
    I saved money this week by receiving 6 meals from my parents as well as pies and sausage rolls from their freezer and nearly a full tub of butter as they go on holiday today on a cruise and did not want to leave much food in their fridge and freezer. I also accepted a pineapple and shallots / spring onions both from their garden. I also saved money by making 10 cards using my new sizzix machine and I bought some sparkly lace like material to make more cards too, saving me money in the long run. I got ahead with the meals , most of which are in my freezer and it is so nice to put something in the oven or simply heat in the microwave for an easy night. I made cheese and bacon and shallot muffins with a touch of mustard in them and they did not cost a lot of money or take too much time to make. I have easy morning and afternoon teas in the freezer now too.take care Annabel and have a good weekend. Love Barb

    1. Dear Barb,
      The Lux soap recipe is totally chemical free. It is so easy and good and you only add milk plus milk powder. It makes lovely gifts!
      I like heart shaped anything! To me it is lovely!
      I hope your Mum and Dad have a wonderful holiday and its great about the food!
      Im glad you are having fun with the sizzix machine! (thanks for the photos!)
      It is really good to have meals in the freezer. Very good! That is a great back up. When not well it is fabulous but saves money all the time!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  9. You have been a very busy bee! That pizza looks delicious by the way. I wish we could grow figs in our area because I just adore them!

    1. Dear Debbie, Thanks! I am loving the figs. Next I have Quinces. Not many but we have a small Quince tree and about 14 huge quinces on it!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  10. Your soaps look lovely Annabel,Im still looking for pretty shaped molds to make some.And your pizza looks interesting and good too by sounds of it.
    This week Ive managed to use some freezer and pantry foods up as part of my food decluttering mission so that the new restock will be fewer choices and of items we like and use regularly.
    I made a Valentines dinner for my family on Sunday evening of marinated beef kebabs, roast small potatoes and a big mixed salad and home made mayo. A lovely chocolate cake recipe (of Mimi's)which made 5 big heart muffin size and a square slab.Dusted the muffin size with icing sugar and a small heart shaped chocolate pushed into the top on a plate with red foil heart chocs, it was well enjoyed.
    kept up my daily exercise plan,pleased about that and adding to it slowly.Baked half a big batch of butter cookies today half cooked and half dough frozen .Baked 2 banana breads to use up soft bananas.
    Had success with crocheting at last.Little grandosn asked for a helmet for his tiny fav bear and was thrilled when I did.Two thirds of the way through a small jersey for the yarn I bought and wasn't having luck with.
    Pottered in the garden planted plants , trimmed and planted and emptied some big pots .Hubby gave teh back steps another coat of paint.Undercoated the side gate after prepping it with anti fungicide .Thats a few of this weeks feathering of my nest activities :-) With love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I just love the sound of the heart chocolate cakes! That would have looked gorgeous. The red on top of the chocolate would have looked so nice.
      What a cute crochet project! Also I am smiling of all things he wanted a helmet. No coincidence there!
      With everything you did and also DH that was a lot. I have to find out what paint to use on our back step... being a really high wearing area. That is on my list next week!
      Have a great weekend. With love, Annabel.xxxx

  11. Annabel,
    I love love your pink soaps they are so lovely! I am glad you have decided to continue on. I know some may feel against having a very full pantry and I am not sure about there, but here there is starting to be a lot of issues with food. Listeria, salmonella and other things that have compromised the quality of food. If there are concerns about having too much then we are all invited to places that require us to bring a dish right? Bring 3 instead. LOL I am happy you have found room for more storage also your jar labels are very pretty and I bet your jam is tasty! You always make such good use of the things you get!

    1. Dear Vicky, Thanks. Yes I am continuing on. I saw our local supermarket had empty shelves in many sections for over two weeks. No explanation why. Don't worry I can see so many reasons to keep good stocks on hand.
      The jam is lovely! I have A LOT! With love

  12. Dear Annabel,

    Tonight is the first time I have been able to sit down and catch up on a couple of your posts. Those soaps are gorgeous, you always make the simplest things look so pretty. And the jam jars look great too. I should start using pretty labels, they look so much better. I love fig jam, it is my favourite. I made scones today just so we could enjoy some of our jam :)

    I wonder if our woolies have any valentine specials, I must go and check tomorrow. I haven't really been going to the shops, as I am trying to save money. Not sure what the future holds with hubby's job now the steel industry in Whyalla is coming to a halt, not looking good for our train drivers...A tight budget is now in order, so I am going to be frequenting my favourite blogs a lot more.

    Have a lovely weekend :)

    God Bless,

    Lots of love,
    Tania xoxo

    1. Dear Tania,
      Oh my goodness, we have been watching about Whyalla and I didn't think of the trains in relation to that. I didn't realise your husbands train driving could be affected. But we do realise how the whole area, town and so many jobs will be. It is awful. We see overnight on the news another big SA business going under or about to! It is not good. They tell us the economy is great! We can see that is not true.
      With Valentines Day, Easter etc. I strike the very next day. However sometimes the mark downs are the day before and day of! But the cake tins were the day after. I get my best specials usually those days.
      Your hubby is very clever and inventive. I think he could make drying racks and vegetable collecting/washing baskets etc and sell at markets or via Gumtree or something... should it come to that.
      Also you are very productive with your food and cooking. You are in a good position with so many skills.
      And Aldi! This will help!
      Have a good weekend Tania. The weather forecast was a bit less hot on Monday I noticed! Love

  13. I'm glad you were able to figure out the under bed storage to continue building your pantry. The soaps and food you made with figs looks great!
    Thanks for the reminder about allocating tasks to 15 minutes at a time. I'm familiar with Flylady. That's kind of what I meant by "baby steps."
    I've been working on getting our linen closet cleaned out and decluttered. I'm washing things so they are fresh to either use or pass along. I've found a few things I can repurpose. I made a few lavender sachets to help keep things fresh, as well
    The cabinets under our bathroom sink are also getting cleaned and sorted.
    Our weather has cooled down a few degrees again, making it more pleasant to work in the yard. In addition to the other planting and transplanting, I was able to transplant some mint seedlings to another pot. We enjoy hot or cold mint tea, so I would like to have our own supply. I have a sweet potato started with the hope of slips to transplant. That worked real well the year before, but not as well last year. I'm trying again.
    We still have quite a bit of citrus, both of our own and from our neighbors. They are so tasty and useful!
    I used a package of powdered lemonade drink mix to clean and refresh our dishwasher.
    Wishing you and the other ladies a lovely weekend! Thank you for the encouraging posts and comments! Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Love Flylady! Yes baby steps get you there! I use this all the time.
      You did a lot this week. The linen cupboard might provide lots of things to repurpose. I love old flannelette sheets best of all. I treat them up to be dusters and disposable hankies if someone is sick. I sit and fold the squares and am so pleased with them. Also I make tablecloths from old sheets! I love them!
      We have had mild weather too, its been great. But i think hot next week.
      All the citrus is wonderful.
      Thanks so much Elaine. Have a good weekend, you really got a lot done this week! Love

  14. Your pink soaps are just delightful and your fig jam labels are darling! I've had a catch-up week after doing the tile, meaning I've worked on things for church and home, done paperwork (yuck!), and helped Jay clear the kitchen of extra tools and supplies so he can start to lay the new floor.
    Have a lovely week!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, Thanks! I can imagine the work you have to catch up on. I have been doing far less renovating than you and even that I am so busy trying to get the normal stuff done as well. It is good to have a break and be able to catch up a bit!
      Have a good weekend! With love

  15. Laine stores under beds, behind sofas, under, behind, above, in between. You name the preposition, she did it! Lol! GOOD GIRL!

    The soaps are dreamy, just dreamy. They take me back to the '60s and '70s with a retro feel, especially the color.

    The figs are our Danielle's, DD2's favorites. If I showed her your fig renderings, I'm afraid she'd eat the screen. What a blessing indeed.

    Weekend hugs to you, Annabel dear.

    1. Dear Kelley,
      True, I remember Laine used under the bed for toilet paper. It is time to write to her I might ask her other places she keeps things.
      The soap colour is retro! There were bathrooms that colour! I wish I had one!
      I have loved having figs. I made the most of them that is for sure.
      Have a good weekend! With love and thanks,

  16. Annabel you have been one busy Miss this week! I'm a bit exhausted just reading what you have been up to.
    At first I didn't think I had done much but then I really looked hard at what I had done. At home hubby has been busy helping out with various household tasks whilst I have been working. It mean that this morning there wasn't a lot that needed to be done. He is a keeper.
    Anyways my nest feathering happened at work. The lady I was substituting for has decided to take a new career path and resigned. I was asked if I could assist in cleaning out the classroom Office and storeroom. I was also told to take anything of the personal resources that might be good for me. I was a bit miffed at having to clean out for someone else, especially when yesterday was my last day in this class as someone else is taking the group over, but then I thought at least the students will benefit from a teacher coming into a fresh room without the headache if cleaning up. So into I did go. I ended up with some lovely resources and the satisfaction of handing over a clean and organised workspace for a colleague. This clean out took several hours over a few after school afternoons. The new resources required me to re think my study come craft room space at home, so that there is clear and logical order to everything. I'm not quite there yet but it is a happening thing.
    My efforts were noted by school admin and I am thankfully on a new contract, doing a different job within the same school, until the end of term. Bank account is very happy as am I.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I am so glad all the extra work you did paid off in more ways than one! I love it when that happens! And Im so glad you got the new contract and this is a help to you.
      After all of that I hope you are having a restful weekend! After the things your hubby did it sounds promising that you can have a quieter day or two! With love,

  17. Your soap is lovely and makes me (almost) wish I had't such a large stock of pink Camay bars. Apparently towards the end of her life, Granny was certain they were going out of business and she stocked up. I've been using those bars for five years Annabel and still have a dozen or so bars! They've gotten nice and hard and last a long time now.
    Besides using the on hand soap, I started working in the yard a few minutes each day. Lots of outdoors jobs and right now it's cool enough to enjoy those outdoor tasks. I posted more of my savings and my Vickie Challenge items here:

    1. Dear Terri,
      A large stock of pink soap is always a good thing!
      Well done on all your savings. I like how you account for it daily then get to the weeks total which was very good. Also a few minutes a day in the garden soon adds up! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  18. Dear Annabel, I love the pink soaps! Ok, I have never made soap, but I know that some of the ladies were wondering about an inexpensive pure soap sold in the U.S. I am thinking that Ivory soap would work well, as they claim it is 99.44% pure. I looked at the ingredients, and my guess is that the percent that is not pure is a preservative and the fragrace, which I know is very slight as I have used this soap many times. Everything else is regular soap ingredients: tallow, oil, glycerin, acids, etc. I understand that it used to be sold as flakes, but now is only sold in bar form. The website said that it was also used in the past for laundry, dishes, and general cleaning, so I don't see why this wouldn't work. It is white. The U.S. ladies will know what this is as it is sold everywhere and has been around a long time. Just be sure you get the Original and not the newer, fancy, specially formulated stuff since that has a lot of added chemicals.
    Ok, now on to my week! It was mostly spent out at the ranch. I have been doing my laundry out there, of course, since my machine broke. My husband and I have also been looking around to see what needs to be done before we move in. We have been taking measurements, clearing out the bedroom that will be ours, and deciding which of our belongings we need to sell and which to keep. I was a bit overwhelmed by it all today, but I am still very excited and so ready to get to work. Next week, I will be taking everything (which is more than you can imagine) out of the kitchen and giving it a good clean.
    Other than that, I bought some groceries on special and purchased some Valentine candy on clearance. I also picked up two heart-shaped cake pans for $3. I have been away from my home a lot this week, so I haven't been writing things down! Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. You certainly brought joy to my week :) Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Patsy just emailed me to tell me she got Castile Pure soap bars and grated them and they worked perfectly for this! You can see her pics on a Working Panty blog post, second to most recent post I think...
      So try this or try the one you are mentioning and let us know how it goes as that would be helpful too.
      I am so pleased about your heart shaped cake pans! Kelsey I use these to make everything from meat pies and quiches to cakes. It is just nice!
      Moving is a big job. But if this will benefit your life, finances etc then it is worth it and I am guessing it will be a big help to your family and Grandfather. So a lot of good things! And Im guessing you will have room to grow a lot of things too!
      I will enjoy hearing this journey and your progress! Have a good weekend! with love

  19. Hi Annabelle, lovely soaps! Hey, I wanted to send you a pic of what I made my DH for Valentine's Day (as I never wrote you back about what I did for his birthday/Christmas celebration). Is there an address to send a picture to? Thx.

    1. Dear Mary,
      I would love to see Mary! And I hope the Birthday/Christmas celebration worked out wonderfully too.
      You can email me anytime at
      I would love to hear from you. With love

  20. What a busy week Annabel! I love painting. It's such a cheap tool and can make such a difference on walls and furniture. My stockpile is running low here as we've been eating from it all Summer I need to focus on replenishing it. Are you stockpiling in case of an emergency? or just to have a general back up? I've been doing lots of sewing here this week and nabbed some great op shop bargains, including some bottles for bubble bath. I didn't have lace or trinkets on hand, but decorated them the best I could with what I have. Thanks for the idea! xx

    1. Dear Mel,
      Painting is really transforming things! Gradually!
      Lots of seeing and op shop bargains sounds very good to me!
      Last year I did a week by week series (Pantries and Preparedness) as I felt very strongly to stock up. I still do. I think there are a lot of reasons to do it apart from it saves money and you never need to buy anything unless its half price once you have enough to get you through to the next sale cycle. But from all the reasons there can be glitches in the stores and money i.e. power out, computer glitch, fuel shortage, strike etc then there is job loss, a big bill, a weather ever and so on. All good reasons to be stocked up. Can be a life saver!
      Good that you got some nice bottles! Hope you are having a good weekend! Love

    2. I know you get lots of comments on this wonderful blog of yours so it means a lot to me that you reply. Thank you! I will have to look up your posts on pantries and preparedness. I read some posts on stockpiling from HOS and found them very helpful. I don't have much storage space at all so have banana boxes stored under my bed with pantry items. I completely agree and am even more inspired to grow my stockpile xx

  21. Dear Annabel, and everyone, what a wonderful week of reporting from you all. Annabel, the soaps, the labels from Chloe, the figs...all stunning! At this end, I baked four chocolate cakes, freezing two for lunches this coming week, made cumquat marmalade with the half a dozen cumquats I managed to harvest from our it was a tiny amount of marmaladem but delicious all the same...and made my own sun dried kaffir lime slices, also from our trees. These will go into potpourri and will be divine, I think. I made yoghurt, then drained it and made labne cheese, and scribed lots of gift wrap for upcoming celebrations. We planted a pawpaw, Loquat, blueberry, olive, two dwarf avocadoes, and a fig to replace one we lost, so that was very exciting! I made pesto by hand with a pizza cutter from my sons basil and garlic and we had it with home made fettucine. So all up, it was a very lovely week. Thankyou for all your encouragement. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Sorry for such a slow reply.
      Your week featured so much wonderful produce and variety! You always make the most of these things which I love so much.
      My basil is getting quite big so I am close to making pesto. With love

  22. Your house must be looking and smelling lovely with the fresh paint and soap everywhere! I am stripping wallpaper in one of our bedrooms when I get a chance, can't wait to be ready to paint.

    Confession time Annabel, I have lived in my house for 7 summers and not once used a fig from our fig tree. The birds have had a great feast though! I didn't even know people made fig jam. I just remember my dad trying to give us dried figs to eat as kids and thinking they were gross! For fig jam is it a 50/50 split of sugar to figs? Do you add anything else like lemon juice? I took 2 of my boys blackberry picking yesterday, we picked about 3kg and came home and made jam which is lovely! And which set well, unlike my strawberry jam that was actually a sauce lol.

    Apart from that I have still been looking after sick kids, three weeks of a rotten gastro bug. Just one still not quite right now. On Friday I decided to do some genuine 'feathering' and hung some of my eldest sons drawings in a bit of a gallery wall. I used frames we already had and painted them all black. He was really happy to see it when he got home from school. I think that was on my 'to do' list for about 2 years!

    Hope everyone has a lovely week

  23. Dear Jen, It is so hard when there is sickness in the house. I hope this week will be much better
    Your son would have been so proud about his gallery! That was wonderful. I love that you did this!
    Stripping wallpaprer would be no fun but once you get painting that will be! I had a few days of sanding, cleaning, scrubbing, puttying... but now i think I have a clear run for a while of painting which is the best bit and you can see big results.
    I am not sure of the prices locally for you but check the prices of figs. Here one fig is $1. So potentially if you have 500 figs you have $500. Seriously. My post tomorrow is about this kind of thing. It is a big asset to you. So you can use the figs in meals, make jam, sell fresh figs, make a deal with someone that they can pick them in return for something else...sell them to restaurants or at a market... and so on. My jam is about 60 percent fruit, fourty percent sugar, lemon juice and cook.... last hour add blanched almonds. Google fig recipes... We love them roasted with chicken, wrapped in prosciutto and the pizzas were beautful. I use the jam as gifts as well as we use it also. I have also taken figs, in the past, into a organic cafe and made a deal to deliver a box a week. There is big money in figs! So I hope that helps. I hope they can become a big asset to you.
    Blackberry jam sounds just beautiful! Well done. Jen you are a busy Mum and doing well. I hope everyones better this week! With love

  24. My hubby raised our hanging rods in the closet for more room to set totes and buckets. I cleared out a lot of Tupperware, if not used in last 2 years out it went. your jam looks so pretty with the bluebird labels. It's raining today and calling for snow tue-fri. Have a lovely day!

    1. Dear Sue,
      That was a really good space creating idea in the closet! I love that.
      I think it must be snowing there now judging by that forecast. I hope you are warm and comfy inside! with love

  25. I am trying to strike a balance right now with my pantry because we are preparing for a move. I don't want to clean it all out--clearly it was hard to build up and we still want to eat after we move. But, it is clearly too big to easily move! So, we are eating up as much as we can, and setting some money aside to buy cases of food to fill in the gaps after we move. It's the best I can do, but it's certainly not comfortable after so many years of building it up. My situation is compounded by the fact that everything will be put into storage for a few weeks while we are in-between houses. We are also downsizing, so will be searching for room, as you are. It makes for something to keep my mind busy anyway:)

    1. Dear Becky,
      That is hard. I often think oh no if I have to move! However I have had a fair few moves and hopefully we will be here a long time.
      It can be expensive moving so I would also use up what I could and have a reduced supply for that period of time.
      I hope it is a great move for you. Last year I had a post of ideas for how to store supplies when there is no obvious pantry and everyone contributed a lot of ideas.
      The money you save while not buying many groceries will hopefully be a big help in expenses. Good luck with it! love


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