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.

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Thursday 24 March 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 25th March, 2016.

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope it is special and you had a good week.

Over the weekend we have a lot planned. The carpet in Andy's office is being ripped up (by us) and hopefully the floor underneath is the same as everywhere else which is the gorgeous floorboards. The carpet is yuk and this means emptying the room. So a total room makeover, clean out etc all at one time. Plus painting!  This will be another room done and I will be so happy to have this finished!

Yesterday I delivered my Easter presents. First of all my Bunny biscuits...

I made quite a few packets so there were spares. Chloe's neighbours got a packet each as well.

For the girls I didn't include much chocolate. Instead I made "winter preparedness packs" (remember it is autumn here)  I included Eucalyptus spray and oil, cough lozenges, anti bacterial wipes for the car, tissues and so on.

Some of the other ways I build up the nest this week included...

I made baby food in the crock pot for Harper...

I portion it into muffin trays then when frozen pop them into a snap lock bag. I got twenty dinners.

I also made her a baby baked custard in the smallest one dish ever! We had one too so this was just a little bit set aside.

We had "fridge pizza" which is becoming a weekly special as a use it up meal. They are always really good!

I planted thyme. I was down to one plant and I use more than it can produce so I planted more.

Andy caught fish...

We combined our efforts and made fish and chips.
For Jen... this batter is just SR Flour blended in a can of beer. (Which is about two cups I think) and it is amazing! You just keep adding flour until it has a thickish batter consistency.

This was pretty nice!

Mum gave me a packet of paper serviettes with a nest and egg image. They are gorgeous! I see these becoming cards and maybe a tray or something I can enjoy everyday...

I made my Quinces into Quince paste. This is so beautiful on a cheese platter. Tiny amounts are really expensive in the shops. I got four small pots full...

One of these will go on holidays with us and I will pack cheeses and crackers.

I didn't get any painting done this week so far as I hurt my back. I hope to get some done over the weekend.

I started an infinity scarf in a colour I love.

We had beautiful autumn weather. Glorious! Plus last night it rained and today is sunny. Just lovely.

I want to share what I thought was the nicest idea. Nanna Chel wrote about Prayer Shawls and how they are the gift of love, comfort and care. You can read her post  here.  I am going to use this with knee rugs, scarves and shrugs. A shrug is a kind of shawl/ wrap. I love them! I will print out the little poem to go with them. I just love it and it is a great gift idea.

How did your week go? I love hearing about how you built up your nest and saved money.  Have a wonderful Easter and long weekend as well. xxx


  1. Annabel, I hope your back recovers soon. The preparedness baskets are beautiful!

    I made yogurt and kefir milk again. This is a big savings as both of these items are quite expensive here. I also got some seeds started in the greenhouse and pulled together another hanging basket using flowers I had on hand.

    I hope you have a happy Easter. Don't work too hard this weekend!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I am glad you are filling those hanging baskets! I love getting cuttings and have a fair bit of success with them. I think you will fill them all gradually!
      Yoghurt and various pro biotic drinks are expensive here too and sold in all kinds of little bottles. So making your own is a massive saving. I think having them regularly is also more beneficial that on and off.
      Have a very Happy Easter to you! With love

  2. Dear Annabel, happy Easter!. You had a great week. I am sorry that you hurt your back, I know personally how awful back pain can be, please take care.i love the winter preparedness pack idea, that would be a great help and you could personalise it and add all sorts of things like a heat pack or hand warmers or a beanie and scarf etc. oh I love that idea!. My week has been good. I have been making cards for the cheapskates club April card swap, made Rocky Road for my Dad for Easter, bought a colouring book and gel pens cheap for a gift, saved money by Querying a price at the registers of a department store when an item had scanned wrong compared to the ticketed price. I am having a mini holiday at my parents place for Easter saving on accomodation costs but still having a break from home, my parents have air con and a heated pool, pay TV and a lovely garden to sit in and read or have a cuppa. I am being treated to movies and lunch as an Easter gift saving me money and giving me time with mum. I received my concession post card and 5 free stamps in the mail yesterday. That is 5 letters I can send free!. I shared lunch with my mum yesterday when out as the meal was too big for us individually, saving mum money. I bought a $1 frozen drink instead of a $4 soft drink bottle at a fast food place. It is a fortnightly or monthly treat . I watched YouTube and am learning crochet which long term might save money on gifts although I am not doing too well!. Early days yet. I am saving money on food by staying at my parents as they won't let me contribute much.i think that might be it for my week Annabel , well it is all I can think of right now anyway!. Take care Annabel and have a great Easter weekend . Love BarbW.

    1. Dear Barb, Thank you! I am resting a bit today. I really love your thoughts to have a heat pack in a winter pack. Also the hand warmers and scarf etc! All lovely gifts pre winter. I love the whole theme... soft socks, warm dressing gown, etc... so cozy!
      Have a lovely little break! I would be in that heated pool! That sounds lovely!
      Have a very happy Easter Barb, thank you for all your good ideas. With love,

  3. I love the serviettes your Mama gave you!! Have a blessed Easter XX

    1. Same to you Mary! I am planning lots with these serviettes! xxx

  4. Annabel, ouch that is no good hurting your back. Look after yourself now until it heals. I hope you have a blessed Easter with your family. It looks like Andy is a good fisherman :-)

    1. The fishing is SOMETIMES successful! lol But really it is a good hobby and when there is a good catch it is great.
      Happy Easter to you Nanna Chel! With love

  5. Dear Annabel,
    Wishing you and all a Blessed and Happy Easter!
    We have had a lovely week spending time with our local family and son, DIL and granddaughter visiting from out of state.
    My younger daughter helped me fill eggs and prepare for the hunt for our granddaughter, as well as for the big hunt on Easter. I also fixed an Easter basket with some games and little toys from my gift supply, along with a bit of candy. Didn't want to leave the older ones out, so I put candies, some lip gloss and nail polish in decorated bags for the older granddaughters, candy in bags for their boyfriends and a basket of candies to set out for the other adults.
    Love your sharing about the prayer shawl! When I was so ill three years ago, our cousin sent me one that the ladies in her Bible study made for me. I enjoyed putting it over me for warmth and being reminded that people were praying for me.
    I have been trying to just buy things like milk and fresh fruit to use down our freezer. I am also trying to minimize time spent shopping.
    I've grated and juiced the last of the lemons. Made raspberry lemonade and froze the rest of the juice for later. Still juicing oranges and tangelos. Made peanut butter fudge at the request of the grands. Some lettuce is ready in the garden and spinach is getting close. I got a really good deal on tea bags and have started making iced tea with the warmer weather.
    Not a lot of work done, but a lot of fun, family time.
    Love from Arizona, USA, Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine,
      I love all your Easter plans and preparations and that you have included the older children too.
      It is very nice to hear the there side of the prayer shawl story... I think it is a beautiful idea and to hear how it was nice for you when were so unwell.
      That inspires me further to do this. Thank you for sharing that.
      You did a lot of getting ahead with fruit and juices which you will be glad of later.
      Have a wonderful Easter! With love,

  6. Dear Annabel, I'm sorry you've hurt your back. As someone with a long history of back injuries when caring for my disabled son, I can sympathise. Rest is best. It sounds like you got a lot done anyway, so well done! The baskets and bunnies are wonderful and I bet they were well received. I've done a lot of sewing and cleaning this week, and like you, get a real kick out of seeing the pile of sewing grow. I hope your back heals quickly and you are back to normal soon. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Reflecting on what you've said I thought oh... yes your back must have really taken a beating during those years when your son was bigger. I hope now it is ok and you don't have permanent problems.
      I am sewing and cleaning as opposed to painting. Bit easier until I feel better. Have a wonderful Easter and some rest and relaxation too I hope. With lots of love

  7. Hi Annabel, hope your back is much better. Panadol osteo helps in this household. I love your basket and have started putting one together. Our daughter is up with us for Easter and I hope to have enough together to send her home with this basket. I will include some Easter eggs.have a fabulous family weekend.

    1. Thank you Jane. I have never tried Panadol osteo and I am willing to give it a go so thank you for that tip.
      Im glad you like the basket idea. I think a few fancy Easter eggs can add up to a lot and I would rather do mainly things that maybe they will skimp on themselves and be so handy sometime over winter. Anyway they have them and really liked this! Other times I have done warm pjs, slippers, scarves and so on. I add a few little eggs. The girls like this. We are never too old for an Easter egg after all!
      Have a very happy Easter! With love

  8. Annabel, I hope you are ok. I am thinking of you. I cannot believe how much you have done considering your pain. Incredible. Your mum's serviettes are beautiful. I really love those baskets too, they are so thoughtful. The fish and chips and baked custard is drool worthy (I must remember to try and make baked custard). I am excited to read your blog. As it is giving me lots of ideas to journal over. I recently wanted to get a gift for a friend but wasn't able to get out- lucky I had a present stash. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you! I am glad your gift supply came in handy! It is a saviour sometimes.
      Baked custard is very good for children I think. It is terribly easy the key is a pan that sits in another pan of water. I do a plain one which I did for Harper, just milk eggs and a tiny bit of vanilla and sugar. Another has some cream or evaporated milk in it and cooked rice which is baked rice custard. I really love them. So delicious and nutritious. A great way to use up milk too if some is getting to the stage it needs to be used.
      Have a very Happy Easter with your lovely family! Love

  9. Oh Annabel...the fresh fish so lucky !!!!

    1. Happy Easter to you Jan! Yes, lovely to have fresh seafood! xxx

  10. Hi Annabel!!

    You are going from beauty to beauty! Last time it was roses and cream. Now it's fresh fish and chips, and quince paste! That's what I call living!!

    I wonder, being poorly acquainted with the world of fishing, what type of fish these are? I can almost taste them! Also, I've cooked quince only once, & loved it. Do you use cloves? It's funny, when I started school, one of the students had the smell of cloves in their uniform. I didn't like it then. Now I love it in baking!!

    Our old forestry ganger, on my first day of that particular contract, used to say that if I drank beer I'd still be on my feet at the end of the day's planting! Well, maybe I'll have to tell him that, if he gives me some beer, I'll be able to batter or bake with it instead!

    It has been a somber day, with an emergency helicopter parked in the neighbour's paddock to, presumably, deliver a specialist doctor to a motorcycle crash victim and then ferry the patient, in his 50s, to a major hospital in critical condition. This is not the first time I've seen such a helicopter in that paddock. Between missed turns, windy roads, wildlife, cattle and rough patches of road, we grimace when we hear the roar of motorbikes travelling by. We hope this fella is okay.

    I still love your work!!!!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Yes you are right... life is not too terrible with such things as fresh seafood, quince paste and baked egg custard too!
      Andy says the fish are Salmon Trout. Im not sure I would put my life on this but thats his best guess!
      I don't use cloves. I am weird about spices. I go for vanilla etc more. But I love Quinces. Something about the scent is unique!
      Yes it is funny about beer and wine etc. I do not drink beer. However I would never turn down any in bottles or cans as it makes the best batter, best bread etc.
      I do hope your neighbour is ok. Motor bike accidents are not good. Being farmers my heart sinks when I hear this.
      Have a great Easter! With love,

  11. Oh, Annabel, please take care of your back! From all your posts, I have a feeling that it will be hard for you to just kick back to let your back recover because you seem like a person who is always busy!
    This week, I bought 5 big bell peppers for 99 cents and so I decided it was time to replenish our Sweet and Sour Sauce that I can and like to keep on my pantry shelf. I was down to my last 4 jars! With those peppers plus 2 quarts of home-canned tomatoes, 2 jars of home-canned pineapple and onions from my basement onion bin, I as able to add 13 jars of sauce to my shelf! It's a really nice tasting recipe and the convenience of having it on the shelf ready to serve can't be beat!
    I made 6 more sausage/egg/cheese breakfast muffins with marked down to 49 cents English muffins.
    Got 48 of 64 quilt blocks made for a new scrappy baby quilt. I'll finish that this morning and then get it quilted and bound before the weekend.
    Hubby and I went on a drive last night in our neighborhood to look at a fence that we fell in love with. We are replacing one of our fences and loved the way it combined privacy with some openness at the top. We stopped in front of the house and got out and took photos of the fence. When we got back into our car, we saw movement of the curtains by the front door and so we got out and rang the doorbell. We explained what we were doing and why to the most delightful couple who took us into their yard to show us just how they had built the fence! Gave us lots of tips and we are confident that we will be able to duplicate the style in our yard!
    We are looking forward to Spring here and are making plans to completely renovate our side yard, putting in fruit trees, an outdoor fireplace/cooking area and even a small chicken coop!!! I am over-the-moon excited!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, I am trying to be careful and not painting. Have done some sewing instead and substituted easier things.
      I really love the sound of your sweet and sour sauce. I love sweet and sour! I feel like it now just mentioning it!
      That is an enormous amount of sewing! Please take some photos! Well done.
      How nice that those people were helpful about the fence. It is lovely to find something as inspiration. Your plans sound great! I would be excited too. I love having plans and getting them done around the house. Fruit trees are a great investment too. So is an outdoor cooking area!
      Have a very Happy Easter! With love Annabel.xxxx

  12. Dear Annabel,

    I hope your back recovers quickly...I don't like to hear of you being hurt!

    Thanks for the instructions for beer batter for fish n' chips...the photo makes my mouth water! And like Rachel, I'm wondering what type of fish those are? You are so lucky to have a fisherman in your house.

    That quince paste looks divine! I had never tried quince before we moved here, and we don't have a true quince tree here at our farm, just an ornamental Japanese quince bush. BUT, I still persevere and make quince jam and syrup and paste with it each year. I am under the impression that it is MUCH sourer than real quince, but if you add enough sugar, it is yum and still has a great tang. I agree, quince paste is divine with will have a gourmet selection on your holiday!

    I built up my nest by hanging the laundry, even in freezing weather, making bread and yogurt, selling eggs and a loaf of bread, painting some more in the bedroom and working furiously on rugs for said room, making new (cocktail size) napkins for us to use for Easter breakfast, and putting a chicken in the crockpot and making broth from it at the same time (broth in the freezer). It's nice to try to keep track of some of this; it helps to see how much it all adds up!

    Have a wonderful Easter, Annabel.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you! Fishing is a very good thing to get into. Andy's son comes to visit and it used to be a thing that Andy spent a lot of money on trying to entertain a young teenage boy. He wanted to give him a good time. One day I suggested why don't they go fishing since we are only about 15 mins from the sea. He already had basic fishing gear. And they did! This is the fortnightly fishing picnic I pack and mention. Regularly they come back with fish, crabs, squid etc. Best suggestion I ever made! Truly, make a fishing rod a present to someone in the house it is a good investment! Andy says the fish are Salmon Trout.
      I hope the weather warms a little bit for you! Well done on all your good work. Have a very happy Easter! With love,

  13. Annabel, I hope your back feels better soon!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, thank you! Have a happy Easter... and some rest as well I hope. With love

  14. Annabel, your gifts look beautiful. Very stylish xoxo

    Here's what I got up to this week -

    * Dug into a bag of bits and pieces ready to donate to the op shop and found a pair of new sneakers Megan was donating. I tried them on and they fit perfectly. Their new home is in my wardrobe. It always pays to check what your kids are throwing out.

    * Saved and washed the plastic wrap from some flowers given to me. The plastic will come in handy for another present or bunch of flowers.

    * Cut up some old socks to use as garden ties.

    * Cut up a cereal bag to use as go between for burgers and crumpets.

    * Picked a good handful of raspberries. I'm counting the days until the plants have finished fruiting for the season.

    * Bought one punnet each of broccoli, mixed lettuce and silverbeet to plant in our veggie garden. Of course I made sure I picked punnets with the most seedlings to get extra value for money.

    * Gratefully received a fuel docket from a blog reader. Thankyou Tania xoxo

    * Darren made one dozen hot cross buns for us all to enjoy. So yummy and much better than anything you can buy.

    * Refilled the foaming hand wash pumps with shower gel and water.

    * Dried all the washing on the clothesline.

    * Saved the kitchen warm up water to use on the raspberry bushes growing in a pot.

    * Cooked up a leg of lamb on Thursday night and made it stretch for three meals. We had some that night as a roast and tonight we having some of the meat in a shepherd's pie. The rest of the meat has gone into the freezer for an easy meal in the future

    * Brightened up our home with Easter decorations we've bought over the last few years. I resisted the urge to add to our collection.

    * Gratefully received an Easter bouquet from Cath's daughter Hannah at the last card making day. Hannah had placed a bouquet at each place setting with a lovely Easter card. I was having a tough week with the passing of my friend. This bouquet cheered me up and gave me something pretty to look at in my kitchen.

    1. Dear Wendy,
      Thank you for sharing your week. It was really productive even though I know it must have been difficult.
      The hot cross buns looked amazing! Have a really good Easter Wendy and long weekend. With love,

  15. Annabelle, I join others with concern over your back. Too aware of how working at home can be a mite too physical at times. I've yet to understand why my doctor thinks working in my home isn't sufficient exercise. I'd hazard a guess it's because he doesn't do housework!!
    Here's what I did this past week:

    1. Dear Terri, Reading what your Doctor said I reached the same conclusion. Yesterday we did a lot here and Andy worked all day in the house. He was so hot and sweaty and it sure was exercise!
      Have a wonderful Easter Terri! With much love,

  16. Happy Easter Annabel to you and your family.

    When I read your list of things you have done through the week despite a bad back, I'm quite embarrassed by the little I seem to achieve. I did manage to sew a couple of manicure pouches which will go in the gift cupboard, made two batches of yogurt and baked an apple and sour cream slice to take to a friend's yesterday.

    Not exactly "feathery our nest", but we were able to take care of our dear little grandson (2yr)and his equally gorgeous little sister (9mths) as our DDDIL was quite ill with a bug that has been doing the rounds in these parts.

    Take care,

    1. Dear Janine,
      The maincure pouches sound like a lovely gift! Also the apple and sour cream slice sounds beautiful! I have not heard of that but I love the combination.
      I have decided that when I help the girls and their households that is still Feathering my nest. It is the extended nest. Our happiness is all tired together. Mum bought Harper some lovely winter clothes as soon it will get cooler. She was showing Lucy and they were all so beautiful and Lucy was over the moon. I felt so happy and that a gift of help like this is happiness for us all. So I count the things I do to help in their households.... I am so glad you were able to take care of your Grandbabies like that. What a help and how lovely for them that they were looked after and this is all what families are about. Excellent work in my opinion. I hope your DDIL is much better. And you don't get it either!
      Have a very Happy Easter. with love

  17. Dear Annabel

    What a lovely post, so full of gift giving and wonderful food. I am sure these gift baskets will be gratefully received by the girls.

    I was lucky enough to get all the Easter Eggs for half price. We only give DD5 one egg from us as the bunny leaves enough and I was lucky enough to get the gift we decided on at $10 off the normal price.

    At the moment we are lucky enough that DP is working Monday to Friday for the next 4 to 5 months so we are able to start putting away in our emergency fund again after pretty much using most of it whilst he was in hospital.

    I have made a start on my freezer supplies again. Was able to save enough for 2 meals each for DD5 and I last week and this week.

    I hope you have a wonderful week ahead

    Happy Easter

    Love Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, It is great news about the work and now being able to rebuild the emergency fund. This goes to show how important it is to have an emergency fund. Just today I have heard of two other examples of how an emergency fund and pantry saved the day!
      But in good times we need to build it up and of course replenish it after not so good times. But it an be kind of fun as a challenge to do.
      I hope DD had a lovely time and the Easter bunny was generous! Have a great week Aly! With love


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