The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 22nd April, 2016.

It has been a really good and busy week!

Happily I have a heap to report!

Luckily I wrote it down as I went as I would forget much of it. Day by day things add up! I feel we did lots of things to improve the house, get ahead and feather the nest generally.

Firstly, some of the ways I saved money were:

I added lots of notebooks to the gift cupboard. They cost $1.50 each. In the stores here similar ones are $30!

I gave away bunches of parsley, basil and rosemary as gifts.

Andy caught MORE fish! This time loads of salmon. Kilos and kilos. 

This added to the freezer and an immediate fish and chips dinner...

I finished a gift with Mum's help. I made the rug and she made the hat...

Then I made three fruit cakes, two of them are gifts and one to store...

Pumpkin was on special so I made a huge pot of pumpkin soup. Some to freeze, some for now and some for Chloe.

I picked mint from Mum's garden to make a raita. (Making Butter Chicken)

Also I did some rotating of goods from the cellar. I had long life milk to use up.

In the mail I had a $5 Spotlight voucher which I will use next week.

Also I had mail with $20 worth of Coles dollars which I will turn into $40 by buying only half priced items over the next few weeks. Very pleased with that. 
They also sent vouchers that earn huge points if presented with purchases over the next few months. That is how I earned the free $20. I sat and cut them out and put them in my diary so I use them each week and on the right week. Some earn 1000 points for a small purchase. It takes a bit of organisation then they are easy to use and will hopefully earn me some more free groceries.

Some of the ways I feathered the nest:

I washed the pillows and Mum lets me use her drier to get them dry and fluffy again. They are like brand new. I also did the pillow protectors.

I made a crockpot of lamb shanks. Not really economical but very comforting and I made double so that meant a night off cooking.

My makeup got a sort out and clean up. So my dressing table looks better too.

Finally I am painting the front fence. First I did the gate.  I always wanted a white picket fence. I might get it finished over the weekend, hopefully. Photos next week hopefully.

I added to my pantry with tinned milk and fish in the freezer.

That is everything I can think of except that Andy has extra work and is working most of the long weekend. We are grateful for that. So I will keep painting...

The autumn leaves are falling which is kind of messy but also pretty. This is down in the bottom corner of the garden...

How was your week? What did you do to feather the nest and look after your family?

Have a wonderful weekend! It is a long weekend in Australia due to Anzac Day.  I am having pumpkin soup for lunch then hope to finish the week well with a few more things done!xxx

Here is a quote I saw this morning:

"Any success that happens at the expense of your health, your family or your character is not real success" Dave Willis. 

I really liked that!


  1. Dear Annabel. What a great week! That salmon haul alone made me catch my breath...clearly I need to get out! I had a great week too. I found some casserole steak on special and made a huge batch of Indian Curry to freeze for the busy Eisteddfod season coming up for my daughter. I made six embellished pillowcases to stash for gifts. The 3 ingredient fruit cakes were on the baking list, and were also gifted to a friend having a tough time. They are so easy and so special, and super delicious too. I made costumes and manned a costume sewing bee for the school, which always makes me feel good as I know we are saving families literally hundreds of dollars each by doing this. And I cleaned my house from top to bottom, and got a lot of satisfaction from seeing everything gleaming and fresh. I did a stocktake of my 'shop' (which you know is what I call my stockpile), and tidied it, and we accessed it at least half a dozen times this week. We love saying 'oh don't worry, we have that in the shop', and NOT having to dash out on a mercy shopping jaunt! I hope everyone had a good and productive week and can look back with pride on all they accomplished. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I need to do the same with a curry or casserole Mimi as I noticed I am down on ready to take out of the freezer meals.
      I loved your pillowcases and am imagining these costumes. They sound wonderful but I cannot imagine the work involved I know it would be huge.
      I call my cellar The Shop" at home since you said that. It is so handy. I never have to dash to the actual shops or pay full price either for that matter.
      You had a busy and good week. I hope the weekend is lovely there! With love

  2. Annabel, as usual, you have been a very busy beaver adding to your home in the most tangible of ways.
    We have been busy here adding to our own little piece of paradise. Hubby has been busy denailing timber he got from the tip shop and then putting it through the planer thicknesser. He has also pulled apart an old pallet and an old metal bed. from various bits of both, he has made me some lovely garden signs on stakes. These aren't for here at home but for the school garden.
    I have crocheted some owl mug cosies. I plan to sell these at the Biggest Morning Tea, as part of the fundraising.
    I have a lot of pots. I have fruit trees in pots and I have food growing in pots. I also have a large collection of various bromeliads in pots. The broms all live on the veranda. As the worst of the heat is over I have been moving all of these pots and using the pressure cleaner to remove the build up. It has been quite a job. I hope to be finished the cleaning and de cluttering of the veranda by tomorrow.
    I have done a bit of baking for morning teas and for lunch boxes. I have pumpkin cut up and will make some into relish and some into soup. I made a big zuchinni slice using our garden produce. Some over ripe bananas were made into cake. We have worked very hard and this has beena zero food waste week.
    I'm allergice to many perfumes, sprays and air fresheners. I've used the air freshener recipe from Wendy at My Abundent Life, but wanted something nice smelling for a longer time. I have made oil diffusers using a small bottle, almond oil, essential oils and some bamboo skewers I found at the back of the junk drawer in the kitchen. Only put this together this morning. Will let you know how it works.
    Between work and home life is very busy and oh so wonderful!

    1. Dear Jane, The two of you are a great team. What you do in a week is wonderful!
      I saw the owl tea cozy! These will sell like hot cakes! You could go global with those!
      All the cooking sounds beautiful. Beautiful morning teas and lunches!
      Do you get on ok with lavender oil or eucalyptus oil? And like either as a scent? As the miracle cleaner can be made with either and it leaves a strong scent in the home. The other I love it lemon oil. It makes your home smell heavenly. I am trying to not use artificial scents but am getting on well with these and the house smells nice.
      You do literally live in paradise from what I have seen of pictures!
      Have a wonderful long weekend! With love

  3. Dear Annabel, wow what a great week you had. I love the fruitcake and in reply to your comment on my question the other day about the fruitcake , yes
    I think the 3 ingredient fruitcake would be best for me. I have made one with tea and will try it with orange juice next . I think that would be great as I could give some small cakes away as well as keep some for myself. Thanks Annabel. This week
    I have saved myself a lot of money by getting my iPad Air screen fixed instead of getting a new one, saved $65 on a Colorado brand leather wallet in a sale and in the same sale saved $50 on a hand bag . I bought some note books for making the covered notebooks and saved about $25 on groceries. I made bacon and cheese yoghurt based muffins using leftover yoghurt and a little bit of bacon and cheese and some cheap Aldi flour. I got a pack of two magazines free with my magazine loyalty card , it counts as one magazine.!.. I line dried clothes where possible. I made eight more cards. I got free lemons and shallots from my parents garden. I bought half price coloured cards from spotlight , two for me and two to send to a friend from a forum, Saving us each $12 . I also saved on a cancellation fee , we had to cancel our holiday and they were going to charge us $100 fee to cancel, my mum protested and told the lady we were giving them nearly five months notice so she said she would see what she could do , she did not charge us anything!.it pays to ask/ complain!.I think that is it for this week Annabel. I hope you have a happy , healthy weekend .
    Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      I also have heard the three ingredient fruit cake made with iced coffee. I think they are good its just they don't keep long but you could freeze them. Also cheaper to make.
      You had great savings! It is also lovely to have lemons. Andy has a cold and last night I made him lemon and honey tea. I always think lemons are something to always have on hand.
      I am glad your Mum said something about that $100! yes it pays to ask!
      Have a lovely long weekend! With lots of love

  4. Hi Annabel,

    I love all you manage to get through in a week.

    Our nest was "feathered" this week by our daughter - she lives overseas and made a surprise visit home for 8 days!! We had no idea she was coming - it was so great to see her in the flesh and not just over skype. We talked, we shopped, we ate all her favourite (unattainable overseas) foods. We haven't seen her in a year, so this was a very good week.

    Enjoy the long weekend.

    1. what a lovely surprise! I'd be so proud to see my oldest daughter once more. She's been away now for nearly 10 years...

    2. Dear Janine,
      Having your daughter home was the best thing you could report! And a surprise! I am so happy for you about this.
      At one time Lucy lived in London for a year and Chloe for several months. I was always encouraging to them and we communicated everyday but in reality I hated it and found it very hard. So I can truly imagine your joy!
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love,

  5. That's a great week you had Annabel. I love notebooks too, and in the past have covered some in fabric. I used to make my mum one each year as she started a new one on 1st January. Despite having smart phones, I'm also one to write on paper as a choice. A lot of spending here on a gorgeous king size bed for us and a new double mattress for a gorgeous antique bed we have. King size donna later on, after the sales I think. Off to the zoo on the weekend and taking ds and ds's fiancee out for dinner tomorrow night. Enjoy your long weekend. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      If you want to go crazy and super luxury go for a super king size quilt. It hangs down further on a king sized bed. I have neither but I have a friend who has this and from that I learned to have a quilt one size up from your bed. So we have a Queen bed and a king quilt. It works! Its better! it took me a while to do this and now I love it.
      It sounds like you have a good weekend planned. Enjoy it and I hope the weather is lovely! With love,

  6. The fish and chips look so good! Yum. I love those colours for the boys blanket, and they will work well as he grows too as they are not overly 'babyish'.

    I am very happy to be able to tell you that I have picked around 2kg of figs from our fig tree (you know the one that has previously just fed the birds - cringe!). My nearly two year old absolutely loves them, they are growing on me slowly lol. But I did make fig jam and that worked well. There are loads more yet to ripen so I will be picking more. I checked the price of fresh figs at our supermarket and they are $5 for 225 grams!

    I have baked a lot this week, I swear everyone eats double the amount during school holidays lol. I made soup that I froze in single serves, I also made bacon and egg pie and froze individual serves.

    And I've been knitting wash cloths with leftover cotton, some will be for gifts and the stripy ones where I keep running out of colours will be for us!

    Enjoy the long weekend :)


    1. Dear Jen,
      I am very happy! It is great your two year old loves the figs! That is a bonus already! And now you see the prices! This tree is a big asset to you. You could possibly sell figs or give them as gifts if you know someone loves them. They re simply out of the price range of many people. But cooks love them and they were featured heavily on My Kitchen Rules lately so they are "in fashion" and recipes around. The fig pizzas I made we loved. Also baked with chicken is perfect. Anyway yes I am so glad you are using them. Here they are over $1 per fig.
      I love knitted wash cloths! Lovely gifts. Well done!
      Have a great weekend! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  7. Sounds like a wonderful week! I love how darling your notebooks came out! :)

    1. Thank you Jes! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  8. Dear Annabel,

    You have been busy and the results are gorgeous! Love your chicken and bench, also. That picture looks peaceful.

    This week:
    The normal cleaning and straightening up; a bit of spring cleaning; baking for the weekend: a quiche, two pies, a pizza, a casserole, and some vegetables; cut up the fresh vegetables for snacking; finished my grand daughter's pillow top; and outlined some gifts.

    Another thing I decided to do, this week, was to use all of my small fabric pieces and scraps to make myself project kits. I have several large photo boxes of pieces that were left over from other projects, so decided to cut those into 5 inch squares, 2 inch squares, 3 inch squares, and 2x3 inch squares to make totes, small lap quilts, baby quilts, and pillow tops. I will cut a variety of sizes, depending on what project.

    I have just started on this project, but am feeling good about using the pieces and not just letting them sit. I visualize the finished project in my mind, then place the various squares, plus additional larger pieces, cut straps, batting, whatever else is needed for the project in large zippered bags, then lay them flat within the large photo boxes I have emptied from the scraps. Whenever I need a project for a gift or have a little time, I can just go get the bag with all the pieces and do the project. It takes some time now, but in the long run, it's like baking and freezing for the future :).

    A lot of fabric departments or fabric stores here sell pre-cut 5 inch pieces, 2 inch pieces, or what they call jelly rolls for projects. It saves a person the time of cutting the pieces themselves and, most of the time, they are pretty uniform. I just decided I could do the same thing with my scraps and extra fabric.

    YouTube is a wealth of projects for any sewer, so anyone can pick a project and put the kit together themselves to do the project when time allows. Typing up the directions or bookmarking the video helps, especially for people my age, who have to keep being reminded (LOL).

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    With love and a big hug,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      What a wonderful week! Your cooking sounds beautiful!
      I think there is nothing better than using up supplies we have and turning them into gifts and useful things. Your little squares ready to go will be lovely! Also so much fun! I agree about you tube. There is a tutorial for everything and glorious ideas!
      Another thing is that doing this and your projects are ready. When we need a rest, which we all do, I find have a sewing or crochet project makes me feel like Im doing something but its a rest from painting, cleaning, cooking and heavier work. Very peaceful too.
      You achieved a lot and much of it is "getting ahead" too.
      Have a lovely weekend Glenda, with love and thanks,

  9. Passover begins tonight. We have been cleaning yeast products out of the house. In the end, I tossed only half a sandwich which was leftover from our supper one evening this week and two chicken patties which I fed the dog this morning. I either gave away items we couldn't use up or we went right on and ate them up ourselves, so nothing tossed this year save those three mentioned items. Here's the rest of what I did this week to save funds:

    1. Dear Terri,
      I saw about your poison ivy! I have never experienced that but it sounds bad! I hope you are all better now.
      Well done on now waste. Have a great weekend and celebration of the Passover. With love,

  10. Good evening Annabel,
    I have been so busy with my family and grands, no energy left to blog.
    Wow, that is a lot of fresh fish! What a blessing.
    I like that quote about success too, need to write that down and remind myself.

    Have a good weekend friend.

    1. Dear Rhonda,
      You have been busy with good things, that is the main thing!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love

  11. Annabel, you are accomplishing so much! I've baked this week, propagated this week, planted this week and prepared for a visit from my grandbabies for the upcoming week. Love the picture in your yard with the chicken sitting on the bench!

    1. Dear Patsy, I hope you are have a lovely time with the Grandchildren.
      Chickens add a lot to life and are so sweet. That chicken has claimed that spot! With love,

  12. Your notebooks are cute, Annabel! How fun!
    I spent a good bit of the week doing work for our church and helping my daughter prepare for a talent show, but I did manage a baking binge. I made yeast dinner rolls, cake, brownies, and muffins. Some we ate right away but most went into the freezer for when I need it. My lovely mother-in-law gifted me a pile of scrapbook paper, so I'm hoping to finish what I must this afternoon and have a paper-crafting evening. I'd like to make not only cards but also some envelopes. Some of the paper is so pretty that I'm tempted to just frame it as art work!
    Have a splendid week!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, I am happy about all the pretty paper as I know you will do so much with it! And all your cooking sounds lovely. It sounds like you had a busy week. But all good things! Have a great weekend Leigh, with love,

  13. What a beautiful blog you have and I enjoy reading your posts

  14. Hi Annabel, So glad you had a great getaway! And you found so many goodies. Lovely notebooks, I'm so inspired to give these. Also I'm so impressed that you finished that afghan (rug) so quickly. You and your mom are a good team.:)

    1. Thank you Leslie! The rug is not terribly big, about cot size. But lots of travel time gave me the time to do it.
      Thank you for your comments! Have a great new week. with love


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