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 16 June 2016

Feather your Nest Friday. 17 June, 2016.

We had a short working week which throws me out of routine a bit! But it was a pretty good week.

Some of the ways I saved money were:

I made chocolate cakes which were for a birthday, gifts, lunches and deserts.

Some also went into the freezer. (as fast as I use things up I add more!)

I made some progress on my freezer challenge and one of the things I used up was the huge bone from a lamb roast. It still had some meat on it. I made my Nan's soup which is several cups of dried soup bean mix and a huge amount of veggies. It made the most beautiful soup! 

Also I made quiches and impossible pies. 

Some were made in baking dishes, some in muffin trays and a baby sized one for Harper. The muffin sized ones are good in lunch boxes.

Next I made a big beef casserole in the crock pot. We had that for dinner with veggies. 
Then I made the rest up into Shepherds Pies. I got seven small and medium pies. This is before going into the oven...

Andy caught fish so this was another meal and more frozen.

Thanks to Lynette I got a free cookbook that is really good. It came with purchased herbs. It is still available I think in Woolworths. It is with two items from the Gourmet Garden range. I bought crushed garlic as this is so handy and I will use it all winter. The book is an easy crockpot book from the ladies who do the 4 ingredients books.  I have already found several recipes I can't wait to use. Four ingredient cooking is wonderful when you are in a hurry or supplies are low. Easy! Thank you Lynette I would never have found this as they had no display and a tiny sign! 

Some ways we feathered the nest:

Over the weekend and holiday Monday Andy cleaned up the yard, mowed the lawn and did all kinds of odd jobs. This was great as it had been so wet and things looked messy.
I have been decluttering as things accumulate!

I got ahead by:
Saving some money by using up things from the freezer. With this I added to my emergency fund, grocery fund for when I find major bargains and for adding to the pantry.
(I used up the roast lamb bone, bacon, pizza bases, a meal of spaghetti I had frozen, a piece of pork, and some frozen peaches).

And I added to my pantry. Just a few items this week including emergency supply pet food.

Thats about it except for things too mundane to mention! I enjoyed some baby sitting and some sunshine.  We are back to rain again now!

I hope you had a good week. How did you build up your home this week? xxx


  1. So enjoyed reading this. Am working to empty my large freezer and unplug it. I am on my own and food just gets too old. I have a good size freezer for 1 on my fridge.

    1. Thank you! As you work through using this all up it will save you lots. Maybe you could do something else with most of your grocery money for those weeks... a savings fund could benefit or just savings for an emergency. We had a second freezer and we did this.. used it all up and now we just have the fridge/freezer. It is still quite a reasonable freezer for the two of us. Power prices here are the highest in the world and about to rise another 12% so running extra appliances just isnt really economical. Having our smaller freezer really organised means I can fit more in and do better with it... so that is my goal now.
      Thank you for commenting and have a lovely weekend! xxx

  2. Annabel that was the same in the supermarket I went to - don't even think it was advertised in the catalogue. Glad that you found it.

    For anyone else who is interested, 4 ingredients have a facebook page (which is how I knew about the offer) with information of when the book will be in IGA stores.

    I picked up garlic and italian - my friend reminded me that if I was slow to use the italian it could be popped in icecube trays in the freezer.

    Like you I am have some recipes that I cannot wait to try - next week I will continue with using up what we have then the week after I think I should be ready to start using recipes from the book.

    We have eaten out of the freezer or I have used ingredients from the freezer to cook up soup this week.

    I made chicken and vegetable soup in the slow cooker Wednesday - could smell it cooking when I arrived home after my interview.

    My husband had a days work that day the other side of Brisbane so he was glad to arrive home to something warm and nourishing.

    I have the ingredients to make up the wool wash - that will be a weekend job when I can get to some jars to put it in.

    Just off the 'phone from my brother and he is feeling good - no call backs from the hospital following blood tests, now we wait for the bone marrow test results.

    When I was picking up the herbs and book I found some organic butternut pumpkin marked down - it is now waiting for me to make pumpkin soup in the slow cooker.

    Looks like my husband has picked up a couple of months worth of work starting the week after next - same place he was at on Wednesday so he will be tired by the end of the week. Slow cooker will be put to good use then.

    Today it is all about prep for Monday's craft group.

    Have a great weekend everyone.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      I use some of the four ingredient recipes, the ricotta pie/quiche is one of them. Very good. I followed on FB but it vanished... I know that if I don't click like and comment things stop showing up. So I have gone back and liked and commented to hopefully get it on my timeline again as I don't want to miss out. It is useful.
      As you make the wool wash it smells really good. Its a good gift for anyone who likes their knitwear or who knits.
      That is very good about your brother. Hopefully good results will follow.
      It is pretty fantastic about your husbands extra work! That is great. It is adding up too, this has been quite a lot of work coming in. You must be very pleased.
      Have a lovely weekend. I wish I could come to that craft group. I could do grub roses with you and you could teach me cables! It would be mutually beneficial and great fun! With love

  3. Dear Annabel, oh my goodness I only I could just reach through the iPad screen and take one of your yummy chocolate cakes to have with my afternoon cup of tea. I haven't baked for ages as I am not physically up to it. But my mum and the supermarket supplies me with treats at the moment. I also do not need too many treats so it is benefiting my health not being able to bake!. My week has included:
    Physiotherapy apt ( free under a enhanced primary care program) and a follow up 15 min free visit for taping of my knee .
    I got two sistema storage containers ( half price at Woolworths this week ) one 27 L for $ 9.50 instead of $19 and a 40 L container for $11 instead of $ 22 plus a few other groceries specials for my stock pile , total savings on my docket was $30.33 , so I put $10 in my emergency fund and bought my dad his paper as a thank you for taking me to my appointment and shopping and treated myself to my two weekly magazines which will be passed on to a friend ( $3.30 each) .
    I received a gift of a surgical cool band for when I feel hot or it fits around my ankle for.when my feet swell . I also received from the same friend a lovely embroidered washer .
    I don't know if I have already mentioned it , forgive me if I have , i received a delivery from a new friend of flowers and a teddy bear to cheer me up ( that was early this week or late last week so I may or may not have mentioned it,as I did not report in on the vicky challenge this week , I will do a two week report on Monday.
    I have had my usual 2 hours subsidised cleaning this week ,
    Will be using a gift from my gift cupboard and card from my supply of cards as a get well gift for a friend who is in hospital after 2 falls.
    Tonight I am making 3 main meals and 1 or 2 lunches out of 3 single chicken breasts and veg from the fridge and freezer, chicken and veg casserole using 1/2 priced tins of soup .
    I had tea at mum and dads and bought home a meal for another night
    I saved on transport by getting lifts from Dad
    My domestic assistance lady this week put some rubbish in her bin from my decluttering to save my Dad a trip to the dump.
    My mum is repurposing one of my kaftans that is stained to make one for herself as the material is still good mostly.
    I have decorated my first notebook , total cost approx 70 cents ( using materials I had , value 20 cents And a notebook from a pack of 2 that were $1 so 50 cents each) .
    I line dried washing where possible.
    I reworked my budget and have worked out a savings plan for my upcoming ( in a few months) holiday for my 40 th birthday.
    I did a inventory of my stockpile and a menu plan for next fortnight and working on shopping list to spend as little as possible.
    Anyway that Is Enough for this week . I love your posts Annabel, Harper will love her baby sized meals. She is the luckiest granddaughter ever. Have a good weekend Annabel and everyone , love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      What a good week! It is very motivating to have something specific to save for and your birthday plans in a few months are a good example. It will be lovely to have some savings up your sleeve for that.
      I hope your friend who fell is ok. A fall can be nasty but two falls! Im sure she will appreciate your gift and concern.
      Thank you for your kind words Barb! I hope you have a very good weekend and an equally good week next week. I am glad you got your storage containers too. With lots of love

  4. Dear Annabel

    I have been very busy this past week. I have been implementing new money saving tips. I borrowed magazines from work. I began having one or two per day (there are hundreds of them). I read the articles and scan onto my computer any recipes I fancy. When I have tried the recipe and seen if it is a winner I then write it into my recipe book. I took a container to work for food scraps this fed the dog four meals. I worked the public holiday and picked up an extra shift today. I bought marked down veal fillets to make veal schnitzel. Two meals for DD and I for $3.25. I bought beef bones with a lot of meat on them to make soup and I threw them in the crockpot overnight and then cooled them in the fridge and took off the fat. I added all the "old" vegetables and a tin of tomatoes making a lovely Minestrone Soup. I bought a fitted Queen bed sheet set from the op-shop in excellent if not new condition, it had a rather dated floral pattern but that suits me I am the only one that sees my sheets besides the dog and cat. I also got a pair of knitting needles and three lovely magazines to make cards with and two excellent Little Golden Books all of this was mine for only $20

    I am reducing my freezer stock and am getting there slowly any leftover bits and bobs from meals are going to the dog and I reduce his food accordingly, saving me on dog food. I had saved $45 of my grocery budget and I used $30 of that to buy a Mandarin Tree. Jo is building me a lovely picket fence around my garden in the back to keep the dog out and I am very much enjoying watching it go up. it will also protect the fruit trees and vegetables from the sun as I can lay the UV resistant mesh over the top of it to stop them burning in Summer. I have been nurturing a blueberry bush and two loganberry bushes over the past months in pots and they too will go in the ground when the fence is up. I am planning on him making me another one out the front of the house so that I can fill the front yard with fruit trees, berry bushes and even some vegetables or maybe something like rhubarb.
    I am continuing to make all lunches for work/school and taking porridge for breakfast to work. I am drying all clothing inside in this weather using a portable clothesline and the heat from the heater. I coloured my hair at home and have been washing it one day less per week to make the colour and shampoo last longer.
    I went to my daughter's for morning tea and made scones with jam and cream to take along with chocolate cookies out of the freezer and a little shortbread I had. We had a lovely time visiting with them and it cost nothing but petrol as I had all ingredients on hand.

    I hope you all have a wonderful week and look forward to hearing from you

    1. Dear Mel, You have really thought of some great savings! Isn't it interesting what we can implement even when we are already careful... then something else becomes obvious and worth doing.
      Your breakfast is a very good one and so inexpensive and as you say that keeps you going and avoids temptations too.
      Dog food is expensive and they do perfectly well with a variety of scraps included in the diet. Lucy does this she keeps a bowl in the fridge and all kinds of stuff goes into it that gets mixed in with the dog food. Excellent idea.
      As a reformed magazine addict I love your plan! I still love a magazine I just don't buy them. What kind of magazines are your favourite? If work has them this is fantastic. I get some from Mum and some from op shops sometimes. But the good magazines are $8+ now so I know I have saved a fortune since giving up buying them! The library can be good for magazines but that is one more thing to fit into the week which I don't think you need!
      The fruit trees and fence are great investments. I count those as ways of getting ahead and a very good idea.
      Today with a bit of wind and a bit of sun I am hoping to get some washing dry and bet you are doing the same!
      I am so glad you enjoyed morning tea at your daughters and scones and jam and cream! (plus cookies and shortbread!) These outings can be a real boost and break. That was lovely.
      I love the new things you've thought of this was a really good list. The value of all the things you mentioned would be enormous.
      Have a great weekend Mel. I am so glad to have you back! With lots of love

  5. Looks like a great week! I have been on a muffin making kick! And once I get on one of those, there are muffins galore! :) Sweet and savory, for our meals and for the freezer and for some friends... Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Yum Jes. It is a while since I made savoury muffins. I think I should do that! Very handy in the freezer. The banana ones I made were a massive hit. So I am watching out for marked down bananas to do them again.
      Have a great weekend to you too! With love

  6. Hi Annabelle you have had such a productive week!

    I feathered my nest this week by doing some cleaning jobs that I had been putting off and organising some cupboards. I had some great pantry deals. Strawberries were reduced to 10p for 1lb as they were goi g out of date (they looked perfect). I managed to get 7lb for 70p which I have hulled and popped in the freezer to make jam. I had a £25 gift voucher to another grocery store I don't use as its 10 miles away. I had to pop there this morning to pick a parcel up at the sorting office so I went in. I shopped wisely and managed to get a good haul for my pantry. With what's going on in the uk with brexit coming up and an mp was killed yesterday I am feeling very nervous and unsettled with what the immediate future holds. I am stocking up where I can. We are certainly in for some uncertain times and I am trying to be as prepared as possible. Have a good week xx

    1. Good for you Laura! Being prepared is the best thing we can do!

    2. Dear Laura,
      What a wonderful deal on the strawberries! also it was great you got a chance to use that voucher. I think you are wise to stock up too. Even though Im here in Australia I follow the whole Brexit issue and the European Union, finances of the european banks and other related issues like immigration etc. The issue has affected financial markets all week to a huge extent. I am a big fan of Britain and all things British and not a fan of the EU at all. They seem to want to be in charge and nations seem to lose control of their own affairs and be at their mercy. They seem very bullying and threatening. This affects the whole world too. So I watch with so much interest. It is a time of uncertainty and also a time that will determine so much of the future and for future generations. It is huge!
      I hope things go smoothly but being stocked up at home is insurance against any hiccups.Laura I will be thinking of you all week!
      Have a lovely weekend, with love

  7. Annabel, freezer cooking just makes so much sense and it looks like you filled your freezer back up. Everything looks so good! I haven't done any freezer cooking but did just can up 9 pints of sweet pickle relish from cucumbers that were given to us. Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Patsy, Well I am making progress on the freezer!
      Relish from your cucumbers is a great idea. It is lovely to see your harvest and what is coming in! And plenty of summer left too for more!
      I hope you have a good weekend! With love

  8. Annabel,
    Why do I always get hungry when I read your posts? LOL I had several good days of getting lots done. I dropped off items to donate at the church. A little here a little there, but eventually I'll get there. I too have been trying to use up things in the freezer, I have made a small dent. We have been in the garden mostly and working outside me and Mom planted 50 more tomatoes, 15 more cabbages a few more peppers and a few broccoli plants, but on rainy days I worked on busy work in the house. I am getting ready to do a revisit of things! Let's see where that takes me!

    1. Dear Vicky, You are on course for a huge harvest! I cannot wait to see this as I remember being amazed last year by it all. 50 MORE tomatoes... this will be massive! I hope you have plenty of bottles and jars lined up!
      I am so glad your Mum helps you with this. It is a lot of work. And harvest will be even more work!
      I am doing a revisit too this weekend. List making tomorrow! Much love and thanks,

  9. Hi Annabel!

    Your freshly baked meal there makes me feel hungry! What a lot of kitchen work you've achieved!! Good on you!!

    It has been as slow as a wet week here! Nevertheless, it's finer today, and we're relishing that!!

    The memorable parts of nest building here included planting the veggie garden. The soil is nicely wet, and, if things grow well, there'll be root vegetables ready to eat in spring! I planted seed, as well as some Australian grown garlic cloves. I'll be watching for the plants as they come up. If you can't find me, I'll likely be in the garden! At least, even if we're away shopping, things can keep growing. (The passionfruit plants are settling in nicely!) It's, ultimately, in the Eternal's hands. Now it makes me smile to see the Brussels sprouts size leaves growing on the base of a cabbage that I planted! There are onion shoots coming up, too!! I love all of this!

    A couple of days ago, the bower birds were fluttering around, hunting for blue things. I found a blue bottle top, and saw a bird take it. I threw out another. That was soon gone. I rummaged further, procuring nineteen blue bottle tops for them. The next morning, I counted eleven remaining. If you don't know how many of those lids disappeared, just ask Miss Emma!

    Yesterday, I was doing more daylight knitting. The only problem was - I just couldn't seem to stop!! That sock will soon be finished! Oh well! I'll just have to start another pair!

    Oh yes! How could I forget?! While the weather was miserable, I did a little research on home crafts. I now have plans for next summer! Between now and then, I can make and/or gather the needed supplies. I also saw something that, eventually, I'd love to crochet for the home. This means I'd better take some crochet steps, too. Do you see what you've started?!!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, How I would love to see your Bower birds! I would be putting out presents for them also. Is blue their favourite colour? I knew they like anything sparkly.
      I understand not being able to stop... I do this with anything Im working on. Just a bit more, just another row, just up to the next colour... and so it goes!
      The garden is sounding great! We are so glad of the rain. You will be harvesting and so happy with it.
      It is wonderful having crafts lined up that you want to do. Also having these plans helps you watch for the items you need as you op shop etc.
      I can't wait to see your crochet next!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend. We have sunshine today. I am just about to do some embroidery and finish off another little project. In the evening when its darker Ill be back on my crochet rug. It makes evenings lovely.
      Many thanks Rachel, with love

    2. Hi Annabel.,

      Stop press!! Today, I've seen two different bower birds (one male, & one female) cleverly taking two blue milk bottle lids at a time. All I know is that bower birds love blue things! I wonder if I can show you this? This is something for me to try!!

      Also, although out of season, I put some potting mix full of earthworms (from an unused, old gutter, & don't ask me how it is full of earthworms when it has been at roof level!) in a pot (of course!!) & sprinkled a few basil seeds over the soil. I then covered the pot with a tight, clear bread bag. The seeds are supposed to start germinating after six days. Today, after four days, little plants are growing. I hope they are not weeds, but basil!!

    3. Also, Annabel, I was remembering embroidering during my school years. My Mum taught me. I didn't do grub stitch, but learnt how to do French knots. I remember how, sometimes, French knots are used to hold sequins in place. Sequins, of course, are sparkly, so I thought to mention that to you!

    4. Rachel I hope its basil! I really wish you could get a photo of your Bower birds. I am seriously thinking of posting you bleu sequins as Im pretty sure they would like those!

  10. Hi Annabel, Your house must smell so delicious with all the baking you have done. Mine currently smells like burnt offerings as I decided to cremate the toast this morning.
    Our week has been quite busy getting our spare room cleaned out ready for our daughter to move in.
    I space bagged all her spare linens and these are now behind a cupboard in the sewing room. The pillows off our spare bed have been washed, using your wool wash, and are now rehomed in the caravan. All the bedding off the guest bed have been washed prior to putting away. The dooner and mattress protector were space bagged to fit into a cupboard.
    This was all done prior to crushing my hand. I decided not to let this get me down and hit the sewing room. I made several small items and have sent these off. I also cleaned the free standing oven top to bottom. Once my hand heals enough I'll get in and remove the double glass so I can clean in that grotty space.
    Yesterday Bluey and I spent 9 hours in the car travelling to and from Brisbane to collect all the daughters' gear. She and Hubby organised the hire of a covered trailer. The cost of this and fuel was half the price of getting in a removalist.
    Bluey is playing tetrus in the shed to make everything not going in the house fit. He's doing a very good job.
    Bluey made a crock pot full of rich beef broth. This formed meals in some way or other for several days. I'm just about physically well enough to get in and do some baking. A bit more of a variety of meals is being looked forward to. We also need to add to ready to eat freezer meals. Currently down to zero.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I was reading the firs bit thinking how the heck did you do all this with your hand looking like it does? ThenI saw this was pre smashing up your hand! Lucky you got so much done!
      I want to remove the doubt glass and clean in between. I don't know how to do it on this oven and the book doesn't tell me. But there is a gap and its yuk. I need to find this out.
      I am not sure if your daughter and hubby are both moving in or if she will be there during the week only for work... but whichever it is a big re arrange and finding places to store things etc. And big day moving stuff!
      I hope your hand is healing and you get some rest over the weekend!
      with love,

    2. Annabel Kate is moving in permanently (at least for a while. She stayed on in Brisbane to have a bit of a leaving party with her friends. She was supposed to be here by now but is still MIA. Oh well the only thing in her room is her unmade bed. She will have to deal with that on arrival. Her new position, here in Hervey Bay, starts Monday.

  11. Dear Annabel,
    This week we added to the food storage quite a bit.
    We took advantage of a 40% to 60% off sale through Vitacost on some organic foods we use regularly.
    Emergency Essentials had some excellent buys (41% off) on some of the freeze dried foods we use, so we purchased to add to the Food Storage room.
    We purchased large bags of natural chicken and organic vegetables at Sam's Club and I repackaged those into smaller serving sized bags with the Food Saver and placed them in the freezer.
    I added to my fabric stash, also. I went back to Hancocks, as they are now selling much of their fabric for 70% off, so I added five yards of fabric; two packages of elastic for waistbands; and two full rolls of decorative ribbon. Total was $17; regular price would have been $52.31.
    I added a nice piece of flannel for a special project and used my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.
    We planted three large Nanking Cherry bushes that have berries on them already, in the side yard. We should have a good crop of Saskatoon Blueberries, Aronia berries, currants, elderberries, and some cherries this year, along with all the vegetables we've planted. Next year the fruit trees and bushes should bear more plentifully; God willing.
    We would have had plums and apricots this year, but we had a very large and late Spring snow that killed the blossoms. Hopefully, that won't happen next year.
    I did some planning this week, baking and freezing, and the normal cleaning, laundry, etc.
    Your food always looks so delicious in the pictures. I absolutely love the enamelware you use. I wish I could find some of that around here.
    I went to an antique store today, hoping to find some enamelware, but when I got there, they had gone out of business. Sadly, the economy isn't that great here right now.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    With love and a big hug,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      You had a good week stocking up in several areas of the pantry. And excellent discounts! Also it is good about the fabric now 70% off. This is huge. Good to take advantage of that.
      The berries sound lovely. You will have a real variety. It is a shame about the plums and apricots. Hopefully they will continue to grow and next year will be a great crop.
      I love enamelware too. Dad has always had it and loves it. He always had white with navy blue edges, this was the usual one. Then it become popular again and a brand released lovely colours i.e. pale ale, pink, red etc. But it was very expensive.
      I have a lot and it all stacks inside each other and takes up very little space unlike casserole dishes. Recently Aldi had it in lovely pastels! it was so inexpensive too! I got some more!
      Here Army supply and camping stores always used to keep enamelware, I don't know if they still do though.
      You really achieved a lot during the week, well done. I hope you have great weekend, with love Annabel.xx

  12. I cleaned out my deep freeze yesterday and now it looks bare. You've inspired me to fill it up with good food! I had a lot of dishes ready for the oven when my daughter and her family visited in May. As well as desserts. It made a huge difference in getting meals ready easily each evening.

    1. Dear Brenda,
      I am so glad! It is a big help! It is cheaper to run when full and will stay frozen much longer if the power goes out. Thats why I fill gaps with bottles of water, which I am doing now as I am using things up. Good in a heatwave too, to have spare drinking water safely stored away.
      Thank you so much for mentioning Bluebirds on your blog! I follow and love all your pantry posts and preparedness. I like your steady keep at it approach and all in a budget. Anyone can do that. With thanks Brenda, Love Annabelxxx

  13. Dear Annabel,

    Your week was inspiring! I love the look of the chocolate cakes, makes me want one! Andy's fishing trips really add to your table, I love it!

    This past week was really busy here. Unfortunately Sunday and Monday we traveled to a neighboring state for a funeral. After that I was flat out for a day, but then I managed to fluff and feather and make my nest tidy. No big projects right now, lots of little ones. Summer is going too fast for us...we are trying to slow it down and enjoy the kids being home.

    Cooking was minimal, and I really need to restock my freezer meals. They've been a huge help to me. I wish I had realized the power of my freezer years ago, but I'm grateful I know now! I have big plans and schemes for next week ;)

    This was definitely a week of just barely keepin up. We all have them, now don't we!? So happy to see Mel posting again, I love her input. I adore reading what everyone is doing in their homes. Thank you for all of the encouragement and love. I really, truly need Friday's posts. I started reading your blog around the time you started the Feather posts. They have greatly influenced me to change the way I approach the work I do in my home. Thank you, Annabel. :)

    Colette xxx

    1. Dear Colette,
      I am sorry you had a funeral to attend. And yes we certainly all have weeks that it is just a matter of staying afloat and that is good as its better than sinking!
      In summer I don't cook much. The oven only heats up the house. We do a lot of BBQs outside, cold meals, cold meat and salad etc. It is funny how we are in the opposite seasons! I was just thinking yesterday how I must enjoy and embrace winter and what I like about it (which is the soups, stews, crochet etc) as soon enough it will have passed.
      Thank you so much for your kind comments. Truly our work is so valuable. On so many levels. When you see it this way it is so inspiring and motivating! How anyone can be bored or "unfulfilled" beats me. Everyday is a blessing and an opportunity! We are so lucky!
      Have a great week this week. I want to hear about what you did as your big plans and schemes sound very interesting!
      With lots of love,

  14. Hi Annabel. I only wish Darren could catch fish.

    Here's what I got up to this week -

    * We went to the football on Monday as a family outing. We took snacks and bottles of water with us and only bought hot chips for lunch.

    * Refilled all the foaming hand wash pumps using watered down shower gel. The one in my bathroom was a new one so I tipped half into another pump and topped up both of them with water.

    * Made a big batch of pita chips for snacks.

    * Made a whole orange cake with pureed orange from the freezer. This recipe makes a large cake so this time I made a smaller ring cake for us and a small loaf cake for morning tea at church.

    * Gratefully received a couple of fuel dockets from Tania and Rachel Ann. Thankyou xoxo

    * Dried the washing on the line on Wednesday including the bed sheets which usually go in the dryer at this time of the year.

    * Found another silicon baking mould from the op shop for $1.99 that can be used for soap making.

    * Megan found a birthday present for a friend in our present cupboard ( top of Jessica's wardrobe ) and a hand made card from my card box.

    * Saved a few more envelopes that had pretty patterns inside. They'll be used for card making

    * Mended two pairs of socks.

    * Froze three single serves of leftovers. I'm trying to build up my stockpile again as they will be needed when the kitchen is being replaced.

    * Bought lots of packets of choc bits on sale in Coles. At $2.09 they are worthy of clearing the supermarket shelf. .

    * Kept the heater off on days I was doing lots of housework.

    * Saved lots of shower and washing machine water for each next load.

    * Made a double batch of pumpkin scones sing cooked pureed pumpkin from the freezer. The scones were frozen for morning teas.

    * Darren's birthday was on Friday. Instead of going out for dinner he opted to have a roast leg of lamb at home and a bought birthday cake. We still saved a small fortune by eating at home. It was much quieter than a noisy restaurant too.

    1. Dear Wendy,
      It is working out now that Andy goes fishing once a fortnight. Unless we are away at the beach then its everyday. And its averaging couple of kills of fish each time. When I see what these cost in the super market I am amazed! Plus its healthy. So it is a serious addition to the household economy!
      You had a very good week! I loved your new chickens. I hope they are doing well. Our minds think alike as I love pumpkin scones and I saw how you made orange cake and I have put that on my list as we love that in winter. I also love making a large cake or doubling it and do as you did, make two and do different things with them. Everyone loves a cake.
      We have lovely sunshine today! It is beautiful. I got all my washing dry yesterday in the sun as well which is so nice.
      Have a great week Wendy, With love

  15. Dear Annabel,

    I just typed a big comment only to have it disappear lol!

    I have spent some time tonight catching up on your blog posts, and I have learned a lot as usual. Thank you for your tips, they are always helpful and often things I haven't thought of doing.

    While travelling I have been knitting squares to make a patchwork quilt. I haven't many more to go, then I can sew them together and crochet around the border. The pattern said twenty squares, but I am going to make a bigger blanket, so I have six more squares to knit. I also bought some wool from a cheap shop to do some crochet, I really need to keep my hands busy while travelling :)

    We have stuck with our budget while away. We shop at the big towns and have made most of our own breakfasts, lunches and dinners. A big savings there. The biggest expense is fuel followed by accommodation!

    When I get home I am going to organise my gift collection. I have been picking up bits and pieces while on our trip. Not much in the op shops though, I think the tourists take care of that...

    We are heading home this week and should be home by Friday. It is a bit earlier than planned and I am not looking forward to the cold (and Flu's). We arrived in Alice Springs to the big storm and it is freezing here now. The heater is on...two days ago the air conditioner was on. Unbelievable!!

    Take care and God Bless,

    1. Dear Tania, Thank you for trying again after losing your comment! I am so glad to hear from you! I have been following your travels on fb and it looks like you have had a fabulous time. And all the rain and hail in Alice Springs! That made the news. As I heard yesterday there were flood waters on the road to Whyalla I would think you will get home to find a good soaked garden. And full tanks hopefully.
      I am so glad you have had a good time and break. Much love,

  16. Yummy post Annabel. The food looks delicious. Fi xx

    1. Thanks Fiona! I hope you have a good week. xxx

  17. Annabel,
    All of your cooking and baking looks delicious as always. This week I made up dried bean mixes and stored that in jars, mixed up 8 dry mixes of funnel cakes, made 2 quarts of liquid laundry detergent, baked muffins, and filled a box of items to donate. Of course I did the usual home cooked meals, cleaning, laundry, and driving children from place to place like everyone else does.
    I added band aids, soap, and allergy meds to the health part of our pantry. I also cut rags to use for cleaning and animal care from some old tee shirts.
    This weekend daughter will be celebrating her 13th birthday. So Im mom to three teeenagers now. We are having a party here tonight. Serving beans, rice, tortillas, and grilled chicken.

    1. Dear Ginger, Well done! I think the dry beans mixes, laundry detergent and all the cooking is wonderful.
      Also first aid and medicines ready on hand is a great addition to your supplies. I have noticed it is easy to run out of these things and also some things expire. This is a really important part of the pantry.
      I hope your daughters party was a great success! Thirteen is a big milestone too, I hope she had a very happy birthday!
      Have a great week Ginger, with love

  18. I had a fair week. It's been a long one. My time with my extra family in house is down to two weeks now. We visited their new home yesterday and it is a lovely house. They are awaiting new flooring and then they can move in. True it's cost more to have a second family in the house and some of my savings ways were just too much on top of extra duty tasks I've had. Still I keep trying.

    1. Dear Terri,
      I am so glad your sons and DILs house is going well. How exciting for them! Being able to stay with you must have been such a big help. You won't know yourself when they have moved into their home. It will seem quiet! I hope the last bit with the floors goes smoothly. With love

  19. Hello lovely Annabel. I love the look of all that cooking. Delicious. Andy dies well to get all that fish. How wonderful. It would definitely save a lot. Fish is so healthy too. I've had a busy week. I did lots of cooking- zucchini slice, chocolate muffins and sweet potato soup. I got some good specials on nappies, and some clothes at Target for Henry. We had a lovely time with our drinks, olives, dip etc at the beach while our toddler could move to his heart's content. I had a look at Flylady for cleaning routines. I love the idea of preparing the home on Friday night for 'date night'. A nice home cooked meal, effort with the table etc is an idea I really like. Love, Bridge Thanks for all your hard work and effort with these posts Annabel

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Whenever I wander off course I go back to Flylady. The weekly house blessing is really good. It really breaks it up into chunks that are manageable. And I do the put the timer on for 15 mins and go go go! Did you know there are great Flylady videos on you tube? They are fun and funny! I also love the set the table and make things special ideas. This sets the mood and its lovely!
      Thanks so much Bridge. I love what we are all doing here. It encourages me as much as anyone!
      Well done on the beautiful cooking. And I am slightly envious you can still go to the beach there! Your dip and olives etc sounds like a beautiful outing!
      Have a great new week! with love,

  20. Dear Annabel,
    Thank You for hosting this wonderful site. I read often it
    is very encouraging. This week I cleaned out the freezer and
    we ate some of the things up. It also made room for new things. It was great to have things already made as it was over 100 and I did not feel like cooking. I also got some things at the dollar store like fruit and veggies. The clean 15. The dirty dozen I bought at Trader Joes. I also baked muffins for my daughters camp trip and cookies for a gift. I used a brown bag to wrap a gift. I ironed the brown paper on low to take out the lines. We ate a lot of smoothies and salads.
    Have a blessed week.
    With love,

    1. Dear Patti,
      Thank you! I also attacked the freezer on the weekend!
      When its hot here I don't cook either. We have cold meat and salads, use the BBQ outside in the evening, anything to help keep the house cooler. I wait until cooler days.
      Well done on your shopping. It is good knowing what is ok to get more cheaply and what to be more fussy about. Also I think washing fruit and veg really well is a big help.
      Thanks for telling me you are reading! With love,


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