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 14 July 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 15th July, 2016.

I am sorry I didn't post the Christmas Challenge on Wednesday. We had the biggest storms here that went on for two days. Over 120,000 homes had no power, some for three days or more. Trees were down everywhere and Tuesday was one of the worst days I ever remember!
We were very lucky, we didn't lose out power. Lucy did but only for a few hours. However our internet was out for some time and this is what stopped me getting my post finished.

Mum took this photo in her garden.  It looks like snow I think but it is hail.

Today I am happy to report things are much better! We even joked this morning about what was that eerie sound outside? Oh yeh, that's what it sounds like when the wind isn't blowing and the rain isn't pelting down.  Silence! We even have sun. So I will be washing.

And now I go to write for today I am finding it hard to concentrate as the events in Nice are so horrific and horrific seems a regular thing now.  Plus the US has today, the 15th  " a day of rage" rallies and ongoing crisis since Dallas events... it seems never ending. I have had so many conversations this week with ladies that are very worried.
It can be crippling. I am the first to admit.
If I can process all the information I have had shared with me this week I will write a post about it.
In the mean time we need to do what we can and make our homes and families feel safe. Be wise, prayerful and watchful.

So to feathering our nests...

Some of the ways I saved money this week:

I did some cooking. I made caramelised onion and brie quiches. They turned out really well. We had this for dinner with a salad and I made little ones for Andy's lunches and for the weekend.

It just has the caramelised onion or onion jam on the bottom and slices of brie on top. But the flavour is really good! I made a rocket salad to go with it.

I went to see Hilde and she gave me lemons! They are huge and juicy. I have two baskets ready to use.

I made a big batch of chicken soup. Most of it I portioned into individual sizes to freeze and give away.  

Since there have been colds going around I added extra garlic and it is full of so much goodness and so many veggies. It tastes so good too.

The super soft hankies have been in demand. My original idea was that they were disposable and for times someone is really unwell. But no one will throw them out. So I decided I will make up a heap and hem them.  At this time of the year my usual method of getting worn sheets from the op shop and washing them up isn't any good as there isn't a flannelette sheet to be found.  So I looked at getting it new by the metre.  Seeing the prices I looked around and it was far cheaper to buy a sheet set on special. This has given me enough to make dozens!

I washed it up and dried it in the breeze. It is super soft. 

Gradually I am getting them hemmed!

Other savings were the Ikea pillow which has been a success and is well loved.

I altered some scarves. Often they are too long and too thick for me. I altered some and now I love them. And have been wearing them everyday.

At an op shop I found two gorgeous cardigans that I love for $5.

I mended a sheet.

I washed up the jars I was given and put them to good use.

And I found $10 in the street! 

Some of the ways I got ahead were:

Quite a few freezer meals and meals made ahead.

A major Christmas present put away in the gift cupboard, something I got at Aldi!

To my pantry I added:

I did a trip to Aldi. I stocked up on basics like olive oil, coffee, tea etc.

With so many homes without power for several days I reviewed my supplies of candles, matches, torches, batteries, lanterns and so on.  We have a lot. I noticed the store was almost sold out of these items when I went in yesterday. 

So that was my week! I hope you had a good week with lots of good things and ways to build up your nest!

How did you save, get ahead or add to your pantry this week?

Have a wonderful weekend. xxx


  1. I love your flannel hankies. I know you probably posted the dimensions somewhere but I wondered how large you make them? Thank you. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy,
      It depends on the sheet I am cutting up but I aim to make them two to three times the size of a normal hankie since when someone is really sick a normal hankie lasts them about two minutes!
      I will say 15 inches wide is about right. Id go even bigger for a man.
      No one understands them until they are sick. Then they love them!
      I hope that helps! With love

  2. I love your flannel hankies. I know you probably posted the dimensions somewhere but I wondered how large you make them? Thank you. Nancy

  3. Good evening Annabel,
    The news report are quite frightening. Thankfully I live in a small, mostly conservative town and I don't expect violence will occur here. Other places, who knows?
    It is hot summer here and I must confess I have not done as much as usual and am in a vacation state of mind even though we are at home.
    I have been organizing my pantry and will continue to to build up supplies. Who knows what will happen?

    1. Dear Rhonda,
      I am glad, it sounds like you live in a lovely place.
      Pantry organisation and building up are good things! Normally I see you get ahead with god deals and beautiful cooking!
      Have a good new week Rhonda! With love

  4. Hi Annabel,
    You had a good week even with storms. And finding $10 that is super fantastic! I hope you used that as splurge money and bought something for yourself with it. It is so sad what happened in France I pray it ends soon all the senseless killing of innocents.
    We have been very productive this week. I am almost done cleaning out the first room and only have a small section of carpet to tear out after we move a very heavy cupboard that is sitting on it. I am making a huge mess in the process though. Messy Vicky! The garden is coming along very nicely! I harvested a few banana peppers today! I added more toothpaste and toothbrushes and lemons to the pantry for free and bought more bacon and a few other items as well. I hang laundry out just about every day that it's nice and cleaned out underneath the sink and reorganized under there. I have been amazed by the wildlife we are getting that we never used to. Currently squirrels and chipmunks I was watching a chipmunk run up to Rick's mowers he's working on and steal rubber gaskets and take them into his little hole and then he does gymnastics under my truck. It is so cute! And I had a baby Dove bird in my garden. I hope to get the pantry room done soon! I really don't like when things are out of place! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Vicky, I would love to see a Chipmunk! Basically all I know about Chipmunks is from cartoons!
      Well done on all you achieved this week! I think rearranging and changing rooms is like moving. You have to go through a big mess but eventually it comes together. By then everything is clean, sorted, de junked etc so it is a great result.
      It is great you are harvesting already and also about the free items you added tot he pantry.
      Have a good weekend. You might need some rest! With love,

  5. Dearest Annabel

    I too am heartbroken watching the News and in an effort to calm my mind I have turned off the TV. I know the facts and have offered prayers for those concerned and that is all I need to know any further information is just distressing me.

    Weren't the storms horrific so totally unbelievable and unexpected. I am so glad it past by quickly. These are my Savings for the week.

    Sunday 10/7/16
    • Saved 80 cents by using a fuel voucher
    • Went to Savers and bought Ziera shoes for $5.99 new but missing one innersole saving over $200
    • At Savers bought Everflex shoes for $7.99
    • At Savers bought pack of Christmas cards including 50 cards and at least 20 gift cards for $3
    • Cooked all meals at home
    • Froze English muffins and Scones that needed to be used soon so as not to waste them

    Monday 11/7/16
    • Made lunch and breakfast and snacks to take to work including drinks saved $20
    • Accepted a gift of a packet of Tim Tams, 2 litre bottle of Coke, 1kg of dry cat food and three pairs of socks for work.
    • Ate out of the freezer a meal saved from a previous meal’s leftovers.
    • Dried washing in front of the heater inside.
    Tuesday 12/7/16
    • Took lunch, breakfast and snacks to work including drinks saved $20
    • Dried washing in front of heater inside
    • Borrowed an outfit for a fun dress up day at work
    • Cooked dinner from scratch
    • Made pikelets for desert and froze the leftovers to avoid wastage 90 cents for a batch that made 16 pikelets including toppings as opposed to paying $3 for 8 in store which are only half to one third of the weight each of my homemade ones
    • Worked on a cross stitch baby bib for a gift
    Wednesday 13/7/16
    • Took breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks to work today saved $20
    • Dried wash in front of heater
    • Made toasties for dinner using leftovers in fridge that were needing to be used (saved on food wastage)
    • Located a pattern I thought I had lost which saved me having to buy a new one
    • Bought a knitting pattern off Etsy for $1.19 saving me $7 on buying one in a store it also had instant download which saved on postage
    • Waxed my own eyebrows saving me $22 on going to the beauty salon closest to my home.
    Thursday 14/7/16
    • Took breakfast, lunch, snacks and drink to work
    • Felt unwell after work so we had freezer meals instead of takeaway (freezer meal is leftovers from another night frozen into single serves)
    • Dried wash in front of heater on inside line
    • Looked online for a free knitting pattern and located it
    Friday 15/7/16
    • Shopped Loss leader sales and saved $38 on a $100 shop
    • Made and froze 48 pikelets
    • Made a Date Loaf sliced it and froze individual slices for snacks
    • Made and froze in individual slices a Sultana and Pumpkin Loaf
    • Did all my own housework
    • Hung clothes and linen on the line in the sun
    • Ate all meals at home and snacks
    Saved $1.69 on petrol using a voucher

    Hope next week proves to be much more peaceful. God Bless

    1. Mel,
      What a wonderful and productive week you had. I have a question, being from the US could you tell me what toasties, pikelets and Tim Tams are? Thanks. I pray that this week is more peaceful too. Cookie

    2. Dear Mel,
      I have had to avoid the TV too. The bit I saw was too much and I felt upset all day. I felt sick.
      This tends to make me want to be busy and I clean and cook!
      Zierra shoes! Some weeks back I got a pair in Tailem Bend op shop on the way to the farm. I share your love for those shoes. They re beautiful and feel wonderful. What a good find! The Everflex shoes are a great find too, so are all those cards!
      Mel you had a great week. It is so many things that add up. I hope you feel good about it.
      I love pikelets. They are something I often make for breakfast and the lunch box. Also I make a lot of batter and will keep the batter in the fridge for a couple of days covered and make up pancakes or banana pancakes etc. Really good!
      I hope you have a lovely weekend and some of it is restful! With lots of love,

  6. When I didn't see a post on Wednesday I thought you were having a lovely trip to the farm, visiting with your folks. Stay safe. We are currently on the edge of a weather event. It has dropped our temps right down, making it a real winter day. My little dog is on the recliner with me shivering under a lap rug.
    I agree with you on it being difficult to focus in on self, when there is so much horror happening within our world. I find I need to focus on what I can do. What this is, is focus on keeping my home a safe haven for family and friends. I'm also focussing on keeping my thoughts positive and to not condemn a whole group based on the acts of a few.
    This week I baked a cheesecake as this was a request from Bluey and Katie. I made passionfruit syrup from frozen fruit to pour over the top. It was pretty delicious and quite the hit. I rearranged the pantry to include the daughters pantry items.
    In the garden I planted beetroot seed and seedlings, broccoli seedlings and carrot seeds. I thinned out the current crop of carrots and we had these baby carrots in salads with meals. The worms are enjoying the carrot tops. I transplanted the volunteer lettuce, parsley and coriander seedlings coming up in the vege patch walkways, into the garden beds. The last of the corn has been harvested and shared with the family who live behind us. The little people were hanging over the fence when I was shucking the corn and telling me all sorts of wonderful stories.
    I used youtube to teach myself two new crochet stitches. I made a small Tunisian crochet sample. It was very wonky so there is a lot of work required before I can say I am competent in this stitch. I am making me a single bed size lap rug, using wool I have left over from other projects. I'm doing this in your rug stitch which I tracked down on youtube, lacy pineapple stitch. This is the project that will come with us once we get on the road.
    Our trip had to go on hold as I developed a nasty infection in my armpit of all places. Just waiting for the Dr to give me the all clear before we hit the road. The van, Betsy, has had a full going over and clean out. Betsy is all ready to hit the road. It's just me holding up the process.
    Be joyous, thankful and grateful every day that you wake. Life is good.

    1. Jane,
      Hope that you're feeling better and that the infection is quickly a thing of the past. Cookie

    2. Dear Jane,
      I am off after this to look up lacy pineapple stitch! I do pineapple stitch as my favourite stitch at the moment so I need to check this out!
      I hope this infection gets cleared up. I know you will be keen to head off in the van and have a lot to look forward to!
      I am the same as you... I need to be busy and focus on what I can do. That is usually cooking and cleaning and I tend to do these like a crazy woman or else I stress and think too much. Like you say that is keeping things going and nice at home for our family and that is a good thing.
      The cheesecake sounds divine. A baked cheesecake is very hard to beat.
      Keep warm and I hope this infection is better asap. With lots of love,

  7. Dear Annabel, another lovely post from you. I'm sorry about the awful weather at your end. We've had some dramas too, and I've been without internet and sometimes without electricity for nearly a fortnight here! Still, as always, we find ways to do what we do, yes? Your quiches look heavenly, and the flannelette sheets for hankies, even more so. I think it was a while ago that I realised that in terms of yardage for dollar, sheets are fantastic value, even if they're brand new. Your converting them to soft hankies is gorgeous as always. I know I utilised your idea last Winter with burgundy flannelette sheets hemmed into hankies with soft black lace trim. They went down a real treat, so thankyou! I haven't done any this Winter as I've been busy with other projects, but just seeing your pretty floral flanno, has me pining for some. Have a peaceful weekend. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Burgundy flannelette with black lace! This sounds just gorgeous. Everything you do has that french glamorous touch. I love that!
      I need to make some mens ones currently I would love to find came print or something plaid maybe?
      You have had an extended time of electricity and internet interruptions... is it storms or something else?
      I hope this week is much easier and better! With lots of love,

  8. Annabel I saw the low that was hovering down south - as I said to my sister who rang me on Wednesday from Victoria - it looked just like what we see up here for cyclones. Not surprised at the damage it has caused.

    I am keeping away from the news as much as possible - the news from overseas is worrying whether it be from France or England. And then the US news is so much of a reminder of what was happening there years ago. Best to work on things at home and give the news a huge miss.

    This week I managed to find a few markdowns at the local IGA - some packets of the small heat and serve bread rolls that go so well with soup according to my husband. Also found an unfilled chocolate sponge marked down as well.

    My husband has been out of the house for work 4 days out of the 5 (the fifth he went to the dentist to have some fillings done). He takes his lunch with him - ever since we have been married it has been a ham and cheese sandwich - on the odd occasion he will have peanut butter instead but that is not the norm. My baby slow cooker has been used this week - it is the perfect size to heat up just enough soup for the two of us. Because of the distance he is travelling I never know when he will be home and I like to have something warm ready for when he gets through the door - the aroma is welcoming.

    I have been in contact with my friend either by text or talking on the 'phone each day - her partner is twisting things to make himself look good but I know that the medical staff at the hospital will know the lies he is telling them. He is not a happy chappy because they expect him to get out of bed and look after himself.

    Tomorrow my husband and I are heading to my friend's house to deliver the cleaning products and also to load up my husband's car and get rid of the collection of paper that her partner refused to put into the recycling bin. We will take it to our local tip where they have a recycling section.

    I have been spending time most mornings working on a project in the house - the craft corner was one, our bedroom has been another and next week I am going to work on this room - I have quite a bit to sort through and organize. How I was going to do it eluded me and rather than start and make a huge mess and have nothing to show for it I opted to think about it and come up with a plan.

    Hair cut this morning and my appointments have all been made up until Christmas. This way I know I will get a 9 am appointment and not mess up the rest of the day.

    It is quite cool here - been grey all day. My Coles shop has been done ( spend $50- over 4 weeks and earn 10,000 points) and I also went into the optometrists to see about getting some glasses for close work - they checked my records and nothing was recorded in May when I was there so now I have to have my eyes rechecked next week. I made the appointment so that I could do the next Coles shop.

    Jane I hope the infection clears up soon.

    Back to my knitting.

    Have a great weekend everyone.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      That Coles offer sounds fantastic! We do not have that one, to my knowledge. I can get 1000 points with $30 shop every couple of weeks I have a voucher for that. SO I am doing this.
      Also I have some 1000 bonus point dockets which I have used.
      Re your friends husband... the doctors and nurses have heard it all and it is pretty hard to put one over them. But your friend can have a quiet word in the doctors ear. She sounds like she really has her hands full. I hope she will set them (the staff) straight!
      Well done on your craft corner and bedroom, helping your friend and all the things you've been busy with. You have done a lot!
      I saw the picture you mention of the low system and how it covered the SE. It looked so dramatic. Our weather sure was dramatic thats all I can say, Tuesday is one of the worst days I remember in a long time!
      Lynette my bad crock pot is the cutest thing and so handy. I got it from Target a few years back for $15 and it is lovely! Just enough for the two of us. I have used it so many times.
      Have a good weekend. I am sure your friend will be glad of the cleaning products you've made her. With love,

  9. Hi Annabel,

    Such a sad few days (weeks) around the world - makes me truly grateful for my little place in suburbia.

    I'm glad you survived the weather with little inconvenience, Annabel. We experienced some of the strong winds here (Sydney), but nothing like was reported for SA.

    This week I baked a Caribbean style "Tortuga Rum Cake", which was well received and tasted very much like the original (half is in the freezer), made a batch of yoghurt, was given more mandarins and made all meals from scratch. I also picked up a slow cooker on sale in Woolworths - I've been inspired by all your fabulous slow cooked meal photos (now I just need to practise).

    I also made my first pair of knitted socks! A big thanks to the help received here. These were 'free' as the wool I used was from my late mother's wool stash.

    Enjoy the weekend everyone,

    1. Dear Janine,
      Your cake sounds amazing! I am so glad about your slow cooker! I saw them on special in our Woolworths too. If the same one then it is a good size. I have a crockpot section in the index. I even make my cheesecakes in my crockpot. I need to update that section sometime but it covers a fair bit. The pies are a favourite around here ... overall I find it my biggest help appliance wise.
      Well done on the socks! And welcome to the sock club that seems to be developing here and unfortunately I am not yet a member of!
      I am sure your Mum would be very proud and thrilled that you used her wool and learned this new skill.
      Much love,

    2. Hi Janine!

      This is wonderful, socky news! I hope your socks will be in Annabel's Show & Tell. I will just enjoy imagining what colour you used until then!

      Of course, it was Annabel's beautiful blog and crochet that has inspired us on. For me, I just happened to respond in sock language! (Annabel, I still love your work!!)

      I like to think in terms of the historical book "Miracle on the River Kwai". In vital times like this, any skills used to comfort a friend can be of incredibly high value. In fact, there are not yet enough of them, so we need to encourage each other in this.

      You were pretty quick to get through your first pair of socks, Janine! It would be interesting to read of your experience with the socks. I hope you will continue!

      With warm regards,
      Rachel Holt

  10. Hello Annabel, the horror happening in the world -well I don't know what I can say. I'm a bit like Mel S at the moment, because I was keeping an eye on an older relative today, the television was on the whole time and I have seen too much. I like Jane's model of keeping life nice and safe and normal for family.

    Lovely post. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fi, this morning I saw a couple of minutes of news on the computer and accidentally saw way too much. You can't UNsee something unfortunately and I have struggled all day with that.
      Yes... keeping things good at home is the best thing you can do. We need normal. And security. We can enhance that in lots of ways.
      Keep warm over the weekend! Lots of love,

    2. Home is best, the best place I think. I"m glad I've been to Europe and a few other countries as well and at the moment I'm quite content here. I forgot to say that I made your orange cake the other night, did you call it a winter sunshine cake or something like that? I'm sorry I can't remember. Anyway I made it in my huge muffin tin (6 muffins) and also in my largest glass lasagna baking dish. I cut the cake into 1/3rds after icing it. Took some muffins to ds and fiancee and froze two sections of the cake. My partner took a couple of slices with his lunch the next day and first thing after giving me a hug when he got home from work was go looking for the cake. Tonight he said "let's get another block of cake from the freezer". Being me, I said no, you've just swallowed a huge roast dinner and dessert. Youdon't need post dessert cake! That's the trouble with him, he always trys to placate me by saying "but you're such a good cook", sometimes I fall for that. You have a lovely weekend with the family. Those new hankies look good too. Fi xx

  11. The flannel hankies are an excellent idea!!! I have just a bit of extra flannel to make some up! Thank you for the inspiration as always Annabel. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Jes, Thank you! I am always on the watch out for super soft old flannelette sheets for these. They are so so soft its a relief when someone is really sick.
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love,

  12. Hi
    Sorry to hear about your storms, we're having a terrible summer here in Britain, lots of rain and hardly any sunny days at all
    I've saved money this week by buying 2 cauliflowers for £1 and freezing them ready for the winter months (we did have 24 cauliflowers planted out at our allotment but the weather here has seen them off) they will treble in price in our winter months, so I'm trying to put some aside ready.
    I've also stewed some redcurrants, gooseberries and rhubarb from the allotment and froze that ready to make fruit crumbles during the winter and I've also individually frozen 6 lbs of strawberries from the allotment, again for strawberry flans throughout the winter - still got jam left from last year's harvest so freezing all the soft fruit from the allotment this year, for puddings throughout the winter.
    I've also made the name tags for my young Grandsons new school uniform on my sewing machine which will have saved my Daughter in law some cash. I've also looked after my Grand daughter, whilst she's been poorly so that my Daughter could still go into work. Can't afford to be having time off in the turbulent economic times we're going through now.
    Finally I've made a coin purse for a Xmas present too
    Hope you have a better week weather wise next week xxx

    1. Dear Trudie,
      It sounds like the weather is challenging there too!
      Well done on the cauliflower! It gets terribly expensive here. $8 each. But now and then they are $2 each. Thats when I get them!
      I love the sound of the allotment. They are wonderful. Feel very free to take photos anytime as I would just love to see that. This must be such a good thing for you.
      The name tags are very useful. I am sure they are saving your Dil money and that his just very helpful. I am thinking your Grand daughter probably had a beautiful day with you!
      Yes, the economic times are pretty interesting. I have been following closely as I can. I agree so much that helping each other as a family and friends too is so important.
      I also hope you might show the coin purse in the next show and tell! What a nice gift!
      Well it is Saturday here now and the sun is shining and its really nice. The line is covered in sheets!So I hope your weather improves too! With love

  13. Hi Annabel!

    I guessed right! You had storm problems! Welcome back to the nest network!! (You didn't need your generator, at least!)

    Thanks to Vicky and Jane for the lively stories! This adds so much richness to life.

    I have been realising how much the enemy uses fear in our world, as he seeks to destroy everyone and everything. Techniques to subvert the enemy's fear should be highly guarded, I think. Knowing our boundaries and responsibilities - without taking on what the Eternal, in His law, never made us responsible for, is wise.

    Annabel, you have kindly taught us about repurposing flannelette and other sheeting fabrics. You may not be finding flannelette in the op shops on account of our op shop finds! Thank you! I hope you find more soon!!

    Yum! Caramelised onion would have to be one of the best flavours ever! Cheese is good, too!! It was a good week to be at the end of!

    How did we build up our home this week? Well, we added wood to the pantry, I suppose I could say!! From times past, when we demolished a shed for the timber and iron, we were also designated huge, huge (& I mean HUGE!) other timbers. Dad thinks they must have been part of an old bridge. Do you get the picture? Well, my Dad helped my husband attack some posts that were lying alongside. Our new chainsaw chain blunted straight away, and had to be resharpened. These heavy posts arrived courtesy of Dad's trailer today. Some are designated for a project. Small logs are for firewood. Dad's chain is now blunt, too! It is hard, hard wood. As for the huge timbers, we have to check their quality yet, and investigate transporting them. No, our pantry is not that big ..... Or, maybe, they could be used to build a big pantry! That was our fun for the week.

    You must know that wonderful feeling when you've taken on a little challenge and accomplished something! Well, yesterday, I finally made my husband a meat pie. (I heard that meat pies are not usual fare in the US. Do they know what they're missing? Meat pies are not Vegemite, you know!!) He thinks it has been about three years since the last one, and he did buy me a couple of Pyrex pie dishes!! So, yesterday, I cut lamb chunks away from bone and fat, and slow cooked it on the fire, including bones and bay leaves for that time. Today, we shared lamb pie with my parents. We all liked it, so we continued and finished it right off! That was a good feeling!! Dad plans to give me a rosemary plant - so that he can have more pie!!

    Continue on, soldier!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Meat pie, drool, drool, drool. I'll give you some rosemary too if I can get invited.

    2. Thanks, Jane! I'll keep practising, and count my pie dishes. Maybe there'll be a day when we can have a pie party!

    3. Dear Rachel, Lamb pie sounds just yummy. You can win a lot of hearts with pie I always think!
      Rosemary and lamb is a match made in heaven. Rosemary and potatoes also is good.
      Rachel you are a good photographer. And I love a wood pile so go ahead and take some photos! Also Ive been around wood heaps, chain saws and heavy timber most of my life and what you describe sounds HUGE! I don't know how you moved them but wow! What are you going to do with the really big bits?
      I have seen... where just a huge chunk is cut off and used as a butchers block which I think looks fantastic and Mum has something like this at her front door as a kind of table. (on the outside, under the veranda)
      You may have a point that I am doing myself no favours op shopping wise to tell everyone all the good uses for certain things. The SA readers I know of are across town (Mel) and Tania up north... so hopefully my local op shops are safe!
      You make a very good point... which is tend to your own patch and leave the rest up to God. Thats like the wisdom to know what you can change saying... and I agree we have to get on with what we should be doing and help others as we can. And pray.
      I am wondering if you know about Mimis caramelised onion recipe? It is on her blog. You make it up like an onion jam and it is so useful... good with cold meat etc, burgers and steak sandwiches, over a pizza with lovely cheeses(yum) and a good gift in a jar. I think you would like this!
      I loved your "carry on solider" :) Andy often calls me a trooper! I take it as a kind of compliment! but its kind of funny!
      Have a good weekend! We have sun! With love,

    4. Okay, all, I found Mimi's Onion Confit/Jam recipe ......

      This could be nice to make when onions are well priced again, and for those times when I can't use bulk onions fast enough! I am thinking of picnics and day trips! Thanks, Mimi, for sharing your recipe treasures!!

      Regards, Rachel

  14. Yes, the weather has been crazy, Annabel. I heard that Handorf had snow, and Mt Lofty had a touch as well.
    Can you give me your advice please? I bought a jumper at the opshop for 50c (they were having a 50c sale at your seaside destination!), it is pure cashmere. It is way too small for me, but I grabbed it as I thought it would make a lovely scarf. It is so fine though I don't think I could unravel it. Would it be possible to cut it do you think, if I turned the edge over and sewed it or would it still unravel?
    Thanks for any advice you or the other ladies can give me. xx

    1. Dear Garden Del,
      A pure cashmere jumper is a beautiful find! I was feeling lucky that one of the cardigans I got is silk and cotton blend! It is a good brand and I saw it is 50% silk! But pure cashmere is amazing!
      You can certainly cut it and sew it into something else. Here is a link of ideas...

      I hope this link works... Each idea will have instructions. I am also thinking if you sew the edges that a velvet ribbon stitched along the edges and folded over to seal them could be a way to finish it off and keep edges neat and secure. I hope you find something here helpful. I would love to hear what you do!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

    2. Thankyou Annabel, that is a lovely link. I love the idea of ribbon to finish it.
      Many blessings.

  15. Hello Annabel, oh it has been a sad week. On top of all the news, my friend shared some sad news with me. So I have been saying some prayers. By today, I felt really drained and needed a pyjama and home day with my son. I am glad to hear you and your house was safe from the storms. You cooking looks absolutely delicious, Annabel. Those caramelised onion and brie quiches look so yummy! I'd love to hear the recipe, if you can share it one day. The chicken soup looks so yummy and I love how it is packaged up. You cooking always looks so good and I can imagine when people eat it they feel very much loved. I feathered my nest by taking my toddler to playgroup. It is run by a non for profit organisation, is free and run by an early childhood teacher and nurse. How wonderful! I played with my son for the 2 hours (and that quality time was so nice, instead of being distracted with housework etc) and it was a lot of fun. Sitting in my flannelette pjs, with my cocoa and I'm thankful. Sending you love Annabel. Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      I think a pyjama day was a very good idea. Sometimes we need some quiet and gentle nurturing days.
      The quiches I had seen in a magazine. I just made up a usual egg and cream mix as for any quiche. I usually use evaporated milk instead of cream. I also used puff pastry from the freezer. So it was really easy. The caramelised onion was from a jar Beerenburg brand. (The recipe is on Mimis blog too and it is wonderful Ive made it many times) I had this left over from a hamburgers night. I spread some over the pastry base. Filled with the egg mix. Topped with thin slices of brie.Bake until puffy and golden. A lovely side salad is nice. Very simple but good flavours.
      Im glad you enjoyed the outing and fun of playgroup. I hope you have had a rest and feel a bit better. With lots of love,

  16. Dear Annabel,
    We are absolutely heartsick over the events in Nice yesterday and what is going on here in the U.S. While we may feel helpless and scared, we must continue on with lives and pray.
    Despite the storms, Annabel, it looks like you had a wonderful and productive week. The brie quiches look delicious and what a find on the cardigans.
    The storms hit us too on Wednesday, with flooding and loss of electricity. A couple of years ago I bought some of those flashlights that will light up a room, from QVC, and they really came in handy during the power outage. They really do work, small as they are. During the storm we stayed in the recreation room, as it's 10 degrees cooler down there.
    I did get some nest feathering done this week. Harvested in the garden and dehydrated beets beet greens, new potatoes. Aldi's is having a sale on onions and mushrooms this week so I want to get over there and get some to dehydrate for the pantry. I made 3 quarts of soup base and put it in the freezer, 3 dozen chocolate chip and dried cranberry scones, all meals made and eaten at home,
    fertilized the area where the radishes were, getting it ready to plant another crop of something for fall.
    Went browsing in The Kitchen Store and found some gummy bear candy molds on clearance for 49 cents. I bought 2 and will make my own gummy bears with fruit juice and unflavored gelatin. Yesterday killed some time at A.C. Moore (craft supply store) before an appointment and found some soap molds on clearance for $1 dollar, and also a bottle of lavender essential oil for soap, as well as a free knitting pattern for a tam for a Christmas present for my dil. And while all the new yarns on display were enticing and were on sale, none came home with me as I have a large supply here waiting to be used. I did purchase some fabric medium to mix with my acrylics. I will be refashioning some T shirts with painted flowers to cover up stains that just wouldn't come out. I usually take a chalk pencil and draw a circle around each spot and use that as placement. This also works great using fabric appliques. All in all, I think that's it for me. Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I feel as you do and agree. Do what you can and pray.
      Even across the world and in a different season you had weather like ours!
      We have a similar flashlight you can use them as a normal flashlight or sit them on a cabinet and illuminate the room. They are great.
      Excellent job on the dehydrating and your cooking sounds beautiful!
      Especially chic chip cookies and the cranberry scones!
      I am glad you have a good yarn supply. That gives you a lot of possibilities. I never want to run out of yarn!
      The painted designs on t shirts is a good idea. That could have some good gift applications as well.
      Have a lovely weekend and good new week Cookie. With love

  17. Dear Annabel,
    The news is certainly very disheartening. You are right that we must do what we can at home to make our families feels loved and safe and also to be prepared.
    It looks like you were well prepared for the storms and still got a lot done this week! I agree with Bridge, your soup looks so yummy and what a blessing for the recipients. I will join the ladies in searching for flannel for hankies, too! Yours are so pretty. And I meant to tell you Monday how beautiful your crocheted rug is and also that I love the center piece you made. I think rustic things paired with feminine things look so good.
    For my week, my husband and I have been working together to clean out the spare room. We had all of the kitchen boxes stored there, plus the room had lots of clutter and dust (and a funny smell). All of the boxes were moved upstairs and I gave everything in the room a thorough cleaning. The closet, desk, and built in drawers were cleaned out and I found some lovely vintage sheets and wool blankets. I also found a rose colored winter coat that fits just right! I am very happy with my finds and they were there all along. Anyway, all surfaces were wiped down, windows were washed, bedding was washed, mattresses were treated with baking soda, etc. The room looks wonderful and smells fresh. We needed to get this done, as today we are going to pick up my husband's sister and she will be staying with us for a week or so. She is eleven and she doesn't know yet that she will be staying at the ranch. She will be thrilled!
    I also washed the windows in the laundry room and that looks much better too. It is nice to do laundry at my own house, as opposed to hauling it somewhere else! The clothes line has been handy too, especially for hanging out the bedding.
    We added to our pantry things we bought on special and regularly eat. We spent $80 but saved $60! When we told Papa, he said we could be on a TV show lol. We are planning on stocking up again today during our trip to the city.
    I hope everyone has a lovely and safe weekend.
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      What beautiful things you found in the spare room! A winter coat, the vintage sheets and wool blankets! All good things.
      I hope your little visitor loves her time with you. I am sure she will. Also a girl that age is quite a little helper. And also would love to do crafts with you. She will have a ball. Maybe she can be your little helper from time to time as truly this would benefit her too. They watch and learn and can be quite good cooks etc and store all they learn away for the future.
      Well done on your pantry and savings. I think probably Papa is enjoying all the new life you have breathed into that house. Not to mention your cooking!
      You have done a lot and now have another room looking lovely!
      With lots of love,

  18. Like so many, I am horrified at the violence in Dallas and Nice and often embarrassed by the responses of those who are supposed to be leaders. It's even more worrisome to me since I've had to use up a large portion of my pantry in preparation for our upcoming move to a more rural location, which can't happen soon enough to suit me. I'm ready to build my pantry back up and begin feathering my new nest. Meanwhile, thank you, Annabel and ladies, for your tips and inspiration so we can try to make our little pieces of the world safe and happy for our families. Prayers for peace and safety for all, and for wisdom for those who make decisions that will impact our collective future.
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh,
      It sounds like a good and happy move for you but yes that is the downside, having to re build up a panty. I would be in the same situation as moving my current pantry would be daunting!
      I hope you have every opportunity to quickly build it back up for that security of knowing its there.
      I am saying those prayers with you Leigh. Many thanks, With love

  19. I am glad you found $10! How wonderful. And it couldn't happen to a nicer person. You've certainly saved me at least $10.

    I am saddened by all the events on the news these days. My heart goes out to the people of France, and those who have lost loved ones here in the US recently. It's all so horrible.

    I have been pretty successful in building up my nest this week. I stopped by the u pick place and happened to be there when they marked down their boxes of u pick. I saved $4 per box on that.

    Then I helped a friend clean out a home. She gave me 3 boxes of great books!! It was wonderful. I came home and did a clean out of my books and found 3 bags to take to the used book store. The lady there gave me $25 cash!

    I also happened on a yard sale in the home of someone who had smoked. There were several hundred matchboxes available for a song. I have been looking for them for awhile since Annabel has told us to add them to our emergency preparedness kit. But here in the US, nobody sells them locally. They say to buy the electric firestarter things. I ended up getting 4 quart canning jars full when I transferred them to something that would stay dry. I was really pumped about that!

    I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

    1. Dear Cristy,
      Thank you! You did have a good week! The books both new and sold were a big bonus.
      Matches are a very good thing for supplies. Many people just do not have matches or anyway of lighting a fire unless they smoke! Kept dry they should last forever basically. In an emergency they would be sought after.
      It was lovely you helped your friend clean a house also. Well done on a good week! With love

  20. So much to comment on, Annabel, but before I forget, where do you find the uniform freezer containers your soup is in? Thank you, Shirley

    1. Dear Shirley,
      Our supermarkets sell sets of these containers however these ones were given to me by a friend who is in catering. They are ideal for a one serve size of soup. Also they don't take up much space. Snap lock bags are pretty good to for smaller serves. As space is a freezer issue these are pretty good as they stack so flat. Quite helpful.
      Have a lovely weekend and new week! With love,

  21. I found myself running down hard yesterday...and then Nice happened. I couldn't help but weep. I told John the world makes me awfully weary at times. But wisdom is herein that we must build up our homes and make them havens of peace.

    1. Dear Terri,
      Hugs as I know how you feel. I felt I lost a day and then today I washed windows, scrubbed and cleaned, washed and dried and made the most of a burst of sunshine. This is the best thing to do I think.
      Have a good weekend and frugal new week. Many thanks Terri. With love

  22. Dear Annabel,

    Those poor people in France and those innocent children. There are no words, just prayers...I have not seen much of the Nice horror. The TV hasn't been on much this week. I purposely don't listen too much because it does have a depressing affect on the mind. I have busied myself with getting lots of jobs done instead. Sadly I think this type of event is going to become a regular occurrence.

    I love the pretty flannelette sheet you found, it looks so lovely and soft. And those lemons were a great score.

    This was my week:

    *Grateful accepted three large Moccona coffee jars for free.

    *My mum gave me a vintage single bed quilt (like eiderdown), it is very pretty. She said it belonged to my grandmother.

    *I was gifted two old double cement wash troughs to use for growing veggies/herbs in.

    *Also gifted…wait for it…One Fowlers Vacola preserving kit and heaps of jars! (We have re gifted this to a friend as we already have one) ~smiles

    *Found a small basket in the op shop for collecting eggs, $1.

    *Found a hidden nest of eggs, the girls have been running free in our yard. When this happens we go on a egg hunt...

    *Found a quilted table runner at the op shop in pretty blues and pink $2.

    *Spring cleaned main bathroom from top to bottom, using homemade cleaners. I have almost finished spring cleaning our en-suite.

    *Washed and line dried clothes in this glorious spring like weather.

    *Baked cheesy veggie muffins, banana cake, pineapple slice.

    *I cooked meals from scratch.

    *I used leftovers for Hubby’s meals when he works away, and for lunches.

    *I picked mandarins and grapefruit from our trees.

    *Finished my knitted/crochet patchwork blanket.

    *Started a new crochet blanket for a gift.

    *Picked tomatoes and capsicum from the veggie patch.

    *Paid extra off on the mortgage.

    *A while ago I created our own self funded medical account. I put extra into the account this fortnight. (This is used for any dental or glasses etc).

    *Cleaned houses for income.

    *Sorted and printed out regular recipes that I use. I am going to put them in a folder for easy access. I have been sticking with my menu plan and this saves money and time.

    *Sorted through and reorganized my household management folder.

    *Bought and stocked up with mince that was on special.

    *Found some flannelette in the op shop. Now I can make some of your hankies :)

    Wishing you a blessed and peaceful week Annabel,

    God Bless,


    1. Dear Tania,
      You had a wonderful week! Thank you for sharing it here. I love the sound of the bed quilt that was your Grandmothers! I love anything like this!
      I can't wait to see your finished blanket! I am really enjoying making rigs as gifts. it is the weather for it.
      I notice you did so much and you also cleaned other peoples houses as well.That is a lot of work. Well done.
      The wash troughs and the preserving kit! What great things! That is nice you gave the preserving kit to someone who will use it. Hopefully that will help someone else fill up their pantry!
      Fantastic week Tania! With love and thanks,


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