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 28 July 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 29th July, 2016.

This week flew by too fast. I am not ready for Friday! Oh well, I have today to get a lot of things done before the weekend!

Also I have the weekend to finish the things I wanted to do in July. Monday is August!  I need to sit down with my diary and have a think about that. I like to try and write down the main things we achieved in the month we just finished and the things I would like to do in the new month. One thing for August will be getting back to painting the house.

Some of the ways I feathered my nest this week:

I emptied out my under the laundry sink cupboard and put in adjustable shelves. I got these from a local cheap shop. They are great! There are no before shots as people have been blackmailed over less. But this is after:

Much better!

I earned $125 from Adsence. I am not writing this blog to make money. Every now and then I get a payment for ads. This one came around much sooner than usual. Thank you to everyone who clicked on ads. This will help the solar panels fund. So pleased.

Andy trimmed a big tree. This was a major job and needed doing as it was bugging the neighbours and over the gutters. I know this would have cost hundreds to have had someone come in to do.

I made two tuna mornay casseroles.

I made a tray of chocolate brownies as a gift for someone who did us a favour. Once I cut it up I set aside desert plus some slices for Andy's lunch boxes.

I made up a first aid kit for my daughters car. 

A sheet needed mending so I did that while the sewing machine was out.

The boys went fishing and I packed a picnic plus drinks.

I shopped at Aldi. Some of the things I get there at such a good price compared to the closer supermarket were also on special. i.e. fruit load for $1.25 and Turkish bread for $1. I also built up my pantry with dried fruits. They are an amazing price. 
I had so many loaves of fruit slice and so many turkish bread I couldn't fit them in the freezer so they are in Mum's freezer! I have a note on the my freezer do with a list of things that are at Mum's so I don't forget!

Earlier in the week we had more storms and torrential rain. I made Golden Syrup Pudding again as a cheer up, warm up winter desert.

I gave one to Chloe too which she seemed pleased about!

I gave Lucy the little tops I did for Harper. Now I am planning to do some bigger projects like baby rugs.

Finally, I bought little leather shoes at Aldi. I saw how much the shoe shops are charging for good little first walkers. Aldi had lots of designs in leather. They are gorgeous! I found the right size. They were $15 there. I am hoping they will fit. Will find out this afternoon...

Just when I thought I couldn't love Aldi more!

I really built up my pantry this week so I am happy! I am well ahead with meals in the freezer and gifts in the cupboard. So I have to say it was a good week.

I hope you had a great week!  How did you save, get ahead, build up your pantry and home?

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel,
    I know Aldi is cheaper than our major supermarkets but I don't go there often. There are a couple of reasons for this. One supermarket is less than 1km from us, where Aldi is 10km away. We are getting a new Aldi just behind the closer supermarket. Another reason is in our Aldi, it seems you have to be a speed demon and go as fast as possible. Taking your time is difficult. I don't like being rushed. So I do go there but not often. Perhaps when the closer one opens I will go there more often.
    This has been a family orientated week. Our son and his partner had their little girl last Sunday morning. We have been in contact with the little family everyday and I am just so excited to be getting away to be able to give this sweet little girl big Granny hugs.
    Today I used the air remover sucker thingy, to seal up 8 cooked meat meals for the two of us for the van. I have also experimented on using this process on avocados and bananas to see if I can extend their shelf life. Waste is something that I really hate.
    Bluey has welded and bolted a generator box to the back of the van. This frees up some space in the back of the car and means not having to lift it and move it into place each time we need it.
    I took the legs up on two pairs of Bluey's overalls. My garden gnome trips over the legs of his pants if I don't do this.
    A lovely young friend lost her Mother to MS this week. I used one of the pretty bottles I have in my gift cupboard and filled it with some lovely bubble bath. I'm hoping a scented bubble bath might give her some alone time, she is a single mother of 5 girls, and just a bit of relaxing time.
    Today, the last of this bits are going in the van. This is the power cords for the phone and iPad and this sort of thing. I've found a spot for my wool to go so I can continue crocheting my rug as we travel. I'm giving the house a final clean so that Katie has a clean and fresh home to look after.
    So looking forward to getting away.
    Life is good.

    1. Hi Jane!

      How nice it is to hear that you and Bluey have a granddaughter! Have a great time!!

      It's really sweet to know that you have a place in the van for your wool, too! It's like taking a part of your home, and all that it represents, with you.

      As for avocadoes, once cut (with the skin left on the remaining piece), just running water over the cut surface will work wonders. Any more than that (apart from adding lemon juice, perhaps), I don't know! We'd better watch our a's and v's (being letters in 'avocadoes'), since we can't just post them down to South Australia! That's Queensland for you!!

      With warm regards to you and Bluey,
      Rachel Holt

    2. Dear Jane,
      I am the same... I like to take my time shopping and looking. So far so good at Aldi here but I avoided opening week and I go mid afternoon weekdays. The only speedy part is the speed through the checkouts. But it must vary on location etc. I hope they stay quiet as I get on best then.
      I am thrilled for you both having a new baby Granddaughter! It is wonderful! I know what its like now myself and it exceeds anything you imagine at first!
      You had a good week and it was lovely you could do something lovely for your friend.
      I am glad you can take your crocheting! Have a fantastic trip! How exciting for you! With love, Annabel.xx

    3. We love zucchini here too. I grow lots of it because in our grocery stores they seem to think it's some kind of exotic vegetable and charge more than $2 dollars a pound in the winter months and about $1.79 in the summer. I was happy to see that you'll be on the road soon and cuddling the new grandbaby. Cookie

    4. Jane,
      I love "the air remover sucker thingy". Sounds so much better than Food Sealer!
      Enjoy cuddling your new grand baby.

  2. This has been a busy week here. Ive canned pickles, jams, and tomatoes. I crocheted washcloths and I added some books to my Christmas gift cabinet. I had a grocery shopping day and bought two beef roasts on a great markdown, stopped by Kroger to pick up two weeks of Friday Freebies, and made a stop by the bread outlet. I also accepted a bag of old tees to cut up for cleaning rags.
    Im so looking forward to the end of summer. I really dislike hot weather but we are no where near the end of this heat. Your Golden Syrup Pudding looks delicious. Winter is my favorite season and I greatly enjoy cooking and baking in cooler weather.
    Keep us updated on your solar panels. Husband and I think its a good idea but really dont understand the ins and outs of solar panel installation and use.
    Your update and photos are lovely as always.

    1. Dear Ginger,
      It sounds like your week was really busy and productive!
      I will share the solar developments and how we find it. I am really excited about it. It just seems the right time with everything going on here we think we need to do this now. I also hate the heat! And we get it pretty hot. And some years we have heatwaves... the last two years we didn't so we are kind of due for one. Thats when its terrible for a week or two and even the nights are hot! Yuk! I think if either power reliability or ridiculous prices become an issue then its time to look into it.
      I hope you don't have too much more hot weather. We are just having early signs of spring, one month of winter to go.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  3. You have had a very good week Annabel. My Freezers are too full and there is no room for even a small addition so sadly I am going to have to start eating them down, not something I enjoy as I get nervous when the freezers are not full. We have been enjoying some lovely home made snacks instead of shop bought as there is much more substance to our home made goodies. I too love Aldi and their special buys. Have a great week

    Saturday 23/7/16
    • Took all snacks, breakfast, lunch and drinks to work today
    • Bought a Mettwurst for $8.99 and sliced it in thin slices for the freezer to be used on sandwiches, pizzas and pasta bakes as opposed to salami which is $20 for the same amount
    • Dried clothes inside in front of the heater
    • Continued to knit with my free wool
    Sunday 24/7/16
    • Made 18 single serves of Potato and Leek soup and Froze
    • Made 9 single serves of Butter Chicken and froze
    • Made 10 single serves of Chicken Korma and Froze
    • Made 15 single serves of Yellow Rice and froze
    • Saved $1.36 using a petrol discount voucher
    Monday 25/7/16
    • Took Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Drinks to work
    • Cooked a Roast Chicken Using a Chicken I bought for $3 off since it was close to use by date
    • Served up Pikelets out of the freezer for dessert
    • Knitted with free wool
    • Dried clothes in front of the heater
    Tuesday 26/7/16
    • Cooked Chicken Enchiladas using the left over roast chicken
    • Took Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Drinks to work
    • Accepted 10 free oranges
    • Dried clothes inside on clothes horse
    Wednesday 27/7/16
    • Took Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Drinks to work
    • Knitted a baby hat using free wool gifted to me and a free pattern off the internet
    • My daughter bought home three travel mugs that can be reheated in the microwave for free from University
    • A Friend gave me three kilos of dry dog food because his dog did not like it
    Thursday 28/7/16
    • Took Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Drinks to work
    • Bought a pair of new “CC Resort” Shoes at Savers for $9.99 RRP $89
    • Bought 14 long white household candles for $1.99 at Savers
    • Bought a baby knitting pattern book with many designs in it for $3.99 at Savers
    • Was too tired to cook after work so used up leftovers for dinner
    • Dried towels inside in front of the heater

    1. Hi Mel!
      Your knitted baby hat jumped out at me! Will you be able to contribute a photo for Show and Tell? I'm wondering if we can manage to swamp Annabel with photos, and what she will do then! Mmmmm, Annabel might cut out the "blog secretary's" photos first!!
      With warm regards,
      Rachel Holt

    2. Dear Mel,
      I am really lucky having Mums spare freezer a street away. I am amazed how much I have now even though I had the big clean out only a short time ago!
      It was really interesting what you said about Mettwurst vs Salami. On Monday my post is about saving money on sandwich meats etc. as they can be really expensive. This is a good one, these things add a ton of flavour and you only need a bit!
      I am so happy about all that wool you have and can see you are making the most of it making lovely things!
      You have had good luck with shoes lately!
      I agree with Rachel and would love to see the hat! I can be happily inundated lol!
      Hope you are having a lovely weekend. Here comes the rain again! With love,

  4. Hope the little shoes fit. They are so cute!

    1. Dear Lilly,
      I love the name Lilly! I had it picked out if I ever had another daughter!
      Yes! The shoes actually fit perfectly. I was amazed really. I went by measurements but it still didn't mean they would be just right. Well they are and good width etc so super cute and Lucy very happy! With love,

  5. Dear Annabel, why am I not surprised to hear how much you love Aldi...I do too! I got some great bargains there this week too. Mine included lovely pink crystal look liquid soap dispensers to add to gift hampers with embellished handtowels and face washers, and some really pretty over-the-door hooks that have pale blue crystal ends if that makes sense? Anyway, they're very pretty and were under $10. I also found some of the Caviar skin care range and socked some away as it's a bit hard to come by! I made jam and clotted cream, and found some beautiful linen clothing at my local thrift shop. Meals were all made from scratch and some yuccas traded for firewood, so all up a really good week for us. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I saw the soap dispensers! I know exactly the ones you re talking about! Just gorgeous.
      The Caviar is beautiful. I love the serum and the mask especially but love it all.
      The clotted cream... well Dad loves this so I am going to make it for him.
      Also on your blog I saw those clothes. They look as if they would have been hundreds originally and they look brand new. Truly best buy ever!
      What a good trade for firewood. I love a trade as you know.
      That was a fabulous week. Thanks so much Mimi! With love

  6. Annabel, the little shoes are adorable! Our Aldi's does not carry clothing or shoes. We just learned that there are two possibilities of hurricanes forming off the coast of Africa that could affect our area a couple of weeks into the future so I'll be feathering my nest by going over our hurricane preps to make sure everything is as it should be and ready for implementation should it become necessary.

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I wonder if Aldi works differently there? Here Aldi does not have clothes or shoes eery week but each wee the special buys are different. So last week was baby things and the shoes. Next week is Gluten free products and beautiful bed linens. They are just for a week. One week was gorgeous skin care. Another was quilts and pillows etc. I am still getting the hang of it!
      Anyway the shoes fit perfectly and are just beautiful.
      It is a good thing that these days you can see a storm forming and if it is coming your way and get a bit of warning. However I hope they do not become hurricanes that hit or do damage. It is a good idea keeping an eye on them though!
      I am thinking of your garden too hoping everything will be harvested before any rough weather wrecks things!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love

  7. Hi Annabel!

    I like those shoes! I like the Turkish bread, with the nigella seeds on top (this type of seed could be good to grow, and is used medicinally, I have read), and I appreciate the tree lopping that Andy managed for you. The week did go fast here, too, even with our time zone difference! We're looking for more spring sunshine in the new week!!

    I've been pondering during the week. We had such a long, beautiful autumn, and then a bitterly cold, wet lot of winter upheaval! Our outdoor winter work still awaits us, for the most part, and we have to take snakes and nesting birds into account now. My husband has had engineering obstacles on his ride-on mower cum mini tractor, since he is using wheel rotors and such off old cars to match the current mower workings to the new wheels and tyres (some of which are meant for minis - ie cars). Discovering a local engineering business for sandblasting and minor engineering work will help. I told him we could send Andy a photo when the job is complete! It has one wheel and tyre on, and that looks good. This is all needed to get the grass and weeds tidied up, and to tow logs around! Bushfire season is ahead (although we are well situated), with the landscape around us looking quite dry, even after all that rain. Things are coming together on my job list. I've decided that the only way I can get there is if I just enjoy whatever tasks I do. Really, it's a matter of whittling things away. It's been a time of chip, chip, chipping ..... on more than wood!

    I've been thinking about the deer in Nova Scotia, and often wonder how we are ever meant to harvest a crop of anything at all, with so much against us. I ponder scripture to Israel about keeping "a young cow and two sheep for the abundance of milk" (Isaiah 7:21-22) which, along with honey, is the only sustenance for dire times. I know my husband ponders the quote of "hurt not the wine and the oil" (Revelation 6:6). What sort of oil is meant - diesel? olive oil? what type of oil?

    Meanwhile, the Eternal's ways are beautiful and restorative.

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. I ask myself why I grow a garden at all every year, Rachel, and yet by spring, I always jump back in. It seems I feed all of nature with my garden...most of which I don't mind (the bees and frogs, for instance...and another reason why I don't use any sprays or whatever on my garden), but with an abundance of tasty food for deer ALL AROUND, I sure wish they'd decide my garden wasn't their first choice. :) It seems it's smack in the middle of their "highway"! :)

      Jen in NS

    2. Rachel we love, love, love avocado and are lucky enough to have a backdoor neighbour who has a Reed Avocado tree. This neighbour doesn't like avocado and is more than happy for us to help ourselves.

    3. Dear Jen,

      My heart goes out to you and your garden! I can relate very well!!

      When we were married ten years ago, it was drought, and my husband - partly out of wisdom, and partly out of having been 'burnt' in the past - had no interest in a garden. My first chokoes planted had their waterings soaked up, like a sponge, by the dry soil around them. The next year, I planted again. Eventually, they took and I thought the first choko I saw was a rather cheeky thing. I get a bit of a shock when there is something to harvest! After that, we had some really bumper crops, and my husband enjoyed weighing the larger chokoes - something like six inches in height, and four across. We forget what they weighed now, but over half a kilogram, I am thinking.

      I've netted trees (after washing walls to buy netting), and birds found their way under it. I've set up fruit fly traps and caught heaps of fruit flies, but there were so many more. I've planted things, recycled rain water and then, in dry times, had to let everything look after itself.

      There is something else, though. When the nation of Israel was about to enter the promised land, they were given a test. While the Eternal had defeated many of their enemies, He purposely left various wild beasts, enemies and so on to test whether Israel would keep on their toes in alertness against destructive, foreign influences. This spring, I am intending to make fruit fly traps again. I have old yeast and jam, rather than bought blends. Last summer, I preserved pears while young and green, and they are delicious! It all beats me as to how things can work. We just can't give up. Let's hope we grow wiser and enjoy plenty of home grown food to eat!
      With warm regards,
      Rachel Holt

      P.S. I have only counted eight carrots so far! I had been anticipating more coming up. Oh well, it's still a start! I hope your deer don't like carrots!

    4. Dear Rachel, Andy is really interested in anything inventive, engineering etc. He has made a ride on mover, bench saw and all kinds of things so he would be interested to see.
      Our main challenge here is possums and we seem to have found a way to deal with them. At the farm it is deer, rabbits, foxes, eagles and you name it. Dad built fox proof yards for geese, turkeys, pigs and chooks. This was the only way to keep them. Then the homestead has a big fence around it and a gate that is shut at night. It doesn't work entirely as deer can pretty much jump any fence but it helps. Failing this a small yard just for veggies might work.... It is terrible when a crop gets wiped out! We have parrots that love the fruit but I usually can beat them. The first day I see they are interested I start picking!
      Andy had problems with crows getting eggs at his farm. One time he sat up all night inside a rain water tank to finally get a particular crow first thing in the morning! lol (it worked)
      Ahh some of the challenges we face!
      I am also contemplating the seasons as I have loved winter inspire of the cold and storms. And last week I saw first signs of spring, some blossoms on trees and flowers. There are buds on everything! I want to enjoy the last month of winter and then make the most of spring and plant lots!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend! With love,

  8. Good afternoon Annabel. I look forward to your posts and they always give me inspiration and much needed motivation. I thought I had a quiet week but when I look back I have achieved quite a bit. The freezer is now full of fruit and veg from the allotment. Because we only got the plot 8 weeks ago and we didn't have to pay this year all the produce is free food!! I managed to make some raspberry jam and some marmalade. My local store has changed everything around and they have reduced a lot of stuff that doesn't sell very well. They have huge tins of orange pulp for marmalade you just add sugar and water. I've never bought it before as I usually make marmalade in January when citrus is cheaper. Well the tins were reduced to 25p so I bought 3 and I have managed 16 jars of marmalade. I have been harvesting herbs from my garden and I have made a dozen moth bags to go in the wardrobe and to add to my gift closet. My son loves bath bombs but they are expensive so I bought some citric acid yesterday and we are going to have a go at making our own. If they work okay I will add rose petals and make some for gifts. I have also managed to get a walk in plastic greenhouse for £15!! This is amazing as the cheapest we have found them is £60 but the local garden centre had a huge sale on yesterday due to a refurbishment. Also in the sale I managed to get two huge blueberry bushes for £7 each. I have also done lots of baking and have made all meals from scratch. For the next few weeks I am embroidering little bags. My husband is a veteran and the charity that has helped him lots are having an awards evening. The veterans have grown the lavender and the wives are decorating the bags. These will be table gifts. I am also crocheting a blanket to go on our bed. I am half way through now but I hope to have it finished in the next few weeks so it is ready for the cooler weather. Oh and I nearly forgot, I want raised beds at the allotment by they are so expensive and when we looked at wood it's turns out it's not much cheaper and it's an expense we just can't justify at the moment. Well I was walking the dogs and walked past a new housing estate that's being built. I asked one of the builders if they had any pallets spare, the manager came over and said I could have as many as I want as they have to pay to have them removed. He even said he would drop them off at the allotment for me. He dropped of 30 and told me if I need anymore then just to ask. I have made 4 raised beds so far! I am so thankful for the blessings we have received this week. Have a good week xx

    1. Laura your allotment sounds amazing. I have two old baths from the tip(refuse centre) that I am making into wicking bed raised gardens. Not sure how they'll go but our spring planting is not far away.

    2. Dear Laura,
      I am so happy about your allotment and how it is going! If you ever would take photos I would love to see them! This first time free is such a bonus. Well done on the raised beds and the greenhouse as well. All this is adding to your future allotment success!
      Bath bombs are easy to make! They just work well and you can go crazy with colours and shapes. Depending on your sons age he can help make them too.
      Your crochet rug and the embroidery all sound lovely! I can't believe how much you have going on and how busy you are! It is really wonderful.
      The marmalade too sounds beautiful. A full freezer plus much more produce coming is a very good position to be in!
      What you thought was a quiet week was really hugely productive! Thanks for sharing this, it was a delight to read! With love

    3. Laura,
      if it's the MaMade marmalade, it's good, been using it for years. If you fill the tin up to the brim with water and a whole 2lb bag of sugar, you will get at least one extra jar out of it. also, try making it with half white, half brown sugar, tastes great.
      Lakeland also do their own version of MAMADE as well

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Dear Annabel,
    I agree, the week just flew by. The little shoes for Harper look so sweet, and your dessert photos are just jumping off the page at me. Brownies are one of my husband's favorite desserts.
    It's been a busy week here with the garden harvest. There's a theme here because I'm blessed with an abundance of zucchini. I made, bean free hummus with zucchini, tahini, and hummus spices, zucchini microwave sweet pickles, dehydrated more shredded zucchini, froze individual packets of shredded zucchini, made zucchini bread and muffins.(You get the picture:)) I also harvested the remaining beets and dehydrated another batch, harvested okra and dehydrated them, froze 2 more quarts of green beans, dehydrated more cucumber and also am canning dill pickles today, prepped the empty spots in the garden for some plantings for fall. Actually got to work on some Christmas gifts making coiled baskets using fabric strings and some clothesline that I had. I'm hoping that one of my tech savy friends will show me how to use the camera feature on my computer so I can send you some pictures soon. Did some quilting and knitting in the evenings for things for the gift closet. Pre-grated the soap for the next soapmaking project. I'm ahead on scones as I baked more for next week and they're in the freezer. Went to Aldi's as hubby needed a couple of things from Home Depot and they are across the street from each other. It was just for pantry storage, some mushrooms to dry and some canned goods of things I don't grow. We had all meals at home except for one, which was at a Chinese Buffet on our errand trip. It was really a treat and we had some coupons for the restaurant which made it a win-win.
    I had recently purchased a Jet Pak to use for computer access and it was on sale for $50 with a $50 rebate, basically free in my book. The $50 rebate came and I used some of it for the Aldi's trip. I guess that doubles the bargain. Wishing everyone a happy and blessed weekend. Cookie

    1. We love zucchini in this household. Tow of our favourites are zucchini slice, like a big frittata, and zucchini sliced very thin, drizzled with garlic and oil and placed on the barbeque. A quick heat through and then on the plate. Yummo.

    2. Dear Cookie,
      I also find zucchini very useful. I put a lot in soups also. Lucky it freezes too as when it come sin it can be hard to keep up with!
      I would love to see the baskets! I am very interested in how you are doing this!
      You have lots of things going on towards Christmas presents!
      The back up power for the computer is a very handy thing.
      What a good week Cookie! You have to be very happy with that! I hope you're having a good weekend, with love,

    3. Annabel,
      Zucchini is so prolific here that we resort to doing the ding dong ditch to get rid of it! LOL

    4. Dear Annabel,
      I love making these baskets,as they make a beautiful gift on their own, or a container for almost anything. They sell in gift shops here starting at $30 for just something very small. There are so many ways to shape them even to hold a pie plate or casserole. I often take a pie to someone in a disposable pie pan but placed in one of the pie pan shaped baskets. I make those by just making the base larger and the sides shorter in the shape of the pan I'm using. I've also seen the project made into floor rugs, placemats and handbags, mats to put hot dishes on, and coasters for glasses.
      I got started making them from a tutorial on Pinterest at susies-scraps dot com/category/bags-and-baskets. If you put fabric scrap baskets into the search bar on Pinterest all kinds of different tutorials using the method will come up.
      100 percent cotton fabric has become extremely expensive here so I save every scrap from projects and find ways to use them. The baskets, by far, are one of my favorites. As you will see, they can be made on any sewing machine that has a zig-zag stitch. Nothing gets wasted in fabric here. At my quilt guild we even collect small bits and snippets of fabric that would ordinarily go into the trash and use it as stuffing for stuffed toys for the children's hospital or dog bedding for the animal shelter. And because the stuffing is all cotton both items wash and dry very easily.
      Some of the fun is you never know what your basket is going to look like until it's finished. Of course, you can use fabric that's not scraps too.I usually wrap my clothesline while I'm watching TV and just keep stacks of it ready to use. Doing it that way a basket can be started and finished as a quick project, depending on the size done in an hour or less. Once you've made one I think you'll become addicted to making them as I have :) Hope you're having a good weekend as well. xoxo Cookie

  10. Hi Annabel
    it's been a quiet week here - I had my 2 Grand daughters on Monday and Tuesday as its now the summer holidays here.... it helps my Daughter with the cost of child care but it costs me a little bit more on the grocery shopping as they are very active and eat me out of house and home when they're here!
    I've also stewed and frozen lots of apples, blackcurrants, redcurrants and black gooseberries ready for fruit crumbles throughout our winter. Also froze about 20 bags of broad beans, runner beans and dwarf beans - again for the winter months - all this comes from our allotment - still lots to come so will be spending time processing fruit and Veg's for a few weeks yet.
    On the crafting front - I haven't had much time to do much - I've finished a shopping bag and cushion for my Son and his wife for their forthcoming wedding anniversary and made a pencil case for a nephew for Xmas and I also knitted a pom pom hat and gloves for the same nephew again for Xmas.
    I didn't realise that your energy bills are so expensive in Australia - I thought it was only us Brits that are badly stung when it comes to energy prices - they are so quick to put the prices up but so slow to bring the price of energy down so good luck with your solar panels - that should give you a good saving in the future.
    You have a good week
    Trudie xx

    1. Dear Trudie,
      Well done on having your Granddaughters there. I can tell you for sure that the thing you teach them and do with them they will remember forever! My Nan had me crocheting at about five and taught me fancy flower patterns etc that I still do!
      Your allotment sounds wonderful! All that fruit is beautiful. Plus the beans! That is fantastic!
      You are doing well with the handmade presents! And there is lots of time to Christmas yet!
      Yes our power prices in SA are the most expensive in the world. A bad prize to win. And they are increasing again. It is ridiculous. Businesses cannot afford to run and are closing or moving. It is a serious problem. Many old people use no heating at all. We are really excited to get this solar.
      Thanks so much Trudie. You had a great week. So much produce and helping your daughter, that is wonderful. With love

  11. Hi Annabel,

    Those shoes are adorable!!! This has been a busy week, and the girls and I are visiting a library, so I thought I'd take advantage of the computer connection and comment! Have picked and frozen black currants, picked and frozen red currants, weeded the garden and harvested (and froze) swiss chard, painted deck boards, butchered and froze 4 chickens, made sourdough, and worked on Christmas presents, among other things. It seems like so much more, as we have been making some big decisions at our little farm...this makes it seem like AGES since last Friday! Not to mention the you say, when it doesn't cool down at night, it gets so unbearable!

    We have a long weekend here this week, so hoping to do some fun stuff as well as some chores done. Hope you have a lovely weekend and it's only "comfortably wintry" there!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, That is very handy... the library computer! You have had a great week! Lots of beautiful produce, cooking and crafting.
      We get nights that it doest go below 30 C thats 86 F. Blah! When its been so hot all day then this is the low it is not very thrilling!
      Enjoy the long weekend! Thank you for posting from the library! With love,

  12. Well, I had been feeling really glum. I had my kids in band camp this week and so had to be away from home all day every day for the week.It isn't as cheap to be out and about. I felt like a spendthrift this week. But I put down my Vicki Challenge stuff this morning and then I felt some better.

    My youngest is too young to go. (Can I count that as a savings?)
    She and I ate homemade lunches every day rather than eating out.

    I made supper every night, though after the long days I didn't feel like it.

    I was able to hit some great sales that I'd have never found on a normal week. It meant that I was able to feather my nest with lots of meat for the freezer for REALLY great prices. The freezer is full now. Yay! I always like that feeling.

    We went to several thrift stores I'd have never visited if we weren't waiting for my other 2 kids. Wow!! I really scored. Genuine linen napkins (which I have been looking for for YEARS) for $0.25 each!! Yes, I did buy a bunch of them. I hope to be able to throw out some of the ones we use all the time that are so threadbare and worn. But we always need more. And it keeps us from using paper towels.

    Then, today we were at a thrift store (new to us) and we happened upon a great sale on all their plates. None of the plates I currently own match. It's no big deal really, but sometimes you would like to match. It's prettier. They had this wonderful china that I have liked the pattern of for years. I was able to buy 8 plates, 6 bowls, and 4 small plates for $4!!! I am telling you. That was awesome!

    And one more thing. I have been looking for round concrete stepping stones for 2 years. I found 4 today. Yay! I am going to have my kids paint them with outdoor concrete paint. Very exciting. So I guess I didn't do too badly on my feathering my nest. It just felt like I wasn't all frugal this week. :) It is good to re-hash the good things. I so often go on about the things I do wrong. It helps to see what is right.

    1. Dear Cristy, I am so glad you were able to look at the week like this and see you had some great things happen even though it was a week of more expenses. And hopefully the band camp was beneficial and worth it.
      When I am away from home I love to check out the op shops and fruit and veg stores etc. You had wonderful finds! As you wanted linen napkins this is amazing and what a good price. They would be a fortune in the stores.
      The plates also sound lovely! And the kids will love decorating the sipping stones. It is really good to see that the week had such great things for you. The napkins and particular pattern plates are fabulous finds. I love that!
      Well done. I hope this is another good week for you! With love

  13. Annabel, sounds like you had a really great week. Oh my, brownies sound so yummy.
    Those shoes are adorable - I sure hope they fit her. Our Aldi does not carry anything like that.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      I don't know how different Aldis work but it seems to be from one country to another. Here the basic supermarket part is week to week. The specials are different each week. Ie this week was baby things, the little shoes... next week is sheets, linen etc. Other weeks have been cosmetics, furniture, quilts and so on. So I understand this time next year will be bay shoes again. I am getting the hang of it so I study each weeks catalogue and see what the week will hold. It has been quite amazing! And the shoes fit perfectly! They are wonderful on her. So happy! Many thanks! Love

  14. Hello Annabel, oh what you have been making Harper is just adorable. So beautiful! She would look gorgeous in her new tops. Something that you cannot buy in the shops. So pretty. I loved your cleaning cupboard, I love the baskets and how you have made so many of the products in there. Makes me want to clean, it is so pretty and well organised. I must admit, I got a brownie craving when I saw your dessert. Delicious! I too, didn't think I had achieved much this week. Last Friday I decided to fly down to see my grand mother, to get some extra time with her one on one. It was the best decision and I greatly feathered the nest by doing this. We drank tea, cooked, crocheted and she talked of my ancestors. She has been unwell and it really brightened her to see me and then later on my son and my DH (they came down two days later). While it was an expense, I don't think I could put a value on that time and I'm appreciative of my DH who encouraged me to do it. I also made zucchini slice, scones, pumpkin soup and a batch of banana and a batch of chocolate chip muffins. My son and DH do not love soup, but I have started being creative and turning it into a curry, and a pasta bake...they like this! Lol Those shoes are adorable. It's really hard to find well priced and good first walkers. They are perfect! I also found great wrapping paper at 30c a roll, so I bought up. Thanks for helping us see what we really do in the home....Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      That time you spent with your Grandmother was a very good thing to do. Im so glad you could do it.
      I like your thinking Bridge on the soup. Some time ages ago I wrote a post about remaining things. Chloe didn't like quiche so next time I made it I called it Bacon and egg pie, made vague changes and she loved it lol (this was when she was five or so) Anyway lets call soup "puree" Purees are so big in cooking right now. Everything is served with a puree. But they all make great pasta sauces and thick soup can be stew... you can put dumplings over a stew or mashed potatoes etc. Pumpkin soup can make pumpkin scones.
      Last night I made meatloaf. I cup of tomato soup can go into that. Or into lasagne, or spaghetti sauce and so on.
      30 c a roll for wrapping paper was a massive bargain! With that and the cooking you did I think you did have a good week. You won't ever regret that time you had with your Grandmother and I bet she just loved it! Well done Bridge. With love

  15. I just finished week five of Frugal Boot Camp. I sat down Monday and wrote out 8 pages front and back of things to incorporate anew into my frugal skill set. I will add items in all through the year starting in August.

    1. Well done Terri! Every new skill we can learn is a wonderful thing. I will head over and see what you have been doing! With love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    I just love the little tops you embellish for Harper. The shoes you bought at Aldi will look very sweet with her lovingly handmade outfits!
    These past few weeks have been SO busy and we have managed to make lots of progress. The men have rented a backhoe and my husband and fil have been clearing brush around the house. I can see my favorite field (now called "Kelsey's Field":) from the back porch, and I can see the distant cattle pens from the kitchen window. We were blessed with much needed rain this week, so everything is turning green and beautiful.
    We have also been cleaning out one of the rooms to make room for our two freezers. We have moved one so far, along with its contents.
    We also moved the rest of our pantry items over and I have been working to get that organized. I cleaned out the entryway and put our pantry bench there, as it is right next to the kitchen. We have taken advantage of grocery specials in order to build up our supply again. I have managed to completely fill the pantry while saving hundreds by buying things on sale and using coupons. I also downloaded a money saving app for groceries and have already earned $25 towards a gift card.
    We still have seven chickens at our place in town that we have been trying to sell. I would like to have them at the ranch but we don't have a secure pen. We also still have our two ducks, which we intended to butcher, but when my husband went to feed one day last week, he called and said we now have nine ducklings! OK, plan B, I thought! We are fixing up a large dog kennel as a shelter for them and will bring them to the ranch when we get everything secured. So we will keep our ducks!
    When we went to the feed store last week, they were having clearance sales on potting mix, compost, and bulk seeds so we stocked up on that too. My husband had two coupons as well, so we saved heaps!
    While my sil was here, we did crafts together and I showed her how to make cards and tags from magazine images. She also made a collage for her room and I painted a garage sale frame to put it in. She loved it!
    I also want to let everyone know that my husband got the job he interviewed for last month! Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. This is a dream come true for my husband and a new chapter in our lives. We are very excited!
    I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. That's such wonderful news about your husband's job! I had been thinking (and praying) for you both and am so happy to hear this news. You two deserve it. I am really impressed with how much you have been getting done at your new house. Crafting with your SIL sounds lovely! Love, Bridge

    2. Dear Kelsey,
      Firstly congratulations to you both on your husbands new job! I know you have been waiting and waiting to hear and how he really wanted it so much! It is wonderful and deserved. I am so happy for you! Everyone who reads this will be too.
      You did have a massive week! I am so glad you have been able to get so much done as soon your husband is going to be busy with this job. It has all worked out so well. And ducklings! I remember the cute duck pond your husband made, i loved that!
      Filling your pantry so well already is a great achievement. Watching for amazing deals is the way to do it. Now that you are ahead you can watch for the best deals and add them and not have to buy things at full price at all.
      The things you did with your young sil were just lovely and she is probably just looking forward to coming back! You have a little understudy!
      This is all such good news Kelsey! What a week! With love

    3. Dear Bridge,
      Thank you so much for thinking of us and praying for us.
      It is wonderful you were able to spend that time with your grandmother. Before I was married, my grandma was sick with pneumonia and I stayed with her for about three months while she recovered. It was such a blessing and a time I will always cherish. I learned so much about her I never knew. I know you will always cherish that time with your grandmother, too.
      With love, Kelsey

  17. Hi Annabel, my name is sonia 39 from Sydney. I stumbled on your blog from Wendy and Kath, loving it !! Today I'm making your slow cooker silverware. I live alone and really miss feathering my nest for a husband. I would like to learn how to sew like you do like that gorgeous bunny ! I have learnt a trick from aldi the new stuff is always at the back with older coming toward front kind of like a clockwise direction this is where you will get the best bargains if they haven't sold out. Do you make the bubble bath you give away etc ? Where do you get your bottles and cute motifs from ? I always line dry, keeping heater off, wear lots of layers and a thermal singlet (mum was right), made a beautiful chicken soup waited until Coles marked down the meat. Also mended socks, and buy mark down meat to freeze. Also had 6 chicken rissoles still good to eat that I portioned out and froze for $4 ! Whoever said eating alone is hard and expensive is wrong . I'm volunteering with feeding homeless and it makes me so aware of waste. It also makes me so thankful each night when I go to bed that god has blessed me with what I have. Looking forward to your new blog. Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      Welcome! Thank you for telling me where you are from and about your life! Well done on your volunteering that is wonderful.
      I do make the bubble bath this is the link to the recipe...
      Mostly I get bottles in cheap shops or op shops. I always watch out for them. If you know someone who drinks spirits or owns a hotel they can be a great source of lovely bottles!
      The embroidery motifs I make up from children books and cut them out of suede usually depending on what I can find. I am thinking maybe you also mean other motifs? Let me know if I haven't answered that right.
      Sewing is something if you do a little bit it gradually expands! Search you tube for some nice lessons and really it is a lot of fun!
      Thank you for the Aldi tip. I am getting the hang of it. I know to go to the back for the catalogue items and then I check all the other rows very well!
      Enjoy living your best life at home and who knows what is around the corner! I lived alone for a little while and I thought I would never ever re marry. But I was wrong! You never know what tomorrow brings!
      Well done on your savings. I am glad to have you here Sonia! With love


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