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 11 August 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 12 August, 2016.

The weekend is almost here! Time to take a look at what I actually achieved this week which I know usually makes me feel much better and happier. If I didn't do this I would just focus on everything I still have on my "To Do" list (which is long)

With the Olympics we have had a bit later nights but there have been some wonderful and inspiring stories that we have enjoyed so much.  Another lovely thing is that in our area it is Magnolia season! Everywhere I go there are beautiful Magnolia's. Pretty much every street has them. These ones are down the street...

The flowers are huge I guess the size of a side plate,  larger than your hand anyhow! 
Most of the ones around here are pink but some are white.

Some of the ways I saved money this week include:

I made a lot of meat pies. This gave us two dinners this week.

I made one family sized one plus 17 individual sized ones.
I have realised meat pies are an Australian thing. So for the US and UK ladies here at the bakery the number one lunch is a meat pie or a sausage roll. Millions are sold a day!  They are yummy! 
They are really easy to make. For the Vicky Challenge I checked on the prices as I went past a bakery. Boy am I out of touch with prices! I got a big shock. Anyway more on that in The Vicky Challenge.
The thing is pies are so easy to make. I am going to show a super easy tutorial next week. They freeze perfectly. They are a meal all in one which make them a very easy meal to give someone or deliver. And you can make them in any size. Individual serving size is very handy.  

I made some little ones in my baby enamel pans...

Also I topped some with pastry and some with mashed potatoes and cheese. And some I made in large sized muffin tins as they are about right for an individual pie. 

I use large snap lock bags to freeze meals. Glad wrap often moves when you are re arranging things in the freezer so now I use strong zip lock bags. They can be reused.  

I had some left over pastry and made a dozen of my usual jam tarts as well.

We had a left overs night and used up things in toasted sandwiches. 

Another night we had fridge pizza.

I packed the lunch and drinks for the boys fishing trip plus all work lunches. 

Finally we had several sunny days. I washed the lovely wool blankets that I got from the op shop some time ago. I used the homemade wool mix. They came up so well, soft and fluffy and smell beautiful. I am so thrilled with them plus they are huge! Queen size at least.  Now they are filed and in my blanket chest. And all just in time as then we had rain!

I started a holiday basket. Ages ago I bought four nights in a travel auction for a bargain! It is at one of our all time favourite beach spots! Lucky I did this as otherwise we would not be having this holiday!  From a month or six weeks before going away I start a basket and get things like tea, coffee, milk, crackers etc when on specials. The holiday basket also is exciting as it marks a holiday coming up! This week I put in tea, long life milk, oat crackers, a jar of coffee and sugar.
The day we leave I will take out two meat pies from the freezer. They will thaw on the trip and be night ones dinner.

Some of the ways I got ahead were so many meals frozen. I am using Mum's freezer too! 
I added to the present cupboard. 
All the work in the spare room has added to my supplies and organisation... I have great supplies and am ahead with packaging, wraps, ribbons, cellophane bags etc.

I added to my pantry:
Powdered milk and medical items.

I have a small space under the bed which is part of the emergency pantry. But the bed is low to the ground. I guess the space is 5 inches? I discovered Bed Risers! Do you know about them? They go under the legs of your bed and give you a few inches extra height to your bed thus extra space underneath. I read about them on a blog. You can buy them but they are quite expensive and for our bed they were going to be $100+
I showed Andy pictures and he said he could make them with stuff he has in the shed. 
Then I can use tubs with lids that slide under the bed!  How I didn't know about these I don't know.

We made progress on our solar and had a company come to give us a quote. We have another company coming on Monday.

I hope you had a good week! I know Vicky did, the shelves she showed in her cellar are filling up and she is now harvesting tomatoes and peppers!

How did you build up your home, get ahead, stock the pantry and save this week?
Little things add up!  It is a wonderful feeling to get ahead in small ways.
Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Hi, I was wondering if you would mind sharing your meat pie recipes. Thank you.

    1. Yes, on Monday I will post my best recipes plus how I do them. I am making a little tutorial. Many

    2. I second that recipe request.....I'm thinking, "what's a meat pie?" Looks like a future winner one the dinner front here!

  2. The Magnolia blossoms are magnificent! I love the art you applied to your meat dishes. That is beautiful! Who said homemaking is boring and mundane! Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I love the Magnolias Lynn! Thank re the pies. A little bit adds to how they look and takes seconds and uses up some of the offcuts! xxx

  3. Love the rose meat pies !! Can you please share the type of meat used as its expensive here. This week I bought a $8 chicken from Coles it did three meals, then I took the extra meat off it and made a huge pot of delicious soup. I found a pack of 9 Turkish rolls at aldi 99c and I have discovered protane from aldi is pantene. I also wanted to buy a little gift and went to the veg and fruit shop with biscuits 30 % off making them $3 still perfectly good they were just clearing for new stock. I always have a emergency bag for hospital stays so I'm not without my creature comforts when the Dr summons me for a stay. Also saved $30 with my health insurance per month going on extras with my hospital cover using only things I need. Andy pay no attention to people who are rude to make comments on your faith. They obviously have no manner, and if there's any a time for the world to need Christ its now!!

    1. Dear Sonia,
      On Monday I am making pies the savings subject. Yes beef and lamb is expensive now! (crazy expensive!) but I have ways to beat that! So all recipes coming Monday...
      That is a very interesting piece of information about Aldi! I am off to research this! Wow! Thanks for this tip off as this could be invaluable!
      Thank you for your kind words too. You are right... the time we live in we need to stay close to God. Thanks so much with love

  4. Wow having quotes for your solar already! My you two are well organised.
    We have been feathering our nest, currently the caravan, by making sure that we have plenty of food for the family visiting. We've had the son, DIL and Tilly Bear spend many hours with us over the past week. With all that's going on in their lives they've needed a little bit of filling up on wholesome foods.
    Today we had my sister and her two young sons visit. These gorgeous boys inhale food. I impressed my sister by sending the boys home too full to even eat another piece of cake.
    I've been having lots of Granny cuddles and have enjoyed every second of it.

    1. Dear Jane,
      We have been learning a lot re the solar. For instance if the power grid goes out and you have solar you still have no power uncles you have a battery. Didn't know that! So its a big learning curve!
      Well done on all the help and support you have been to your son and DIL and baby. And beautiful meals. What a help.
      Lol about boys inhaling food. I know it well. Its frightening! It sounds like you won't thought!
      It is so beautiful being a Grandmother! With love

  5. Hi Annabel!!

    Aren't magnolias beautiful - especially the pink ones!! They are so soothing and refreshing to see!

    I'm so glad to be at the end of another week! I am hoping that some small, pleasant pieces of routine will be alive next week. We've done well with weeding, and I've done plenty of work that would either be too mundane or, depending on words used, much too entertaining to describe! We did heat up the last of the meatloaf in a skillet on the fire, and a new rosemary-lamb pie is waiting in the fridge. We have some wattle flowers in the house, and I love that!

    I find myself thinking about the various ladies who contribute here. I am thinking about the individual challenges, the seasons, the triumphs, the laughs, the beauty they create, .....

    I will be watching for your meat pies!

    Thanks for adding highlights to my days! Have a great weekend!!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Wattle in the house and lamb pie! If I didn't know you lived in Australia I would now! How beautiful!
      A lot of us are getting to know each other quite well here and I am the same as I go about things I think of everyone and what someone said etc. Today I visited my Mum. She said how she loves how Rosanne does the edgings and sews them on. We talk about everyone as if they all live next door! it is really lovely!
      Have a beautiful weekend! With love

  6. Annabel, the magnolia blossoms are beautiful and I can just imagine the streets in your area if they all have them. I'm sure it makes quite a stunning picture! I was going to ask you for the recipe for the meat pie as well but I see others already have. They really are a work of art and sound delicious. I will be looking forward to Monday. Could you show us a picture of the risers Andy made? Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I will show pictures for sure Patsy this is a work in progress as we only got the idea this week. I am excited about it as it is going to give me heaps of storage space!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  7. Hi Annabel,

    I love how you just mass produce things and get ahead all at once! This has been a busy week here. I've picked peas and frozen them, picked green beans, cut swiss chard and froze it, cut broccoli and froze it. I painted some more deck boards, cleaned house, sold some extra "clutter", finished a Christmas project, done the baking and laundry, etc.. I also did more weeding! A few of the days I had to work one-handed as I unthinkingly had my thumb under the chopping knife when dealing with broccoli stems, and just about tried to add my thumb to the pile of pieces I was making! It's much better now, but I still can't use it, so I've been doing a lot of "Plan B-ing" and just getting along without a left thumb to use. :) I couldn't have finished a lot of the preserving without help from the I'm thankful for all the assistance they've given!

    I love seeing the magnolias...our neighbor has a tree and it's one of the first things to bloom in spring and smells divine! I think it's funny how they bloom before they really have any leaves!!

    Hope you have a great weekend and that's exciting that you will be having a beach holiday soon!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Hi Jen!
      It's wonderful to read that you have some luscious greens harvested from your garden. Would you be able to roll a pea, or toss a whole pod, down under - whichever your thumb can manage best?!! Regards, Rachel Holt

    2. Dear Jen,
      You did heaps! he produce sounds beautiful and it is great you sold some things too. Saving and earning!
      Im glad your thumb is healing. Yes... plan B is very handy!
      I am glad the family are helping. This makes a big difference. Sometimes too when we are incapacitated in some way this ends up being a learning experience for kids too which is good, this used to happen with me if I was down with a migraine, in those times the kids learned to do lots of things!
      I love the magnolias... yes they are totally bare except just giant flowers!
      Thanks so much Jen Im glad your week was so productive. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  8. Very productive week! Your pies and tarts make my mouth water, they look delicious! How I love flowers; those magnolias are divine!

    This week I decided I need to update my work wardrobe, but I'm trying to stick to a (very) low budget so that I have more money to pay down my student loans. I decluttered a bit this past week, and found a hardcover book I bought at a thrift store for a couple of dollars a few months ago. When I checked ebay to see how much they were selling for, I discovered that I could easily make around $40 on one book! I listed it and it sold in a few hours! Now, with that money in my paypal account, I was able to purchase a brand new blouse (suitable for the office), on massive clearance with a coupon code at an on-line retail store, and used just a bit of that "book" money in paypal to cover the cost plus shipping. So basically I have spent NO money out of pocket yet, and have a bright and colorful new blouse on the way. Now to find a nice pair of slacks.... Blessings everyone, Teresa

    1. Dear Teresa,
      Firstly well done on trying to pay the student loans. that is a really good idea. You did so well! selling something and investing in nice versatile things is fantastic!
      My daughter has a great way with belts and scarves. You always thing she is wearing something different but really she's not. Pinterest and Polypore are really good for outfit ideas based on what you have. I have found ideas there I NEVER would have thought of! i.e. I had some dresses that I didn't wear much but from Polypore I saw to wear them with a longline cardi over the top and them belt around the outside with a feature belt. Suddenly they seemed so smart and nice! All using what I had. This is pretty good fun to!
      You did well! Have a good weekend! With love

  9. Those meat pies look delicious!

    I saved $3000 on new flooring for our house by doing some research and leg work. I am so glad I did not just go with the first estimate! It pays to shop around.

    1. Dear Lana, That is a huge saving! It is true... shopping around and a bit of time comparing can save a fortune. Chloe did this on floors recently. Her first quote was ridiculous. She ended up finding a handyman who needed work and he did it for 1/4 the price (it was floor sanding) Massive difference!
      Well done! Love

  10. Dear Annabel,
    I loved seeing the magnolias. They're one of the first trees to bloom for just a short while. I'm inspired by your holiday basket, filled with wonderful things to take with you. I'm really looking forward to the meat pie recipe.

    This weeks nest feathering included a trip to Costco to replace OTC items like aspirin, Airborne, Neosporin, toothpaste, aluminum foil, as well as a few pantry staples. Canning and dehydrating the garden produce still continues, but blessedly not at the overwhelming pace it was in the beginning. Next I will be making bone broth to can for the pantry. We had overnight guests for most of the week and I was so glad to have prepared main dishes, and an abundant garden that provided the side dishes. Simple and delicious meals that were effortless.

    I think I've caught the crochet bug after seeing all of the beautiful things that have been displayed here. After searching through my stash of needles and hooks I found what I was looking for. I have some tableclothes that were embroidered by my Mom and, although stained in some areas, I just couldn't bear to part with them. They're rather large clothes and I'm hoping to salvage them and give them a new life, perhaps as placemats, table runners, or napkins.

    It is extremely hot and humid here in my part of the US, so I'll be staying inside and doing some more nest feathering in my sewing room. I'm looking forward to a very relaxing weekend and hope all of you enjoy one too. Many Blessing. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, It would be beautiful to give new life to your Mums embroidery! I think I would also do one project with a bit of it that will last forever i.e. frame some or put some under glass in a tray or something like that. I can't wait to see what you do with them!
      I bought Neosporin on the internet. Id never heard of it here until Patsy was talking about it. Its on the way!
      You had a really productive week and all with visitors! Many thanks for sharing your week! With love

    2. Dear Annabel,
      Making something that will last forever is a wonderful idea. Thank you for suggesting it. After I read your suggestion it occurred to me that something like that might be a lovely wedding gift for some of my nieces. xxx. Cookie

  11. Hello Annabel. You mentioned your wool blanket that you bought awhile back. Did you have some creative plans for it to make something out of it, or were you just going to use it for a blanket? The reason I am asking is I have seen an all wool US Army blanket in a thrift store and I can't decide to buy it or not--just wondering what your plans were, it might give me some ideas. Thank you!

    1. Dear Joy,
      Pure wool blankets are very expensive here, starting at around $300 for double bed and these are huge! I got them for $20 each. I buy pure wool if its in really good condition and colours I like to keep or cut up for embroidery. In colours I don't like so much I get them for picnic rugs and to always keep a blanket in the car. I have made sure the girls have a pure wool blanket in their cars too.
      I want to cut up one blanket I have into cot sized and knees sized rugs. Then I am embroidering and backing these. Smaller bits make beautiful hot water bottle covers, heat packs and scraps are lovely in pot holders. A rug can be cut to size and hemmed with satin binding or a crochet edging as a knee rug, pram rug etc. I think pure wool is lovely and so very useful. I hope there is an idea for you! maybe, With love Annabelxxx

  12. Another productive week Annabelle!! We eat meat pies here too. My freezers are full at the moment but I make fillings and put them in ziplock bags and then when they are defrosted I make a pastry topping. They are so handy to have in the freezer.

    This week we managed to change the boys bedrooms around and give them a good clean. We gave old toys to the charity shop and managed to sell some excess furniture on Facebook. We managed to get £120!

    I went how to visit my parents and have come home with loads! Two big bags of potatoes and green beans which I am going to freeze. The potatoes I am par roasting and then putting them in the freezer again for quick dinners. I got given fabric, net curtains, new books, shoes and dish towels. My aunt is nearly 90 we are close but I don't get to see her very often due to her being 3 hours away. She is always giving my mum stuff for me. This time was two huge boxes of Christmas stuff. Lots of decorations and flower arranging stuff. The ornaments are porcelain Victorian children standing next to postboxes and Christmas trees. They are absolutely stunning. There was lots of Christmas ribbon and bags to put bottles of wine in. I am looking forward to getting it all out at Christmas.

    The blackberries have started to come in to season so I will picking them on dog walks now along with damsons and apples. In the next few weeks it will also be cobnuts, rose hips and sloes. In the uk there is so much free food around but people don't seem to pick them!! For about 15 blackberries in the supermarket is £2.50!! I get a lunchbox full everyday for about 5 minutes of picking!

    Have a wonderful week Annabel xx

    1. Dear Laura, I agree how useful pies are and how versatile!
      You got a lot done this week! I love that your parents gave you potatoes and beans and what your aunt gave you! Wow! Christmas decorations and flower arranging things.... I would love that. Possibly some things are old which would be even better as Im mad on vintage Christmas stuff.
      Now the ornaments.... you would probably always keep them but you should look them up on the internet as my guess is they are collectables!
      What a wonderful week and what a nice family you have.
      I totally love all the free food you can pick! They would be good fun too. Im glad you make the most of this! I would be there with you if I lived near by! Photos of all of this in baskets would be my idea of heavenly!
      Well done Laura! With love

  13. I love magnolias! We have those here in Missouri and we call them Saucer Magnolias, I'm guessing because that's the size of the blooms. I had three in my yard at my past home and one was as tall as my Victorian home!

    I will post a photo of my lace scarf as soon as I finish it. It's not as lacy as my description leads one to believe, but it has a lot of slipping and knitting of stitches together, so it is rather holey!

    Your meat pies look so yummy, I cannot wait to see your recipe. I make shepherd's pies here with mashed potatoes on top and also make "pot pies" on occasion.

    I bought some things at a local online auction, including two nice wooden bookcases that are chock full of recipe books! Once my youngest daughter, Madison, and I go through the books we'd like to keep, my plan is to sell them and make the money back that we spent on the bookcases. I figure this is a win-win as hopefully I won't be out any money for the purchase. I also bought a box of books just for one book on the British Royal family and it only cost me $1! I figure the rest of the books can be sold as well, which should easily make my money back. We have what we call local "Swap Shops" on Facebook where people buy and sell items.

    Our temps have been dreadful in the high 90s with terrible humidity. We had some rain overnight and again this morning so this is supposed to bring cooler temps over the weekend, which I am looking forward to. Fall is not too far away and it is my favorite season.

    Good luck to you Annabelle with your bids for your solar panels! Jane, I am so glad you are enjoying all the lovely snuggles with your new grandbaby! Jen, I am so glad to hear that your finger is feeling some better. I hope you are soon able to use it more without any complication. Take care, Jeanette

    1. Dear Jeanette,
      Saucer Magnolias is a good name as that is the right size!
      I love to make shepherds pie. That is a good recipe. They freeze well too. I am going to look at pot pies... I think they are along the same lines only in a container with a topping vs a meat pie which has pastry all around and served on a plate rather than in one. I think overall very similar.
      Bookcases full of recipe books! What a buy! I hope you do really well from this. Some books with gorgeous pictures could make lovely cards. However not if you could sell them for a good price!
      I love fall too and it is also my favourite! My least favourite is summer. So I will settle for spring which is so close!
      Thank you so much, I hope you are having a lovely weekend and can't wait to see the scarf! With love

  14. Here in Georgia we have lots of magnolias; in fact, there's a smallish one in my yard, and the flowers smell heavenly!

    Your meat pies look awesome. I am so looking forward to the recipe. We have an Australian bakery in our town square that makes really yummy small meat pies.

    I feathered my nest by processing and canning a couple bushels of apples from my trees into apple juice, applesauce, pie filling and, from the peelings, apple cider vinegar. I also made and canned 8 quarts of chicken broth from bones we stored in the freezer after finishing a few rotisserie chickens. It's a good feeling to have all that work done and see those filled jars!

    1. Dear Chipmunk, You will know the things I talk about then.. sausage rolls and meat pies! That is great you having an Australian bakery!
      Well done on everything you did with the apples! I think apples are so versatile.
      The broth sounds wonderful too, very nourishing. That is wonderful and you should feel good! With love

  15. I love magnolia trees or tulip trees as I have heard them called. We used to have a pretty one in the front yard. We had a record snowfall for spring one year (10 inches) when it was blooming. That was the end!

    Your meat pies look delicious! Always great to cook ahead! You are one busy woman.

    We just went to a few garage sales this morning and got some great deals. We went before the sun came up too high and got hot. We were able to get a commercial Keurig coffee maker for $25.00. We have one but this will be our backup. It's always good to have a extra.
    I also bought more books for the winter. You can never buy too many!

    1. Dear Vickie, What a great buy on the coffee machine. It is good to have a spare. Its there when you need it. And books to look forward to will be handy too in the winter months.
      Many thanks Vickie, with love

  16. Oh I can't wait for the tutorial next weeK! I loved your blog today it gave me lots of good ideas.
    Thanks Annabel!

    1. Thank you Laurie! Im glad you found ideas! Im working on my meat pie recipes! xxx

  17. Dear Annabel,
    Your meat pies and tarts look delicious. I am looking forward to the meat pie recipes.
    I love Magnolias. They have a breathe taking smell and are absolutely divine to look at, for the time they last.
    This week I did some extensive planning for the next few months. I, also, went and got paint cards to pick out colors for the kitchen; ran errands; straightened up the sewing room; rearranged the Paper Storage shelves; cooked, shredded, and froze 5 pounds of chicken breasts; cooked eight cups of rice, divided it, and froze some for future use; made a Taco/Refried Bean Casserole with some of the rice and we had that for three meals; I steamed a large bag of frozen vegetables and put them in a container to have as a side dish this week; vacuum sealed 20 pounds of organic white rice into smaller bags for long term storage; vacuum sealed organic cashews and organic pine nuts from large bulk bags into glass quart jars for long term storage; rearranged the food pantry and took stock of what needed used up; put away a couple of boxes of food orders; did the normal cleaning and laundry; started sorting and cleaning out my study closet; went through a lot of receipts and shredded the one's we didn't need; bought chalk paint for a couple of carts I am painting and some cabinets; and visited with family and friends via e-mail, text, and by phone.
    Have a nice day.
    Love and Hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, You had a very busy week! I love picking out paint and I love chalk paint! I hope you have found the colours you are looking for.
      You covered a lot this week with food, long term storage, decorating and family!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend! I also have been planning the next few months. My experience is that September to Christmas goes really fast. I have all the painting to finish and so much to do! I keep thinking just do one thing at a time...
      With lots of love

  18. Annabel,

    Here is the States, I bought Bed Rizers brand bed risers for $60. I've used them for nearly three decades. Each set came with four 12- or 18-inch risers made of iron that had a clamp at the top and a foot on the bottom, plus two support pieces that also had a foot on them and which attached and supported the middle sections of the bed frame.

    Now, you can buy boxy pieces that raise the bed up for $10-$20 for four. Very economical.


    1. Dear Kelley, Thank you for telling me that! I found them at IKEA for a very good price but Australia IKEA doest seem to have them and you can't get them online.... We have nine legs on the bed and I found them online in sets of four... so I am looking at over $100 plus postage.
      Anyway we will do a copy cat version! I am looking forward to this extra space!
      Thank you for telling us this as its a really handy way to create storage plus I think a higher bed looks nice. Unless you fall out!
      With love

  19. Dear Annabel,
    I would love to see a recipe for meat pies and sausage rolls! Our measuring cups may be different so for reference here is the volume of ours in the USA:1 cup=240ml, 1/2 cup=120ml, 1/3 cup=80ml, 1/4 cup=60ml, 1 Tablespoon=15ml, 1 Teaspoon=5ml. I don't know what a dessertspoon is, we don't have those. If you put the ml amounts too we would be able to convert, thanks! We also don't have gas mark but we can convert celcius to fahrenheit.:)

    1. Thank you! When I started this blog I never dreamed anyone overseas would read it. Eventually I realised converting recipes is something I needed to consider and it turned out too the same with ingredients! We call some things by different names etc.
      I am trying to use recipes that are cups etc and not matter about cup size as long as you use the same cup throughout. In reality I rarely measure anything and the pies I don't measure or weigh anything. But with cakes and biscuits then I do need right measurements so thank you for your tips. I am working on my pies post! Really easy and versatile... and a good meat stretcher too! Many thanks! xxx

  20. In Georgia when those magnolia's bloom we know there will be another cold spell before spring arrives! I had a lovely week. I relaxed a little because between the push to do stuff about the house and my Frugal Boot Camp too, I was pushed hard but the pace is more normal now. I celebrated 'Graduation' this week;-P

    1. Dear Terri,
      I liked Frugal Boot camp! There are always new thins to learn. I would say it is about the same here.... the Magnolias mean we have just a couple of weeks of winter left! Next everything pretty much starts to blossom. It will be lovely!
      I am glad you have got things more back to normal. With lots of love,

  21. The magnolia blossoms are gorgeous! The only time I have seen pink ones is in your photos. I don't know if we have anything other than white here in the U.S.

    I am looking forward to your recipes for meat pies. We have something called pot pies here. I also had hand-held meat pies called pasties once in Northern Michigan. Later, one of my aunts taught me how to make them. My uncle, who was from England, told about taking them to school for lunch as a child. Yours look so pretty and delicious!

    I baked up the 6 organic acorn squash I got a few weeks ago. I was worried they might be too ripe, but they were fine. We have had some with meals and 9 cups are individually packaged and frozen for future use. We enjoyed some steak for 3 meals---first as steak, then steak sandwiches and finally steak quesadillas.

    We have been working on some repairs in the guest bathroom, including painting, hanging new towel bars and replacing some baseboards.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona, USA,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      I think pot pies are a similar thing just in a casserole dish where as meat pies are encased in pastry and served on a plate. And I love pasties! I made them often. Nana made pasty slice a lot which was a pasty only in a big tray as a slice. We serve these with relish. Its about time I made some pasties actually!
      Well done on all the squash. And I like your progression of steak meals. We really love steak sandwiches!
      We have work on our bathroom coming up too! I hope yours is going well and looking good!
      That was a good week Elaine! With love

  22. Dear Annabel, How nice to see the first signs of spring! The magnolias are beautiful. You have been busy and your meat pies look delicious! I'm looking forward to Autumn!
    I've been busy canning tomatoes and peaches (eating lots fresh)! We also shared with family/friends. I made seasoned tomato juice and sauce, whole tomatoes, BBQ sauce and peach jam and raspberry/peach jam. I froze two quart bags of our green beans, picked zucchini and yellow crock neck squash. One zucchini will be turned into relish this coming week.
    I sewed a bit while the jars were cooking.
    My son came up and helped me pull out and clean the stove, frig and dryer. I'm glad that job is done for awhile! LOL
    Tomorrow I will be catching up on laundry and clean a bit. Have a good weekend! Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri,
      It is lovely to have your son help with big jobs in the kitchen! I did behind and on top of the fridge fairly recently but I am thinking I need to do inside the fridge again pretty soon!
      I am so glad you have had plenty of peaches and tomatoes. I love both! And beans, squash and zucchini! This will all be building up your pantry heaps!
      Have a good new week Teri. That was all lots of lovely produce and work done! Love

  23. Hi Annabel!
    I too am looking forward to the meat pies! I am wondering if it is similar to what we call pot pies? The Magnolias are so lovely! Pretty flowers always make everyone feel good when they are all in bloom don't they?
    I got more canning done and we are doing a rearrange on the new cellar as the shelves are ok, but I think some other ones will work better and we will use the plastic ones for different items. I did a freezer inventory and now just need to do a little bit of a rearrange there and those will be good. After canning season I will need to do deep cleaning and get everything fresh and clean again. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I think these are similar to pot pies... just without the pot! lol
      It is great your shelves are filling! That is wonderful. While you have all this going on thats enough and you will have time for other things later.
      It is amazing how much produce you have an you are keeping up with it too! Well done! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  24. Hi Annabel,
    We are building a house and are also planning on putting in solar panels. We would like a battery backup (a Tesla Powerwall or something) but just now they are so expensive! If you can't afford a battery at the moment, the important thing is to get a compatible inverter so y can do it later. I imagine they will reduce in price over the next 5-10 years. I am very interested in how you go with the solar...
    I am also very interested in your meat pies! They look fabulous. Very much looking forward to your tutorial :)
    All the best,

    1. Dear Peach, It is really interesting isnt it. The thing we discovered is that if the power goes out (the grid) then the solar doest work and you still have no power unless you have a battery. We didn't know this! So now we are hoping to be able to get a battery at least by summer. Eek! I will report what happens! I am working on my pie tutorial! Many thanks! With love

  25. Dear Annabel,
    Those meat pies look delicious!I know what you mean about being out of touch with prices. Hubby and I are the same and when we try to estimate how much something would cost to buy we realize these are more likely what we call "90's prices"! Individual meat pies at a bakery are around $4.50 each here. I called into a local Chinese bakery because I really felt like one of their custard tarts. Well they were $1.80 each or $18 for a dozen. I walked right out of there empty handed! I bake cakes, desserts and treats regularly and this saves us so much money each week-over $100 I think. So I've found a recipe and will make them myself! Your blog has really made me aware of my value and worth in the home, and of course my hubby's handyman skills save us so much too. I would never have bothered to add it up before. I also talk to my family about about you and some of the ladies as if we are neighbours, I love that :) We've had some problems with our power and have an electrician coming out on Monday, so fingers crossed it doesn't cost too much! xx

    1. Dear Mel,
      I think I was on 90s prices also! Your husbands hangman work would be worth so much. I am continually shocked but DIY, gardening things etc. Even dog washing... I find myself looking to see "how much is that?" now and its been rather educational!
      I really hope the electrician doesn't turn out a bad expense. Have a great new week Mel! With love

  26. Dear Annabel, your week sounds lovely. Those meat pies look so delicious. I can't wait for the post on them. I was excited to trying freezing a roast meal, after your suggestion, and it turned out fantastic. Thank you. Your advice is invaluable. I think ti is very exciting that your are going to get solar. How wonderful to be more and more self sufficient. We have had a good week. I made your DIVINE Sunshine Cake...oh it is so yummy. I also blitzed up a whole heap of carrots and froze them, so i could throw them into other meals, extend them and make them healthier. I made sultana and oat biscuits (cookies) and broccoli and cheese soup. i have saved part of that to make a chicken pie (hence, I can't wait for your post). We got our tax back and are saving it for our kitchen. We have started looking at colours etc. but really want to keep it simple, as most likely this is not our 'forever' home. I was very excited to hear a dear friend of mine is pregnant (this has been long awaited; after much hardship), so I plan on really thinking about gifts to give her and freezer meals to make. Lots of love, Bridge P.S. Thank you Annabel for such positivity.

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Thank you so much. I originally started plating up spare roast dinners for next days lunch or another time as Mum has always done this. Its lovely having a roast dinner meal. Then I saw that people buy roast dinners in the freezer department. So it dawned on me to freeze them. Amazing.
      Im glad you enjoy that sunshine cake. We love it. It gets a few runs each winter. Well done on such nice cooking.
      It is beautiful your friend is having a baby! You will have so much fun and be such a help to her too! How exciting!
      Have a great week Bridge, with love,

  27. Dear Annabel, thank you for another lovely post, you had a great week full of lovely pies and tarts and flowers . My week included:
    Winning a meat tray in a raffle ( it was a big tray of steak and sausages which I shared with my parents) .
    I gratefully received a chicken and leek pot pie from my parents
    I also gratefully received four serves of pumpkin soup ( made by mum)
    I saved another $100 for my holiday.
    I have 3 strawberries nearly ready to be picked in my container garden.
    I made two cards for a friend
    I resisted buying some magazines.
    I bought a set of steak knives half price.
    Plus all the usual things.
    I hope you have a great new week Annabel , love BarbW

    1. Dear Barb,
      Congratulations on winning such a nice prize! That was fantastic! And on saving more for your holiday! These tow things alone mean it was a good week! Plus you made cards and had lovely soup and pie... lots of good things. Have a great new week Barb! With lots of love

  28. Dear Annabel, I'm a little late getting to read your post as we've been busy cleaning and painting.
    Currently our 35 yo laundry and bathroom are being renovated. Unfortunately we don't have the skills to do this ourselves, so have been saving up so we can have a builder do the bulk of the work, and we'll do all the painting. The laundry floor proved a nightmare for the builder - the house has shifted so the tiles were cracked around the walls, but were so well fixed, it took a whole day to jackhammer. The laundry is now finished, but the dust!!
    Anyway, just 2 things from me this week, cleaning and painting.
    Looking forward to next weeks posts,

  29. Dear Annabel,
    I am really looking forward to your meat pie tutorials. Meat plus pie is sure to be a hit with my husband! Yours look delicious.
    This week was the first full week of my husband's new job. The biggest part of my nest feathering was cooking breakfast, packing his lunch, and sending coffee with him each day. I added up how much this saves and it comes to $75 per week/ $300 per month! He wears a uniform now, so I have been keeping that pressed, too.
    I did lots of work outside cleaning the back patio, potting plants I had purchased on sale, and trimming some tree branches that hung down over the porch.
    I worked on cleaning the utility room and managed to finish the row of cabinets.
    As we are ahead pantry wise, I only purchased cream this week. I am in a position now where I won't have to buy things if they are not on sale.
    For the gift cupboard, I purchased six notebooks to make over on sale for 50 cents each. I also ordered cellophane bags to package things like you do. It really does a lot for presentation.
    I made a lovely bouquet from a native flowering bush and arranged them in a jar for the table. I put a white table runner underneath and set some small quail figurines around the base. Papa was very happy to see that.
    I made a key lime pie, my husband's favorite, for his first day of work.
    Bed risers! My grandma always used bed risers, and I remember how much I loved sleeping in a high bed as a kid. Yes it was a long way down, lol. I can't wait to see what you and Andy come up with.
    Have a lovely new week!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I am so pleased week 1 went well! And I am glad you worked out the savings on the lunches and coffees etc. If people did this they wouldn't see it as a problem to make them it is so worthwhile! $300 a month is massive so well done!
      You also got heaps done! What a good week! I hope you love the cellophane bags! Sometimes say for cookies or something you can insert a colour cardboard backing into a cellphone bag to give it support or even a small box or lid. There are so many ways you can use them. They look wonderful around your cards or tags as gift sets too.
      The flowers on the table and the able setting! I love that! What a lovely scene to set.
      I bet your husband appreciated the special pie for his first day at work!
      Kelsey I am so glad for you! Have another wonderful week! With love


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