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 1 September 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 2nd September, 2016.

Welcome to Spring! Or welcome to September if it is not spring for you.  The sun is shining and the trees are covered in blossoms.

I had a big week! This was partly because of my 100 Day Challenge that I mentioned last Friday.  It made each day a bit busier. I am going to list what I did at the end of this post.

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week were:

I brought flowers into the house from the garden. This little mermaid was my Nan's and I always loved her!

And Andy brought me flowers ...

I got some more last minute pruning done.

I packed all the lunches and the fishing day picnic and drinks. 

My daughter gave me a big bag of cosmetics. She used to work for several cosmetic companies. The products and samples she was given were amazing! I had a whole bag of it to help myself to! There were some things in just lovely colours for me and now I have lots of beautiful supplies! There were some things that were brand new and unopened but not my colours. I have made up a basket of these to give to a cancer charity where Mum sends the hats that she knits.  

A surprise came in the mail! My friend Sue sent me all this beautiful wool! 

The colour is just gorgeous! It is lambswool and angora. Thank you so much Sue! I will be putting this to good use!

Mum gave me a lamb roast and that was dinner one night plus lunches the next day. I roasted it with rosemary from the garden.

I did lots of painting and spring cleaning (more about that in a minute)

I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce and three trays of lasagna. 

When cold I cut it up and got 16 good sized serves. I wrap these and freeze them.  The girls both got a couple of meals worth plus we ate spaghetti and lasagna fresh during the week as well.

I made up spaghetti meals for Chloe to take to the country...

Andy made me the bed risers!  

We only needed to raise the bed two inches in order to fit my big plastic tubs underneath.

For anyone who wants to do this I have shown how simple it is...

Then my tubs went underneath...

It turned out that the bedskirt was long enough as when pushed under you cannot see any of this! I thought I would need to lengthen this but I didn't.

So now I have spare pantry space to add a lot more supplies. To buy these online would have cost about $120. Andy made then for $10.

I have been working on blue towels with matching edgings...

So this was all a mix of feathering and saving all in one!

Last Friday I was already on day 5 of my challenge. It is to do some painting and spring cleaning for 100 days so that by summer and before Christmas I am finished the really big jobs.  I want December clear for Christmas and also summer free to help Lucy as the baby will be due.

Since some of you have joined me this is a summary of my challenge this week:

Day 5 Friday: Spring cleaning: Soaked and whitened pillow protectors and pillows.
                                                   Took down front porch light and washed it.
                       Painting: Sanded front door and where I had filled with putty out the front.

Day 6: Saturday: Spring cleaning: Cleaned range hood and filters. Did some decluttering.
                            Painting: Painted around a window on the front verandah and a verandah post.

Day 7: Sunday: Spring cleaning: Re arranged pots and re potted plants to make it all look nicer.
                          Painting: More window frames out the front of the house.

Day 8: Monday: Spring cleaning: Cleaned and washed under bed and behind bed. Replaced dust with         storage tubs!
                          Painting: None. 

Day 9: Tuesday: Spring cleaning: Washed down book cases in bedroom.
                           Painting: painted these bookcases. They now look so fresh and lovely!

Day 10: Wednesday: Spring cleaning: Re arranged furniture and cleaned underneath.
                                  Painting: Skirting boards in bedroom. Then suddenly my bedside tables and bedhead looked shabby in comparison so I painted those too and they look lovely! 

Day 11: Thursday: Spring cleaning: Re arranged and tidied kitchen pantry.
                               Painting: None. I just ran out of day....

So that brings me to today! I am either painting or babysitting or both but not sure yet. But I can see I am getting somewhere! Although the front of the house is a patchwork of painted and unpainted areas! And the painted areas make the rest look terrible!  I can see that it is going to look amazing! I am so excited! 

That is my week! I hope you had a good week and have a great weekend.
How did you build up your home or save? 
If you have joined in the 100 day challenge what did you get done?
Chipping away at giant projects really does get you there.  I am really glad to look at what I have done and see progress. That makes me happy and takes my mind of the 88 days left of my challenge! haha! 
On the weekend I am planning to paint my high bay window frames in the bedroom. I only do the high up painting on the big ladder when Andy is home so at least there is someone to call an ambulance! 
Plus I am cleaning the oven! eek.


  1. Annabel that little mermaid is just delightful. I have a chubby bubby ballet dancer that was my beautiful MIL's. I see it and think of her beautiful, inside and out, self.
    I've been spending quite a bit of time in my garden getting it cleaned up and planted out. I need to have everything in now so I can get a harvest prior to the high heat and humidity of Christmas. I do one bed and it shows how much of a mess the rest is. I don't have to worry about mowing as my wonderful garden fairy neighbours came in and mowed and whipper snipped, whilst I was down south with Bluey. Good neighbours are gold.
    I'm not numbering my Challenge days, just using the days of the week.
    Saturday; 3 hours garden maintenance. Cleaned all the old passionfruit vines off the back and side fences. fed the dried vines through the mulcher and put these out on the garden. New batch of lavender soap for Christmas presents.
    Sunday and Monday; at the hospital with Bluey
    Tuesday Reorganised the Pantry, linen and laundry cupboards. Fixed a tap for my 90 year old neighbour.
    Wednesday; 2 hours garden maintenance. Collected broccoli seed and laid out to dry off. Collected 3 varieties of tomatoes and processed for the seed. Have these drying off on paper towel so as to be seed tape for next year. Mulched out the old corn bed.
    Thursday; Deep cleaned the oven, Cleaned out the bathroom cabinet. Cut out three dresses for me.
    Friday; Today putting a care package together for Bluey. Harvesting lettuce, capsicum, carrot, potato, kumera(orange sweet potato)and chinese cabbage.
    Making chicken noodle soup, with an Asian influence, for a sick Katie bear. Poaching chicken fillets for cold meat for the next couple of days.
    I like this challenge as it is making me get up and get things done, rather than mooching around. The accountability keeps me honest.

    1. Dear Jane,
      We hope Bluey is recovering well - slowly, but surely!
      Regards to you both,
      Rachel Holt

    2. Dear Jane, You have done brilliantly especially considering Bluey being in hospital. You got heaps done! I am mid way through my oven too! Worst job! I started it later yesterday and finishing today.
      The garden is good work i.e. its so good to be outside, it is exercise and it produces food! Being in the garden is very calming and lovely I think. Even when working hard I feel good for the time spent out there.
      Getting so much done must feel great! When Bluey gets home he will be very impressed! Have a nice weekend and I am hoping Bluey getting home is much closer now! With love

  2. Well done Annabel and Andy. So much activity and also setting things up for the future. Those $10 bed risers will continue to save you money.

    I'm also doing the 100 Day Challenge, but with a lot less vim and vigour than you...and than my previous self. I didn't think to keep a list of what I did, but I kept my 'Blueprint' in my mind and made a conscious effort to get further along with it. I have ten different areas which need attention and nurturing so I try to get something done from at least five of those each day. Ideally from all of the areas. My ten areas for betterment are:


    I cooked all meals and snacks for the week on Monday, leaving me my days 'free' after that. I love this and it is working so well for me. Saving time, hassle, money and sanity all the while.

    I got into the garden and did some weeding and prep for planting. Then planted a whole heap of pansies out, along the front fence, near my front door, along two pathways. Today the rain is watering them for me.

    I had two 'lost' days as one child was singing at the Opera House one day and dancing in an Eisteddfod on another. And these things take so much more time than just the performance that you really do lose the whole day. Not 'lost' when it is the stuff of memory making though.

    I also did a lot of long overdue tasks in a Spring cleaning kind of way. Thinking of how to reorganise the house as I went along so that it is functional for my less functional back.

    I de-decorated all of the Winter things and re-decorated for the arrival of Spring. Brought in lots of flowers from the garden. Made up a Springtime hamper for the cherubs to arrive home to. Gave their rooms a bit of a Spring clean too.

    Went through more paperwork.

    And made a new 'plan' for looking after myself and my health...historically something that is last on the list. After my 'healing hibernation' I started back into doing some proper walking with the dog. Bit ouchy but okay. And I got to pick spring wildflowers on my way.

    And I found some lovely things for Christmas...just to keep me inspired. Not because I am jumping the gun on Christmas.....noooooo. I am PREPARING for Christmas, not STARTING to Christmas. LOL.

    I'm sure I must have forgotten things as that doesn't seem like much and I know that I spent my days busily achieving things from my Betterment Blueprint.

    Have a lovely week everyone.

    1. Dear Lorax, Yesterday I went walking with Harper. She sings as we go. Someone had planted violets along their front fence line on the footpath and they looked so lovely and happy! I love them!
      Haha there is a fine line between preparing and starting! Well I do the same, I collect all year for Christmas, and make. But Dec 1st we decorate and it begins! All gifts and expenses covered before then are a big bonus.
      You did very well and around busy days too. Looking at your list of areas to work on my mind goes into overdrive about how you can "kill tow birds with one stone" i.e. what gardening you do is also good for your health, you are getting some lovely sun and it is exercise. So thats actually killing three birds with one stone.... You get the idea...
      We have made a good start and an impact! I hope Spring is really a great new beginning for you. You probably have to be really careful not to over do things and balance activity and rest. But each day is progress! Have a lovely weekend!
      Thank you for sharing your challenge here. It is a big motivation as most of us have long lists and it can be daunting... or fun!
      With love

  3. I thought I was reading an old post until I remembered your seasons are different than mine. You have been so very busy,I am really trying to down size because we are looking for a smaller home. My hubby retires in May so we are getting ready for a whole new stage in our lives.

    1. Dear Tealady,
      Downsizing and moving are a lot of work. But it will be wonderful to enter a new stage together and get yourselves set up to enjoy it!
      Between now and May you will get so much done. I am amazed how doing something each day is really enormous quite quickly!
      Have a wonderful weekend! Love

  4. Happy Spring to you! Your hubby did a great job on those bed risers. My hubby made something similar except they went all the way from the front to back legs of his father's favorite chair so it would be easier for him to get in and out of. :)

    1. Dear Debbie, Thanks! I saw that they use them on chairs when I was hunting online. Very handy.
      I am really pleased as its a big area to have in use now!
      With love

  5. Dear Annabel , you and Andy got a lot of work done and your painting on that bookcase looks perfect! You achieved a lot this week with so much being painted as well as cooking . And the roses Andy gave you are gorgeous!
    Jane is doing well too.
    Lorax , lovely to see you here and doing so much with how things are for you.
    Tealady, good luck with the downsizing, exciting times ahead for you and hubby.
    This week two days I have been out helping older family members.And 1 day out with DD for her birthday.Yesterday I worked all day at home catching up on housework, vacuumed to to bottom, dusted and washed all flooring.And little jobs like cleaning vacuum filters and replacing the bag.Shaking and changing the couch covers and one the protects the rug when the littlies come to visit.Sorting and wrapping cards and gifts for 2 fathers and 1 anniversary, and 2 small gifts for when we go away to visit friends soon.
    Made your pastrami and we loved it! I bought 2 corned beef on special last night to make it again in a week or two.
    So this week has not been so much about feathering my nest as about looking after and touching base with family members and friends. I felt a bit tired this week so our dinners have been quicker ones but ones we both enjoyed.I did strip the bed in one guest room and that is airing and sheets washed and away.Tomorrow I hope to revacuum and dust and wipe after recent visitors who stayed.Then strip the second spare room bed and do the same.
    DH and I chatted about what vege we would plant and where , and I bought the seedlings and other bits needed and he bought the soil and compost today, ready to start this weekend.
    And I also oiled my dear mums carved cabinet ,and want to work my way around a few other items in our home that are also good woods.
    Have a lovely weekend everyone, love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria,
      That was a good week. I am so pleased you liked the Pastrami. In my big crockpot I can cook two corned beef then use one as is and make Pastrami with the other. This sets me up for the week. In summer Andy is happy with cold meat and salad dinners. So I can use these in both lunches and dinners. Really good. He likes corned beef and gherkins. It sounds like a pregnancy craving to me but thats what he likes!
      You will be gardening so enjoy that and I hope the weather is nice. We have woken up to rain which slightly changes my plans!
      Thanks for sharing your week! With love

  6. I love your bed risers. I stash bargains under my bed too! Usually it's toilet paper and boxes of tissue. That way when I get a deal I have somewhere to put it all! Love your flowers!

    1. Dear Vickie, It is a handy space to use. Im thrilled with it!
      Have a great weekend! I found some ebooks thanks to you! Wiht love

  7. Hi Annabel!

    It has been a good week, and I'm so glad you received your pink wool! That's so lovely for Sue to do! Soft and pink ..... Pretty soon, your protege, Jo, will know just how you think when making plans for using pink wool! That's wonderful!

    Andy is the hero, again! His precision tool work is a real asset!!

    I love hearing about your Nan, and bringing flowers into the house. I'll be so glad when I get right out of this particular mode of chipping away at things, knowing that I'll then be chipping away at others! We're little 'chippies'!! Your painting-cleaning is looking good!!!!!

    As for our week, in exchange for some weeding, I obtained more sunshine for my garden, and then we had a little rain. Other 'winter work' continued. I saved on a trip for bread by baking my first damper - a moist pumpkin damper - inside a light, spun steel camp oven, sitting on the coals of the fire box of our wood heater. I knew I had to step outside to smell the baking aromas, from the flu, that say the baking is ready. It wasn't until I was around the other side of the house that I smelt it, and rushed back to a lovely, moist damper. My husband liked it so much that we ate it all up, with butter, and he's not one to throw away a compliment! Yes, there was a haircut, and mending (There was a section of pocket seam missing, and do you know what hassles this can cause a mechanic who might put tiny parts in his pocket? Ah!!) and digging down to the tank tap to do a plumbing repair to the water pump .....

    There was shopping ..... comparing different canned baked beans for prospective supplies ...... bringing home Dad's thin-leaved dandelion greens and seed, and parsley! ..... Then, my husband bought a few well-priced cauliflowers, since we like to steam them whole, divide them and serve them with cheese sauce! However, he returned to the shop for some WD40, while I waited in the car. I suddenly burst into laughter when, in the side mirror, I saw him return with more cauliflowers! "The sneaks!" he said. They had put out larger cauliflowers after he had taken earlier ones. He was offered his money back on the earlier ones, but was happy with his cauliflower supply. Then he went for the WD40! I had some difficulty packing the fridges, but that made my day! No, it won't be cauliflower soup, just steamed cauliflower with cheese sauce!

    It was a good week!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      I love cauliflower cheese! And I love the sound of that damper! I don't know if you tried Hildes beer bread but that is so quick and good and you can make it the same way. She adds herbs, cheese, corn and so on into it then bakes. But your pumpkin damper sounds sensational to me.
      Sun and rain is perfect for your garden!
      That was a very nice week! Have a beautiful weekend! With love

  8. Dear Annabel,
    What an amazing and productive week you've had. As you're going into spring and summer were going into fall and winter. Seeing all of your flowers and garden will definitely light up our colder months. Andy did a great job on the risers. Our bed is already high and I've been using the underneath for storing winter clothes in space bags and some canned good storage.

    Not much nest feathering got done this week as my husband had doctors appointments at the VA, which is over an hour's drive from us. However we made the most of it and did some enjoyable things while we were gone. I took my knitting in the car also so something got accomplished in our travels.
    On the way home, since no actual grocery shopping was done in a couple of weeks we stopped and got some shopping done for now and for pantry storage. Some garden harvesting got done and the vegetables and what's left of the peaches are waiting to be processed today and over the weekend.

    My hope is to get started on cleaning and reorganizing my sewing room sometime today. I'm sure it will take several days to accomplish.

    That's about it for me this week. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Those space bags are amazing. You can store such a lot in a small space with them and also no risk of moths!
      I also knit or crochet in the car. I love using that time to work on something!
      It sounds like you might be working on peaches just now. You will be so glad of all of this in winter!
      I hope you make good discoveries as you tidy your sewing room. I always find things I had forgotten about!
      Enjoy your weekend too Cookie, with love

  9. Annabel,
    Bed risers and flowers?! What a lucky lady you are you better bake that man some more brownies! LOL I love your shelves they are so fresh and new looking. It is the same old thing here. Fall is around the corner yay I love Fall! I am ready for soup! LOL I imagine people think we sit around eating soup right from the can, but since presentation is everything I dump it in a bowl first! I think we are supposed to get a little bit more of the hot weather yet so I am washing everything I can and drying it in the sun and soon I will be working on getting rid of items we don't need. I started by gifting my DIL a bunch of DVD's and for feathering my nest it will be outside feathering! my aunt that has the nursery gifted me 2 blueberry bushes, 2 elderberry bushes, 2 goji berry bushes, a butterfly bush, a hydrangea and a lavender plant! She knows how my guys "prune" things so she gave me extra! LOL Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      Wow! All those lovely plants for your garden! Some pretty and some useful too!
      I love fall too (Autumn here) and by then I am also ready for soup and stews and pies. Just now I am changing over to summarise things and thinking of salads and how to avoid using the oven. I really enjoy the change of seasons!
      De cluttering is part of my spring cleaning too. I have given away and donated quite a lot. More to come as I do new areas. I would rather actual empty spaces or more room for important and useful storage. I think in a crisis an old tennis racquet isn't going to be much help but a shelf of candles or canned goods will be!
      Have a great weekend! With love

  10. I made big goals for September...and I've just had a big monkey wrench tossed in to the lot but I will deal with it as it's not an unhappy sort of monkey wrench! I spent most of my last week making plans for September. I have a rather nice start on a gift pantry thanks to the clearance rack at Target and a few other things besides. You've done a lovely job on your things and I see that you get into the 'might as well as' mode of work the same as I do with your bedroom set getting painted, lol.

    1. Dear Terri,
      I hope what ever the monkey is it isn't too bad. There are always things cropping up thats for sure.
      I liked your article on "Less" and thought that is very true. It applies to so many things!
      Yes I thought I might as well keep going and this keeps happening... its the dressing table next!
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love

  11. Hi Annabel,
    You managed an amazing amount of feathering this week. Such a clever idea the bed risers, and the flowers are really lovely. It may be a lot of painting at the moment, but once finished, everything will look wonderful.
    This week, We detailed our cars, now they're looking practically brand new. I made yogurt, plus another batch of ANZAC biscuits as the lot from last week managed to "disappear". Outside, I cleared a couple of garden beds of plants that had died back and made some weedkiller for the gravel path (just need the rain to stop for a couple of days so I can get it sprayed on the path).
    That's it for me as the bathroom is mid re-construction so any amount of deep cleaning is pretty useless, still, it's only for a short time and should be finished the end of next week.
    Have a great weekend,

    1. Dear Janine,
      Wow! Detailing your cars is a big job! I can imagine they look fantastic though! That would have cost so much to get done so well done!
      I can't wait to do our bathroom and know it will be a bit of a nightmare while its being done. So I really hope yours is on track and you will love it! I figure we don't have to spring clean a room that is getting ripped out at least!
      I hope you have a lovely weekend, with love

  12. Dear Annabel,
    You got so much done this week! Absolutely amazing! I have quite a few unfinished jobs around my house to do. Painting is one of them. Hubby wants to finish our patio and also build an area to keep chickens. I might suggest and 80 day challenge to him! Like you, we try to get the jobs done by Christmas so we can relax. This week my youngest has been sick with tonsillitis, and my eldest son turned 15!I baked him a caramel cake with caramel icing, salted caramel sauce and peanut toffee shards, I also finished off a bday gift for my stepsons girlfriend, and make hubby some treats for Fathers Day. xx

    1. Dear Mel,
      A challenge would be good to get all this done! Imagine how you will feel at Christmas! Plus I am secretly willing you o get chickens as you will love that!
      The cake sounds beautiful. I adore all things caramel! You have just reminded me its Fathers Day tomorrow. I am prepared I just forgot!
      I have continued to Spring clean today... but the day isn't long enough for everything I wanted to do! I tackled the oven. It wasn't pretty. But I won in the end!
      Many thanks Mel, with love

  13. Crocheting those towels, you just gave me an idea. I purchased a plain cotton blanket the other day at a good price....but its plain. I'll bet I could crochet an edge around that to spruce it up. (Even with my very limited crochet


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