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 5 January 2017

Feather your Nest Friday and the Vicky Challenge 2017.

The first week of the year is not over yet and I feel so happy I was able to hit the ground running! The list I keep on my fridge is long!

As I wanted to set the scene this week for the whole year I have to face up to another change I need to make. Rachel prompted me by being a good friend! For ages I have known I can't continue to individually reply to all comments every time. It goes against what I think is important. I have followed blogs and commented, sometimes repeatedly, and never had a reply and felt there was no point commenting. I also think it's rude. I have always tried to read every comment and reply. I am so grateful for all the participation, help and ideas you share.
Rachel wrote to me and said "Annabel you cannot try to keep up with all this yourself anymore" (or words to that effect! And she is right. She also said she and others can help with replies and that is already happening quite often which I really appreciate!
I know this is all true and that it  takes a good friend to tell you the truth.  Unaddressed it will lead to me not being able to write the blog anymore due to the volume of replies and behind the scenes correspondence. (which is at least the volume of replies)
But I don't want to disappoint anyone and I still feel rude if I don't reply! And I love reading all the comments and this is how we get to know each other and gather so many new ideas. That is a joy for me as in a break I made a cup of tea and sit down to read what you have been doing and making!
I will still reply and read every comment, just the replies will be a bit less. And if you would help anyway you can by answering a question or offering an idea etc then that would be wonderful as this is a little community now with quite a lot of friendships formed.
Thank you for understanding. I don't like it. I just am facing that it is a reality I have to work out a way to manage.

That said, I got heaps done this week and still wrote my blog and my replies!

These are some of the things I did to feather the nest this week:

Yesterday I made soap! I have gifts made for week one!  Instead of pretty moulds like I used last year this year I was inspired by Lush which is a shop here that sells soaps and body products. I was also inspired by Mimi who made the most divine soap on A Tray of Bliss just before Christmas. You get chunky slices of soap and each one is quite large so it is a gift in itself. I will share how I did it next week but this is it so far...

I made a tray of bacon and cheese scrolls for Andy's lunches. I love making these as you don't have to cut and fill sandwiches the filling is in them already! And they freeze well.

I was given three bananas which I froze to make Banana Cake.

This is my Vicky Challenge for the week:

Andy saved us a lot of money. He fixed my Kitchen Aid Mixer. It was in big trouble bouncing around and leaking black oil! I thought it was dead. He watched this problem get fixed on you tube and spent two hours on it. It now runs like new!  Saving $200 in repairs. It kneads my sourdough bread for me and is a huge help. I could count a lot more for the cost of a replacement. This was a gift from my Mum and I hope to keep it going forever.

He spent an afternoon cleaning up the yard after the storm we had, go out the blower vac, trimmed, mowed etc. If we paid for someone to come in it would have been at least $180.

He cleaned out the gutters before the storm. If we paid for that it is over $100.

I had been bitten by bugs for several days. Mozzies don't usually bother me. Something was biting me all over. I normally don't like sprays but this got out of hand and I started feeling unwell. Andy bug sprayed the entire yard and outside of the house. It cost $60 in supplies but when I checked how much would this cost in Adelaide it was between $300 and $400. So I will say it saved us around $300.

Then he fixed a blind. It was a fairly major fix and it saved us buying a new one so that was $80 saved.
He also got a tyre fixed and the man didn't charge him anything for it!

All this was over the weekend and at the end I told him he had saved us $860 . He was amazed and I could see he felt good.  I also haven't had anymore insect bites!

As the week went on it got hotter and hotter. Yesterday I decided to put this to good use. I washed the underlay from our bed. It is very thick wool. I used the wool wash I made. It came up beautifully and smells lovely. Lucy gave me bluebird clothes pegs! 

It was completely dry in a few hours. I also washed the pillow protectors, bed skirt, quilt/doona, doona cover and all the linen. By evening it was all back on the bed. All the washing water was on the garden giving it a drink in the heat. Win win!
There is nothing like climbing into bed with all this fresh and smelling like sunshine. 
I googled how much is it to get a large doona washed in our city. $99! was the answer. And the same for the underlay.  (this sounds like madness to me but they are the prices)

The soaps I was copying are $6.95 each but mine are about double the size. I got 20 bars. Less costs this is a saving of about $120.  

I made two large focaccia loaves. Saving $12.
The scrolls, saving about $30.
I made a dress into a top. I never wore this dress but liked the top of it. I will call it a $50 new top!

I washed all the outside windows. My idea was to start the new year with sparkly windows! I googled this is $100 on average here. 

So I wrote $1342 into our savings book for this week which is massive.  Sharing this with my husband has really paid off. He loves it. 
I forgot to count lunches for a short week $80! 

So we had a week of getting heaps done, some major repairs, washing big things, cooking and the present making has begun! I am really happy with that!

Today and tomorrow are pretty hot.  I am getting out the sewing machine to sit and quietly sew while staying out of the heat. I am planning "use it up" pizzas on the weekend!

How did you build up your nest this week? I hope it was a wonderful start to the year.  
Have a great weekend!  On Monday we start our preparedness series for the year.  I am hoping by the end of the year your present cupboard will be full and also your pantry! xxx


  1. I am always amazed at what you achieve. You are a true inspiration.

  2. Sensible idea Rachael .... Annabel your blog has grown exponentially and I often wonder how you manage to reply and I'm am sure nobody would be the least bit offended if u cut back. We all just love the blog, love the community you have fostered and that in itself is a blessing.

    Great savings already this week. I love reading what you are doing. I'm sitting outside currently and less than ten feet away a parrot is eating a crab apple, holding it ever so politely in one foot. Nature is beautiful. Have a great weekend. Fi xx

  3. Dear Annabel , firstly I will say thus : Rachel is very wise and I had also been thinking how much time and effort you put into the replies to comments.we all know how dedicated you are to bluebirds but I am sure we all understand that you need time to yourself and your family too and also time to do the things you blog about!.
    My week has been productive but slow and a quiet and reflective start to the year. I have feathered my best by receiving a large beef and vegetable pie and a meal of sausages and fried rice from my parents, I saved $25 on groceries and banked $20 of the savings, I have de cluttered some more in my craft area in preparation for the Christmas challenge and to make way for all my new goodies.
    I bought some after Christmas bargains including a gift for my eldest niece as part of her birthday gift . I have used some of my new die cut shapes/ templates to cut out some shapes and have made a card and have some shapes ready for other cards. I bought a 2017 planner/ diary and have started using it. I had my usual subsidised cleaning yesterday . I am not feeling really well today, a bit lethargic and weak so please excuse me for not listing individual savings but I estimate I have saved about $250 this week, a slow start to 2017 but I am happy.
    I love your soaps Annabel, they look gorgeous. Have a good weekend Annabel and bluebird community . Love Barb W.


    1. Barb, after all the heat, do you have a special pick-me-up treat you can eat/drink - something just to make you feel better?

      Take care,

    2. Dear Barb, I hope you feel better! You had a good week and are off to a good start for the year! With love

    3. Dear Rachel and Annabel , thank you for caring.i feel a bit better today and even managed to go out for awhile this morning. Rachel, it's funny you say that about a pick me up treat, I bought some zooper dooper, ice blocks like the ones my sister and I had as children and had one the other night, it cooked me down and picked me up !. My usual pick me up treat is a cup of English breakfast tea but it's too hot to drink too much of it . Tonight I had a lovely dinner, thanks to my mum and that picked me up a lot. I had leftover mince and veg pie and then apple crumble for sweets. I rarely have apple crumble but I love it . Thanks again Rachel and Annabel . Love Barb w.

  4. Dear Annabel,
    I totally agree with Rachel! You always answer each of us with such caring, love, and appreciation. We appreciate all you do. Your posts take a lot of time and you share so freely. Please do what is best for yourself. We can all answer each other and chat via the comments :).
    Your soap is gorgeous!! That is an incredible amount of savings for one week.
    We are on a "use it up and make do," year. We have never done this before but are very excited about it. There are so many things to use up around our house (LOL).
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    With love and hugs,

  5. Hi Annabel and mob!!

    I'd better get in early and say I will be delighted to take any blame for helping to preserve (not in jars!) our fearless leader! We Aussies like to look after our 'mates'!
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, Thank you! This morning I am reading everyone replies which I love. I just realised that reading them all properly takes a while but I love it. Now I will have time to read and enjoy more. Plus its very hot here and such a hot night. Hard going... With love

  6. I'm with Rachel we need to support our favorite bluebird! I love to read all the comments and inspiration from Annabel's bluebird nation...I wanted to chime in and say your soaps look divine and was wondering if you would share your bacon and cheese roll recipe my husband is a big bacon fan I think they would be a hit at our house too. Thank you so much Annabel for all you do! Love Gaila in Washington State USA

    1. Dear Gaila, I love your comment about Bluebird nation! What I will do is take photos of the steps next time I do them and post that for you. They are simple and economical really as a bit of bacon goes a long way. I hope that will help and they will be good for your household. Today I warmed two and sent them with Andy for breakfast on the road. Easy! Thanks so much! Love

    2. Thank you! We can't wait to try them 😀

    3. I'm looking forward to that recipe too, I also think my husband would like the cheese and bacon roll. Annabel I understand about your time limitations on answering every comment on your blog. Thank you for giving us a 'heads up' as to the changes. You're such an inspiration, I wouldn't be surprised if some book publisher contacted you to write a book! And I love that name, 'Bluebird Nation'!

  7. Annabel, good idea about the individual replies. Perhaps just write one reply after a day or so as most readers comment fairly quickly. It is time consuming but I am sure nobody minds in the least. I certainly don't. I look forward to seeing what you get up to this year and my oh my that is a LOT of soap to make in one day :-)

  8. What a great start to the year! I agree with Rachel and the ladies above. I think I've been following your blog a year or so, I have really seen a sense of community form. I love visiting here. It keeps me motivated and inspired.

    I am in a season of life where I don't feel I have the time to accomplish much by way of feathering and building up my best, its more of a maintaining and keeping things going mentality. I homeschool our two older children and I have a toddler. Most days I only have time to do school, make and clean up meals, and do a bit of laundry. I used to feel discouraged about this, and sometimes still do, but I've learned from you, Annabelle, and many of the other bluebird ladies, that even a bit of getting ahead is helpful. So I try, but I would forget if I didn't visit here! Also, I wanted to tell you that I have just loved Laine's letters, which you reference from time to time. I wish I could get up that early every day and work with the enthusiasm she describes in her letters. :)

    -Amy in the USA

    1. Hi Amy, as I read your comment, it brought back a memory from when I was a young mother with a new baby. I remember it was all I could do to take care of the baby, put a meal on the table and keep up with the laundry. Don't feel bad, it is a season of your life, and this season will in due time, change. I know it might not feel as if you are accomplishing anything or getting ahead, but you are--you are accomplishing the most important thing one day at a time. Good job Amy! (BTW, I am 63 and I tear up when I think of those long ago days when I was in your shoes--enjoy those soft little faces and bodies, and the fun things they say and how much they love and need you. You are VERY important!)

    2. Dear Amy,
      You are doing great and you are doing a lot! Keep on readings Laines Letters as they build you up. And you get tips. The In MY Home Letters are good for seeing the little ways Laine got ahead and she had four and was homeschooling so she can be helpful to you.
      You have given me an idea to write a post about ways to get ahead when you have virtually no spare time. i.e. if you can afford it when there is a great special buy extra and build up your pantry. Do each thing in little bits this way and you get ahead. Also be like Laine and have the older children helping in ways they can and a routine etc. These things really help. The Prudent Homemaker is a good blog for this she homeschool with 7 plus a toddler and I pick up a lot of tips from her.
      Joy thank you so much for encouraging Amy!
      Anyway I always say there are seasons.The number one thing is to enjoy the season you are in and do your best with it as it passes faster than you think! You are doing a good job! With love

    3. Thank you Joy and Annabelle! I treasure your advice and encouragement! -Amy

  9. Dear Annabel,

    You are such a kind person, and I can see how you would want to reply to everyone's comment, but I have been wondering for ages how you could possibly keep up! You have to spend SOME time OFF the computer, too! And there are so many comments these days...we all understand! This won't stop us commenting, don't worry! xx

    Isn't YouTube grand for repairs? My hubby has done that a couple of times for washing machine repairs, saving us hundreds of dollars either on a new washer!! or on a repairman...which would be astronomical in cost, since we live so far out of town. We've only been able to take advantage of YouTube recently, though, as only dial-up service was previously available to us...and that meant no videos! :) So we're happy we can use that to help save $$ these days.

    I have feathered this week by making a couple of gorgeous pillowcases from a thrift-shopped sheet I had on hand, gathered up the last of the celery root from the (frozen rock solid) garden, made up a huge stockpot's worth of soup from the Christmas turkey carcass, and generally tidied up and fluffed.

    Your soap is so beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend.

    Love, Jen in NS

  10. Dear Annabel,
    I also totally agree with Rachel. You've created something very special here and we all love and appreciate you for it. Take good care of yourself.

    Your savings were amazing and the soap is gorgeous. As for nest feathering this week for me, I took more craft supply inventory and found some hatboxes, candles, flower pots, and magnetic tape and Modpodge Win the process. I baked some scones, made lemon butter, had all meals at home, washed the blinds and sorted out some books to donate to the library and did some quilting and crocheting. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

  11. Dear Annabel, Good on your friend Rachel...she is right!
    As Cookie said, "You have created something special here and we all love and appreciate you for it. Take good care of yourself." I know you read and value all the comments .... just as we appreciate all your sharing and inspiring. I do not think anyone would mind a change in the way you reply to the comments. Please do what is best for you. Many, many thanks...Cheers Jo

  12. Only got one thing done as far as saving money, Christmas we had a huge ham and there were plenty of leftovers so I made pea soup or as my father in law called it ham soup. Made over 2 gallons, froze some gave some away. Also pack about 10 10 oz. containers for my lunch's.

    1. Your soup sounds marvelous! I dearly love pea soup with ham (and ham leftovers generally) so having 2 gallons sounds heavenly to me!
      Blessings, Leigh

  13. Replying to comments is something I've struggled with on my blog. I do read every comment but sometimes time doesn't allow me to reply to every one. It feels rude when I don't reply but I have a family to look after, a job to go to and a garden and chickens to tend.

    Look after yourself first Annabel xoxo

  14. Hi Annabel and mob!!

    Well, the soaps, themselves, look beautiful! I can imagine the joy you found in blending them up, Annabel, and the roses are beautifully resourceful!

    The warmest part of the post, to me, was the 'Andy snaps', where you appreciated Andy's efforts, and he felt so encouraged!! This is the way to go!!

    The Vicky Challenge has become an item of renown!! You and Vicky are two wonderful characters!!

    Now, my contribution to all this potentially noisy chatter is this .... I have learnt, this summer, that, even though we do not have peaches on our peach tree, I can use the peach leaves as a tea - and they are wonderful as a cooling, rehydrating part of my days. When we do move into autumn, though, I think something rehydrating and WARMING would be better. I have been wondering about the leaves around me, and, slowly, the information is trickling in!! A little old herbology magazine mentioned a ginger, honey and fig leaf tea! We ought to have figs to eat, and do have fig leaves! There is interesting online information on both dried and fresh fig leaf tea!

    Apple leaves!! Crumbs! Among other things, they can strengthen and tonify the digestive tract ..... and how many need this!! We don't get apple crops, but we do have apple leaves!! Cherry leaves are used like peach leaves. Then, who would have thought? I was wondering about pear leaves, but all the searches were jumping out with 'avocado pear' information. That means avocados! Avocado leaves sound incredible - made into a paste for one's skin; as a red hued tea for high blood pressure and a variety of ailments, and supposedly nice tasting; in cooking, like bay leaves!! Yikes!! But wait! The seed can be eaten, too!! It is supposed to be so packed with antioxidant and other goodness that it is said that if one puts the seed into a bowl of guacamole, the guacamole will keep longer! Mm mm ?! One can use the avocado seed in a tea, or just crack it open, chop/blend it up, and enjoy! (Lynette, it reads as a nutritional support for people like your brother.) Now, these are all words. I have some tea drinking and avocado seed eating to do! Will anyone read up for themselves and help in the testing?!

    I am encouraging Bluebirds to alight awhile and rest on the party line!!

    Plenty of 'blog secretaries' are welcome here - to keep Annabel entertained!!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Alas Rachel I am the only one of my family who is into natural things - but I do appreciate the information.

      I have a 'drum stick' tree that I am working on finding a spot for in the backyard - the backyard is going to be the edible garden area but my husband doesn't know this yet. The drum stick tree is supposed to have lots of health benefits, you eat the leaves either in a stew or salad so I can see lots of sneaking the leaves into what my husband is eating once the tree is established and I can start picking from it. Even if it only does 1/2 of what I read about it will still improve his health without him knowing about it.


    2. Ha ha!! That's great, Lynette! Toasted sandwiches are wonderful for steaming greens into, I find!

    3. Thanks Rachel, hadn't thought of a toasted sandwich. I paid $10- a kilo for macadamia nuts in their shell while away - wanted to get some for my husband as part of his Christmas present and couldn't find any until we were away.


  15. Rachel is such a clever cookie and is definitely steering you in the right direction. I have often wondered if you slept, given the amout you achieve on the home front and the writing of thoughtful blog entries, answering emails and messages and then replying to comments. I'm breathless just thinking about it. Taking a step back and being judicious about replies is going to allow you to be a better mentor to those of us that look to you in this way.
    The DIL asked me if I could make a new pram liner. She got into the stash and chose the fabric. Liner made. I made her a play suit for Christmas but it was just too short in the body. Today I pulled it apart and remade it with a waist elastic casing that gave the extra length she needed.
    The DIL bought a scoby with her and I now have a kombucha tea on the brew. I mended two of Tilly's toys and so far she hasn't managed to pull them apart again..
    Annabel I don't know what I did wrong but my last three atempts at sourdough have not been overly spectacular. I am a very persistent person and will continue until I get it right.
    I made two new king pillow cases for our bed. I made them using the tube method and am very impressed with how easy they were and the great finish. So far everything has come out of the stash.
    Our son gifted us his mobile air con. With the one we have the house is lovely and cool in the heat of the day. Poor Tilly has been suffering a bit with the heat so a cool house is welcome.
    Your savings were amazing. Mine were pretty good coming in at $600. I'm happy with this.
    Life is good.

    1. How clever of you to make over the play suit with waist elastic! I can only do basic sewing, so I admire ladies like you who know what you're about with the harder projects.
      Blessings, Leigh

    2. Leigh my DIL is just starting her sewing adventures. She wasn't quite sure what to do and didn't understand when I said what I planned. She watched and she now has a bit more of an idea of how to get in and refit clothing. If you have the basics of sewing it is just a matter of working your way from simple tasks to more difficult ones. A bit like me and my sourdough making. I have a long way to go before I am proficient in this area.

  16. Dear Annabel,

    You had fantastic savings this week. It is an asset to have a handy man about the house. I have one too and this saves us thousands. Rarely do we have to call a repair person, only when it is un-fixable by Phil.

    Your soap is looking really good!

    I have to agree with Rachel about the comments. When I started blogging the reply option wasn't available, so I never used to answer very often, that is what was done back then. Now the trend seems to be to answer individually but with so many people commenting on blogs it is hard to keep up with replies. I sometimes take a few days to get to mine and I usually keep my comments short. I do not have any where near the amount you do, so I really don't know how you manage it :)

    My advice would be to do what is best for you Annabel. I would hate for you to burnout. Maybe just comment at the beginning of each post about the previous post/comments, if you know what I mean. Or as Nanna Chel says, just answer with one comment after a couple of days.

    I am going to do some crafting tomorrow, and forget about the heat!

    Have a great weekend,

    Love Tania xx

  17. Have a great weekend. I'll be thinking of you in your warm weather as we are due to have some snow and freezing rain here.
    As always I love your blog and seeing the wonderful things you do, such an inspiration!

  18. Your soaps look just like the fancy artisan bars, Annabel. I had "make soap" on my list for this week, but decided to wait because I want to collect up and try some upcycled molds in the spirit of your "use it up" craft challenge.
    I made homemade hot cocoa (hot chocolate?) mix this week. The flavor is equal to anything I've ever had from a coffee shop. The ingredients for a double batch cost maybe $4 (US)to make about 2 dozen cups of hot cocoa and one cup of hot cocoa at a coffee shop would be $3-4. I also made a double batch of granola this week.
    Have a lovely weekend, ladies!
    Blessigs, Leigh

  19. Count me in to the group that are amazed that you respond back to everyone's posts and always with such love and care! This is the nicest group of ladies, always encouraging one another and offering helpful suggestions. I'm so glad I "found" you all!

    This weekend I will be taking our Christmas tree down, cleaning out the holiday closet (yikes!), waxing the great room floors, and then hopefully snuggling in with a project. I've already got several started and I have an entire drawer of UFOs that need to be gotten to as well. I think my winter should be pretty productive. My oldest daughter sent me a whiteboard for Christmas that I have hung on my craft room wall. Now I can make notes of all of the lovely items here that I want to make but would forget about unless I write them down!


    1. Jeanette my whiteboard is full of ideas and is referenced to what I have in my stash. I'm glad someone else has a crafting whiteboard.

  20. A great week foe everyone again, I agree with what Rachel said.
    Nanna Chels idea is a good one and comment just once every day or couple of days, I would read all comments and make a note of reply and do one comment and include a little reply to every comment. When I had my blog I felt rude if I didn't reply and some days it gets too much. Do what you feel comfortable doing.
    Soap is on my list to do shortly and yours is so pretty. My bread is going well and I'll have to make scrolls too for Glenn to take to work.
    We have the heat wave hitting us this week too and not looking forward to that.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Love Debbie xx


  21. Annabel

    Annabel, you achieved such a lot in this first week.
    I have feathered my nest by washing my lambswool slippers, and a chair cushion, during this hot weather they dry very quickly. this has also saved me approx. $50, with 2 more cushions to go today.
    I bought some jars at the op shop saving $18 on the cheapest ones, the jars are for stewed plums(which were free).
    The total for the Vicky challenge this week isn't a lot but that $68 not spent means more money for other things.
    I agree with Rachel and the other ladies about your commenting, it must take so much time.

  22. Dearest Annabel

    This week has been a taxing week and I feel I have achieved nothing. I have been having an emotional turmoil and as everyone here has or will be in this position at some time in their lives I thought I would post about my Game Plan that has got me through. I have been lethargic and unable to concentrate and not sleeping so very tired. This is the past would have seen me buying take away meals or going out to spend money. Though I have done no crafting nor little cooking I did have a good supply of frozen home made meals and so there has been a back up system in place. These meals have been a life line. If I had gone through and bought meals to replace the home made ones I really would have spent hundreds of dollars. These meals are depleted now and I will renew them starting today with an extra batch of Pasta Bolognaise and next week I will add Sweet Chicken Curry, Butter Chicken and Cottage Pie.

    I also am looking to making some Sweet Meals such as cookies and some Cake for the freezer. I did have two containers of Chocolate Balls in the freezer and this prevented me having to buy something when I visited my son and daughter recently. I like to bring something with me when I go.

    Today I will start a gift or continue to work on a gift as I have two on the go at the moment. I think I will leave knitting my daughter's afghan or lapghan as they are being known as now and maybe sew together a gift or continue cross stitching. I am about to get up and water the garden with recycles air conditioning water and then hang a load or two of wash.

    Thank you for your ongoing support my friend it means a great deal to me

    Mel S xxxxx

    1. Dear Mel, I am thinking of you. Will you let me know an update. I didn't want to bug you last night incase it was too much.
      You have done very well with the meals. To a point at least keeping busy is good and in a crisis I need to busy myself with useful things as I cope better being useful. But like I said to a point as you can get exhausted from it all. With love

    2. Hugs Mel. It sounds like you have a lot on. You are doing a great job just getting through the day. Love, Bridget

  23. Annabel,
    You did have a massive week that is so fantastic and it does help the husbands to know how much they save with the things they do as well. When they hear how much they save it makes them feel good even when your flat broke you can always see how worse it could be if you didn't do all of the things we do to save and just chucked out money for everything.
    You are such a sweet person and everyone knows you do your best to reply to them, but there are so many beautiful ladies here to help. It is quite a nice community!

    Rachel- I would be happy to test those macadamia nuts! LOL

    1. Vicky, I could let you test them with the shells on first!!

  24. I bless the youtube repair people all the time for sharing with us! My Kitchen Aid was making a funny noise some weeks back and then smelled like smoke- EEEEEK!--so I prayed over it..."Lord, I LOVE this stupid machine...." and left it to my husband. One Sat. morning, he sat down with the KA, youtube, & voila! It's working again with no hints of a problem. Phew! I bought mine with my last full time paycheck back in 1997. I decided it must be worth the investment after watching my friend and her soon-to-be=ex fighting over theirs in a divorce.

    No feathering my nest this week as I am now fighting the cough at the end of the cold. It's exhausting. It's kept me awake at night so I've done a lot of napping during the day. I'm trying not to let myself feel discouraged over the mess that is my nest!!

    I completely understand abut the replies, Annabel.

    Love the soap. When I did craft faires, there was a booth where the woman would sell slabs like that for $8 each and that was 15 yrs. ago. They're so beautiful. I think I'd wrap mine in white tulle, set it on a crystal pedestal and just look at it for its prettiness!!

    1. Dear Debby,
      You too! Well I know just how you feel! It is funny about the Kitchen Aid being important in the divorce! That was a good purchase from your last pay check. A very nice thing to have.
      I love your presentation idea! I have seen on ETSY ladies selling soaps as wedding favours... this would look stunning for a special occasion!
      Many thanks Love

  25. Thank you all so much! Thank you for the understanding. There are a lot of good starts to the year happening here. We have had very hot weather for a couple of days. A cool change is in sight tonight. It was a very hot night. So way less has been achieved in the last 24 hours! This has me thinking how in extreme weather it is so nice to have something quiet to work on inside and projects lined up to do really helps you not go crazy while waiting out the conditions. You can get ready for it but then you have to wait it out. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  26. Annabell and lovely ladies,
    It has been a good week! The weather has been cool and perfect
    for cooking. We only need to run the little heater if we shower at night. This has been a big savings our electric was only $47 dollars. We are all electric so this makes me happy. I really wanted a rice cooker because with the stove I have
    the rice is always gross ,mushy, I just stopped making it. I have an older glass top range. My daughter suggested the bread machine
    and it turned out lite and fluffy. I have not done much shopping this month mostly cooking from the pantry and freezer
    It is so fun to uncover all the treasure in my home.
    We were fighting migraines this week so it was nice to be home.
    We cooked everything at home and even came up with a few more gifts for people,it is very nice to have a gift cupboard. It is very helpful to have a stocked home. I started this when my daughter was very young so if I could not get out I already had food. I still have gifts left and we gave so many away. It is a nice start for the year. I have have about 20 various scarfs for women and about 20 pairs of socks and some baby items Glad to have things for gifts.
    The soap is so beautiful! beautiful! Annabell. We grow from glory to glory. When your blog was smaller it made it a little easier to answear every comment. Boundaries are healthy things
    and God will give you the wisdom. You are an amazing loving women of God. I have been so blessed my your blog and all the kindness and prayers from everyone.
    You did great on your savings this week. I am so glad your mixer is fixed. I love You Tube. Have a blessed week.

  27. I had a fun week working with a challenge I set myself: Feed the two of us for $20 for one week of meals. I managed to put together a menu and came up with 21 meals. I wouldn't eat just as I wrote it out this week because I was worried about the effects on diabetes BUT I know now what we could buy and how we'd manage if I had a very stringent budget and no pantry to back it up. Look for posts labeled Eating on a Tight Budget, Mother Hubbard Challenge

  28. Annabel, you've had a fabulous week. Those scrolls look so yummy and the soaps very high end.

    While it's lovely to receive individual replies to comments, to continue with this would leave no time for you to feather your nest, nor enjoy any family time. Taking a step back is the only way to go - we'd hate to see you burn out and close down your blog.

    I'm still in a bit of lull after Christmas, so not much achieved. I have made a gangster dress-up outfit for DGS (needed for a theme night while on holidays), plus I've been a bit selfish and sewn myself a some jeans, cropped pants and a skirt cut out ready to sew.

    We have spinach ready to pick, so this coming week I hope to bake some lasagne and some spinach muffins.
    Have a great week,

  29. Well, I thought Id commented here but ....seems not !
    So I will add what I thought Id said ;-) that I agree with whats been said and commented on above ,that we all understand and wish you , Annabel, to look after yourself first , and let us all help.Im sure we all have our busy and not so busy times ,where we can chip in as fits our own lives.
    Ive had a busy day here , showered with love , calls, messages,visits and gifts from family and friends.What can I say ;-)
    Love to all, Maria xxx

  30. Maria,
    I'm suspecting it was your birthday. If so, a very happy birthday to you and many more. Cookie

    1. Happy Birthday from me as well.

    2. Happy birthday Maria! Love, Bridget

    3. PS Those soaps are beautiful, so luxurious! Love, Bridget

    4. Happy Birthday from me too , I hope you had a lovely and special day. Love Barb W.

  31. Annabel, I am so relieved and happy Rachel said something. I have been worried about you. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this blog. It is such comfort in the world of today. I get great strength, encouragement and feelings of positivity from yo. You have such a special gift. But I was worried you were doing too much. Lets face it writing the blog a number of times through the week, getting through your own list (so you have something to write about lol) and then replying to all of us is very time consuming, so I was worried you wouldn't be able to do it at all. I have always thought it was very lovely of you to reply, but in saying that- only do it every now and again, when you can and feel the need to. As I think you have built such a beautiful community, we can all help out. Plus it means different ideas and it is community building. Anyway, Rachel is clever and kind. Thanks Rachel. That saying happy mum, happy baby rings here...if you look after yourself, we will all be looked after! Lots of love to you. You are such a giving person, so it would be hard for you, but we will be fine!
    The kitchen is finished! Cheers! So happy! I have been doing some deep cleaning...which I hardly get to do much of these days. Washing the bathroom walls and the hallway walls. It looks a lot fresher. So now the place is starting to feel lovely again.
    Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, Thank you so much! I am so happy about your kitchen! That is fantastic! With lots of love


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