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 23 February 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 24 February, 2017.

This was a week that didn't go as planned!  I ended up with four trips to the hospital and two days on an IV drip to get ahead of the infection I had. I have never had anything like this before that is for sure!
Yesterday things started to improve a lot. Thank you for all your prayers and comments!

Mainly it was a week of easy meals like toasted sandwiches and trying to keep things going.  Due to counting from last Friday to today in my week I had a few savings and things to report. (thankfully)

I used up leftover yoghurt in a "use it up' cake and covered it in plum slices.

I actually made two of these and one was frozen.

My friend gave me five huge plastic tubs with lids and a heap of giant plastic storage bags with zips. She had just moved house.  I have shared these around and some have become storage in the shed.

My neighbour collected us a bag of cuttlefish for our birds as they went to the beach. We never would buy them but they are a couple of dollars each in the shops.

I collected a dozen free lemons.

A beautiful parcel arrived in the mail. I knew it was from Vicky right away as it was covered in flowers!  She sent me a gorgeous gift and included something I have been really wanting. Zote! Yes pink Zote has been on my wish list!   (this is a US solid bar of laundry soap that comes in pink. When grated and added to your homemade mix the whole batch turns out a heavenly pale pink!) 

I want to use it to make pink laundry soap!  Vicky also sent me fragrance beads which I have never had before. The parcel smelled beautiful. It scented the van it arrived in and probably the plane coming over! 

I used up a heap of tomatoes and zucchini in my Nan's bake (this is good to go with roasts and stretch meat meals) This also used up left over bread.

Mum gave me six bananas which I peeled and froze to make a cake.

Yesterday I went to the shops. I bought bags of baguettes and rolls for 99c. As I haven't baked so much these will be handy.  Each bag was about $6 worth of things,  just yesterdays. 

I collected some lovely gift bags to recycle. I have a drawer just for gift bags. 

Once again I haven't totalled up my Vicky Challenge yet. But I will and I can see the weeks are really adding up. 

This weekend Andy is spraying the whole yard again for bugs. This was done before Christmas but we have had a very wet summer and more humid than usual. The Chemist and Doctors have told me they are seeing many more bites than usual. Andy doing is saves a few hundred dollars and he can do just as good a job. 

The nicest part of the week was going with Mum around to Lucy's house.  I had missed out for a few days which I did not like! Mum bathed Harper and washed her hair and Lucy bathed Scarlett.  I got  a lot of lovely photos.  This is Great Grandma with her babies all freshly washed and in pjs.  😊 

How was your week? How did you build up your home or get ahead?  If you are tracking savings for your Vicky Challenge how did you go?  
We have good weeks and not so good weeks! Big weeks and small weeks!  But everything adds up! 

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

Jane let me know that Bluey has had a bit of a set back. They both could do with some prayers.


  1. A lovely photo of your mum and the children Annabelle.
    Pleased to read you are on the mend, some insect bites really do knock you about.
    Susan K

    1. Thank you Susan! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel, what a relief to hear you are on the mend. Who could imagine a little insect could wreak such havoc. I hope the antibiotics have done the trick now. That is a gorgeous shot of your Mum and the must be all a bit deja-vu for you! I'm amazed that you achieved so much even with being unwell, but you are a trooper that is for certain. My week was a little better this week. I harvested several figs, although we're a year or two away from an abundant harvest there. I gifted a gourmet basket to a friend that consisted entirely of home made or home grown items, so it had a bunch of fresh Kaffir Lime leaves, some Dukkah, little jars of nuts and dried fruit with crystal knobs on top (I posted these on the blog recently), and cookie dough. She loved it, and it was such a simple, inexpensive thing to compile. I cannot imagine what a gourmet hamper costs in a deli, but I think you'd be lucky to get away with less than $100. Home cooked meals featured heavily, with a haul of marked down mince yielding meatloaves, meatballs, burger patties, bolognaise sauce, and savoury mince. Similarly marked down chicken breasts were cut into thinner slices and crumbed in gluten free crumbs for a quick meal another night. The mince and the chicken cost me $27 all up and supplied 17 meals for us, with extras if we have visitors. The weather is starting to cool here, and that's always a relief. Soon it really will be baking weather! Hi to all. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I think the gift baskets are heavenly. Truly a lovely gift. I have pink peppercorns to pick on a nearby tree and Im thinking how to put these into a gourmet kitchen gift.
      I am equally excited about the prospect of autumn. Not long now. I will be so glad.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love

    2. I can hear the rustle of leaves and it sounds so autumn like,(the trees are still green but change is on the way.
      Beautiful photos and memories.

  3. What a rough week and I love that great grandma stepped in! Such a beautiful picture of everyone. You are in my prayers! So far this week I feel like I haven't done much but I know when I get right down to it that I have. Rest up and stay well!

    1. Thanks Vicky! Mum has been a huge help. We have run a tag team helping effort until his week when I was no use to anyone! But Im almost back on track now. I am sure you did heaps too! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  4. Annabel you've accomplished so much, especially after being so ill, take care and don't over do it. Those babies are just gorgeous, I'm thinking I should hurry my lot up to make me a grandma sometime before I'm too old to enjoy the experience :)

    1. Dear Cath, Thank you! Yes you want to be a fit and active Great Grandma and Grandma. But you have to do the Grandma part first! It is fantastic and you will love it!
      I thought the tv segment was wonderful. With love

  5. In my hurry this morning I forgot to say that Jane got in touch last night and Bluey has had a set back. I just added it to the post now. She is really worried and he is in pain. Thank you for all prayers

    1. Thanks for letting us know, Annabel. I will definitely pray for Bluey. Love, Bridge

  6. What a lovely picture of your Mom , Harper and the baby how precious! My week was busy as usual with work and marital arts classes. I was up for a new job and found out today that I got it ! Same company just in a different area and boss. I'm rather nervous and excited at the same time..I am so glad Annabel you are feeling better !!! I have been praying for your speedy recovery, have a wonderful weekend ! Love Gaila in Washington state USA

    1. Thank you Gaila, you have a good weekend too! Congratulations on your new job! Well done! Thank you for your prayers! xxx

  7. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds,
    So glad that you are feeling better and able to spend time with your mum and those beautiful babies. I'm sure Lucy is glad you are able to be back, too.
    I'm sorry to hear about Bluey's setback and will join in prayer for
    him and Jane.
    I was able to help with giving out food boxes at the monthly distribution at our church. They had so much extra bread that I was given some buns and bread. I was also able to get a nice roast and a few other things that will be a good help from what was left at the end. I would enjoy helping out even without getting anything tangible, but do appreciate it.
    We are continuing to work on sorting, reorganizing, cleaning and donating things we no longer need or can do without. A lady with 6 kids came to the food pantry and seemed really pleased to get a bag of clothing I had brought.
    My husband's insurance sent a letter saying he can order $50 in over the counter items each quarter. There are lots of things on their list that he can use--Tylenol, baby aspirin, first aid supplies, etc. What a help this will be!
    I hope you continue feeling well!
    Love from AZ,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Buns and bread is just so useful. It is ages since I did it but I used to make not so fresh buns into a bread and butter pudding that was just beautiful! But so many options!
      It is wonderful that you could give a big family the clothing. I think you probably made that ladies day!
      If your pharmacies are like ours then they will have special buys and sales items so over the year I hope the items you need all come up and this will turn that $50 a quarter into even more! What a great way to build up your supplies!
      Have a good weekend! With love

  8. Hi Annabel,
    Thank you for adding Bluey and I into the post. Bluey has just consumed the first bit of food he has eaten for a few days. It was a sourdough ham and cheese scroll straight out of the oven. Here's hoping it stays down.
    It's been a busy week with me supporting Bluey and our Katie. I went with her over to Fraser Island on Monday as she had an interview as a GSA. The manager was lovely and I think he pretty much took one look at my Amazon of a daughter and decided she had the job. She is changing jobs as the one she is in cant accommodate her change in hours. Katie is starting Uni next week and needs her work to fit her Uni hours. The trip over and back, in a car ferry, was just lovely and the resort is simply beautiful.
    As I have been mostly around the house to keep an eye on Bluey I have been having fun in the craft room. Lots has been achieved.
    That photo of Mum and her Great Grandbabies is divine.
    I know when we get passed this hurdle life will be good again.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I feel like we have been with you since day one when Bluey was first unwell when you were away in the caravan. You have been through a lot since then.
      It is fantastic about Katies job!
      I hope things are going well this weekend and Bluey is feeling much better! With lots of love,

  9. Dear Annabel, thats another yummy looking dessert ! My little granddaughter , after I gave her and her brother a piece for dessert with cream and fruit salad,on finishing she said...and please grandma can you make that cake again. Said in such a forthright eager way , bless her heart.
    You've done well despite the bites, look after yourself. And thankyou for telling us about Bluey I will send prayers .
    Lots of love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, That is a successful cake then! I would have to make it again when asked so beautifully!
      Today I made something new and it worked... sticky buns! I always wanted to make them. Success! I hope you are getting a relaxing weekend! With love

  10. I am so glad you are feeling better, Annabel. Thanks goodness for modern medicine. Hope you are still taking it easy. I can't believe how much you got done even with trips to the hospital! I admire you so much. I LOVE that photo of your mum with the girls.Those girls are surrounded with love. Melts my heart. Nothing like a little one all bathed and in pjs! I love your cake- it is delicious, I must make it again. It freezes so well too. I haven't achieved much this week either except for the basics. The weather has been either pouring with rain or so hot. I find it hard to get motivated in the heat (and we have no air con). I plan to cook some cakes over the weekend, that will give me a good stash for the freezer too. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, I even just love the smell of freshly bathed babies and the whole evening process! It is so cute.
      Bridge I swear by a portable air conditioner. If I can have one cool room I am ok. It is like a rest having an escape. They aren't expensive and also don't cost too much to run as you are not running a giant whole house system and big engine etc. Also they de humidify as the water is collected. Heat is tiring and wearing I can really feel it. Ours is dry where yours is more humid but with all the rain we had some humidity this year and that was draining! So I feel for you!
      I hope the weather improves. Autumn is on the horizon! With lots of love

  11. Annabel,

    You've been "through it," but I noticed you didn't stop; you went through to the other side. I am so happy to hear you are improving. WHAT IS IT that is nibbling everyone?

    This week I have "cleaned the stew" out of my mother's house. She has a cat, plus has not been her real self, so the dust has done a number on me. But suffice it to say, she loves her sparkling clean home. Slowly but surely I am making headway. I have more work to accomplish, but a little bit at a time will achieve my goal.

    I loved the photo of Great-Grandma and her little gals. Oh, we have so very much for which to be thankful. To God be all the glory.


    1. Dear Kelley, Your Mum must just love having you there! You will have everything sparkling in no time. This in itself will make her feel better!
      I am thankful... I think I get more appreciative as I get older. This is a good thing as we take a lot for granted when you're I think (or I did!)
      Thinking of you and your Mum! With lots of love

  12. Annabel you got so many lovely things done! Have been praying for your healing and wisdom on the bites. Glad to hear you are feeling a little better. Your mom and the babies are just beautiful. I will pray for Jane and Bluey Sorry to hear he is in pain. Our neigbor moved this week. I will miss her. She blessed use with many lovelies. A beautiful potted tree for the front porch. Lovely decor for the front door. Spices and frozen food and things for the pantry and lots of other things. So fun to get new things. I hope you can rest this week.

    1. Dear Patti,
      I am thinking all the bakeware and supplies must have also come from your moving neighbour. And now a tree and more wonderful and useful things. That was very nice. What a blessing. Now I hope you have a nice new neighbour move in. Neighbours are important. A good neighbour is such an asset.
      Have a good weekend Patti! With love

  13. Replies
    1. And thoughts and prayers from me, too, Jane and Bluey.


      P.S. Please share any history behind the name 'Bluey.' xxx

  14. Dear Annabel,
    What a beautiful picture of our Mum with the babies. And a very nice surprise from Vicky. And, as always delicious looking baked goods.

    It's been an interesting week here. It's supposed to be the dead of winter with frigid temperatures but this week we've been enjoying 70 F and above and have been able to take some walks outside enjoying the sunshine. It will all change back tomorrow but it sure was wonderful while it lasted.

    Yesterday was busy with nest feathering -- getting some shelves for the bathroom, which will free up space in the vanity for storage of other things, and grocery shopping with an eye toward getting a few things for pantry storage.

    I've fallen in love with a recipe called 1 hour bread and made more of it this week. It's so quick, easy, and delicious and really ready in 1 hour from start to finish. No special anything needed. I'm still working on projects I'd like to get finished soon, and sorting things to be donated to those who are in need. Wishing all a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Oh Annabel, I meant to say "your" Mum. I must have missed the Y. Blessings. Cookie

    2. Dear Cookie,
      Shelves for the bathroom is on my wish list. I picture towels folded up and lovely jars!
      The bread sounds wonderful and useful. I might have to get you to share that recipe. Maybe take a photo sometime if you have the time and we can share that. An easy bread would be a big help to lots of us.
      Have a great weekend! With love

  15. Jane, I am praying for Bluey. I thank you for the your faithful prayers for my husband as well.

    There is nothing more delicious than freshly bathed grandbabies in PJ's!

    I am working on using up some things in the freezer and getting well stocked on everything before our disability pay is reduced. We will be fine but I am just needing to plan and such as it is how I am.

  16. I am so glad you are starting to feel better!

  17. My goodness, that insect bite really did a number on you! I'm so glad you're doing better now. Your picture of great-grandma with the children made me misty eyed, it is so sweet.
    Most of my week has been spent canning. I picked up my order of cases of chicken from Zaycon delivery, thinking I would be overwhelmed by three 40 pound cases, and discovered that somehow we'd ordered FIVE cases! Guess we won't need to buy chicken for quite a while, haha.
    The weather has been wonderful this week, very like Spring. The flowers are out and many of the trees are budding and blooming. We got our apple trees mostly pruned last weekend. Neither my husband nor I wanted to get on a ladder to finish up the high parts, so I guess we'll just leave that until next year and hope for the best. The blueberry bushes look like they will give us a good crop this year with all the buds on them.
    We are planning to redo a rarely used sitting room in our house as a playroom for our grandson. A young couple we know can use the furniture that's in there now, so we will be moving that out in the next few months and getting ready for our little guy who, at almost 6 months, is already quite active and inquisitive. I'm a little nervous about once he becomes mobile!
    Please know that Jane and Bluey will be in my prayers.

  18. Dear Annabel,

    I'm not supposed to be on the computer right now as I've set myself a goal to spend less time online, but the floors are drying and I've mopped myself into a corner, so I'm only on until they dry! :) I am glad to hear that things are starting to improve for you...what a nightmare! You have gotten so much done, even with all the are amazing! Those little girls are absolutely adorable!!! And how lovely of Vicky to send you such a thoughtful (and scented!) parcel. My hubby has an interview for a great job next week, which we are excited about. And the sun has been shining with spring-like temperatures for a couple of days, now, so we are soaking that in!

    I am truly sorry to hear that Bluey is in pain...lots of love sent your way, Jane!

    xxJen in NS

    1. Thank you Jen. Bluey's pain level has come down quite a bit but it is still there. Specialists appointment next Wednesday.

  19. Annabel, I pray that the IV antibiotics have kicked all of the toxin from the bite from your system and you are soon totally recovered. I wonder if you've had a tougher time with the second bite because it was the second bite. I love the photo of your mum and the girls, how precious they are!

    I am departing early tomorrow morning for a week in Arizona with my oldest daughter and her husband. I am very much looking forward to it! My husband is not going as he was not able to get time off from work right now and my son-in-law will be working most of the days I am visiting, so my daughter and I will get lots of bonding time! She tells me I will be sewing curtains for several of her windows and we will be heading out to lots of thrift shops!

    Our weather was 80 degrees on Wednesday, but yesterday was rainy and cool with a high of only 55 and today it isn't hardly 50 degrees. I am longing for warmer weather.

    I finished my first pair of fingerless knitted gloves, so I will send you a photo to share. I learned how to do the Kitchener stitch to sew the edges up, it looks lovely and just like I knitted them with no seam! I will be making lots more of these for Christmas gifts.

    Jane and Bluey, prayers said that Bluey is back to feeling well again. I'm sorry for the setback.


    1. Thank you Jeanette. Enjoy your week with your daughter.

    2. Dear Jeanette,
      Have a wonderful trip! The curtains will be a big help to your daughter I am thinking so I hope you find all the materials you need.
      With love

  20. I've been feathering! Or organizing the feathers is probably more accurate.

    My Feb. project was to empty and re-org the giant roll top desk and it is almost done. Unfortunately, the clean craft room project will have to be continued through March as it is in far worse shape than I imagined. So, I'll Keep Calm and Clean On!

    This week I've sewn, mended, embroidered, and even made a prayer blanket for a local youngster.

    I love the pic of the girls with great-grandma. Make sure you take a generational pic of all the girls. That was done with my MIL (she's 95) and it's fun to see the resemblances and how they jump generations.

    I have never heard of Zote, but it sure is pretty in the baggie with tulle. I'm off to Google it!

    Enjoy the weekend and feel better!

    1. Dear Debby,
      You had a good week. I love that you have a monthly project. Each thing makes a difference! My crafts are like yours... a much bigger job than I thought. I figure that by using things up I will reduce it!
      You are right I should also be in a photo like that so it is all of us! Will do!
      With love

  21. Annabel,
    Your cake looks so yummy! And even with a boo boo arm you still managed to get things done! It was a slow week for savings here, but my Todd had appendicitis and was in the hospital for a few days so I had several days of running back and forth there and before he came home I feathered his nest which is his room LOL and made sure everything was clean and smelling good and opened his window on the warm days to let in fresh air. I am still puttering along on the afghan I have been working on, but not getting very far eventually I'll get it done. On nice days I have been cleaning up branches and things that have blown in the yard. Just busy work. Your grandbabies look so adorable and who doesn't love a freshly bathed baby I ask?!
    Jane prayers and hugs for Bluey I hope he recovers quickly!

    1. Thank you Vicky. I hope Todd is feeling much better.

  22. Gracious was all this elated to the insect bite from last week? I'm so glad you're much better! I'm home again but managed to save money just the same. It wasn't all for my household, as part of the savings was made in my son's home while I stayed with my grandson. Baby came home this week and is doing well despite his early arrival. I'm happy to be home once more.

    1. Dear Terri, Congratulations on the new baby and I am glad about the home coming!
      I always knew the an animal bite can be dangerous due to infection. I didn't know this about spider bites. Now I do!
      Have a great new week and I hope the baby is gaining as we speak. The settling in at home time is really special I think! With love

  23. Dear Annabel and Bluebird friends,
    I am so glad you are feeling better now, Annabel.
    I will be praying for Bluey, Jane. I do hope he feels better soon.
    Love and hugs to all,

  24. Hi Annabel,
    I'm so glad to hear your arm is improving - hospital visits are no fun.
    You always manage to achieve so much. Your cake looks so yummy and the tomatoes and zucchini bake sounds pretty good too.
    What a great saving on the storage bins! A little while back I paid $15/tub, so a great gift.
    I do hope Bluey has a better week, Jane, and there are some answers to his problem.
    Have a good week,

  25. Hope you are now on the mend, Annabel! I had a tick bite about 18 months ago and fortunately, actually removed it from my back and took it for my doctor to identify and had to go on some really potent antibiotics for a few weeks! The upside is that they worked and I haven't had any of the symptoms come back! I hope it goes that way for you too- that your symptoms become a thing of the past!
    This week I finished two more lap quilts from my fabric storage to put into my gift drawer. I was able to recycle some plastic storage containers from decluttering their contents and used them on a bathroom closet shelf to organize sheet sets by size and also towels.
    I got 40 pounds of chicken from Zaycon so I have also been processing it for my freezer- I cut up and cooked chicken chunks, cooked some in my crockpot and then shredded and packaged, made a BBQ Cranberry chicken meal for dinner and cut up and flash froze 5 pounds of chicken tenders! I still have 15 pounds left in the fridge to package up tomorrow.
    I took dinner to someone whose wife just passed away suddenly after a routine operation and made dinner for a friend with 3 children while she and her husband were down with the flu! It is so nice that with a well stocked pantry, it's possible to make a meal or treats to give without taking extra time or money to run to the store! What a blessing that is!
    One of the most exciting things was that from one of the online groups I'm in, I heard about a clearance sale at a chain home improvement store on jar lids for canning! Instead of well over $1.25/dozen, these were clearanced to 50 cents each!
    I went to one of the 3 local stores here and sure enough- clearance of 50 cents/box!
    I bought 119 boxes wide mouth jar lids and 77 boxes of regular mouth lids! That makes 2356 jar lids for canning!!! And saved me $381.22 plus I'm getting a store rebate of 11% which will be almost $11 back!! Bringing the cost of the boxes to 44.5 cents for a dozen lids!! I see a lot more canning in my future without having to worry about getting more lids!!
    Through our decluttering we were able to fill 3 huge bags with clothes that no longer fit and donate them to Goodwill. I was able organize some other bedroom closets and am excited with the result! It gives me a sense of peace when things are neatly in their places.
    We have just finished a custom door order from our pallet wood and that will be picked up next week. It's a Win-Win since it uses our free pallet wood plus adds to our income! We are signed up to work at our polling place for the next Primary election which is the first Tuesday in May. It's just a couple blocks from our home, it's an easy job and we are paid $158 for that one day's work!
    We are getting ready to build a chicken coop for our yard out of recycled materials so we can bring home 4 hens to start giving us fresh eggs! We are excited! So the projects continue!
    It feels good to be doing things! Seeing so many people experiencing health challenges, we realize how very blessed we've been with not being hit with any of the dozens of illnesses going around!
    Hope it was a good week for everyone else!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      I would love to see this door! I think it would be beautiful! I love reading about your week. You get heaps done and it is a mix of savings, earning and using every opportunity!
      The lids were an amazing deal! Signing up for the polling both is great income too.
      Your quilts are amazing! You have made so many this year already!
      I am really excited about you getting chooks. You will LOVE them. With a lot of greenery and scraps they do not need that much grain or pellets. The trick is that the local birds don't get too many of them. This keeps the feeding costs way down. Fresh eggs will be fantastic.
      Have another good week! With love

  26. I'm so sorry to read your having health issues. I hope you are all well now and done with hospital visits.

    1. Thanks so much Rhonda. Have a good new week! xxx

  27. glad you are feeling much better. things can go wrong so quickly and it is good to know you are organised for any emergency that can come along. your family are beautiful. what a wonderful mother you have, treasure her. love Ann

    1. Thank you Ann! I appreciate what you have said and agree! xxx

  28. Annabel it must be hard for you to be so ill as I know you like to be busy and well prepared, but having easy dinners that have been prepared in advance is a blessing at this time.

    What an absolute gorgeous photo of the kids and your Mum.

    To Jane I hope things are improving for your and your family.

    Aly xxx


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