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 21 September 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 22 September, 2017.

This week I got everything put away and my kitchen put back together.  I spring cleaned as I went.  I am tired but happy!   So it has been a big week of nest feathering.

Some of the ways I built up the home included:

My counter tops are pine.  The new floors are much cooler being driftwood/grey so I stained the counter tops with a white wash effect.  I did this all day yesterday.   But it worked!

First I had to sand them all down.  Andy did most of that for me.

I cleaned the windows out the back.   And I washed all the cupboards, range hood and filter etc.
If I can do light fittings over the weekend then this whole area is spring cleaned.

Kitchen cupboards get so dirty!  Actually kitchens do as we are cooking all the time.  Cleaning is never ending...

My pantry cupboard is back together and I have stored far more in the cellar.

The baskets on top hold paper goods i.e. paper plates, cups, paper towels etc.

My spice cabinet is filled up ...

I keep the made up mixes in the lower cupboard.  And I started writing up my favourite mix recipes onto recipe cards and posting them inside the door so I can quickly re make them.  A lovely reader sent me these most gorgeous cards! I will get more written up over the next week I hope.  I got this from Laine who keeps most used recipes inside her cupboard doors.

From the mess I was in I am seeing I have come a long way!  (This is the beauty of looking over what we have done rather than just the list ahead!)

During the week I made three dozen sausage rolls.

And three trays of enchiladas using Vicky's recipe to make up the sauce sauce. These are a big hit with everyone and lots are in the freezer. This was all to build up the gaps that had formed when  Lucy's family were sick and we had no kitchen.

Also some peanut butter cookies/biscuits as Harper loves these.

In the garden I faced up to pulling out two trees in giant pots.  I hate ever doing this but these were truly beyond help.  So I decided fine, I am going to make these pots into food growing pots! 

I am really pleased with them! 

I can see in the last few days this has all really started to grow.  And today is really warm, the warmest day in a long time. I planted tomatoes (two types) eggplant, chilis, capsicums...

I found a bargain on deli meat that Andy likes saving over $10.

Yesterday I got the windows at the back all clean and everything seems brighter. 

I made two batches of yoghurt, one Greek and one Vanilla.  The Greek is very useful, this week that went into the enchiladas in place of sour cream, on top of baked potatoes and into smoothies which used almost all of it up.  

My Vicky Challenge came to $408. 

Spring cleaning and re arranging seem to go on forever as one thing leads to another!  But I am so glad we had the chance to do this with the floors and of everything that has been completed in the last couple of weeks.

I am hoping in October I will get back to a lot more crafts and other things!

How did you build up your home, save or get ahead this week? 
Sometimes it is hard to know what to do next so "just do the next thing" and eventually it gets you there! xxx


  1. wow love your kitchen sink! love, love, love the look of wood, am thinking of painting all my kitchen cupboards as have too much wood! it's nice to break it up
    are your cupboards mellimine (spelling) your look looks great
    i would've put dwarf fruit trees or blueberries in those huge pots but your vegies seem to like it too, good luck & hope they grow well.
    thanx for sharing

    1. Dear Selina, The cabinets I have in the dining room and lounge room all started off very dark wood and I painted them plus the spice cabinet. It is scary to do but I love it. I haven't had luck with award trees but ok with full sized trees even in small spaces. We have an apple and a quince. Both are going really well. I am really happy to add these to all my herbs and few veggies! Thanks so much I love my sink too, Andy put the kitchen in and I love the sink and the oven! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  2. Oh wow Annabel, what an incredible space! The windows are amazing. No wonder you do so much cooking, what a lovely place to be preparing food! Congratulations on turning a very frustrating event into such a triumph, particularly given how long the insurance company took to come to the party!

    I'm sorry I have not commented for so long, I have been reading. I'm glad Lucy's family are feeling better and that you and Scarlett escaped the flu. I loved seeing the show and tell gifts, I have a few time-consuming gifts on the go at the moment and could do with some quick victories lol.

    We are one week away from school holidays here, and I cannot wait. Everyone is so tired. We have a small trip planned at the beginning to visit family who are moving back to Australia shortly, but after that we will be staying home and relaxing.

    I hope you get the rest of your jobs done this weekend and enjoy your kitchen!

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, You have been busy and I would love to see your projects! I hope the quilt is going well!
      I really remember so much how by the end of the term the girls were worn out and this increased over the course of the year as well. I really allowed rest in school holidays and they usually grew suddenly! It was good for them to be able to rest plus then we would do crafts and cooking and stuff. Have a lovely weekend Jen! With love

  3. Thank you for sharing the picture of your kitchen! It is just gorgeous! I just felt rested by looking at it. Congratulations on getting everything back together.

    I always live your posts.

    1. Thank you very much Amy! I love light and peace and calm. I don't always achieve it! haha! But thats what I aim for. Have a beautiful weekend! xxx

  4. Oh my goodness Annabel. Home Beautiful magazine has nothing on your lovely home. No wonder you were so tired yesterday. You now have a lovely, clean and well organised space to live in. So much work and effort has paid off.
    I did get the windows interior and exterior cleaned. All the fly wires have been brushed and cleaned. Curtains have been washed and re hung. The wooden venetians were cleaned and then orange oiled.
    Bluey has been doing his usual bargain hunting. We have lots of meat bought at half price or less on the freezer. He made the most delicious casserole in the slow cooker with oxtail.
    We are looking after our neighbours garden whilst they are away. I am picking, blanching and freezing a large double handful of green beans each day. Fresh beans are being eaten with every meal.
    With all our bargain hunting, picking and making it has been a reasonable week for our Vicky Challenge with some nest feathering thrown in for good measure.

    1. Dear Jane, It was you who egged me on to do some windows! And the effect was instant! They didnt even take that long. So thank you.
      Blueys bargain hunting is excellent! And your spring cleaning has been great and you must be enjoying how everything is looking.
      The neighbours garden is a big bonus! All the beans alone make that a good job to have going! I know your week was very creative too! You have been getting just heaps done. Very inspiring to me! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  5. Love love love the kitchen, and agree with Jen how it would be lovely to cook in that outlook. Don't want to hijack your thread but I know youwill be happy for me....... the plumber has just left here and will return 8.30 am Sunday morning to work with electrician...... all appliances are now defunct. We are dismantling and Sunday the new oven and cooktop go in. I can hardly believe it. And in similar fashion to you I have boxed and boxes in my lounge. I have almost the same sink as you. You amazed me that you got cooking done whilst all that work was being done. Have a rest this weekend. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, This will be great for you! You are a wonderful cook.
      Camping in your own house, I am coming to know this well! You will love the sink too they are so nice and have a country house look and feel.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  6. Hi Annabel and beautiful Bluebirds :) .

    What a beautiful kitchen and the benchtops you did are absolutely amazing and thank you for your wonderful photos. You have done so much to feather your nest and as usual make it look beautifully elegant.

    We are still playing catch up from last week helping our neighbour move and it took us days of lots of restful sleep to feel back to normal again. Muscles we both forgot we had were aching like crazy :) .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $451.60 this week.

    Here is how we feathered our nest and saved last week -

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 9 tins different varieties of tinned vegetables and meat with a 5yr expiry for half price saving $18 .
    - Bought 2 x 1.5mt 25mm of galvanised pipe for $9.70 to making 2 large manure hoes for pulling manure off our trailer and levelling garden beds with saving $25.50 over purchasing the pipe elsewhere.

    Blessings and kindness -
    - A friend made and welded our hoe for us free of charge with galvanised steel we were given from our neighbour, he kindly donated the support rods and used the galvanised pipe we purchased and welded it together for us saving from what I can gather, around $120.30 over purchasing them. Each hoe has a 1.5mt handle and a 60 x 15cm high hoe head on the end, yes they are huge :) .

    In the garden -
    - Picked around 5kg of broad beans from the gardens saving around $30.90 over buying them in the supermarket.

    In the kitchen -
    - Double shelled, blanched and froze 5 more packet meals worth of broad beans for advanced food stocks.
    - Made a 2.2kg quadruple batch of honey, almond, sultana and coconut granola from pantry items saving $21.36 over purchasing the same amount in the shops. This should last the 2 of us around 6 - 8 weeks.

    Firewood -
    - Cut 1.5 cubic metres of ironbark firewood free from a friends farm saving $225 over purchasing the same amount.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on the hot water system for 7 hours this week and used our solar lanterns all week to light our home saving $10.54 in electricity.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, I love broadens! Now I am thinking if I have room to plant any...
      Your bartering and garden equipment are all wonderful! What a lot of progress you have made through hard work! This will all pay off enormously though!
      Plus you got ahead with food and firewood. These are amongst the best investments you can build up I think.
      What a good week! I am so pleased and I know about aching muscles as my arms are giving me trouble from al the lifting and the last couple of weeks generally! Maybe we need a restful weekend! With lots of love,

  7. I had been gifted 2 boxes of apples and so I made 30 quarts of applesauce for my pantry! I didn't add any spices or sugar so that if i want to use them as a replacement for oil in a baking recipe, the taste of extra sugar or spice won't conflict with the flavors already in what I'm baking! I bought a steam canner with a gauge to use to process the applesauce and am loving it! It was about $49 and shipped to my door in 2 days! It replaces my water bath canner and here's why I love it- instead of 5 gallons of water (or more if it's not a full load of jars) to submerge jars, it only takes 2-1/2 quarts (3/4 of a gallon)! That saves water but also TIME to get water hot enough to be at a full boil!! That means time and money savings!! I love that combination!!!
    Today I am making sweet chili sauce to use up the hot peppers from my garden and keep more of my canning jars full on the shelves! We love it and are running low on it, so it will restock us until next summer!
    We sold 8 sets of pallet pumpkins, so that brought in just under $300 to put into savings/paying off debts.
    I just found a new idea for a winter/Christmas product which will use up a large stash of wood we recycled (for free) and some battery tea lights that I bought for half price! We have enough supplies on hand already to make 30 sets which will bring in another $600+ ! Our ROI is high and yet, we are hopeful that at it's price point, people will want to buy it because it is easier than trying to DIY! We'll see but we are hopeful! We still have a whiteboard full of business orders that we are getting done, but we try to anticipate projects that we can move in and out quickly using materials on hand as fillers to be selling! To this point, it's been working well!
    The baby quilt I made and gifted for a mom-to-be was well received! All made from existing stash so it easily saved me $40 on buying a gift!
    I replenished my cookie mix container. It only took a couple minutes and all the ingredients were in my pantry but oh, how I love the convenience!! (And savings!!)
    Our chickens are producing 7 eggs/day - just over 4 dozen in a week and so friends have been asking to buy extras from us on a weekly basis! I sold my first dozen last week - more are being picked up today! I've read that the egg production goes down in winter and that the unwashed eggs can safely last in the fridge for a few months, so I will use our basement "extra" fridge to hold some back so that we have enough eggs to get us through the winter! I have a rotation system in place so I am always using the oldest eggs so the stored eggs will always be the newest ones! I had no idea that I could have some egg storage for the winter!!! Amazing how much there is to learn even at my age!!
    I made "clean out the fridge" chimichangas for dinner- tortillas from my freezer pantry, partial jars of home canned beef chunks, Rotel and salsa from fridge, cheese from fridge and Swiss chard from garden. Had enough to make 15 HUGE chimichangas so the extras have become a second dinner later in the week and lunchtime entrees that are brown-bagging it to work!
    I am making dinner for a friend who is sick and whose husband is in and out of the hospital- I have all the necessary ingredient, thanks to a well stocked pantry! This is one of the big reasons I keep a pantry!! I can quickly put a meal, a gift or even bring extra income into our home without having to purchase anything!!! That, to me, is true freedom and security!!
    I am so grateful for all the new ideas(as well as reminders!) that you and all the fellow bluebirds share with me!! I am truly grateful for your generosity and time!! Thanks, Annabel, and all the rest of you bluebirds!!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      Your new canner sounds wonderful! I saw your wooden pumpkin sets! They were gorgeous! Now I cant wait to see what you have in mind for Christmas!
      I had to google chimichangas! They sound good! I know what a burrito is so I was on the right track...
      The quilt was a beautiful gift! And all the eggs! Well you are truly in a good supply of eggs now. Eggs have so many possibilities plus are highly sellable and tradable. Very good to have!
      A well stocked pantry is the hugest asset. To be able to help someone one
      out, fill a gap, cover a crisis... so many good things. Thank you for your kind words! Have a great weekend and I hope next week is also full of good things! With love,

    2. Inspired by you, I am making applesauce this morning! Thanks for the idea!

  8. Dear Annabel,

    What a beautiful space, especially all those windows in the dining area! Gorgeous view from the kitchen sink. I have to say, it's obvious that the beauty not only stems from a keen eye (yours), but also some elbow grease, as these spaces don't just make themselves! (Though I sure wish they inner lazy-girl is showing. :))

    Got more beans snapped, blanched and frozen this week, plus made a few jars of pickled Dilly Beans, due to successful pleading on the girls' parts. :) Also made bread, cookies, cobbler (zucchini), and juiced's a busy time of year!

    Today's list: clean the house for the weekend, pick more beans and freeze, can beets, make cookies and breadsticks, pick cukes and zukes, etc., etc.. Hubby will be busy all weekend re-shingling the second half of the garage roof (did the first half last weekend) while the weather holds. In between times I am knitting a few rows here and there and even reading bits of a novel!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. P.S. I love that trellis!!! How do you keep your potted plants "fed"? Mine always suffer by mid-season from nutrient deficiency!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, You have been busy! I am glad you have so much harvest!
      I hope you will share some knitting for show and tell as I haven't seen what you have been working on lately!
      Sometimes I do buy a liquid fertiliser but usually I keep my pots going from water from the house, tealeaves/water from the teapot, coffee grounds, the water if I steamed veggies, a sprinkle of epsom salts now and then and I did in banana skins too. When at the farm I am going to pick a big bag of stinging nettles and make this into tea to water my plants as that really is a free fertiliser. Oh and some chook poop too. So this usually all does the trick. Hopefully Ill get a good crop. Ill take some photos down the track. Its not as good as having a garden like yours though which I would love!
      I hope the shed roof is going well! With love

    2. Thank you for your pot-feeding tips! I've never heard of digging in banana peels...I'll have to try that! Just got back from a trip to pick up 20 lbs of prune plums, and came back with those plus 20 lbs. of peaches and all the fixings to make spicy veggie pickles! Looks like my weekend is canning! :) xx Jen

  9. Your kitchen looks so beautiful! And you not just kept your sanity, but did spring cleaning!
    I'm doing my fall cleaning piecemeal, since I'm having a reoccurring health issue. When I do my regular, weekly cleaning, I also do one wall of each room, and deep- clean it. If it has a window, I clean the shades, window, and sill, if it's a cabinet, I quickly wipe down shelves. It's taking me about an extra hour per week, but I can handle that. It takes four weeks to finish. Then, during the rest of the week, if I notice anything that needs attention, like ceilings, light fixtures, etc.,I just do it. Most of these jobs take 10 minutes at the most.
    I did so well in my shopping specials earlier this month, that I don't need anything this week, and will try to make it last until end of the month. It's amazing how much I don't spend if I don't set foot in a store! Smiles!
    This is a good chunk of money for the Vicky Challenge, since I have been making baked goods, like bread, bagels, coffee cake, which we usually buy st the farmer's market- this has to be about $100 in savings. I have more time to read, or crochet, or pray. It makes it very peaceful around here.
    Your meals look lovely. Have a great day, bluebirds!

    1. Megs, I do something similar with my cleaning routine due to health issues. This way nothing seems to need doing as it is already clean.

    2. Dear Megs, It can be really hard to stay on top of things with health issues so you are doing really well to have come up with a system that you can work with. Keeping on top of things is really good. It is likewitv everything a little bit here and there adds up and then its done!
      Margaret, thank you too. Even five minutes here and there and it adds up to everything done! With love

  10. Your kitchen is beautiful and the counters are wonderful. I know you are glad to have it done! All that light would make it a real joy to work there.

    Yesterday I was looking at all the recipes in my cupboard doors, which I have been putting in there for 23 years, and thought about when we move and how to move them. Not sure but I certainly don't want to lose any of them as those are the only copies.

    We had to have a plumber out this week for $274 but I had the money in the budget and that is what a budget is for so not a big hardship. We are doing well on our new lower income and not really feeling much pinch. It is all a mindset to us.

    Have a great weekend all!

    1. Dear Lana, The recipes on hand this way is a lovely idea. Start copying them onto new cards maybe? You can print the free ones Jane did from Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth...
      It is great you are going well on the new budget. Staying ahead with some mergence money is really good! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  11. I was in a service station today and saw they had single serves of pre packaged lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, and some other rice meal in their fridge. They were charging $9.95! My freezer meals of the same would be lucky to cost that much for the whole family.

    1. Janine, my husband were just having a catch up cuppa discussing the week that has been and he was telling me about the prices that the food place in the building where he works charges. A 2 inch square piece of no bake slice (cherry ripe slice this week) is $5-95 a piece. There are lots of other things that I use to make that he has seen and he cannot get over the price that is being charged.


    2. Dear Janine, We are noticing this too. Single Moussaka is $15 down the road. This makes my tray of lasagna worth $125. Yikes! It is good to notice this as it makes our work seem so worthwhile and we realise the savings! With love

  12. Oh, Annabell, I'm having serious kitchen envy over here! So beautiful! We moved bought a house built in 1969 last year and the kitchen is still the original! So dark and dingy! I'm anxiously awaiting until the time and finance budgets allow for us to redo it. I want mine bright and white just like yours :) How hard are the wood countertops to maintain? I've wanted butcher block countertops forever and have had many contractors advise against them because of the potential for water damage. I really love the look of them, though, and they're very nice on the budget!

    You had such a productive week! It must feel great to look back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    I've been pretty exhausted this week. I think I must be fighting something off. So I haven't accomplished much extra, but I'm hoping to get in the kitchen this week and make up some double batches of soups that will go into the freezer. We're finally getting some cooler weather here in California, so I'm excited for some yummy soups!

    I hope you have a restful weekend after all your hard work this week! You deserve it!

    1. Tarin I'm with you on the kitchen envy. My kitchen is the original from the late &0's. It is brown, brown and brown. A new kitchen will would be wonderful but this one does the job. When it falls apart a new white one will replace it.

    2. Dear Tarin,
      I have had the wooden counter tops for three years. I really like them and have found them easy. Just as you would not cut directly onto laminate I just use a chopping board for cutting on. We put them in ourselves, well Andy did. Our kitchen was fairly inexpensive to do, the cupboards are IKEA and Andy put it in. The hardest part was taking out the old ones. But truly I find wooden tops just fine and if you get a mark you could sand them where as if you get a mark on many then its live with it or replace.
      I hope you're not coming down with anything, have a restful weekend and catch up. I feel really tired today and I think the fortnight has just caught up with me! I love autumn so enjoy that! Soups would be lovely. I am just starting to adjust to spring and planning summer cooking here! With love,

  13. Hi Annabelle and everyone,

    That is one gorgeous kitchen! All of the light is simply beautiful. The white cupboards are so fresh-looking!

    This week's efforts:

    Cooking: Crockpot pot roast, noodles, and veggies, and pasta with homemade meatballs and marinara for the week. I underestimated what we would need, so the freezer backup was wonderful last night - homemade won ton soup! All work lunches were packed and brought from home ($150). I baked my husband's birthday cake from scratch (dark chocolate cake, mint buttercream, dark chocolate ganache), saving $48. We will freeze some of the cake for later treats. A batch of chicken and roasted veggie broth was made in the crockpot, and I saved the broth after cooking the pot roast, too ($12).

    Entertainment: We enjoyed a movie and 2 novels from the library over the weekend ($50). We also stayed home and spent some nice time relaxing, reading, doing crafts, and enjoying our garden - the Scentimental, Intrigue, and Brandy roses are all blooming beautifully. We also had some nice rides with our horses.

    Garden: Collected rainwater in our rainbarrel. Saved more lettuce and herb seeds, and enjoyed cucumbers and herbs from the garden. I used garden mint to decorate the birthday cake! Looking forward to harvesting some tomatoes and peas when they are ready - all the little green fruits on the plants make me so happy.

    Shopping: At the thrift shop, I found a gorgeous lustreware teacup and saucer for $1, a book of quilting block patterns for $1.99 ($24.95 originally), a nice hardcover novel for $1.99 ($20.72 on Amazon), and an adorable piece of halloween decor for $2.52. The teacup is scalloped, the pattern has two of my favorite colors (sapphire blue and rose pink) with touches of gilding, gold trim, and the saucer has beautiful delicate cutouts.

    Personal Care and Education: I trimmed my own bangs - they really needed it! - and my husband used his trimmers for a nice haircut. $40 saved. I also gave myself a manicure/pedicure - $40 saved. My husband is taking advantage of his workplace's tuition payment program and half of his graduate courses are paid for by his employer. With this new semester, this program saved us over $1000. I also read some free tutorials to help learn new sewing skills.

    Crafts/Gifts: I used my candy molds and supplies from the pantry to make a sweet treat for a gift - the molds were bought a few years ago with a 50% off coupon and gift card, and have been well worth it. The cellophane bag and ribbons were all purchased at end-of-season sales for pennies.

    Here I was thinking this had not been a particularly good week, because I had less time to cook, but the total : $1340. Without tuition: $340. Wow!

    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend,

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Your tea cup and saucer sound beautiful! I'd love to see them!

    2. Dear Kathy, Well done on your cooking especially that cake! It sounds amazing! This all is a huge saving plus a cake made with love is extra special. I am sure your husband appreciated it.
      The teacup sounds exquisite and I love to have a nice cup and saucer. To me this is a daily enjoyment and tea tastes better! What a good find!
      I love that both of you are increasing your education and learning... this is all another kind of asset and investment in the future.
      I am very glad you added this all up and can see its worth! I was thinking this as we went along as the cake, lunches, hair cuts etc are all significant savings... I hope you feel good about this and you can see (plus your husband too) how far this is getting you! It is fantastic! Have a lovely weekend and I hope next week holds more goodness for you both. With love

  14. Your home is absolutely gorgeous. Love all your nooks and crannies for storage.
    Great job.

    1. Dear Cheryl, I have added a lot of space with lots of tricks! It is a big improvement! I want to be cooking more than ever as the family grows so this is all a help. Have a beautiful weekend! with love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous!! You did a beautiful job of organizing and getting it back together. All that work and you cooked too. Your food posts are so delicious looking.
    I did a lot of dehydrating of vegetables this week. We had purchased frozen organic vegetables on sale, so it is just a matter of dumping them onto the mesh on the trays, spreading them out, and putting them in the dehydrator. I love using frozen vegetables, as they are already blanched and ready to go. I still have another week of around the clock dehydrating to go.
    After I finish that I will do fresh carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and celery. I want to make sure we have plenty of dehydrated vegetables this winter for soups, stews, and casseroles.
    On my weekend list is to take inventory of the dried fruit we have on hand and to make sure there is enough for the year. I know, already, I have run out of currants.
    Other than that my week has been the usual cleaning, planning, and sewing. I have two skirts made and they are ready to hem. I had enough fabric from the one skirt left over to make a nice vest to match, so will do that with it.
    Have a blessed and wonderful weekend Annabel and dear Bluebirds.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, All they dehydrating for storage is excellent! You have done alot! Thank you for your comment son my kitchen! At least things are paying off now as I never thought we would get there!
      I am building up my dried fruit too. Partly to make my Christmas cakes but also just to have on hand. I got dates this week.
      The sewing sounds lovely! You have a very good weekend too! With lots of love,

    2. Hi Glenda,
      Is there particular brand of dehydrator that you would recommend? We have been looking at these to dry herbs and fruits, but there are so many that it can be hard to decide which is best!
      Hope you have a great day,

  16. Your kitchen is beautiful! And your view out to the patio?is, as well! I bet your glad to have use of everything again. I remember when I was a teen and my parents remodeled their kitchen....I thought my mom was going to pull her hair out!!

    It looks like your plants are off to a good start! I'm glad that we'll be winding up the yard work in the next 6 wks. and putting the whole thing to bed. By this time, I think we're both pretty tired of it. Then we get a winter break and by late March/early April, we're all excited to get it going again!

    Annabel, I'm not sure if you can answer this or not, but is Jes giving up her blog posts at Strangers...? I thought it was just going to be the Monday link ups, but when I reread her post, it sounded like maybe it was the whole thing! I sure will miss it! I hope she'll leave it up for awhile as I still haven't read everything. There's so much great stuff there.

    1. Dear Debby,
      Thank you! Our gardens go all year here as we have no snow... but things are slow in winter and we still plant in spring and summer the annuals etc.
      I at first thought Jes was giving up the link party. Now you have said this I have gone back and she hasn't replied since Monday and I am also starting to worry as to me her blog is the most good and Godly place I can go in a crazy and increasingly Godless world. I have now written to her to ask if everything is ok and if she will still blog? This is making me think maybe it would be a good idea to rent her most precious content as we take things for granted that they will still be there and thats what happened with lines Letters I lost them for years!
      I will let you know if I hear back. Have a lovely weekend Debby, with love

  17. Oh dear I forgot to keep a list - again - at least I am consistent :-). From memory- I planted out a pineapple plant into the garden that I had grown in a pot from a pineapple top, added all the food scraps to the compost bins, I had some cream that was about to go out of date so I used it up making a baked rice custard, Don and I went into the city yesterday and spent five hours running errands - this is in addition to the two hours it takes to drive there and back, while in the city we bought some replacement insect screen for the sliding glass door (the really small mesh that is supposed to keep the midges out) and Don replaced the insect screen today.

    1. Dear Sherri, I love baked rice custard! You had a busy day in the city! I hope the screen mesh does the job, I really like to be able to have everything open for the cool breeze so the mesh is what makes it possible without getting eaten alive! Have a lovely weekend... and thanks for the comments (below) on the kitchen! With love,

  18. Oh and I just popped back to say your kitchen and dining room look perfectly beautiful.

  19. Dear Annabel
    The kitchen is just gorgeous. I love what you did with the counter tops too. I'm now on the lookout for some large baskets to use for storage after seeing yours. This would create so much more space for us!!

    This week has been busy. The planned for new tires for the car got taken care of. We took some items to the mission that we no longer used and stopped in the op shop. Nothing caught my eye this time.

    The garden is still producing herbs, tomatoes,peppers,chard, okra, and the new plantings of radishes and book choy are ready to start harvesting. This week I made peanut chicken and deconstructed stuffed peppers to add to the freezer.

    We are noticing the increase in prices here too and not just for prepared items. The rice I usually buy went from a little less than $2 for 2 pounds up to $6 for the same amount. Needless to say I'll be looking elsewhere for a better price!

    I did get to spend some time working on things for the gift closet this week. I'm very pleased with how the sea glass paint is working out. And there are now hydrangeas drying all over the house.
    Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings,Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, I have big baskets on top of all cupboards/wardrobes and if there is a gap underneath ... like some have legs and so you get six or more inches of space so I find baskets that fit under there like drawers. Then I pull them out and this is where I store platters and things. The up high ones need to have light things so you don't get hit in the head with something! But it is really handy and a surprising amount of space.
      Interesting about the price of rice! I have seen so many things dramatically go up and for no reason that I can work out.
      I would love to see this sea glass! And the hydrangeas! Pretty please! I love both of these! Have a good weekend to you too, with love

  20. All of it is beautiful Annabel. I especially like your pantry cabinet and the baskets on top. I love baskets for storage as they are functional and really cool looking. You have such a beautiful home, it looks rather unusual, unless that is a common architecture design in Australia. Could you tell us a bit about the history of your home? Is it old? My house is of the Arts and Crafts design and was built in 1922, it's still solid as a rock with lots of original wood work and trim, also original wood floors (that need refinishing!) Using our garden produce, I have recently made salsa and stuffed green peppers. I am on the look out for free apples to slice and freeze for pies and I also like making applesauce--it is so easy to make and then I freeze it in containers.

    1. Dear Joy, Thank you! I don't know very much about our home except the front is old and the back newer being maybe thirty years old. At a guess. I like it because it has high ceilings throughout with 12 or 14 foot. And each room has plaster mouldings around the cornices and giant plaster mouldings above each light fitting and all of them are different. In the hallway it is all fancy plaster mouldings and arch ways etc. I might try and take some photos and then out the front there is wrought iron lace. So I loved the house the moment I saw it for who pretty it is. I also loved that it has big windows and light. The front we have original wood floor boards. There are a lot of older homes like this around with traditional heritage type features and I really like them and that they are solid.
      Your salsa and green peppers sound beautiful. I hope you come across some free apples! With love,

  21. Dear Annabel,
    Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful! I know you have had to do a lot of work to get it done.
    My tomato seedlings have come up and are growing nicely. Almost all are from seeds I saved from heirloom tomatoes we either grew or were given.
    Since I was given a quart container of frozen eggs, I decided to make breakfast burritos. They worked great and I ended up with 17. We ate some fresh and the rest were frozen.
    I used some frozen peaches, strawberries and blueberries from the freezer to make a fruit salad which we enjoyed for two meals.
    One of our grocery stores has had an online contest which I have been playing regularly for about a month. I was disappointed that I had only won a can of potato chips. Then, I won a pack of paper bowls yesterday and a package of frozen corndogs today. The corndogs aren't something I usually buy, but they should work for an occasional lunch. It was fun winning something 😀. This is the store that regularly has a Friday freebie item, so I will be able to get a free coffee latte, too.
    Thank you again for your lovely, encouraging writing and photos!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, You had a good week! I have good success with growing tomatoes with old seeds or even just burying a squishy tomato and all the bases that come up!
      The breakfast burritos sound really good I would like to try this! With love,

  22. Your kitchen is just beautiful! You are so encouraging!

  23. Dear Annabel,
    Your home is just beautiful. It so wonderful when home is such a lovely place to be. I love that you and Andy were
    able to create such a beutiful space together. I hope you get some rest this week.

  24. I absolutely adore every inch of your home indoors and outdoors that you have shared with us. It's so bright and cheery. I love white on white decor with a pop of color once in awhile. I decorate with whites and red is my pop of color. I have a very long list of things to accomplish. I'm taking your advice and just doing the next thing/things. Right now that is canning and then painting. Thank you for always being so uplifting and inspiring!
    Melody in OR


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