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.

Friday 1 September 2017

Feather your Nest Friday. Only it is Saturday this week!

I was travelling yesterday so I am looking back over the week today.  Last night Adelaide had two shakes of some kind at 2 am. I slept through the whole thing but Andy woke up but did not know why.  At first they said we had two small earthquakes. Now they are saying they were not earthquakes and they don't know what it was!

I had a really lovely time at the farm.  I came home with a car full of flowers too.   And yesterday was the first day of Spring!

Mum's garden was already full of flowers.  The sun was shining so I was picking flowers and Mum and Chloe were too.  Chloe was having friends over for dinner so she took bunches home to decorate her table.  The lavender bush was covered as well.

Bunches of lavender take ages to pick but they are worth it.   It was lovely just being out in the sun and in the garden.

I find many flowers last just ages and dry well so I can have my house full of big vases of flowers for weeks and I love it.  What would all this cost from a florist!!?

I also picked a lot of Bay Leaves.  I will hang them to dry today.  Coming up I have a garden day to go to where everyone takes produce to swap.  I thought I could take little bunches of these as part of my swap collection.  Plus I want to dry lots to package up in cellophane bags to go into kitchen gifts at Christmas. 

The sun was coming through the trees, it was just lovely.

I got to hold two baby Kangaroos. They are bottle fed orphans.  They act like puppies and jump headfirst into pillowcases instead of their Mothers pouches! 

On the way to the farm I stopped at two op shops and had pretty good luck! I got a lovely old bread knife which is something we needed (for $1)
Also four tops and two cardigans.  A week or so ago I saw a top online that I just loved.  I looked at the details and it was $170.  Darn!  One of my op shop tops is the same!  I couldn't believe it!  Not the same brand or anything just the same cut and shape.  Very happy! 

I also came home from the farm with eggs.

Earlier in the week I had made yoghurt,  a dozen vegemite and cheese scrolls and two loaves of bread. 

I hung up bunches of herbs from the garden to dry as I am re doing my herb pots for spring. 

Many of my herbs I am just repotting, some I am dividing. Others I need to plant anew, like Basil.

I froze some yoghurt to use in cakes or muffins.

My shopping list had basically nothing on it (except milk) and so I was just shopping for the best deals.  This meant I really had time to look around.  To my amazement I found three packets of bacon for $1.30 each and 2 packets of salmon for $2.60 each. Both these were 80% off.  I think the salmon had been $13 each.  I froze the bacon and worked the salmon into the immediate menu plan.  This week proved to me how much menu planning is making a difference.  I am shocked at the difference actually!  This weekend I need to work on my new menu plan.  The further ahead I am the better it is I am finding.  

So that was my week!  I also need to sit and total up my Vicky Challenge but the habit of jotting down my savings makes this fairly easy in the end.  I know it was a good week.  I feel in a bit of a mess now as I have unpacking and washing to do!

I hope you had a great week. How did you build up your home, save and get ahead?

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel and beautiful Bluebirds.

    I am glad Annabel that you had such a wonderful time away, we all need to do it :) . The smell of the wonderful flowers and herbs would make your home smell divine.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $376.14 this week.

    We are on a week of sending in our garden machinery and cars for servicing, but after price matching earlier between service centres and garages saved a fortune.

    Garden machinery and car servicing -
    - Sent our ride on lawnmower in for a service saving $57 on the base servicing charge compared to the usual service centre we sent it to and also $281 by sending our car in for a service at a local service station rather than sending it to the Ford dealership.

    Electricity savings -
    We have worked out that our electric hot water system heats really well for 2 days only turning it on for 3 hours now so that is what we have been doing in the later part of the week to save costs.

    This might be a good money saving tip for others as heating hot water takes costs around 40% of our power bills and with the recent 20% rises in most areas on electricity this could be a substantial saving to most.

    - Only had our electric hot water system on for 20.25hrs this week saving $7.38 in electricity and used our solar lanterns to light our home rather than turning on mains powered lights saving $2.50.

    In the garden -
    - Picked 1.819kg of red and gold capsicums saving $12.55 and harvested 454g of turnips, 177g of spinach and 243g of early Massey shelling peas saving $6.85.

    In the kitchen -
    - We had a roasted capsicum soup one night with most of the capsicums and had some steamed the next night for dinner with the turnips, peas and spinach.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Saved vegetable steaming and food storage container rinsing water to water in our newly sprouted vegetable seedlings in the garden.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone :) .


    1. Our electric hot water heater is on a timer and comes on for one hour three times a day. We hardly ever run out of hot water. The timer was here when we bought the house 23 years ago and I often wonder how much money it has saved us in all those years.

    2. Hi Lana that is interesting I have never seen a timer for electric hot water systems, technology is certainly advancing indeed.

      We live in a very old rental cottage whilst we are saving for our home so this is the best way for us to manage costs is by manually turning it on and off at the power box.

      I imagine it would have saved you a lot of money since you have owned the house in electricity costs.


  2. You had such a lovely visit. Your house must be smelling so good right now with the bay and bunches of lavender.
    So neat that you were able to hold the baby kangaroos!

  3. What beautiful lavender and fresh bay leaves, what a delight!

    I just love the pic of the baby kangaroo! What a neat idea for them to jump into the pillowcases, as a makeshift mamas pouch!

    Don't you love finding deals on items that you've seen for so much more? Way to go on finding shirts and a cardigan that were affordable!

    Take care and I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend!

  4. Good morning Annabel,
    Your photos are just beautiful, better than magazine one. ❤️ I'm guessing all that lavender smells just amazing.
    And a baby kangaroo will dive into a pillowcase? That sounds so sweet. I'm glad the babies are being taken care of.
    Hope you have a very good weekend too.

  5. Welcome back Annabel! So glad to hear you had a lovely time at the farm and came home with lots of goodies. Hope you feel all refreshed once you unpack and do the washing :)

    My nest feathering included;

    Menu planning, therefore making every meal from scratch. This week run so much smoother just by doing this. I have worked around hubby’s roster.

    Making a double batch of yoghurt, so I have extra for making dough for pizzas this week.

    Making two slices.

    Using up meat that was hidden away in the freezer.

    Starting a to do list for jobs that I am behind with.

    Doing a big shop using the specials, I haven’t done this for ages, so now things are stocked up again.

    Going out into the garden and prepared some more beds for veggies.

    Sorting through seed box to find seeds to plant this time of year.

    Planting dew melon, cucumber and zucchini seeds in punnets.

    Picking the rest of the tomatoes that were still green and will be making green tomato pickles with them.

    Making a bottle of lemon, ginger and honey drink for sick son who has a bad dose of the flu.

    Also making a big pot of chicken noodle soup for him.

    Making kombucha.

    Slow cooking another homegrown rooster. Apricot chicken yum, yum!

    Picking kale, celery, baby spinach from the garden.

    Saved pre run dish water and veggie water for watering pot plants.

    Going out in the bush/scrub and picking a bucket and shopping bag of wild peaches/quandongs. I have cooked them up ready for making pies. These will be given as thank you gifts to some special friends we have in our lives.

    Collecting six dozen eggs this week and I will be selling them for $3.00 dozen. Thank you girls.

    Have a great week dear friend,


  6. Annabel,
    I am so happy you were able to spend time with Family. All of the fresh herbs and flowers drying in your home now must smell wonderful. I am hoping to harvest a bit more out of my potted herbs before we have a frost.
    The baby kangaroo looks adorable, how wonderful that you were able to hold them.
    Your Op Shop shopping was very fruitful, don't you just love finding all the wonderful items for such a better price. I found another large canister in my Wexford pattern while traveling, a new home for my overflowing tea canister.
    You now need some downtime at home to re-coop and re-evaluate what needs attention.

    I baked a Rosemary Focaccia Bread yesterday for dinner, I thought of you. So much better than store bought and so much more affordable.

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love, Rosanne xxx

    Oh, I did find cans of pork and beans on sale for 1/3rd their normal price this week and purchased a case for myself and one for my Son's family. (49cents a can)

  7. Annabelle, so glad you had a wonderful time at the farm! Your family is lovely and what riches of lavender and bay!
    What a week you had, though, with savings and putting things by! I find menu planning is key- and shopping for bargains.
    This week, I'm continuing to help my daughter move by stocking her cupboards- I was able to do that by careful shopping for our own needs, and taking advantage of super specials at stores. We really didn't need anything, so, like you, I just bought from the marked down things. I got scrapple( a Pennsylvania thing, sort of like sausage) for 62cents a pound. I bough four packs, cut them up and froze them. I also bought, from their organic section, chicken in marinades, ready to be cooked- one pack we grilled and it was very good, the other went in the freezer. I also had coupons for some paper products, paper towels, etc. that I bought to send to Houston through some friends who are filling trucks. Again, I was thankful I had something I could give.
    I made batches of yeasts waffles and froze some, cookies( for our long drive to our daughter's;.), a batch of yoghurt, and also experimented with making my own pumpernickel bread, one of my husband's favorites. It did come out good. Picked some more tomatoes from my plant, which has given us tomatoes for two months now, showed my daughter how to make her own house cleaner (vinegar and Dawn). She also bought ingredients to start making her own laundry detergent.
    I don't know how much all this saved- sorry, I have no amounts, but I do know it is helping us, yet, at the same time, we feel rich!
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Megs,
      You are wonderful helping your daughter this way.
      This is the thing with getting ahead. We can just buy the awesome deals and keep ahead! And we can give when needed to help out.
      I would like to try the pumpernickel bread. This is an idea for after my kitchen goes back together after my floors... this is all next week!
      I think you saved a lot. It just adds up. Plus you helped and taught and still remained ahead! This is wonderful! Thank you Megs, with love

  8. Hi Annabel, so glad you enjoyed your stay at the farm. My daughter is moving to the U.K. and I was wondering how you dried your starter to send to people who asked. We have a Kefir plant and I would like to be able to send it when they are settled. I love your blog, you inspire me. Thank you

    1. Dear Patricia, My Mums name is Patricia!
      I replied to your question on the facebook page even though I don't know much about Kefir. I hope you saw this reply and it helps. With love

  9. Sounds like such a lovely week.
    All the flowers and herbs are heavenly.
    Oh my goodness, how fun it would be to hold a Kangaroo!! How cool.
    Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! I hope you have a very good new week! xxx

  10. When we lived in the south, we had huge lavender plants on either side of our back door. I love brushing my hands through them every time I went out to the garden. Can't grow them up here in the frozen tundra though!

    We filled up both cars with gas shortly after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Last we checked (yesterday), gas had gone up $.20 a gallon.

    I'm having several girlfriends over this afternoon as a friend that hasn't lived here for years is in town. I'm serving fresh fruit and veggies (all bought on sale!), homemade cranberry muffins and homemade brownies.

    My cell phone only works when plugged in at the moment. We have ordered a new battery for $8. The stores that sell cell phones around here don't carry batteries. They want you to buy a new phone, of course. Prices for new phones range from $30-$600!!!!!

    That baby kangaroo is simply adorable. Too bad they don't stay little!

    What a marvelous bunch of bay leaves. I don't think we can grow those here either, but I am continuingly drying mint, chives, parsley, and oregano.

    I have been working on my menu plan after inventorying all the places where I store food in the house. A little bit here, a little bit there adds up after a time!

    Thanks again for your inspiration. The farm looks like an idyllic place to be. What a blessing!

    1. Dear Cheri,
      You are making a huge saving on the phone! Also your girlfriends gathering sounds lovely!
      I think we have to just make the most of the herbs that grow well around us. This tree of Mums is enormous. In packets in the supermarket it works out bay leaves are almost 50c EACH. This would make her tree worth a million dollars haha. So I used them as gifts a lot and also in my cooking. I love oregano... with parsley I would use that more than anything else I think.
      Keep at the inventory. I still have supplies to list but I have the food part done. My meal planning is really benefitting from all of this!
      Thank you so much! Have a good new week, with love,

  11. I'm gonna need you to send me that baby kangaroo!! He/She is just precious with those giant ears!!!

    The flowers are spectacular!! What a wonderful way to welcome Spring! I bet they smell yummy. While our Autumn is still 3 weeks away, I noticed this morning that the shrub outside our kitchen window had quite a few yellow leaves this morning. It turns a spectacular orange. Our Maples are still as green as ever. No signs of them turning yet.

    Great finds at the market. I'd love to find some like that!!

    Today is plumbing day in our home. We're having toilet issues....ick....and we have a drippy faucet. Both have had temp fixes that we hoped were permanent, but they didn't work as such. So today is the full replacement/rehab job. Wheee....pffffft!

    1. Dear Debby,
      I hope you got all the bathroom issues sorted out! These things are not exactly fun!
      I have flowers all over the house! Its lovely. the kangaroos really are so tame when bottle fed just like babies. This lady is the local lady that everyone takes the orphans to. It is common for kangaroos to get hit by cars sadly.
      Spring disappeared and it has rained basically ever since that sunny day! Have a good new week, with love,

  12. The flowers are so lovely! Sounds like you had a wonderful visit.

    1. Thank you Chipmunk! It was a beautiful week. I was tired after I got back though! I hope you've had a good weekend! xxx

  13. I isn't it nice to go home? Your visit was lovely and what fun to hold the baby kangaroos. Since we are winding down into fall it is strange to think of spring there!

    Hurricane Harvey has refineries and gas pipelines shut down here so gas prices are really going up and gas will soon be in short supply. We took gas cans and filled them and stored them in the backyard shed so we have 20 gallons if it is needed. Gas has gone up 60 cents a gallon in one week.

    I found whole chickens for 75 cents a pound and rib eye steaks for a special weekend with our son for $4.99 a pound. I used reward points to get the steaks for free. They had a small bone which I cut off and simmered a pot of beef broth to freeze. Why throw them out? I turned a $3 pack of chicken thighs into one dinner and 3 freezer meals of Italian chicken. We ate a free breakfast out with our daughter's family by using the Chick fil A app freebie and ordering free senior coffee. We continue to harvest a double handful of cherry tomatoes most days.

    Have a nice weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I saw that about gas prices and also heard Houston was running out of gas. I am glad you are ahead and watching that. Roseanne on FB had everyone from different states posting the prices and they were going up so fast.
      You did extremely well with the meat. What good value!
      I hope you have had a good weekend and have another good week! With love,

  14. I just looked up about the tremors you mentioned and I find it amazing that they don't know what the cause was.

    I smiled when I saw the pictures of you mum and chloe all rugged up - it has been t-shirt gardening weather for some weeks here now. Our winter was very warm again this year - I actually miss the cooler winters.

    I bought some fruit and veg at a farm gate stall and also some plants - lemon balm, thyme and a chilli plant. I also bought a few packets of seeds during the week. While we were in the city on Thursday my husband and I also bought a replacement dog-bed cover as our puppies had managed to chew the original bed cover in half. When we got it home the bed cover did not fit the frame! So my husband got busy and cut the metal frame and fitted other pieces to it that he had on hand and resized the frame so that now the bed cover fits the frame. We will need to buy a second bed when the puppies grow to full size but for now they are happy to stretch out together on the one bed. So cute!

    During the week I made a Honey and Nut Crunch Slice and a Fantasy cake (which is really a slice in my opinion). These are both no bake recipes. I am trying to source a few good no bake recipes for summer and I think these two are keepers.

    Like Sewingcreations15 - we too have equipment in for servicing, for us it is our ride on mower. Don told the guy that there was no rush as the grass is not growing anyway. Spring is the official beginning of our dry season but the soil was dry before the start of Spring anyway.

    I washed some of my clothes by hand in a bucket to save water. I then tipped the rinse water out onto the plants.

    The only thing we harvested from the garden this week is lettuce leaves. I planted another two lettuce, tip pruned my blueberry bush - I have only had this for a few months and I am trying to make it a bit more bushy.

    Don put down a beer brew this week. Which will reduce costs once it is ready to drink later on.

    I hope you all have a great week.

    1. Dear Sherri, Even hough it looked so sunny, inside the fire was going! When we get to summer I will also be on to no bake recipes. In fact this is a really good blog subject idea! No bake keeps the house cooler but saves electricity too!
      I think home brew is a great idea. For the boys who like a beer this is a great hobby !
      You had a good week! Lets have another good week, the weekend has gone by really fast! With love

  15. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds.
    This week Katie had a young couple she has known for years travel up to stay with us. They have a 12 month old little boy and we spent the week moving Granny Jane's pretties onto the craft table. Today the floors will have the weetbix and various food items scraped off and the pretties put back.
    All meals, bar one, were cooked from scratch. Darryl(Dad), who doesn't like vegetables, scoffed into everything put in front of him. He had a great time working on the dinner meal with Bluey, working out how to cook vegies. I think there might be a few more fresh, rather than frozen, veg on the menu in their household.
    Cakes, cookies and bread was baked and eaten gladly. Little Ollie loves garlic bread so lots of this was made. Katie's Jared was able to get us a fabulous deal on a whale watching cruise owned by a mates family. If you're ever in Hervey Bay, Whale Song Cruises are wonderful.Bluey got the all clear as far as health goes from the specialist. Insert major happy dance here. We overnighted for the hospital visit and took all our food and drinks with us.
    I haven't worked out our savings but there were a few.
    Best get into de baby proofing my home. Life is wonderful.

    1. Dear Jane, The best part of this is Blueys all clear! How wonderful this is!
      The whale watching is beautiful, I know you had an amazing time! What a memory!
      It sounds like maybe you educated someone new on fresh beautiful veggies. There is no comparison!
      What a good week! I am so happy for you! With love

    2. Dear Jane,
      I had run out of data earlier this week so didn't get a chance to comment on your wonderful tutorial. You continue to inspire me with all that you do. I was wondering did you print on card stock or paper? So glad to hear that Bluey got the all clear. Blessings, Cookie

    3. Cookie I printed onto paper and then I laminated the recipes. It made them just the right thickness to go into the photo album. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  16. Dear Annabel,
    I looks and sounds like you had a wonderful trip to the farm! You came away with beautiful bunches of flowers and herbs, too. I know you will enjoy them in your home and make lovely gifts of them.

    The meal planning I do is very much like what you described, looking at what I have on hand and meals that I can make from those things. Sometimes, I look on line for new recipes to make using specific ingredients or combinations of ingredients. I also plan meals around the loss leaders in the store's ads. Some of the things that never seem to go on sale are often purchased when the store has senior discount day.

    We have bakery outlets in our area where bread, rolls, etc. are reduced. I went to one to get English muffins at less than half price of the grocery store. As I was checking out, the sales lady asked if I had seen the multi-packs and brought them to show me I could save an additional $2 over buying them individually. I did that, but also had a package of cinnamon raisin ones I wanted to try. She gave them to me free so I could try them out. It was also senior discount day, saving an additional !0%. I was really glad I had stopped in!

    Our library sponsored a seed swap. I won a little calendar showing suggested planting times in our area. Another person gave me starts of a succulent called "mother of thousands" that I had never heard of. It was fun seeing some new and unusual plants and talking with other local gardeners.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!
    Elaine from AZ

  17. Dear Annabel and bluebirds , so pleased you had a good few days at the farm , gathering lavender , holding kangaroo and finding good opshop and meat buys .
    We travelled on Friday too 4.5 hours to a lovely lake area and stopped on the wayside to eat chicken mayo sammies and milo which is prepared . I'd taken leftovers veg and other items from home which has meant we've avoided the supermarkets . There is a little store not far where we can top up milk bread etc at a reasonable price. The leftovers did 3 meals plus I made up a healthy chia seeds drink and we've been having that here and there . Unusual drink but okay and lots of nutrients . Hubby has a chest infection so we are taking it easy but did drive north to visit an old friend for lunch and had a lovely day today which is Fathers Day here . Hubby is happy he's heard from our three children and had a good day .
    Added to my gift box by buying some candies my friend makes ,helping her same time .
    Jane- so good to hear Bluey has a good report !
    Love Maria xxx

  18. Hi Annabel,and everyone i just love the pic of the baby kangaroo! and all the pretty flowers and herbs looks like you had a restful time away out in the fresh air.

    ways we got ahead this week was cooking all meals from scratch,we have lots of eggs so i have been using them up in the kitchen making egg custard,corn fritters and i scrambled some eggs to for my lunch tomorrow for work and added some bread to go with my eggs.
    Have a great week ahead xo

  19. Dear Annabel,
    What a lovely holiday you had!! So happy to read that your new floor is getting done next week!

    This week was our major monthly shopping week and I found many good bargains that were quite a savings.

    Some new things I did this week was to make a batch of self rising gluten free flour! I used some of it to make the 2 ingredient pizza crust recipe that calls for self rising flour and yogurt. We had that for dinner last night. I wasn't sure if subbing the gluten free flour would be an epic success or epic fail,and was happy it was successful. There are a few tweaks I would make with the baking time. Here a 9inch gluten free pizza costs $12 for a small one. Making our own used about $2 of ingredients and produced a 16 inch pizza. The garden is producing loads of peppers and they got dehydrated. Tomato soup was made and canned. Baked blueberry muffins using homemade almond flour. All meals were made and​ eaten at home. I finished another Afghan which is just one huge granny square.
    Blessings, Cookie

  20. Dear Annabel, what lovely photographs, and what a feeling of joyful abundance in your post. It must be lovely to have that escape to the farm up your sleeve, knowing that you'll return home with arms full of flowers, herbs and bargains. That was a great buy on the salmon! We eat a lot of salmon here and I regularly pick it up for maybe $6 for three small pieces when it's marked down, but yours beats that by a country mile! Everyone has had a wonderful week, and I'm a bit of a lost cause. My daughter was home recovering from her appendectomy all last week, so it was a quiet week on all fronts. Thank goodness for home delivered groceries. Again, not something to do all the time, but jolly handy when it's a necessity! So not too much in the way of money saving, but plenty in the way of sanity saving. Great news from Jane on Blueys all clear too. That's worth a happy dance! Love, Mimi xxx

  21. Argh I thought I'd posted my comment but as I'm on my phone away it doesn't seem so . Hope I'm not repeating myself ...
    Dear Annabel and bluebirds, it looks like you had a lovely time at the farm with family . How sweet little joey looks and how cute using a pillowslip for a pouch . Your canny sense and good eye found you more bargains woohoo!
    We travelled on Friday too but left home to go to our fav family holiday area by a beautiful lake passing desert and mountains on the way .our family has done this trip for over 30 years but now it is just hubby and I .
    We stopped in a rest area fir lunch on the way up to eat the chicken and mayo sammies I made with hot milo .
    And with what food items I brought as in leftovers plus basics we've not had to eat out until last night Sunday . We spent Sunday visiting an old friend and had a lovely lunch she'd put on fir us snd some of her family who came to see us . It was a lovely way to spend Father's Day while away from our own loved ones .We ended that day having an easy roast dinner out , hubby really enjoyed his day .
    He's got a chest infection and I still have a little offshoot pain from my eye accident but we are improving daily .
    Jane- I'm thrilled for you and Bluey that he got a good report !
    The sun is shining at last here we are going out fior a drive and walk around and I hope yo check out some opshops today too .
    With love , Maria xxx
    Ps today we've been married 42 years ! Where did the time go 😊

  22. Dear Maria, Congratulations on your wedding anniversary!
    Your trip sounds lovely. And your picnic too. I hope your eye is doing better. Healing must take time. I think with anything when we get tired then pain shoots up, its like a warning we did too much.
    Have a good week! We have a cold snap and its like winter again! With love

  23. All those flowers and herbs are so lovely! I will admit to being a tad jealous about your getting to hold the baby kangaroos. That has always been a dream of mine!


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