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 19 October 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 20th October, 2017.

It's Friday!  It has been a good week!
First of all thank you to everyone who participated in the swap party!  For my part all the parcels will be ready and posted on Monday.  I have been busy drying heaps of sour dough starter and that is all ready too.
I just published some more comments in the swap post so be sure to check and let me know if you need any more contacts. I think I will say Sunday it is closed down for this time and we will do it again early next year.  I hope everyone gets lovely parcels in the mail!

This week I built up our home and saved money in lots of little ways...

I added a kettle to our BBQ set up for boiling water if the power is out.  Previously we just used saucepans but this is easier for making cups of tea etc.

I got two sets of good sheets on a huge bargain!

My spray bottle was almost empty so I refilled it with miracle cleaner.  To do this I simply put in about an inch of the cleaner into the bottle then fill the rest with water.  Cost is a few cents!   The recipe is here plus how to make your own cleaning cloths etc.  This all saves a fortune and your house never smelled so good!

It was a week of roses!   Our garden is blooming just now and it seems to have come all at once.

We have yellow roses down the side and over an arbour...

Yesterday I started picking them.  Jane made me realise that I could use dried rose buds as gifts and in swaps!  So while I usually dry lots to use on food like my coconut ice and on soaps and bath bombs etc. I am going to try and dry enough over the summer to make up packages for my gift cupboard.  Jane also told me you can buy dried rose buds by the gram and they are expensive.  
This is what I picked just yesterday...

The buds will today be hung upside down to dry. The flowers I will just enjoy and then dry the petals.

Out the front we have a tree covered in palest pink blossoms.  It is now raining petals every time there is a breeze.  

I just love all of this and the scents are beautiful too.  I have honeysuckle at the front door and this is always open if the weather is ok so the whole house smells beautiful.

I made peanut butter biscuits again this week.   I am making them every week as Harper likes them so much but also I am doing an experiment with going grain free.  My whole life I have suffered aching legs.  Some of my early memories are Dad rubbing my aching legs.   That has been my normal.  But since early this year when I got the spider bites and infections on my arms I have had badly aching arms.  After months of this I found I was taking tons of painkillers as aching legs plus arms makes it seem like everything aches.  I was getting fairly miserable.  I read a lot that many people go grain free to reduce pain but that sounded mad to me.  But then Laine told me she is grain free as she has a chronic condition which causes a lot of pain and by doing this she has improved her life and can still do things she couldn't otherwise do.  And I was willing to listen to Laine as she gets so much done! 
At this point I was desperate and thought I have nothing to lose!  So I got organised and on October the first I went grain free.  I thought as an experiment only.  
On the fourth day my leg ache and arm ache disappeared.  Today is the 20th day. I have had two days with mild aches rather than 20 days with major aches.  I am amazed.  I have more energy too. MUCH more energy.  Each day I am still improving.  And this week we started our summer swimming so now I added lapping the pool and still haven't ached!  
I also went to the doctor this week.  I told her what I was doing and I expected her to roll her eyes but she didn't!  She said that apart from anything else for a woman my age (menopausal) this was the best thing I could be doing!  WHAT? No one ever told me that before.  
I am not telling anyone to do this or that it would be right for them. But this has amazed me and I cant believe the benefits so far so I thought I would share it as there might be someone reading who is suffering quietly and you just never know. 

These cookies are just  1 cup peanut butter (easier to work with if it has been in the fridge) 1 egg and 1 cup of sugar rolled into balls.  (I use much less sugar though)

Press with a fork, bake in a low oven (they burn easily) for about ten minutes or until lightly browned.   They are very filling.  No flour!

I am still baking things like scrolls and cakes for the family.  If I have something for myself like these cookies I am ok and not bothered.  That is not to say I won't fall off the wagon at some point!

This week I did a big spaghetti sauce cook up. 

Chloe came home from her trip!  I sent her home with two nights worth of the sauce.  For us I made zucchini noodles and Andy likes these and so no pasta.   This all gave me four dinners to give away,  and eight batches to freeze plus two nights of dinners for us.

I made vanilla yoghurt.

At the discount chemist I got a cleaning product for one cent! 
And we have hit our safety net amount and the rest of the years prescriptions will be only the minimum amount which I think is about $5.

We started having BBQ's.  This keeps the kitchen clean, the power bill down, we eat outside in the evenings and it is lovely.  Usually this time of year we do a couple of BBQ's a week maybe three times a week in summer. 

My dried fruit is soaking for my Christmas cakes.  This year I got most of the fruit from Aldi and it is lovely.  

I have enough for four large cakes but I will make them up as 8 smaller ones.  That is part of my work today. This will take 20 eggs! 
I always make these in October as they improve with age. And they last a year so I usually hide a couple.  That recipe is here.

Coles sent me a $40 voucher and coupons to save more points.  I will sit and stick these into my diary this weekend.  Usually it is one coupon per week.   Doing it last time earned me this $40.  I will use this on half price items and turn it into $80 value (at least)  It is a great way to add to the pantry.

So that is my week!  It was pretty good! The highlight was Chloe getting home!

I hope you had a good week. How did you feather your nest, get ahead, save... build up your pantry?
I am off to get these cakes cooked and hang up my rose buds.  
Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, what a great week, and I can't agree more that going grain/wheat free is the best thing ever! You miss stuff for a while, but you find other ways, as you already have with the zucchini noodles. I also take a Magnesium/Turmeric supplement which seems to help as well. I've been making those peanut butter cookies for my daughter for years. Aren't they yummy? I had a great week too. I found some clothing bargains at the sales, and apart from having to take up sleeve lengths and hemlines, they were all the perfect additions to my New look wardrobe. I made some Christmas cards with my granddaughter, and whilst that's not much of a financial saving, it's certainly still Feathering my Nest in terms of family. I also spent time with Granddaughter number two, baking and playing which was just lovely. We propagated lots of succulents and geraniums from cuttings and they're just going nuts after our recent rainfall. And husband and I are nearly finished our 'new' kitchen, which is very exciting. I hope everyone had a great week. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, The biscuits are probably your recipe! I keep seeing it in various places and when I finally tired it I was a convert! I take magnesium and that is great for me... it cured me of restless legs which used to drive me mad and a kind of burning mouth thing which I think is menopausal... eek!
      Your activities with the Granddaughters sound wonderful. I cant wait to be able to do baking etc.... it wont be long.
      And the kitchen is finished! That is fantastic. From what I have seen of it you will be loving it! It will be so nice to be finished with renovations, believe me I know that! I am going to try upping my turmeric thank you. With love

  2. Annabel the highlight of my week was getting a parcel of beautiful dried rose buds. Bluey saw them as I opened them, and made the comment that Annabel will now be my first best friend. I also love the chooky fabric and can see something lovely happening with this.
    I too will be getting my swap items off on Monday. I have had a lot of fun with this.
    From Vicky I now know how to make a soft fluffy tutu. Tilly will be here in a months time. I think you all know what that little girl will be wearing whilst here.
    Bluey has been on a bargain hunting mission. He has been getting broccoli, just starting to yellow, for free. We have been blanching and freezing this bounty. He has also been getting lots of free bread and bakery items, so no grain free here. I prefer the sourdough bread so I have been making one loaf a week, slicing and freezing. This keeps me in bread for the week. Bluey has also brought home several free bags of Spanish onions. They are a bit smaller than those in the supermarket but perfect for when it's just the two of us. These have been shared with neighbours.
    We have had the most glorious rain. I have taken advantage of this and have seeds planted all over the garden. The lettuce is up already. I had planted corn the week before the rain and it is up and looking like it has taken steroids. There are beans forming, sunflowers beginning to form, tiny cucumbers and tiny pumpkins.
    Today is the first day of blue skies in a week. All the washing lines in the neighbourhood are full and the fellows are out mowing. It is just lovely. We are expecting another rain band to come through tomorrow.
    Life is truly magnificent.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I have had one of Vickys tutus and they look beautiful. These would be just lovely at Christmas time too. Very special.
      Bluey is a very good gatherer of bargains! Mind you, you put them to good use and make it all such an asset.
      Your garden will be like a tropical rainforest! Warmth plus rain! Sunshine after rain is beautiful. I would be another one with the line covered! I am glad you had many happy things this week and you enjoyed the swap! With love, oh and I'm glad you liked the parcel! xxx

  3. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) and I hope you have all had a fabulous week.

    We have had lots of rain here and the rain tanks are still full :) with more rain predicted tonight as well as over the weekend. The tea roses are in bloom out in the front yard and it looks beautiful as does Annabel's beautiful roses and blossoming trees. You can also Annabel make rose petal cordial from the dark red and pink rose petals along with rosewater essence too and it tastes divine. If you want the recipe let me know.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $152.52 this week.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased a pair of cat metal nail clippers for $1 on eBay saving $13.15 over purchasing them in the local supermarket.

    Financial -
    - Added more savings to our saving for our home with cash bringing us up to 22.44% of the way there to buying our land, having our home, garage and verandas built and buying a new ute for when we move out of town.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Roasted a large family roast chicken which we had some for lunch sandwiches and put away another 3.5 meat meal portions away in the freezer.
    - Had 2 visitors for tea and made a huge turnip, sweet potato, silverbeet, broad bean, green and butter bean and chicken bake from 2 packages of left over roast chicken in the freezer which easily fed 4 people. Cost of the meal probably around $5 with the grated cheese and breadcrumbs we used on top.
    - For a lazy no cooking dinner night after a mammoth garden planting and weeding day we had smoked oysters with sour cream and or cheese on crackers which saved cooking.

    In the gardens -
    - Planted 2 x 5mt rows of Qld blue pumpkins,2 x 5mt rows of sugar baby watermelon, 1 x 3mt rows of carrots, and 1 x 4.5mt row of blue lake climbing bean seeds.

    Groceries -
    - Increased our grocery stockpile by 9kg of raw sugar, 8kg of flour, 1 x 400g pkt of macadamia nuts, 1 x 750g of almonds, 1kg pkt of sultanas, 24 tins of wet cat food and 3pkts of dried cat biscuits.

    Trades -
    - got our second 15kg of honey from helping our neighbour move saving $129 over purchasing the same amount in the supermarkets.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on the hot water system for 10.5 hrs this week and used our solar lanterns to light our home with at night saving $10.37 in electricity costs.
    - Did 2 loads of whites laundry this week using 1 rinse cycle on the washing machine saving another 22 mins of electricity use and 40lts of water use.

    Water preservation-
    - Hand watered the lawns all week with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.
    - Used vegetable steaming and dish rinsing water to water new seeds and seedlings planted in the gardens.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, I would rathe like to make rosewater essence! I picked a lot of roses today! Last year I made quite a few things with them and I want to this year too.
      You did a lot (as you always do!) and the water situation is just excellent. And to get another 15kilo of honey is just wonderful. The gingerbread I make is a good recipe to use honey. But I can think of so many. This will last you years! Possibly small jars would make lovely gifts too.
      I hope you have an excellent week and receive nice mail :)! With love

    2. Thanks Annabel much appreciated and I will get your swap parcel off to you next time I am in town. I will be packaging them up tomorrow. Tanya and myself are also having a really wonderful and interesting swap as well.

      Unfortunately I am allergic to ginger and turn like a nasty red traffic light for about 3 days :( . We do however make a lot of granola with the honey and love honey sandwiches too.


    3. Dear Sewingcreations, I just want to mention I make those biscuits with out ginger for Harper and call them honey biscuits. You can also use nutmeg wherever you would normally use ginger (in sweet things anyway) to a lovely effect and its delicious! Honey and soy sauce is a lovely glaze on chicken ... thats another one! With love

  4. I have seen that peanut butter cookie recipe and since I can't have gluten or I break out in itchy rashes I think I may try that. Could I make zucchini noodles without a noodle maker and could you freeze the noodles i am wondering? Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, You could finely slice a zucchini for the same effect and you just lightly fry them. They are really nice. the gadget I got was about $10 and just a small hand held thing although you can get larger fancy ones. But truly fine slices would be ok. I don't think they would freeze, I think they would be mushy. (sadly as that would be handy) I hope you like them! With love ps the thingy to make the noodles is called a spiralizer.

  5. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Thank you for another lovely blog post Annbel, you have had an excellent week .
    My week included:
    2 hours subsidised cleaning , $36 savings
    2x1 hour meal prep( cooking) , saving at least $40 on takeaway and prepared foods.
    1hour where my centacare lady went shopping for me , saving me $15 on taxi fares and at least $20 on " stuff"
    I saved $44 on groceries and will put $40 into savings , so a $40 saving ..
    I bought some good shorts for summer and saved 40% , and I bought two other items at 40% off also and I got free delivery , total savings of at least $70 .
    I got the fly buys vouchers too Annabel and along with other offers from fly buys I early at least $6 points yesterday , it all adds up!.
    I went to the doctors and was bulk bilked, a $60 saving.i get my medication free until January 2018 , I saved $30 this week on medication .
    I bought some children's activity books for a local organisation , I paid $2 per book , they are worth at least $8 a book , saving $12 total on 2 books .
    I received 2 meals from my parents , saving $20 approximately.
    I saved at least $50 on taxi fares by getting lifts with my dad this week .
    That's all I can think of this week Annabel, a total savings of about $399 .
    I love your roses Annabel , they are beautiful. The biscuits look and sound yummy, although I cannot have egg so will need to experiment with my egg replacement powder. I think I will have to give the grain free thing a try , I will ask my doctor what he thinks first though.
    I hope everyone has a happy weekend . Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      What a good week! The bulk billing is such a good thing, what a saving.
      I think you could use an egg replacement in the biscuits as it is only one and a small percentage of the end product.
      Barb a lot of foods are natural anti inflammatories which helps sometimes with pain and I know you can not take the drug ones. This is why a lot of people take turmeric. I am trying it but you would also have to check if that is ok for you to take. But worth asking! With love

  6. Maybe you could put a drop cloth / sheet under the tree and catch some blossoms to dry? Not sure how fragrant they are. Your roses are beautiful.
    Sheila Michigan- USA

    1. Sheila I think all kinds of pretty petals are good in lots of bath products and things.... I have a lot that is for sure! It reminds me of confetti.
      Thank you so much! xxx

  7. Annabel you can make gluten free sourdough. Check out the link and there is a free eBook to help as well Our simple living group has another sourdough workshop tomorrow and there should be a lot of interested people coming along.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Thank you! This is a great help to those going gf. I love sourdough as you know. Here I am still cooking it but not eating it! The workshops you have are fabulous. What an asset. This week my starter was very busy as I was growing it and drying a lot. This starter has gone world wide by now! With love

  8. Grain free you say helps. I have been living with chronic pain for over 10 years, all I get are pain meds after pain meds. My last Dr. visit I told them enough already. And now you say grain free, I'm willing to try almost anything except pain meds or anything illegal. Glad you could get so much done this week. I'm going to just work on grain free eating.

    1. Dear Tealady, I am so sorry about your pain. Also that you've had it so long. It is very wearing, isolating and depressing. So many people seem to have pain they live with and its awful. I am not sure the source of your pain exactly but I know there are success stories with grain free and auto immune diseases, plus other things.... so I would research your own condition, research grain free eating and if others with your condition have had any success. Ask your dr or specialist if they believe diet could help. But most of all I guess is try it for a week or so and see what happens just eat healthily etc which is perfectly possible without grains. I noticed a strong difference after four days but this has increased. I am continuing to read and learn why even that this might work! I am going to ask Laine to write an article on it too. I really hope something might help for you! With love

    2. Hi, I used to have chronic pain and the naturopath said stop sugar , all of it, its in everything mostly we eat. She said this creates inflammation in the body, and chronic pain worse. Acupuncture also helped me. Make sure you go to someone reputable.. I also found chiropractic helpful

  9. Dear Annabel,

    Your photo of your roses on your table is just astounding! I can smell them from here! :)

    I am so glad to hear you are feeling better!!

    I've gotten quite a bit done this week...birthday celebrations were a sewing got all done and fit wonderfully (and the skirt and shirt were just what the birthday girl wanted!) I made a chocolate pizza for a present, which is also a big hit for a teenager! I washed the outsides of the windows, pulled a few things in the garden (the rest of the carrots today), and did all the usual things like bake goodies, make meals from scratch, hang laundry, etc..

    We had to have a fire a few nights this week...I guess it really is fall, after all!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Your sewing was a great success by the sounds of it! It sounds like the cooler weather has set in. The first fire (or here the first time the air-condition goes on!) is the start of things to come!
      I picked more roses today, I am loving them. Have a good new week! With love

  10. Dear Annabel,
    Sounds like you had a good week. I have not done a lot of feathering of our nest but I have done some odd jobs which have resulted in small amounts that I am squirreling away for my guys' trip. My oldest turned 18 this week (boohoo) and his birthday present is a camping trip with just him and his dad during our Thanksgiving break. He is very excited as they are going to his dream place, New York City! Anyway, as you can imagine, everything is expensive there so they are relying on their boy scout training for cold weather camping (and the campground promises to have hot showers!) and I am hustling to add to their stash for the trip. They are staying at a campground that is only a block away from the public transit system, and as a bonus they can wake up every morning and see the Statue of Liberty!

    I love reading the Friday posts and seeing what everyone is doing. Sometimes I discover something new and am excited to try it. I definitely am going to try the peanut butter cookies this week.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    1. Dear Sarah, I love that your husband is taking your son away like that! This is just wonderful. The two of them together will have a very special time. Get them to take some photos! A good Father/son photo to commemorate the occasion would be good and something maybe you could frame and turn into a gift later on. I hope they have a fantastic time!
      I also love finding something new that I can use and try. I feel like I have found a lot of things like that this year. These are a big help! I think we all learn from each other and there is so much more to learn! Thanks Sarah, with love

  11. Annabel, your roses are so beautiful. Can you collect some of the petals from the blossoms on your tree and dry those too? They look lovely too. I want to try your peanut butter cookie recipe. I have a friend who can't have gluten and think he may like these. Have a good weekend. Paula

    1. Dear Paula, I think your friend might like these. I have seen gluten free cookies in the shops... one time I saw a packet of six for $16! So these could be a lovely gift!
      I do have petals galore! They are so pretty and I have been picking and drying so many! Have a lovely weekend! Love

  12. Dear Annabel, Your roses are beautiful!
    I have had somewhat a productive week. I made it out to some of our local farms for end of the season produce as our growing season has pretty much stopped. Raining now so no sun for growing things. My hubby went out with me also and we picked green tomatoes and red bell peppers. I'll be canning the peppers and the green tomatoes are going to his sister. I also got 21 lbs of apples to make up into apple butter, 3 stalks of brussel sprouts, a Thai pepper plant which I'll be drying some of the peppers and 2 huge heads of cabbage. So will be doing these things up shortly.
    Hubby was home this week, a break from hunting. He is on his way back now for the duration of the season or till he gets a deer. Sorry I hope I haven't offended anyone. I married a hunter.
    I have pretty much cut grains and gluten out of my diet also. I can sure tell when I've had too much.
    My swap will go out next week also.

    Have a great week-end!

    1. Dear Laurie,
      I would really love going to the farms to pick produce! Seriously that is my idea of good fun! You got great produce! There is so much you can do with all of that! How wonderful!
      I am not one bit offended about the hunting. I think really a deer is very good no chemicals etc as it is true free range and natural. My family hunt. I would rather a husband who hunts and fishes and helps the family with this than one who frequents the pubs (hotels!) anyway! A freezer full of meat is worth a fortune.
      It is interesting about the grains... I seem to be unable to have a few or a bit as then I am starving and have bad cravings, feel lethargic and my heart pounds. I KNOW they are bad for me but getting away form them took a big effort. But now I am craving free and I am feeling so much better!
      I am packaging parcels all afternoon for my Monday posting! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  13. Your roses are so beautiful! I bet they smell delicious.

    I hurt my knee about a month ago and it's been slow going. I took the time to do some sit-down jobs so I don't feel so lazy. I made up a bunch of spice mixes this week. I just lined up the jars and containers, the spice jars, labels, measuring cups & spoons, & sat myself at the dining room table and got busy! It was so much fun putting all that in the cupboard.

    I tried 2 new recipes this week as part of my Sept. to-do list. We liked them both. They're not going to win any healthy cooking awards, but they were easy. One was potato soup and the other was a crockpot pizza casserole.
    They'll both be handy on a busy/sick day and still better than eating out.

    I feel a cold coming on. I haven't heard or seen anyone sick so I have no idea where it came from. I haven't even left the house since Tuesday. Hmph. I haven't even had a chance to make up my sick sprays or finish shopping for my 'sick pantry'.

    I hope you continue to feel better!

    1. Dear Debby, There is such a lot we can get done sitting down and I love what you have been doing! I am finding my mixes so handy and as you know I love jars, labels and all of that!
      The crockpot pizza casserole sounds amazing! Yes I agree these things are very handy and better than eating out for sure.
      I hope you didnt get a cold.... have a restful weekend and see if that does the trick! With love

  14. Annabel, It's amazing how much diet has to play with our wellness. What could it hurt to try and eliminate some things from our diet to see if it helps. I have done it before with great success. I love the PB cookies as well. Have a great day!

    1. Dear Vickie, Yes I think we have to be desperate often to try things out but it only took a few days for me to see amazing results. So I am encouraged! Have a good weekend to you too! With love

  15. Your roses just beautiful! Our oldest daughter is gluten free and it made a huge health difference for her. too. Those type of peanut butter cookies are the ones I always make for her. I switched over to this recipe that contains a few more ingredients a few years ago because the texture is lighter. The chocolate chips are optional.

    So glad Chloe is home safe and sound. Our missionary daughter's family has been training on the streets of New York City this week and I am so glad that is done and went well and they are safe and leaving there in the morning. Our grandchildren's tricycles in the garage have made me weepy this week. I am thinking of asking my husband to put them in the attic where I cannot see them.

    This time of year in the USA is canned goods stock up time and the deals are many. We bought more canned tomatoes for 22 cents can and black beans for 14 cents a can and chili beans for 20 cents a can. I need about 2 dz more cans of green beans and we will be well stocked. My husband finished a big job of staining our large deck and we saved a ton over having it done. I put 5 meals of lasagna in the freezer and that used up some odds and ends that needed to be used up plus 3 containers of cooked chicken and broth as starters for meals. Our freezer is very well stocked with meals right now. I cleaned out and organized another freezer this week. This always saves me money in the end since I know what is in there and can now find things easier.

    Have a wonderful weekend in your lovely flower filled yard!

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you for this recipe! I imagine training on the streets of NYC would be pretty intense!
      The prices on the canned goods are incredible. I have never seen prices like those! Also it is so good you got meals into the freezer. These are so handy.
      I understand you being weepy. I hope you have heard how they are all settling into their new home and it is going well. It must be enormously hard to move to a new country like that.
      I hope you have a lovely weekend! With love,

    2. Also, check your Aldi for gluten free brownie mix. The one here in the USA is delicious and even more so with a handful of chocolate chips. Aldi's gluten free pasta is really good too.

  16. Annabel, I'm glad you're finding relief with going grain free. I have tested postive for being allergic to all meats except shrimp so I'm struggling with finding meat substitutes. I like you can tell the difference in the way I feel when I eat meat and when I don't. Now about those roses ... you grow the most beautiful roses. I get such pleasure out of seeing your photos, I can only image what they look like in real life!

    1. Dear Patsi, Can you eat eggs? The are so wonderful and also good value dollar wise for the protein and nutrients plus there are just so many things you can make with them. Also cheese. I love cheese and often treat this as my "meat". Luckily I am good with meat, eggs and dairy. I seem to thrive on those. Our bodies are so strange that we have these things that agree with us or we do badly on. I always kind of knew but it is hard to stop!
      I hope the house hunting is going ok and you can move without great expense. I emailed you about this but not sure if it would work there! Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Patsi, can you eat buffalo? It tastes like really lean beef and was one of my options when I was allergic to almost all meats for several years.

    3. Lana,I hadn't thought about buffalo ... will have to see if I can even find it around here.

    4. Annabel, I think you have me confused with someone else, we aren't moving and don't have any plans to ... or not any that I know about, LOL!

    5. Patsi sorry I was thinking of Patti! xxx

    6. Hi Annabel,
      I emailed you but it might not have gone thru.I hope you have a lovely time at the farm. Glad Chloe is home safe. We have not found anything yet, but God is a big God and we only need one house. He is the God that owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I am hoping for a great big praise report soon. We have been lifting you and your family up in prayer. I am not suppose to have gluten. You inspire me to keep it out of my diet. It is
      hard to stay away from it all the time. It sure is worth it. Lovely post so many beautiful things.

  17. spelt flour seems to work okay too; i've had a problem eating 'normal' wheat since i changed my diet, went off everything in a bout to combat pain too; steamed vegies & poached eggs is all i ate for almsot 6weeks; rhuematoid arthritis is not fun! found i couldn't eat; beef, pasta or bread, it's only been in the last year that i ventured forth & tried sourdough, think it does something to the wheat in the bread perhaps, as i've had no problems with it, same with what little baking i do is with spelt flour & this also has no symptoms; which is great. i remember someone saying that durumar wheat has been known to cause a lot of allergies.
    good luck with yours
    thanx for sharing

    1. Thank you Selina. It is trial and error isn't it. I think there is a lot of benefit from good fats in regard to pain too. I keep reading and trying to learn and try what works for me. I have been feeling better and better though so I will keep going! I hope you have found relief with the arthritis. Our x PM said he had arthritis in his hands and got rid of it just with dark canned cherries for breakfast every morning. He swears by this! So interesting how food makes these differences! xxx

  18. Hi Annabel and Friends

    Yes it has been a while since I have been able to comment as life has been rather hectic of late.

    I am only making a small amount of fruit cakes this year Annabel as we have decided to meet my family half way this Christmas and have a family holiday instead of having "too many" gift. We will have a small gift under the tree to open on Christmas Day (with the exception of DD7) and a gift card for everyone and have the pleasure of spending 5 days together.

    Most of my gifts are sorted as I do photo books and photo calendars through snapfish when they have their great specials on.

    I love the idea of your swapping items and am sure it will be a great success for all those involved. I have really enjoyed looking through what clever people have been making. There are some wonderful pieces of handiwork. Well done to you all

    I do hope that your family is well and that everyone here is also well.

    We had a small amount of rain over the past week so things have a tinge of green to them. This is the first of the rain since Cyclone Debbie hit back in March.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, That is a long time without rain! Your Christmas plans sound lovely. You must be looking forward to it and Im sure DD is very excited! It is so nice having something to loo forward to. Being together is by far the main thing! The year has gone fast! Thank you for letting me know how you are, I understand about life being busy! With love,

  19. Your roses are absolutely stunning, I can only imagine the how wonderful are their fragrances.
    Thank you for sharing the cleaning recipes, I have bookmarked them. Have a blessed evening.

    1. Thank you Sue, I think you will love the recipe! Love

  20. Dear Annabel and blue bird friends
    Unfortunately our food is no longer the food of our grandparent's.

    It has been messed with and we are now paying the price.

    I know that some of us just do not have anyway of avoiding these issues - it is also in our genetic makeup.

    16 years ago I had a major allergic reaction to something that I had eaten many times before. It went from just having a problem with the one item to not being able to eat anything that grew on a plant.

    I was terrified and of course the doctor was absolutely no help.

    I turned to naturopath for help and he made me so sick that I wasn't certain that I would wake up the next morning.

    This went on for months.

    My husband mentioned it the other night he was terrified that I was going to die.

    Eventually I came a cross a woman on a late afternoon TV program who had written a book to help parents with their children's behaviour. What she said was that these foods could also affect adults and I thought it will only cost me the price of a book so I hunted for it and read it.

    It was this book that helped me to get onto a fairly 'normal' diet over the space of 6 years. It took that long for me to challenge my body with everyday foods.

    Gluten has been something that I have had an occassional problem with - sometimes I can tolerate it and other times it is a problem. So I just limited myself to eating it once a week.

    Roll forward to the beginning of this year and I was diagnosed with an auto immune condition. I have read so much about it and learnt so much from some FB groups (both good and bad) that I have ended up dropping one of my favourite food groups out of my diet. Cruciferous vegetables can cause problems unless really well cooked and quite frankly there are only one or two that can pass that test.

    So no more coleslaw in this house and broccoli will only make an appearance in either my ministrone soup or my slow cooker beef and broccoli.

    My doctor wants me to drop the nightshade family from my diet as well (chilli, which is what I reacted badly to 16 years ago is a member of that particular family) - tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and capsicum.

    Again lots that I love in there and I use quite a lot.

    Life sure can get interesting at times.

    Having been in the situation where I have been on limited food at this time of the year and with everything that is going on at present with the family I have decided that I will give this a more concerted effort early in the new year.

    That will hopefully give me time to come up with some new recipes to replace my old favourites that, incidentally contain at least one item from both groups that I have to drop.

    Life was not meant to be easy.

    Having to go on medication for life and get it balanced has been an interesting process. Thankfully I have a great doctor who I can ask questions of and will work with me on keeping things as natural as possible.

    I have also learnt a lot from some FB groups - learning what not to eat at certain times when taking this medication has probably helped me with the great result I have had to date.

    I am lucky that I have this condition, it could be leukemia like my brother or cancer like my cousins and aunt died from.

    My plan has always been to live to 100 - this is going to test me and my doctor but I am going to give it a good shot.


    1. Dear Lynette, I agree about things not being what our Grandparents ate. They are poisoned, bleached, messed with etc etc. I am glad there is a lot of information out there and support. Also I agree it is better to have something that can be managed than something like your brother has to go through. Getting things right is a long process but I think you are doing really well. You are very pro active and willing.... many people faced with necessary changes are just not willing to change. My doctor said to me once that faced with big dietary changes and life style changes to save a life a high percentage of people would rather die than make the changes. Thats how hard changes are! I had to be ready to make the changes I have and still have to experiment and learn but at the moment each day I am seeing benefits so it helps me stick to it.
      I am so glad you have a very good doctor. I think this makes a world of difference! Down the track I think I will do more posts on both gf and grain free cooking. Many thanks Lynette, with love

  21. Hi Annabel,I love your pink blossom tree,its a lovely picture you even capured a bee lol
    Ways we got ahead we have planted lettuce,tomato's in our hot house out the front
    so hopefully they will take off ok,over the weekend i made two medium christmas cakes
    and used up some lemons and made a lemon slice,made all my lunches for work and iam
    cooking a butter chicken for dinner tonight I too suffer with pain in my legs and sometimes in my knees
    iam also taking magnesium and turmeric and olive leaf extract that seems to help a bit iam trying
    to find a pilates around my area to start hopefully that will get me moving better :)
    have a great week xx

    1. oops! Your reply is one comment down Melissa!

  22. Dear Melissa, I take magnesium too and Im starting on turmeric since I keep hearing good results from this. We use olive leaf extract in winter or if we feel something coming on too I think it is very good. So many people suffer pain. Many you would never know either until it gets talked about like this.
    Re legs and knees I am looking into collagen and glucosamae? etc to see about these.... also a lot of healthy fats as I think they might help too. Its a learning curve! I hope your lettuce and tomatoes do really weak! Lemons are so useful I love them! Have a good new week! With love

  23. Hi Annabel and all,
    I have read so much about going grain and/or carb free and I have friends who have had wonderful results. At the moment, however, pasta and breads are an easy and frugal way of filling up my hungry tribe and we have no food intolerances in the family.
    I read your blog post and then read another blogger that I like and she was posting a recipe for flourless rich dark chocolate brownies. So I thought I would come back here and point you to her! I’m going to give them a try as it looks like a good sneaky way to get some goodness into my kids lunchboxes...
    The post is here:
    All the best,

    1. Dear Peach, I am going ok with serving things to the family and not having any myself... it works if you have something you like to substitute. If you have any serious pain then give it a try!
      Thanks so much for this link! I am trying to collect recipes that will work for me and no one will notice either and like them anyway! Thanks Peach, with love


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