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 December 2017

Feather your Nest Friday. Late post this week!

This seems like the longest week of all time! It is partly because I have been at the farm so my post is late and partly it was a busy week!

First I will start with the most important thing!  Chloe got engaged a week ago Sunday to farmer Luke!

Yes they got engaged in the paddock on the tractor. I guess you don't get any more down on the farm than that!  He posted this picture and said that all in the rows of hay in the morning he found a ring  and she said yes!  They are both so excited it is a joy to see!  We are excited,  Mum and Dad are excited!

So there is a wedding next year!

Ok back to normal life...

I started wrapping Christmas presents.  I am using up all my odd bits of wrap, ribbon, stickers etc!  I always save ribbons.  My tip is to run them through the hair straightener or curling iron and they look brand new again.

I made crustless cheesecake and peanut butter cookies.

Cookie sent me some glittery foam material.  Some of it I used to make Harper a bath toy.  I cut out flowers, stems and birds...

Thank you Cookie! She loved it! 

At the moment many of the streets in Adelaide look like this:

They are Jacaranda trees.  The footpaths and roads are also purple. As is your car if you park under them!

I pruned all my roses as they have finished the first flowering and they needed a tidy up.  This will get me a second round of flowers soon.

On Wednesday I headed down to the farm.  As always I went to the country op shops.  I found Maggie Beer, Donna Hay, Marie Clare and Stephanie Alexander beautiful cook books.  ($4 each) Also jars, a ballerina tutu for Harper,  brand new baby singlets (undergarments) still in packaging which I will embroider.  

At the farm we had an electrical storm and it started fires!  The minute I got there the phone and CB radio was going crazy as a fire was going and everyone was rushing to get it out.  The evening was spent watching lightening.   Several fires did start but were brought under control and since it has rained thankfully.  It isn't many years since a terrible fire came quite close to Mum and Dads house.  This also was just before Christmas so it was scary! 

Mum had two new lots of ducklings just hatched.  I came home with eggs and lots of honey.

Mum also gave me some beautiful jars of moisturiser/skin care so I am stocked up for months!

I often post photos of the farm.  I notice that decorations are natural things.  This is on Dad's table of things he picks up in his travels...

They are from Red tailed Black Cockatoos in the north.  We have the yellow tailed ones at the farm but not the red. They are really stunning!   You cannot beat nature.   Mum has deer antlers and birds nests, feathers and pine cones and things like these on tables and mantlepieces.  Pinecones, gum nuts and antlers are lovely for Christmas as well.   To me these are far more interesting than most things you can buy! 

I am unpacking, catching up, putting up the Christmas tree, wrapping presents... I feel like I have stuff everywhere!  But there is a lot to do! 
With all this I am behind on emails and a lot of things!  But I will catch up over the next week I hope!

How did you build up your home, save and get ahead for the week?
I hope you are having a lovely weekend.  It is hard to believe we are in December!  Summer. Christmas.  An engagement!  xxx


  1. How exciting! Congratulations to the obviously happy couple. :-)
    We have red tailed black cockatoos 'everywhere' but I never tire of seeing them, in fact I make Mr E stop the car just so I can watch them eating the seeds from the sea almond trees.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Annabel.

  2. A big congratulations to Chloe and Luke, Annabel. How exciting for you all to have a wedding to look forward to next year. I have never heard of red tailed black cockatoos. I wonder if we have them up here in Queensland. They have beautiful feathers I must say.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, These cockies are so noisy and messy! But they are beautiful!
      Thank you for your congratulations! With love

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

    Pass on our congratulations to Chloe and Luke too from us. I also married a farm country man and they make the best husbands as they are both practical, frugal, can repair most things and provide well for their families.

    Good pickups from the op shops too Annabel we are also enjoying op shopping and finding new to us things at great prices.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $153.22 last week.

    Here is how we feathered our nest and saved money this week -

    Grocery purchases -
    - Stocked up on 8kg more flour, 9kg of raw sugar bringing us up to a years supply, 5kg of rice and an extra 4.5kg and saved $10 off our purchase for using our roadside assist discount gift cards.
    - On specials of between 10 - mainly 50% off usual prices we stocked up on 10 long life tins of vegetables and meat @ $2ea, 6 250g Philadelphia cream cheese @ $2ea, 3 packets of nice biscuits @ $1.80ea, 3 tins of salt reduced corn kernels @.84c ea, 4 x 2lt BBQ sauce @ $3ea bringing us up to a years supply and saved a total of $47.12 on usual prices.
    - We coupled these savings with another $10 off the purchase with our supermarket rewards voucher for a further $10 saving.

    Other purchases -
    - Purchased 2 pairs of leather and canvas hiking boots on eBay one pair for each of us for $71.90 for both pairs saving $86.10 on the usual prices we would pay in our local stores.

    In the gardens -
    - Used composted grass clippings and leaves raked up from under trees to mulch 2 x 2mt round herb and berry gardens and a 4.5mt section of the beetroot and garlic garden bed.
    - Thinned out beetroot and basil seedlings in the gardens growing too close together and planted them near drippers.
    - Pulled out spent broad bean plants and have them drying on the veranda for future seeds to plant next season and to sell.
    - Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water all of the house paddock lawns.
    - Supplement watered newly transplanted seedlings with rainwater from the tanks.

    I must admit Annabel that purchasing needed grocery items on 50% off specials is filling up our food storage room and pantries rather quickly and is leaving far more money in our pockets as a wonderful result. We are chuffed :) .

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, You are quite right. Chloe always wanted to marry a farmer for many of these reasons!
      As soon as I have the space I want to grow broad beans! I love them!
      I totally understand what you are saying re the pantry. Once we are far enough ahead we are in a new and better position. It is power! We only have to buy anything on a great special otherwise we can wait. This puts up in charge. It is totally different to having to go shop as we need something now. Then they are in charge! It is such a way to get miles ahead.
      You have achieved a lot. This is all adding up. I look forward to the day I hear you have your deposit all saved. We will celebrate! With much love

    2. Thank you Annabel for your encouragement :) , it is a long road to save a good 50% deposit to have a house built.

      I meant to add that congratulations and how exciting to you and your family for the upcoming wedding too.

      The mysterious 4.5kg of groceries we added to our stockpile was for rolled oats too which I missed putting in the above post :).

      A quick update on our saving for our house deposit is that we are around 42% of the way there to saving for the house being built. We estimate we have another $60,000 to save to have the veranda, garage and buy the block of land to have the house built on and buy a second car as we will be out of town and more rural than we are now. We will then approach the bank for a loan of around 50%. We don't want to borrow any more than 25 - 30% of our income in repayments.

      Until then we are enjoying the bank paying us interest on our savings to get us to our savings target faster.


    3. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to watch the pantry/food storage come together? I love the security it provides, as well as the ability to help others if they need it.



    P.S. It was that birthday cake many months ago that did it! xo

    1. Haha! Well you were right! And I don't think the cake hurt!
      Thank you so much Kelley! With love

  5. Dear Annabel, Annabels family and dear beautiful bluebirds!.
    CONGRATULATIONS Chloe and Luke!, what exciting news !.
    Annabel I love your farm photos , the feathers remind me of this post , your family really are literally feathering their nests .
    My week was a pretty good savings :
    I decided to use some savings to give my bedroom a makeover, all new bedding , sheets, pillows( European square pillows o support my back, ) , regular pillow cases came with the sheet sets and I had two new pillows I bought on sale 6 months ago, I bought two packs of two) ,I also bought a little rectangle pillow for decoration and for my head . I bought mattress protectors, pilliq protectors , the works !. I used a $40 off spotlight voucher when you spend over $100 , I shopped wisely and got some sale items as well as some luxury but not too luxurious purchases!. I saved over $230 and that include fan item for a charity. The savings will be used to buy food for the fortnight, maybe even 3 or 4 weeks as I have plenty of meat in the freezer. I will just need fruit and veg and a few household and Christmas items for gifts ( onto the last few last minute touches now. I am making some last minute gifts with my huge craft stash. Saving me about $50 . I have redeemed $10 worth of flybuys points into flybuys $$ and bought a gorgeous woodland owl light up star Christ,as decoration with it. It was $8 but free so a $10 saving because I also bought a red heart knitted decoration for $1.60 . Perfect!. I went on my second ever outing with my care worker M and we hit Coles at the right time , we got heaps of marked down fruit, veg and herbs. I got mushrooms, two tubs at 80% off , saving me $10 , plus mangoes for $2 each , toiletry items cheap etc etc, total savings at Coles would have been $50 plus I qualified for the second week of my four week flybuys promotion , two more
    Weeks and I get $50worth of points which will be used for an item of my wish list.
    My favourite tea bags are on special this week but I have about 500 tea bags in my stock pile so instead I bought a box of lemon and ginger tea bags, so nice!. I consider that a $20 savings , as my stockpile is there to use. I used a lamp from my lounge room which was not getting used too often ( and was bought last Christmas with a gift card I received as a Christmas gift ) in my bedroom, saving me $40 which will be used to but a Christmas gift voucher or two.
    What else!., oh I recycled the packaging from my bedding to put some craft supplies in, some for gifts and some for me.
    I saved the water from my foot soak and will swish it over the shower floor using a jug , saving on water and keeping my home clean!.
    I used bonus gift tags from a purchase from a friends blog shop to decorate my gifts and cards I bought months ago for Christmas and birthdays, all of that I estimate saved me $60.
    I had a bulk billed doctors visit , and free medication, saving me $90
    My usual services pkus now I get half price fees , saving me $60 a fortnight.
    I found 3 canvases in my craft stash this will become either a craft activity and gifts for my nieces and I or wall art for my bedroom and lounge room.
    I used my sizzix big shot machine to cut out some shapes for cards.i received a lovely parcel from a new friend and fellow bluebird, all of that saved me $80 ad wall art can be expensive.
    I found a stack of ribbon I was Sent As a gift and now have a dedicated ribbon and lace draw in my craft cabinet. Saving me $$20 .
    I did my foot soaks 4 times this week , saving me $ 40 on a pedicure, nails will be trimmed this week . I reused a frame that had an old photo in it , saving me $10 and finally I saved about$100 on taxi fares by getting rides with my care workers and my dad!.
    Wow a big week for me!. Total savings for the week were. $860 !!! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend as Christmas draws Barb W.

    1. Wow Barb! You did fantastic! I love your savings good job!

    2. Dear Barb, Thank you! You did so much this week! How nice to have your bedroom looking lovely! You must love it!
      I have a ribbons drawer too. I save them all and have quite a collection! But each day now I am using some. Very handy!
      With your new bedroom and Christmas decorations your house will feel very nice. I think our surroundings make a big difference to how we feel. You are set for such a nice Christmas!
      All your savings are wonderful! I hope you have a great new week too! With love

  6. Congratulations to Chloe and her Farmer!

  7. Congratulations on the engagement Chloe & Luke (& Annabel & family), what a truly wonderful way to kick start the Christmas season.

    Glad to hear you were able to put the fires out, scary stuff. I think you truly belong on the farm Annabel, you always sound so happy when you've been visiting.... it's in your blood :)
    Sending best wishes & much love to you & all the Bluebird readers this Christmas.

    1. Dear Susan,
      Thank you for saying this! I am taking notice! When we are thinking about this so much it is interesting to hear an observation like this! I think you are right...
      Thanks for the congratulations also! With love

  8. Dear Annabel,
    Congratulations to Chloe and Luke and your family on their engagement. How exciting to be planning a wedding. Your trip to the farm sounds wonderful. Things from nature to decorate with are so unique. And all that honey!! I have serious case of envy (lol).

    The bath toys you made for Harper are adorable. I love them.

    It has been somewhat of a crazy and yet productive week here. Most of it was spent removing everything from my sewing/craft room as it had to be rewired and the electricians had to get into the attic, the trap door to it being in the sewing room. Thankfully, I had a week to get this done and that's how the week was spent. As long as everything had to come out of there I used some of the time as an opportunity to sort, clean and rearrange the supply closets. It was a job. The electricians arrived yesterday at 7:30 a.m. and when they were done the job of putting everything back together started. So the best laid plans of baking didn't get accomplished but will hopefully in the coming week. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      Well there is nothing like a craft room clean out! I can imagine thinking of mine... but you probably spotted things and made plans for them!
      I hope this week is easier and you get to your baking! With love

  9. Congratulations to Luke and Chloe! How exciting!

    Those Jacaranda trees are gorgeous!

    So scary about the electrical fires. So glad to hear that they were able to be put out quickly and that no one was hurt.

    Oh! That honey looks divine!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you Jenn, I love getting honey! Thank you we are very excited about a wedding! With love

  10. Sounds like a lovely week for you. Congrats to Chloe and her mate!
    Those trees are absolutely gorgeous. What a lovely vision.
    You were gifted so many great things. Life is good!

  11. Congratulations to Chloe and Luke! I am seeing the most beautiful wedding ever with your talent to make everything so lovely!

  12. Oh how exciting for all of you!!!! Congratulations to Chloe and Luke!!!!

  13. Congratulations to the handsome couple,they look so happy and how romantic :)I have been busy making Christmas cards,and wrapping all the gifts to put under our tree,It has not stopped raining here,a lot of us in Melbourne have had to stay indoors due to heavy rain so it was a good time to make cards.Have a wonderful week xx

    1. Dear Melissa, I know the rain has been massive plus widespread. This is the beauty of having a craft we can settle in and be completely content! Its like an opportunity! This will be a busy week as it always seems to be once we hit December! With love

  14. Annabel,
    A wedding! I love to decorate for weddings and baby showers congratulations to Chloe and Luke! Also do your parents have an extra room at the farm? You know how I love nature and yours is so pretty! Also I would love to walk under those purple trees it would be like a fairytale for me.
    I have to get Rick's savings, but he did some repairs this week and some other things that he wants me to write in our book. I helped my son and his wife with their deer and kept the scraps to make dog food, plus used the turkey carcass to make dog food and then Rick got a deer and we finished up the butchering today. It is a lot of work, but big savings! The processing fee where I'm at is $140 a deer! I am checking the store ads for meat prices to see how much the rest of our savings will be.
    Our ladies are still laying really well and we got 4 dozen eggs this week, I didn't shop so saved both money and gas by staying home, I got good samples and freebies in the mail chocolate bars! Yum! Plus Kmart keeps sending me freecash so I have saved a lot and added to the gift trunk using them. A lot of things ended up being our favorite price! Haha! It was a really good week!

    1. What a huge week Vicky! These things are a lot of work but this really pays off. You are so far ahead with meat! And eggs! And gifts!
      The purple trees are still flowering. If there is a breeze the purple flowers drift all day like purple rain. Prince must have visited!
      I hope this new week will be as good for you! With love

  15. I never thought much about lightening as long as I was inside until our house was hit by lightening a few years ago. Thankfully, it didn't burn but a lot of damage was done. I also found out at the time that since I was doing dishes, it was a good thing my hands were out of the water when it hit or I could have been electrocuted. Yikes!

    Of course, our Christmas is when it is cold and a big cold front is coming through in a day or two. So our first snowfall may be here by the end of the week.

  16. Fabulous news! Congratulations to Chloe & Luke.
    Much love,
    Heidi x

  17. Thank you everyone for your kind congratulations to Chloe and Luke! We are so happy! xxx

  18. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Best wishes to Chloe and Luke - it is lovely to see such happy news.

    Last week's efforts:

    Cooking and food: I baked pumpkin and apple pies from scratch for family Thanksgiving. These cost $20 each at the bakery, so a good savings (and probably better for us). I made turkey stock with some of the bones left from one of the turkeys, and turned that into homemade turkey vegetable soup for the freezer. Also chopped and froze cooked turkey for later meals. We have been enjoying our holiday leftovers, and also using items from the pantry as needed; my husband needed a snack for work, so it was wonderful to be able to thaw a loaf of pumpkin bread from the freezer. All work lunches were prepared and brought from home ($150). The garden has been producing a ton of peas, which is very surprising as we have had a freeze, but garden-fresh veggies are a nice treat in November.

    Household: Gave the kitchen a good cleaning and used a frugal tip to make grease-cutting cleanser (baking soda, water, and a little dish soap made into a paste) for the stone tile backsplash. (It also worked very well as a scrub for the flat-top stove.) My glass cleaner bottle was leaking, so I poured the cleaner into a sturdier spray bottle I had saved from when I used to make bath bombs - it saved a few dollars not having to buy another bottle. My husband changed out the air filters in our bedroom and hallway (apparently it is around $50 for labor for someone to change them for you); our state is very windy and the filters catch a lot of dust and allergens, so we try to do this each month. I pampered the living room and dining room furniture with lemon oil and leather conditioner.

    Shopping: Took advantage of a doorbuster sale and a 20% off total purchase coupon to buy embroidery floss (saving 19 cents per skein before the coupon); used another 50% off coupon to buy a large piece of aida fabric. The thrift store yielded a lovely new dvd for a holiday gift ($2.99), a baking cookbook (entertaining and has great ideas for more food gifts - $1.99), and a few dvds for our personal collection ($8.00 total).

    Personal care: We both had colds, and appreciated being able to get needed medicine and throat lozenges from our supply closet, and tea and comfort food from our pantry. Purchased on sale, these saved us money with the initial purchase, and allowed us to stay cozy and warm indoors and not have to travel to a crowded store with exposure to other germs when ill. My husband saved a bunch by getting generic allergy medication at the pharmacy rather than name brand - it still works and has him feeling a lot better!

    Crafts/gifts: I finished knitting a pair of worsted-weight socks, finished the edging on the lace shawl, started another pair of socks, and made progress on two cross-stitch projects.
    I began addressing holiday cards for family and friends, using cards from my thrift-purchased stash.
    I packaged up some mystery novels to send to a friend who lives in another state - we both love to read, so I know she will enjoy them.
    We were given snack crackers, frozen berries, a pint of whipping cream, and sparkling juice by a family member. A work-friend gave us some elk and turkey jerky and sausage; a nice treat for my husband, who loves these items.

    Happy Monday!

    1. Dear Kathy, Thanks for the congratulations! It was an exciting week!
      Your week was great! The lunches sound beautiful. This is a mind boggling savings when you consider it over a year!
      We have an aircondioning filter in the house. When you see whats in them its clear they remove a lot of stuff! This is on the list here this week! I am also able to visit a coupe of thrift stores later today so I am looking forward to that!
      I wish everyone thought like you and didnt go out spreading colds and flu. I think that is terrible so well done on staying in.
      Your knitting sounds lovely. I would love to see this shawl and especially the edging! It sounds stunning!
      The food items were an added bonus! What a good week!
      I hope the new week will hold lots of good possibilities. It just gets so busy in the lead up to Christmas! With love and thank you for sharing,

  19. Congratulations to Chloe and Luke! What a beautiful couple. I am so glad that the fires were put out before they caused much damage. The feathers are just beautiful. I dream of walking in the woods and finding shed antlers, I just don't really have anywhere to walk and it is deer hunting season right now, which would make it very dangerous.

    I'm plodding along with Christmas crafts. I was full on for a while but now I've really slowed down. I've done most of my purchases for gifts online which has saved me both time and money and the frustration of being in the crowds.

    Went to see my surgeon last week and got the all clear, so now I am able to walk more and exercise, she was pleased with my recovery, so that was a bonus!

    We have finished our breezeway enclosure so now we only have to get the building inspector out to sign off. I've got my fingers crossed that she does this without any issues needed correction. We plan to change out the two exterior doors to match the rest on the house but they need to be custom made so that won't happen until after Christmas.

    My husband was just diagnosed as being pre-diabetic after several years of being hypoglycemic, so we are making dietary changes here. Low carb and high protein is how he is supposed to be eating, so I'm sure that will mean some weight loss for me as well (which I need), it will just take a while to get used to giving up the carbs.

    We are having a Christmas party in our home for the first time in probably 20 years, so we are also busy deciding on menu items and getting things ready. I'm planning the menu for finger foods while keeping an eye on funds being spent. Thankfully, hubby and daughter will assist with the preparation!

    Love to all,


    1. Dear Jeanette,
      Hunting season is not a good time to walk I agree but also I LOVE finding antlers! I just saw an antler wreath and an antler candle holder (one was Pottery Barn) using small enters to make it up. I don't think theirs were really but still the idea is there. I am taking notes as I could make these!
      I am so glad you are doing well with your recovery and got a good report!
      Jeanette I firmly believe pre diabetes is something you can reverse. This is how we are eating since the no grains... and I cant tell you how much better I feel. Its like a miracle! It took me four days to get over the carbs. Now I am not even interested in them and this is from me, an addict I think. So good luck! It is really fantastic and heres a bonus I will tell you I didnt know about... after about six weeks you look younger. In Keto and Paleo etc groups they refer to "carb face" and people post photos after a couple of months. Everyone looks younger. Like you lose puffiness? Well its happened to me. When I do my makeup I think gee my face looks better! lol!
      I know your Christmas party will be stunning! With lots of love,

  20. Hello Annabelle ☺ I have never commented before but read every week.. I am a young mum of three boys who loves thinking, living and saving the same way you do! I thought I better let you know you (and any one else collecting red tail (or yellow or white! Cockatoo feathers are sitting on another potential gold mine as I buy these feathers in whatever amounts I can find them.. I will pay up to ten dollars each if you have them in very good condition and $5 for ones with lots of damage ☺ if anyone wants to move some to a good home I will always take the red ones so please message me! Thanks for the inspiration every week ☺ x x kim

    1. Dear Kim, Thank you for commenting I am pleased to have you here! I am pretty sure I can get you some feathers! Would you like to email me at I would love to know what you do with them too! At the farm we have hundreds of the yellow tailed and the white ones. With love Annabel. (ps hopefully I can get some red ones too if I ask Dad when he goes up north! )

  21. Congratulations to Chloe,Luke and the family,
    That will be a fun wedding to plan. You have been quite busy.
    Lightning fires are a scary thing I am glad they got them out. The lap top has been a little finicky about charging. I have been reading along but not too many comments.:) We went to the San Diego Zoo last week and saw
    red kangaroos but the females were not red at all. We thought of you when we saw the kangaroo. We have Jackarandas sp?in San Diego they are so beautiful. Big blessings to everyone.
    Much love,


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