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 25 January 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 26th January, 2018.

Today is a public holiday here as it is Australia Day.  So far it is very quiet and it is meant to be hot but it is raining!  The weather report says there is zero chance of rain.  I think it is more of a case of a zero chance of the weather report being correct.

I am so glad to be sitting here looking over my week.  It was a really good week and this helps me appreciate it.

Starting from where I left off last week... I finished up using the last nectarines.  I used up the last nectarines several times as I kept getting a few more.  I froze a lot of stewed fruit and we ate this for breakfasts and deserts.  In hot weather cold fruit is so good.

I started picking peaches from the lane way tree.  I am still amazed no one else so far appears to be picking them.  The tree is covered.  Like the plum tree I can pick baskets and so far I have made no impression at all.

 I have filled a basket as full as I can carry each night.

After the first night I have taken a step ladder with me too. So there I go walking down the street with a basket and a ladder.  When I say night this is around 8 pm as it is still daylight then and this is a bit cooler as it has been really hot so evenings is when you do watering, anything in the garden,  outdoor work! 

It seems with a ladder and a basket I can carry 8 to 10 kilos home.  (about 17lbs) and this has been every night.   On Wednesday night I got two loads as Mum was going home to the farm so I picked a basketful for Dad and a basketful for Chloe.   We packed them into flat boxes for the journey back to the farm. 

We had Mum's and Lucy's Birthdays two days apart.   I had afternoon tea here.  

I cheated on the cake as it was so hot I didn't bake.  But it was a success.   The little girls had a beautiful time as well as the actual birthday girls!

Harper had her own mini china cup plate and saucer and sat on a large cushion.  

She pretty much got stuck into everything and drank cups of water tea.  😊

We had singing and candles twice for entertainment value! 

Everyone took home cake.   Very happy!

Some savings during the week included:
Cartons of cream for 31 cents!  
Two lamb roasts half price.
Two trays of lamb chops half price.
Two containers of ricotta cheese for 80c
I froze most of this so it was a wonderful stock up!

I used my Flyby points to get a free large ham and pay for some general groceries.   I added lots of things to my pantry like tinned pineapple, beetroot and tomato.   I had $40 to spend but it went further buying specials.

We picked cherry tomatoes every day. 

I had some beautiful mail!  Jane sent me homegrown and dried herbs including her chilli (which comes with a warning)  I am so happy as I love building up my spice cabinet.
Julie sent me the sweetest gift tags and pretty papers!
Jacqui posted a parcel of embroidered linens towards out wedding projects...

Oh my goodness thank you Jacqui!  Chloe was so excited! 

Yesterday I was driving past the Quince trees I keep an eye on. They are in a park.  Also they are visible to thousands of people daily.  This time I stopped and went to inspect properly.  Many were on the ground and many were pecked by birds.  It was now or never.  So I got my trusty big basket out of the car and picked the good ones.  

As well as so much traffic past it there is a seat under it and a car park next to it.  So why does no one pick them?   
To top this off when I got home I checked the current price of Quinces.  I nearly fell over. They are currently $2.40 EACH. 
And my favourite thing to make with them is Quince Paste and this comes in tiny little tubs for around  $5.   
I always look up the prices for my Vicky Challenge!   So I had $200 worth of Quinces it turns out.  Heavens knows what they are worth once turned into Quince paste!  Yet no one picks them!

I am needing to deal with the Peaches first and happily Quinces will wait a while.

My sewing has had to go on the back burner for a little bit or else I will lose fruit.  But with the long weekend hopefully I will get back on track.

To top it all off I had a road side find! 

I have always wanted the old sewing machine drawers as they are perfect in shape and size for storing bars of soap (and other things) and look so pretty.  I got five and they are ornate and carved along the sides as well.  I am amazed.  And also this old utensil holder... which also would be beautiful with a plant sitting inside.   I did the worlds fastest u turn getting to this lot! haha! 

My weekend will be one of making peach pies, crumbles, cobblers etc. and eating them fresh!  I am making quiches from my cream and eggs to eat with big salads.

How did you build up your nest, save or get ahead this week? 
Take a break to see how far you have come and all the things to be grateful for.  
I hope you have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Oh what lovely pictures of the fruit and party! Harper looks to be having a great time. You know maybe people didn't think they should or could pick the fruit. I think you are brave and smart to just go ahead and do it. What a savings! Have a great day!

    1. Dear Vickie, With the quince tree I find it slightly more understandable as some people wouldnt even know how to cook quince. But peaches I cant understand and they are rotting all over the ground and it is a public pathway. I think people just think food comes from a supermarket and not from trees! Heaven help! Also I think this kind of waste is awful. Anyway it is helping my family so no waste! Yes a big saving! Today I already made two peach cobblers. Next is crumble (crisp) Have a lovely weekend! With love

  2. You had such a lovely party and your granddaughters are just beautiful. I love your story of carrying the basket and ladder to the peach tree and picking peaches every night. You need a little red wagon! The sewing cabinet drawers are wonderful!

    We had a hard week here with a dear friend getting robbed and shot in the face and right through his arm. Two teens have been arrested and now face 30 plus years in prison for just being stupid. We took soup and salad and brownies to the family on Monday night and I was so thankful for my well stocked pantry as I could just throw everything in the crock pot and have it going without having to shop. I also had foil pans saved from food that came in them that I had washed and saved for just such an occasion. Once again we realize how very precious life is after the shock of this. Thankfully our friend is recovering and will be alright once he heals.

    We canned 12 pints of pineapple as pineapples were .99 each. Each pint cost 33 cents in comparison with cans from the store in equal size for $1.79 and ours tastes so much better. We had a doctor visit that ended right at lunchtime and we were 30 minutes from home and starving but we had brought along home baked muffins and had a snack on the way home to eat lunch instead of stopping to eat out. We ate a lot of leftovers for lunches this week. We really stayed home most of the week and did not shop except for the pineapples. We did stop by a store that had chicken breasts for .89 a pound last Saturday but they had sold out so we got a rain check and will pick those up for the sale price next week when we are near that store. I ordered a second pressure canner and paid for it with gift cards earned on Swagbucks. Savings of $75 and it was on sale for a great price. It will really allow us to get the canning done much quicker in the future since it will fit a double layer of pint jars and along with the smaller one we can process 30 pints at once. The paddles on my bread machine are peeling and they stick to the bread and tear chunks out of the bottom when we remove the bread. I was able to order new ones and the machine will be good as new. The machine pays for itself over and over with good loaves of bread for about 60 cents each. Bread to equal it would be $4 to $5 a loaf at the store. We also make dough for pizzas every week for about 50 cents. Pizza dough at the store is $2.99 for the same amount. That is a lot of money over time. The machine saves us about $12 a week and the new paddles were $20 so the payback will be quick.

    We found out this week that my husband's previous employer has deposited $2400 into an account for us to pay medical bills. This was unexpected and so wonderful since my husband does have regular visits to the doctors following his heart attack and brain injury. We had assumed we would have to pay those until we met our deductible. They have been nothing but good to us. The doctor visit this week was at no charge just because the doc wants to help my husband. We are so blessed.

    We used to pay the neighbor kids to deal with the leaves in the flower beds and such but my husband is working on that bit by bit so we save there. Time is something he has now that he did not a year ago.

    We are in for a rainy weekend and it will be cold but we can read and enjoy the time to rest. Hope you all have a wonderful, restful weekend, too.

    1. Hi Lana,

      I am so glad to hear your friend will make a recovery - that is terrifying. Will be keeping you all in my heart this weekend.


    2. Dear Lana, It was so lucky your friend wasnt killed. How horrific. I hope he makes a full recovery.
      The pineapple was a great deal so was the rain check on the chicken!
      The money from the employer plus this wonderful Doctor.... just amazing and just huge! I am so glad to see some major blessings coming back to you both as you also had a very hard week. With much love

  3. Happy Australia Day Annabel!

    I am in awe of your fruit picking. I cant get over the bunches of peaches! Peach jam is very, very yummy...just saying lol! I make quince compote (Margaret Fulton recipe)in the slow cooker, it is so delicious! Let me know if you want the recipe :)

    Happy birthday to Lucy and your mum. Looks like Harper enjoyed the tea party. She is such a cutie pie.

    Wow those linens are gorgeous. Jacqui is so generous.

    I love those road side finds, especially the Singer drawers. You are very good at spying bargains on the road.

    My week of nest feathering included;

    ~making miracle spray.
    ~making laundry soap powder.
    ~making muesli.
    ~Picking nectarines from my tree and stewing them.
    ~I was gifted some delicious black figs and my white figs are ripening also. I stewed the black figs and will dry my figs.
    ~I baked a lemon drizzle cake.
    ~made lemon slice.
    ~I had a good score from the little op shop I frequent (see on my blog).
    ~I finished tidying my pantry.
    ~Yesterday morning we went for a jaunt to a couple of nearby towns to op shop. I found a basket to put in the car, and some vintage treasures.
    ~this morning I have made kombucha and fed my sourdough starter to make bread tomorrow.
    ~I am knitting dishcloths.
    ~Put dried oregano into big jars. Next I have sage and lemon balm to dry.

    Have a great weekend!


    1. Dear Tania, I would love this recipe... I just googled looking for it but I see mention of it and not the actual recipe. Being quince and slow cooker this would be perfect for me, when and if you have the time!
      One time I made peach and pear jam because this is what I had. It was gorgeous! So I might make some peach!
      I almost overlooked the drawers. There was a lot of junk and rubbish and these were in a box. I really early missed them but something caught my eye and I turned back then I realised what they were!
      A basket in the car is so useful. Plus snippers or scissors! And gloves... I always have these plus plastic bags.
      Ok I am heading over to see what you found in the op shop! Have a good weekend, I hope it doesnt get as hot as they say. Happy Australia Day too! With love

    2. Here is the recipe Annabel, hope you like them as much as we do. I was really surprised at how delicious this dessert is. I have learnt as time has gone by to just add as many quinces as I can fit in the slow cooker (this recipe was meant for the vintage smaller types of crock-pots). I also LOVE the syrup so I add a bit more water when cooking so I have more of the syrup. Yes I am sugar addict but this dessert only comes around once a year so I think it is okay to indulge lol!

      Quince Compote (from The Margaret Fulton Crock pot cookbook 1976)
      Cooking time: 10-12 hours on Low

      5 Quinces
      1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

      Rub five quinces with a cloth to remove the down. Put them whole and unpeeled into the Crock-pot with one cup of water (I add a teeny bit more). Cover, turn heat to low and cook overnight or for 10-12 hours. They will become a deep amethyst colour and should be soft but not breaking up. When they are cool enough to handle, peel, halve and with a teaspoon remove core. Cut off blossom end, cut into slices or leave in halves. Arrange quinces in a glass bowl. Make a syrup with liquid from the crock-pot and 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar. Cool. Pour over quinces. Serve with cream if liked.



    3. Thank you Tania I am doing this! xxx

  4. I just love seeing the photos of your sweet granddaughters and all of you amazing fruit that has been yours for the picking! Your home would be a delicious one to be stranded at in an emergency! Lol!
    This has been a great week for us! I have made 2 quarts of caramel apple yogurt using caramel apple jam I canned last year and 2 quarts of the Greek yogurt that I bought at the produce market I love ($1.99 for a 5.5 K - 11 pound bucket !!!)
    I've also made 5 dozen raspberry yogurt muffins and lemon poppyseed muffins using some of the yogurt and frozen about 2 quarts of muffin batter from both flavors to use later on. I made raspberry Greek yogurt for snacks too!
    i just made 2 dozen blackberry scones using some of the 5 pound container of cottage cheese that I got for $1.
    We also gathered over 4 dozen eggs from our hens and sold one dozen top friend!

    With an unexpected small bonus from work, we were able to pay off the final $800 on my hospital bill so we now have no medical debt until Dave has his next heart surgery in February. But, for now, that leaves an additional $100/month or more in our budget to pay down additionally on our next debt. That is exciting to us!! Just 2 credit cards and our small mortgage and we will be totally debt free! We can feel it coming!!

    We have been on a spending fast for groceries with the exemption for dairy and produce and any outrageously incredible sale on something for the pantry that would save us money while building up our pantry. To that end, we have spent $46 this month rather than the regularly budgeted $300 for the month! With this amount, Dave has had amazing homemade salads every day for lunch at work. The salad green assortment have cost $1 for a 3 pound bag which makes 6 nice lunch salads. We add Craisins and sliced almond from our pantry and cauliflower and fresh apples given to us! Similar salads at work would probably cost $6+ because they weigh the greens and then charge for each of the add ones!! So that's well over $30 this week that we saved for his lunches!
    We've eaten all of our meals at home rather than any take out! One night we grilled pork chops. The original tag said $19.20 for the package but on sale that week brought it down to just under $10!! Wonderful? But wait, that's not all! There was a digital coupon that made it 99 cents a pound and so I paid $4.60 for the package of a dozen 1" thick boneless chops! There was enough that we ate 3 separate dinners for the 3 of us with them! So. To recap- $4.60 made 3 separate dinners for the 3 of us with free bartered baked potatoes and salad using 1/8 of a $1 bag of salad greens! So well under $1 per serving!!!

    I made loaded potato soup In the instant pot for dinner using potatoes that I had bartered with and other ingredients already on hand! It was fast to make, was delicious and we got 2 additional meals for the 3 of us for later!!
    So we go along. We are building up our savings while reducing our debts! All of your encouragement helps and I thank you and all the bluebirds!

    1. Gardenpat you are an inspiration to us all as well and may I say I am cheering you on to get rid of the small credit card debts and then the mortgage too :).

      There are so many wonderful ways you save and earn money each week.


    2. Caramel apple jam sounds amazing on its own, and caramel apple yogurt --- wow! I had no idea that muffin batter could be frozen - thank you for the idea.

  5. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) . How blessed are you to get all of that lovely fruit for free and those lovely sewing machine drawers. The grandchildren all looked like they had a wonderful time.

    It has been a really super savings week for us this week and our Vicky challenge added up to $1411.06 in savings.

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

    Gleaning, blessings and gifts -
    - A dear friend had been saving her jars from purchasing French jam for her husband from the shops and gave me 4 jars with lids. They are very beautiful bottles with red tartan lids perfect for jams.
    - Another good friend gave me some pecan nuts to plant so I will do that to start a tree for when we buy our property.
    - When we went to purchase some Lucerne from our local horse stud I noticed there was a lot of loose Lucerne on the shed floor and asked if I could have some of it and they loaded the rest of the trailer with the loose pieces for free.

    Savings for our house deposit -
    - Banked some more money into our house deposit account bringing us to 23.74% of the way there.

    Grocery savings -
    - Purchased 16 tins of Aussie salt reduced corn kernels on a 50% off special saving $14.88 over usual prices. These will increase our stockpile a bit more and be added to our second pantry storage room.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made a batch of sultana oat biscuits saving $14.08 over purchasing them in the shops.

    Purchases -
    - Bought a 2 in 1 smoker BBQ which runs on wood or charcoal on super special on eBay for $50 delivered saving $178 over purchasing it in our local hardware store. This will be another layer of preparedness and reducing electricity costs item for if the power goes out and we will also use it for cooking our roasts in outside so cooking doesn't heat up the house.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 3.2kg of cherry tomatoes from the gardens saving ($25.60) but with manure costs taken out $5.60 over purchasing in the shops.
    - Purchased 3 cubic metres of cow manure from our local transport company for $20 saving $796 over purchasing the same amount in bags from the local hardware store as we used to do.
    - From our local horse stud we purchased a large slightly smaller jumbo bale of Lucerne on super special for $55 and with the gleaning the loose hay on the shed floor they threw in for free to fill our trailer which made 2 jumbo bales, we saved $390 over purchasing it locally.

    Electricity -
    - Saved another $7.50 using our solar lanterns to light our home at night and only turning on the electric hot water system on once a week.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone :).


  6. You have had an amazing week with all that found fruit and roadside treasures along with birthday parties! Well done!

  7. Annabel those little girls are such gorgeous little things. Happy Birthday to Mum and to Lucy. Your table setting looks luxurious and so smart.
    I was watching an add today for a company that send you a box of goods and recipes. The advert made a big thing about how this meant that a meal for an average family of four would cost as little as $10/person. WHAT? Thats' a huge amount of money per meal. Cant believe it.
    This has been a busy week just getting on top of basic jobs. I did feed up my sourdough starter and made my first loaf of bread and apple scrolls for 2018. Delicious.
    Like Tania I made up a batch of laundry liquid and a batch of miracle spray. I finished the Christening rug that was in Show and Tell this week. I also edged a set of towels I was given for Christmas with some edging that Annabel sent me.
    In a use up fruit before it goes off, I made a small batch of mango ginger jam. I froze a number of mango cheeks for breakfast smoothies.
    A real bit of this and that week. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane, I have seen this "saving" meal companies. I guess they save time etc but not money! I have seen them with fruit and veg. Someone had one and it cost $30 + and was a tiny little box. I said I expect ten kilos minimum for that amount... so to me it was ridiculous.
      I followed you and review my poor starter and made two giant foccacias and now it is healthy and happy and back in the fridge... I was doubtful but it was ok!
      You did a lot! And I know the weather has been exhausting... so you did well. With much love

  8. Dear Annabel,

    First of all, I'm sorry I didn't get to comment on all the Show and Tell items before Friday! They were all absolutely stunning! Everyone has been so busy already! I just love that crocheted blanket that Jane made! But it was all just spectacular!

    I had to laugh about your weather report comment!

    Harper and Scarlett are just adorable! And what a find with those sewing machine drawers! At first I thought they were ornate clay planters, but how neat that they are from a sewing machine cabinet!

    Repaired a ripped pocket on some snow pants, made the usual cookies and muffins for lunches and all meals from scratch, and am making yogurt right now. Speaking of which, I think I'd better head off and check the temp., as it is probably ready to incubate!

    Have a great weekend!

    Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      With the weather report you will like this ... sometimes it will be on the radio or TV and Mum will say haven't they got a window? as if they looked out the window they could see what they are saying isn't even right! lol
      You had a good week of all the things you do! I hope next week will be a great one! With love

  9. Annabel,
    Happy Australian Day!
    Happy Birthday to Lucy and Mum! The table looks beautiful, Harper has grown so much. She looks adorable sitting at the big table drinking "tea".

    You have definitely done a wonderful job of locating and collecting all of the free fruit. Like you I am amazed how people just walk by fruit. Where I get my apples 10's of 1,000 of people pass them and no one picks. Grape vines grew on a building in the city, no one picked, though they did tear the vines down eventually. It is getting harder up here to find fruit trees because everyone cuts them down in their yards and none in parking lots. I have spotted a lot of crab apple trees though, so pickled apples and jam next season.

    I absolutely love your drawers that you found, they are beautiful and so useful. I always wanted a treadle sewing machine, but prices now are outrageous. I know with your luck you will find one beside the road.

    May you have a Blessed Weekend.

    1. Dear Rosanne,
      Thank you! We had a beautiful Australia Day and weekend so far. It is the Australian Open tennis which we love and hot, it is always hot when the tennis is on!
      Harper had many cups of "tea" and never spills a drop.
      Yes I always think of you and the apple tree in the parking lot. Just the same. Thousands pass it by, we pick it. Also here people cut them down and plant useless things and lawns...
      I learned to sew on a treadle machine, my Nans. I loved it! I would love to get my hands on that I think my Aunt has it.
      I think you are travelling this week so safe travels and good finds! With much love

  10. Dear Annabel, and Bluebirds,

    I want to thank everyone for the prayers for my family. They are working!! We went to a non-profit and Catholic hospital when my husband had his heart attack and then again when we had to go back a second time. We were quite worried about the "gap" between our deductible and the place where insurance pays. It was quite large.

    Because it is a non-profit and Catholic hospital, they offer a financial aid service. This service, with appropriate application can reduce the amount of the "gap" or eliminate it completely. The hospital will possibly forgive the debt, depending on the amount of income, dependants, etc.

    I applied for this. The application took several hours to fill out and I had to hunt down exact numbers to provide them. On Monday, we received written notification that they had forgiven the entire $6000 out of pocket we owed them!! Praise the Lord. What a relief.

    I wanted to make sure I shared it so that if someone else needs that sort of help, they will know that in some hospitals it is available.

    I have also heard about (but didn't try it because the above worked for us) a website that is committed to help insured people pay their deductibles. The website is

    Lana, I am so sorry about your neighbor. How scary!

    Blessings to all you wonderful Bluebirds!

    1. That is wonderful about the deductible. Last year when my husband had his heart attack we owed $7750 and God provided it and I still cannot tell you how because I took all the money out of savings to pay it and then paid all the bills and more than half as left over. Praying for you as you care for your husband. It is a labor of love for sure.

    2. Lana, thank you for praying for us. It is a labor of love; you are so right. I am still praying for your family, too. I am thankful that "God math" (that is what I call it, when the numbers don't equal what happened and yet it is paid--somehow) came through for you in your husband's hospitalization. Blessings, Cristy

    3. Dear Cristy, All day yesterday I was working on peaches etc and I thought of this great news! How amazing! I know you were very worried. Well this is fantastic and an answer to prayer. It makes me very happy! Well done on the steps you took and also for sharing this information as it might help another reader.
      In times of many worries over how we fit into this world this is a good example of "God has got it" which is very reassuring! With much love

  11. Those little girls are adorable! Looks like a fun time! Those sewing machine drawers!!!!! They are so beautiful... what a great find! Enjoy!

    1. Thank you! I am hoping for a good new week! It is hot here now! I hope you have a beautiful weekend! xxx

  12. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Beautiful fruit! Your home and the girls are so lovely. I love the table setting with the different teacups and roses.

    Cooking and food: The fridge and freezer yielded some apples, bananas, berries, and cranberries that needed to be used up, so I made crockpot applesauce, some loaves of banana bread, and jam! (I am very excited about the jam, thanks to Annabel for the inspiration.) On Sunday I cooked up a big batch of brown rice and roasted chicken for the week for lunches. All work lunches and snacks were brought from home. ($150 savings on lunches, I would say $40 on snacks - fruit, homemade quick bread, granola bars, and peanut butter crackers.)

    Household: My husband put up a decorative shelf in the office and we cleaned and organized; it is much prettier and more airy, now (and things are organized and not cluttered). The bathroom baseboards got a cleaning - what a difference. I used ribbons from my craft stash to give the living room and dining nook curtains a new look; we get more light and with the curtains tied back from the bay window, that part of the house looks bigger and more open with the change. Maybe $50 savings on not buying new curtains?

    Shopping: I spent $2 on some very pretty, palest pink enamel-covered metal organizers that look like lace; these were used to organize the writing implements on my desk.
    Thrift store treasures included a brand-new boxset of Seasons 1 and 2 of Downtown Abbey for $5 (a $35 savings), a lovely hardcover (The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, this one might be a gift) for $2.99 (a $14 savings), a DVD set of classic musicals for $4 (a $15 savings), and a huge bag of brand-new cross-stitch fabric, some kits that I will take apart for the floss and fabric, and yarn for $6 ($80 worth of new fabric and I don't even know about the yarn, but there is some lovely orange merino and other interesting things that feel like wool blends).

    Entertainment: We enjoyed some books and movies from the library and our own collection, and rode the horses outdoors in the beautiful mild weather. Really good for the spirit and there is nothing like seeing a beautiful sunset from horseback. (I don't pretend that horse ownership is a frugal activity, but even with vet bills and shoeing, it costs us far less to keep our own than it would to pay per ride at a stable. I wouldn't recommend this for people who didn't grow up with horses, unless they are kept boarded at a professional facility, just for safety and well-being of horse and rider.) I also used my staff discount to buy university theatre tickets for a Gershwin musical in February (saved $10).

    Personal care and education: I learned some new gardening tips from a library book - so excited to plant this spring! My husband had a haircut at home (he likes it very short, so frequent trims) saving $15.

    Crafts/gifts: More stitches in my kitchen piece - only about an hour's work to go! And of course, I am knitting on another pair of socks.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, Well done on the jam! It is so useful! This is a link to loads of ways to use jam in recipes... many as a big money saver... plus I am still finding more!
      I am in love with the sound of the pale pink lace organisers....
      You got absolutely heaps done! All the tidying, organising and cleaning was fantastic too!
      I think we both had a very productive week. It is hot here and Im kind of having a quiet weekend doing this and that but loving it. Almost ready to take on a new week! With much love

  13. Annabelle, I love the pictures of your precious little girls. Harper is so dainty and little Scarlett is so serious, just taking everything in. Grandchildren are the greatest gift!
    Gorgeous vintage linens. Can't wait to see how creative you get with them.

    1. Dear Phyllis, Thanks so much! Scarlett was highly impressed by the candles! We have lots of plans and work with the linens... you will like! After the wedding we have plans to keep using them and repurpose some again as well! A lot of sewing ahead! Have a good new week! With love

  14. ***Thank you all for praying for Alli, the teen at our church with cancer. Her battle ended last night and she went peacefully. Please pray for her family now.***

    1. Dear Lana, This is so sad. I did pray for her especially over the pain she was in. It is just heartbreaking. You have had it coming at you from all directions... very sorry. With much love Annabel.xxxx yes will pray for the family.

    2. Thank you so much. To lose a child at age 17 is something I cannot even comprehend.

    3. Lana,
      So sorry she was in our prayers. We will continue to lifts Alli's family up and you and your friend that is recovering. I pray next week is better.
      Much love,

  15. I bought a tray of peaches last summer for a good price and made peach butter. It was delicious!

    1. Dear Gill, Thank you or this suggestion! I just googled the recipe! It looks lovely and I am still using peaches and picking more. Plus soon I am going to just have so many ripe all at once! Many thanks! With love

  16. Annabel,
    Oh my all of the lovely fruit is so amazing! I bet your kitchen smells so wonderful. And whenever I get good points or what I like to call free money I always try to double it so I get the most out of it to build the pantry hence needing all of those pantry shelves haha! And I love, love the linens! Jacqui you have very good taste! These will help make a lovely wedding indeed! And the roadside finds that was a winner! The drawers are just perfect. As for us Rick was able to fix a tractor tire that would have cost us $300 so big savings there. I got several freebies using freecash points and a few coupons, our ladies are still giving us a lot of eggs each day and Rick has added to the cooking pot haha! Some of you ladies know what that is! I have been fighting headaches all week, but still managing to get some things done and all in all it has been a great week!

    1. Dear Vicky, That was a good week except I hope your headache has gone. I am amazed how the chooks keep laying in the cold!
      The tractor tyre was a great savings! Lets have a big week next week too! With love

  17. Your daughters and granddaughters are all beauties, Annabel. Harper was really enjoying the birthday party ;) I can't get over all the fruit bounties you've been finding. I guess it helps to keep your eyes open ;). Those Singer drawers are "the bomb"!
    Happy Australia Day~

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you! I put the fruit down to a few things... our location and climate... I watch everywhere and I will ask if I see fruit being wasted... and prayer... I prayed ahead of time and I have never been so blessed with fruit from totally surprising places and it is STILL coming in!
      Have a beautiful Sunday! With love

  18. Hi Annabel, I really enjoyed this post! All of your girls are so cute. Would you believe I have the same sewing drawers in my great aunt's old Singer machine! When I did research on it some time back, I came up with 1908 for its age, so quite the antique drawers you have there! Many blessings for a great week, Bess

    1. Thank you for the date on the drawers. Mans sewing machine was about the same design... it was her Mums. Nan was born in 1919... and I learned to sew on this machine! I loved it!
      Have a good new week and thank you! xxx

  19. Hi Annabel,
    What a lovely birthday afternoon tea you all had. I certainly think with all the high temperatures you have that buying the cake was a good decision. We are looking at 34°c this coming Tuesday which must seem positively cool to you. Unfortunately at work we don't have air con, only fans to blow the warm air around. With our little ones it means a day inside, with lots of water play to keep cool. When I see your photos of Harper and Scarlet I am reminded of how children represent everything that is good in our world. I certainly experience that everyday in my work.
    Have a lovely long weekend.


    1. Dear Mandy,
      Well it is 42 today! But yesterday was hot but not this hot...
      Children are so beautiful. You are exactly right. Just gorgeous.
      We have been having a good long weekend! I am dealing with peaches and having a quiet time which is the best thing in the heat.
      Have a very good new week! With lots of love

  20. We woke up on Wednesday to ice covering part of the state, including where we live. There was nothing in the forecast so no salt trucks had been out. There were hundreds of accidents in the state. So much for weather predictions.

    What a find! I have one drawer like those that I use on my kitchen counter to hold olive oil, the pepper grinder, etc.

    Ummm... can I come to tea?

    1. Dear Brenda, Ice would be frightening to me. I can see how dangerous it would be! I think in areas that dont usually get it or have no warning it must be even more dangerous due to lack of knowledge, experience and warning!
      I hope this week the weather is a bit easier and safer! With love

  21. Dear Annabel, what a lovely post full of cheer and things worth cheering over! Your fruit finds are always enviable. We used to have orange trees nearby that we could raid, but courtesy of urban sprawl, they are long gone! I hear you on the 'cheating' on the cake. Sometimes it's just necessary for ones sanity. We cannot do everything. I had a good week. It's so odd having my daughter home when school has returned but she's been a huge help baking brownies, making cumquat marmalade, laundry detergent, all purpose cleaner, and sewing and altering garments. It's all an opportunity for her to LEARN! Much love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Yes these times like school holidays kind of... they are huge learning times. Wonderful really. And all this learning really seems to stick from my experience... they soak it in. Cherish it, I know you do though...
      This reminds me I have tops to alter... I forgot this!
      Have a great new week... it is hot here and Im working through peaches! With much love

  22. I absolutely love that you forage and curb pick to add beautiful things to your pantry and life! I've done this for years myself and thoroughly enjoy it but some act as though it's a horrid thing. I just think it makes perfectly good sense!

    1. Dear Terri,
      We are birds of a feather! Oh... on instagram yesterday you had a saying about work... I completely loved it! haha! So spot on!
      There is a show on tv here called The War on Waste... everyone is mad over it but they still waste everything and frown on people who dont. It is a weird word! With love

  23. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Wow wow wow!, what a beautiful family and positively the most lovely party ever!. Thank you Annabel for always sharing such precious photos with us and for being a wonderful example of all that you teach us through your blog . I have learnt so much and discovered so many other lovely blogs through yours so thank you.
    My vicky challenge week included:
    Usual savings from services from Centacare $40 - domestic assistance ( compared to a private cleaner) , $85savings on other Centacare services ( at least ) .these savings take into account savings on taxis and on what services would cost privately then I take off what I pay and the remainder is my saving. I have saved ( put aside) $30 towards my electricity bill ( on top of my regular Centrepay payment through Centrelink ( my pension) . I have also bought some groceries mostly half price and saved at least $25 this week ( the $25 is away towards my household extras fund) .i got an $11.10 refund which has been put into my grocery slush fund to put towards specials and bargains.
    Also this week I have gratefully received transport from my dad and he also did some errands for me when I could not go to the shops , saving me money and time and saving me from having to go out when unwell. I would say about $100 of savings this week as dad has done a lot for me and driven me around a lot . He has Allen me to two doctors appointments and to the shops as well as going to a few shops for me on his own so I think in 2 trips to to doctors alone he has saved me $100 as to get to my doctors in a taxi it is at least $25 each way so I will also add $25 for the extra errands.
    I decluttered my wardrobe and found a sheet In its packaging and it's a queen size good quality ones, I will say $25 savings. I bought it for $10 on extreme sale about 6 or 7 years ago , I think it would be worth about $35 now so a savings of $25 . In my wardrobe decluttering I found some gifts I had put away in my old gift cupboard, I found at least four gifts plus the craft materials ( supplies) to make some other gifts, $35 savings.i also found some little material bags that came with pyjamas years ago and some other bags . I have been wanting to buy or have made some bags for budgeting purposes , so a good saving of at least $12 for 6 bags there .
    I have found some bargains at Kmart this week , some lovely birthday gifts for my nieces for $3 each and in a gift shop they would be at least $30 so a $27 saving per gift and I also bought one for me too so a saving of $81 on three items plus a saving of at least $45 on other items at Kmart this week. I am putting$60 in extra debt repayments this week plus an extra $15 in slush fund too. I also made all meals at home , used cold water as usual in washing machine so I will not count that, cut down on dryer use and was frugal a s possibleTotal savings this week of at least $405 but it's a bit complicated!!. I hope everyone has a great week.i want to say Lana I am so sorry, you have had a rough week please take care . Love to all .love Barb W

    1. Dear Barb,
      You have done so well! I find decluttering this way too, I find things and can put them to use! Sometimes good surprises! Thank you for sharing your week. I hope this new week will be good for you and also you will be feeling a lot better. With lots of love,

  24. Annabel,
    What a beautiful week! How fun to celebrate four generations. Lucy and the girls how wonderful that they live close. Harper looks so sweet sitting up to table for tea. We had a lovely week of bargains just a few Parmesan wedges 40 cents..we bought 6. Bree wheels 48 cents bought ten beautiful organic yogurt 2 dollars a case bought 5. Yogurt freezes beautifully. I asked the neighbor across the street about picking her lemon because they were falling on the ground. She said sure but they are limes and not very good. She was using them when they were green a d did not like them. They are lemons and so beautiful. Hundreds on this tree. Now I need to find your lemon butter to make some and lemon pie. I have not been eating grains for about a month and feeling better thank you for the inspiration. We went to pick up free succulents today. At least 200 dollars and got them all planted. The house is looking better and it even seems a little healthier we just keep cleaning.
    I love free it is so much fun. I am craving peaches now they look so good. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Much love,
    Patti from San Diego

    1. Dear Patti,
      The free succulents would be beautiful! And I am so pleased about the house! It sounds like you are winning!
      Now the lemons... take a look at the going price of lemons in the store... here they can be $1 each! If they are a high price you might be able to strike a deal and sell lemons! This is the lemon butter recipe...
      It is very good, easy and can be frozen. In the jar fresh I keep in the fridge about two weeks. It makes nice pies, sponge cake filling, tarts etc. A lovely gift too. When I had a lot of lemons I queued the juice and filled little bottles and ice cube trays for summer drinks too. So good!
      Your food deals were wonderful! Patti that was a good week!
      I am so pleased you feel improvement with your health going no grain. It is really worth trying for anyone in pain or even trying to lose weight etc. I am amazed the difference it has made to me. If I let any grains sneak in even a little bit I feel like my old self for a few days and I think how did I live like this?
      Have a good new week! With love

    2. Annabel,
      Thank you for the lemon butter! I will be making this on Thursdays yum I can't wait.

  25. Dear Annabel,
    I am late to the party but I am here! It looks like all your girls had a lovely time celebrating birthdays! You have really hit the jackpot on all that fruit. Well done for getting busy and putting it all up. I know that is a lot of work. And what beautiful linens! Oh that is a weakness of mine, how sweet of Jacqui to send them for Chloe! It will be a beautiful wedding, I'm sure. I know you will do something lovely with those drawers, too. I have seen them on Pinterest and I would have picked them up too.
    I have been writing things down but I didn't have a chance to report on last week so this will be for two weeks. As usual Colton ate breakfast at home and I packed his lunches and coffee.
    We had our usual grocery savings.
    I made two gifts for birthdays with things I had on hand, my first knitting projects!
    A few days it was really cold and we had the fireplace going; we gathered our own wood.
    I have been washing and saving John's baby food jars. I plan to put homemade salves in them or store little craft bits and bobs. As a side note, it brings me great joy every time I open the kitchen drawer and see his baby spoons and bibs :) We also bought him a second-hand high chair at half the price of a new one. It is wooden and easy to clean! Not to mention it looks like a nice piece of furniture that will last.
    We used gift cards for purchases.
    We were given lots of cookies and chocolate. As Colton is still dieting and I need to cut back on the sugar, I vacuum sealed most of it in serving portions and froze it. Colton teases that I have to hide it from myself or it would be gone. He's right.
    I made my own scouring cleanser and started a lavender vinegar infusion for cleaning.
    We were given another huge bag of baby boy clothes! I took what I wanted and passed the rest on but I got a lot and we don't have to buy any in John's next size!
    I had good savings, but I think the biggest thing this past week was following the advice Terri Cheney gave her daughter-in-law about house keeping that she commented about the other day. That is, do a certain 5 things every day and then focus on one room only each day of the week. I thought I would try that and see if it would make a difference. Wow, the house has not been this clean since John was born! Thank you a million times, Terri. This gives me focus on the tasks for the day and doesn't allow me to overdo it and be stressed and exhausted at the end of it. Colton even took notice of how clean everything was! So thank you!
    Annabel, I have also been meal planning like you and Laine and this has made a big difference too. I am cooking healthier meals, the food is being properly rotated, and I am staying within my grocery budget! So I have had some big breakthroughs these past two weeks and the results are wonderful and have really helped me build up my home. Thank you!
    With lots of love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Well done on your knitting! It is another skill added to all the things you already do. I think knitting or crochet is fantastic as it is something we can do in the evening or take places with us where as we have to stop work on the sewing machine then... I love it.
      All the clothes are such a bonus! And also the chocolates!
      Thank you for sharing about how Terri's tip has helped you! Thank you also for saying how the meal planning is working. Challenging ourselves to use everything up and incorporate it into meals, stretch meals and then add in bargains and use those... this is the way to go. It is a huge saver. There is potential in everything. Last week my biggest bargains were cream for just a few cents so I made quiches as I had eggs. Practically free meals! Now I have peaches of course so they are breakfasts and desserts.
      Well done on everything! With lots of love

  26. Your granddaughters are precious and you find the very best thrown away things.
    I’m glad you salvage the fruit. While it doesn’t apply to readers of this Blog, I think many people just don’t want to put in the effort to do work for themselves, like pick free fruit.

    1. Thank you Rhonda, I think so too. I guess this is to our advantage as we are more than prepared to do the work! xxx

  27. Dear Annabel, so sorry I am so late with this post, but I pondered long and hard about reporting for January as we have made such huge savings this month, and I am embarrassed. but they are our savings and this is what helps us cope with our lifestyle block and our old age pension.
    I am very lucky that my husband is so very clever with his hands and his tools and we have built everything here except our water tanks, We have also built our home, but we still have some finishing to do here.
    So for the month of January our saving are for our pigshed that we have built all ourselves, we are saying $20,000, but if we had to have someone come and build this it would not have been to our standards and with the quality of the materials, the same with our new chooksheds, which are 6 side by side sheds with outside yards, and they have netting for the yard rooves to keep out crows, feral cats, foxes, and we are say a saving of $10,000 against having it built by someone else for the same reasons.
    We have also processed our steer (yearly) prime meat, and he is cut up, minced etc and in the freezer a saving against buying $2,000. Also done the same with some of our homegrown lambs and a saving of $400, against buying. We also processed 8 roosters (about 16 weeks old) surplus to our breeding needs they are portioned, minced and thecarcassed save all for winder meals ( we have sold excess rooster to a buyer who sells them in the city and he pays %15 per bird) so a saving of $120 dollars.
    I make all our meals from scratch and an example of this is a large lasagne, similar to yours Annabel, we had 7 large serving out of this, but is was made with our own mince, bottled tomatoes, onions, garlic etc so a saving of at least $50. I made Rhubarb and hazelnut muffins (our rhubarb and eggs) so a saving of $72, made a rhubarb and hazelnut dessert cake so a saving of 60 and a zucchini ahd walnut cake so a saving of $60, again our eggs and zucchini.
    I altered a pair of my grandson's school shorts a saving of $20, I mended 11 pairs of DH's home shorts, he is very had on his "work" clothe so a saving of at least $660 to replace them so hopefully not for several years, I mended 3 pairs of my leggings a saving of $30.
    So all in all if my adding is right we have saved this month $33,452. DH will really appreciate how much we save when he sees it written down, future months will be nothing like this.
    Thank you again for your inspiring blog,
    Love Lorraine


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