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.

Sunday 29 April 2018

The Home Pharmacy. Early intervention.

A life of migraines from childhood and it still took me so long to understand early intervention!  My friend Nerile and I were talking about this. She suffers shocking migraines too.
Eventually I understood I needed to take action on the very first sign of migraine pain.  This helped.  One day watching Dr. Oz (years ago!) he explained the very first signs of a headache are like the ocean with gentle ripples.   As the migraine grows worse it is like an ocean with waves.  Once it is fully up and running it is like a raging sea.  You have a chance against a ripple.  You have no chance against a raging sea.
This finally really clicked with me.  I had resisted medication but leaving it too late actually meant I took a lot more medication overall than if I acted early.  Not to mention how sick I was.   In my old hometown (when the girls were little) the local Doctor had a regular routine .... after the surgery was closed he would come over to my place to give me an injection to stop me being sick.   Then the next day I would start recovery.

It was still not until much later that I learned to act well before the first pain of a migraine.   Instead I learned the signs one was coming... feeling overtired,  feeling grumpy,  a general feeling I could recognise that trouble was coming!    At this point I was really getting somewhere.  This was my turning point and since then I get far less that actually make it to the really bad stage.   Life is so much better.

When I started this series it was Lana who mentioned early intervention again.   She said with essential oils and homeopathy you want to act IMMEDIATELY.
The first big success I had was with my rotten sore throats and the Oregano oil.  I did act immediately.  The very first sign I applied my Oregano Oil to the glands on my neck.  When I went to bed I put it on my feet.  In the morning my sore throat just wasn't there!  It never made it past "the ripple".
Sometime later I woke in the middle of the night with a sore throat.  I had the oil next to me on my bedside table.  This was a good move as I could apply it without getting up or thinking about it... and again in the morning my throat was fine.  I do think this very early intervention is the key!

To achieve early intervention we have to know what to do, have things ready to go and on hand,  have things with us wherever we go as well.   Also I have noticed that when not well I will forget things.  Like in the moment I will forget I even have a homeopathy remedy!  So I need to have my medicine cabinet well set up,  know how to use things and remember to use them!  It seems the middle of the night is a time for me when a sore throat will start up.   So I keep my bedtime oils and my oregano right next to me on my bedside table.


I have a rubber band around the bottom of the oregano oil so I can tell which on it is in the dark.   Lynette suggested that the acrylic lipstick stands work really well to keep little bottles oil and rollers neatly in place. I am going to try and get some as Andy now has four rollers of various blends near the bed and without fail he knocks them over every night!  (But he likes them heaps!) 

I also have two oils that come around with me in my handbag and a little purse of oils plus some homeopathic tablets that travels with me if I go away.  



Talking more about this with Lana she gave me other wonderful tips which I am sharing with you.
Lana is not a Doctor.   Be sensible and seek medical advice and do your own research on things.    But Lana has helped me enormously and everything she has suggested to me has helped me so much.

So I will share her letter in full... even the bits she wasn't sure I should! 😊

The number one thing is keeping the body hydrated.  The world's population is chronically dehydrated.  Alternative and natural medicine professionals estimate that 80% of disease would go away if the body is hydrated.  Everyone needs half their body weight in ounces of water everyday.  Fresh lemon juice can be added to the water if wanted for taste but those ounces need to be water, water, water.  If the body is really dehydrated, and that was me, then drinking all that water will make you feel ill until the body adjusts and begins to get hydrated.  This does no happen overnight.  You can build up your ounces over a few days if that helps.  If you consume caffeine then you need to add 2 ounces for every ounce of caffeinated beverage.  Once the body is hydrated it can flush toxins out like it should.  This will takes some weeks to accomplish. I have friends that I treat and the whole family is always dehydrated even though they swear to me that they drink tons of water.  90% of the time they are fine after drinking 3 big glasses of water.  You really have to measure your water to be sure you are getting it down everyday.  If you start having headaches then you may be flushing too many salts from the body in the process of getting hydrated.   We use Hyland's Bioplasma to replace lost salts that the body needs.  We hold the tablets under the tongue for 10 minutes.



Thanks to Lana I now have a big jug of water to work my way through everyday,
this is in addition to what I normally drink. 
The first day I thought I would drown but now I am really liking it! 

The number two thing is diet.  A big green salad every day will help flush toxins out of the body and also help neutralize the body's pH.  A body that has an acid pH is wide open to infection including cancer.  You can buy pH test strips to test using your saliva. There is quite a lot of information online about eating to neutralize the body's pH.  Artificial sweeteners should not be a part of anybody's diet.  The body has no idea what to do with them so it stores them.  I often have people come to me asking why their feet hurt so much and so often they are diet soda drinkers.  The artificial sweeteners seem to be felt in the feet first.  If you get up the morning and just feel sluggish and toxic then eat raw food such as an apple for breakfast along with a good bit of water with it and it will get the body detoxing.   

Climbing stairs or swinging on a swing so that the legs are worked at the hip joint area gets the lymph system going and that is very beneficial for cleaning up the body.  If you are aching or feel like you are getting sick and have been watching your water and eating well then this is the best thing to do to get the junk moving out.   (You probably don't want to post this but sex is wonderful for keeping the body healthy and the lymph system working and for treating illness.  God had many purposes behind that!)  We don't take over the counter painkillers because they shut down the lymph system.  The only one that does not is plain old aspirin.  If you are not feeling well then try drinking a good amount of water and eating something raw and climbing some stairs to get the body on the mend instead of compromising it even more by taking chemicals.

We don't use antibacterial anything here.  Some of those antibacterial products actually contain pesticides!  We do not use insect sprays on our body as this IS putting pesticides on your skin and the body absorbs it.  We think about everything we use such as shampoos and soaps since it is absorbed right into the body.  

Once you have your water intake up everyday and your pH corrected and it is time to get the kidneys cleaned up.  Put a drop of lemon essential oil on each kidney at bedtime for 3 weeks.   After the kidneys are flushed out it is time to work on clearing up the junk in the liver.  Three capsules of dandelion root daily for 3-6 months will go a long ways toward clearing up and getting the liver working better.  (We use Nature's Way dandelion root here.)  It is really important to keep the water intake up while doing the clearing up of the kidneys and liver as you want the junk to detox and not be stored by the body somewhere else. 

I'm sure you are thinking that this is hard but it is not and you will benefit so much from these things.

A few essential oils things-I can tell when I am coming down with a cold because I almost always get a sore throat and itchy feeling nose.  I do test myself but even if I could not I would put a drop of Plague Defense on the bottoms of my feet and put on socks for 4 hours.  I would also drink a lot of water to flush out the virus that dies because it can really make you ache if you don't help it flush.  I also use Plague Defense if I feel that I am getting sick with a flu like illness and drink the water.   A new product we found this winter is Sinupret.  It is an herb blend and it seemed to be useful for one of the flu strains.  Anytime we feel nausea or indigestion that feels like a sick stomach we take a drop or two of Tummy Soothe in water.  Warrior can be used on a cut or break in the skin to kill bacteria.  Our youngest daughter gives blood and I try to get her to use Warrior on the site afterward because she has picked many infections.  If I have to have blood taken or even a finger stick I put Warrior on the site.  Even though it is supposed that everything is sterile I often find that I picked bacteria so I just go ahead and take care of it rather than get a full blown infection.  Sometimes if I have been through a big detox of something and my kidneys feel achy I take hydrangea root tincture for a few days to clear up sludge in the kidneys or use lemon essential oil as mentioned above.  Kidney stones are treated with hydrangea root tincture, take a one ounce bottle as directed on the label until it is gone.  It will dissolve the stones.  If you have recurring problems with kidney stones take 3000 mg of magnesium every day but get it in capsule form not a tablet.  Many report that they never have a kidney stone again after starting to take the magnesium. If we  get into a lot of smoke or something toxic in the air we use 10 deep breaths of Lung Support to heal and clear the lungs instead of waiting for trouble to develop.  It is good to use some Sunshine if we are going to be in a stressful situation.  We usually just carry a 2 ml bottle of it in our pocket and an take it out a breathe some of it if we need it.  One morning we were out with some friends for breakfast and they had just gotten up on the wrong side of the bed and were so cranky.  I took out my bottle of Sunshine and waved it around and soon all was well.  :)  A few weeks ago my Mom called and was upset because my Dad had fallen and I told her to get the Sunshine and put a drop on the back of hers and Dad's neck just to calm them down.  It really works for them but they do not think to use it if they are upset.

Disclaimer-I am not a doctor and I am making these recommendations based on my training and what I have learned from treating myself others with the kinesiology that I have been blessed to be able to learn.  

I hope you find something useful here!


Thank you Lana!  I sure did find useful things here.  I immediately set up a system to drink much  more.   I also have ordered Warrior and Sunshine.   I already have the other oils mentioned.  All oils that Lana lists are from Hopewell Essential oils.   I find them wonderful. 
If you want to use another company and want an equivalent then look up these oils and note the ingredients.  Sometimes I do this and make my own blends.  

This is an endless subject!  I believe there are times when information comes to us just when we need it.  I really like my GP and I am thankful for Doctors and hospitals.  But there have been a list of things my Doctor really has been no help with... these things include years of aches and pains,  a burning sensation on my tongue (burnt mouth syndrome)  restless leg syndrome  (this one nearly drove me bonkers) and ongoing sore arms and elbows since painting too much,  getting tennis elbow and two spider bites!  Oh and also insomnia... and re occurring really terrible sore throats.  My poor doctor has been absolutely useless at any help at all with any of these things.  When I was really stuck information came my way and each of the things was fixed virtually overnight with either vitamins, diet changes or essential oils.  So when medicine has nothing for you what do you have to lose!? 

Do you have any early intervention health tips?  Have you had any good results for persistent illnesses, aches and pains etc?   It seems almost everyone has some issue they are prone to.  Something that is usually the first sign they are coming down with something,  over tired or stressed...

It is absolutely beautiful here today.  Gorgeous sunshine and we hear rain is coming.  This is perfect! 
Have a wonderful week! 























Thursday 26 April 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 27th April, 2018.

We have had beautiful sunny days and cool nights.  I love it like this!
This week was a mixture of little ways to get things done,  get ahead and save.

All week I have been working through lemons from Hilde's.  As I use a lemon I then put what is left into the dishwasher to go through with the next load.   The dishes come out so well and the whole dishwasher is sparkling.


Over the weekend I have big plans for them.  I am making lemon cheesecake and making my first bach of Limoncello which I have been wanting to try for years.  I figure this would make good gifts.

I made a big batch of Mimi's Sticky Balsamic Vinegar.   This is something we use all the time.  A simple drizzle of this over a salad,  pizza,  things like figs.... makes everything so beautiful.   It is sold here in tiny bottles for about $5.   I used Mimi's recipe and it's is wonderful and now for the life of me I cannot find the link.  We will get it posted in comments.   I used a big jar of my own Plum Jam in the mix  to add flavour and make it thick.   Well it is beautiful and I got so much! 
I actually ordered tiny 100ml squeeze bottles for this so I can give some as gifts.  So I have mine in decanters and a big jar of it waiting for my bottles to arrive.


Allie helped Andy to clean our gutters on the shed and the house.  This is a big job and now done before any major rain.   For her work I am making Allie a tray of Lasagna.   This is one of the trades I do with her... sometimes it is Banana Cake.  We are doing a lot more trades lately.  She told me she would much prefer Lasagna than cash! 

Last week I had my Flybuy points arrive and I turned them into a $50 Coles voucher.  I always aim to at least double my money by buying great specials or make downs.  This is a burst of extra things for my pantry.  This time I did the best ever! 
On facebook I saw that Coles was having a clearance of shampoo and conditioner.   The thing is if you follow catalogues the clearance items are never in them.... nor the mark downs.  Most times I look at catalogues thinking I would not pay that!  The good stuff is never advertised.  Thanks to Facebook groups I heard about this one.

I turned my $50 voucher into $141.95!   


I bought brands I use and like.... this was an example this Dove Conditioner was normally $6.90 and out for $1.72.

I ended up with so much! It took ages to select!


I have supplies for just ages and this was all free thanks to saving my points.  Now when at the check out I notice most people don't even bother dos ave their points!  I cannot understand it! 
I essential got paid $150 for half an hours work here.

I cut Andy's hair.

Yesterday I had a lovely time.  I took Harper to the train station to watch trains.  That kid loves trains. She nearly screams the house down when another train is coming through the tunnel lol
So we sat there eating cake, feeding birds and watching trains.   There is so much free stuff to do with little kids.  We go to the play ground.  If there is a construction site we watch the tractors.  Men digging holes is highly impressive.  Kids love this kind of stuff!  

How was your week?  How did you save or get ahead?  What did you do to build up your home?

Today is our wedding anniversary and we are going out to dinner!  Tomorrow is Andy's birthday and I am making a chocolate cake and a special meal with his favourite... steak. 
Mum is here in Adelaide and loving seeing the girls again!  

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx



Tuesday 24 April 2018

The Christmas and Gift Challenge. Dark evenings and crochet time.

Finally we seem to be past warm weather and in to true beautiful Autumn.  That makes this time my favourite for the whole year.   We had daylight savings end and now it is dark much earlier.   In summer we will have light until 9 or so but now it is dark before dinner.
This coincides with some TV that we watch,  foot ball and a favourite cooking show.
And this means actually sitting down of an evening and I get some serious crochet done!
I really think the season makes a lot of difference to the things I get made for gifts and for the present cupboard.  This is my time to really get going!

Over summer my gift making included lots of jams and cakes.  I have a whole year of fruit cakes lined up.  Many of these have been presents.   I finally finished and sent off a cotton baby rug for a little boy.


Then I had the fun of choosing some yarn for my next projects.  I am not sure it shows up very well but I this all has a slight glittery thread through it...


I also have some beautiful fluffy cream yarn that Mimi gave me.   I have two rugs planned, a pink glittery one for Harper and a little multi coloured rug (which will use up all the odd left over bits) for Harper's doll pram.   I want to sew a little pillow and sheets for that also.

As I shop I am watching for specials for more yarn. This includes the op shops as sometimes I do find yarn.  Other times I find things for general craft supplies like a book to cut up for card making or the beautiful cottons I found the other day!   


Still so thrilled about these!   My card making supplies are also really good and I can get going with some card making.  That is better in the day time where as I can crochet while watching TV  in the evenings as I don't have to look at it much.

Today is a public holiday for us (for Anzac Day) and the afternoon is a big football game and therefore an afternoon of rest and crochet.  Such contentment! 

I started the first rows of a rug.  The first rows are the foundation and the hardest bit.  Then it is easy! I had to look at my notes to remember this pattern that I love to do.  (Pineapple stitch)


There is no gardening to do for a few months at least.  The slow cooker is mostly on with soup or a casserole or baked apples....   so much more time to get things made for everyone and my gift cupboard.

Mum is coming tomorrow and she will no doubt have her knitting bag and several projects.   This time last year she was making knitted skirts for Harper and this year will be Scarlett too as she is walking now.   If I go to see Mum in the afternoon I generally take my crochet with me and we will both work on whatever we are making and talk at the same time.  
I can't say how much I enjoy this!   

If you have always wanted to learn to knit or crochet just do it. With You Tube you just have to find a "learn to...." and a teacher you can follow.   In a day or two you are off and running.  It is so much fun.  I now use this to learn new patterns.   I find it wonderful to start a new design.   I usually have to stop and replay some bits over and over but soon you "get it" and then away you go.   
Somehow handiwork is so relaxing and good.   It absolutely contributes to me feeling happy and busy at home.  When you need a break from other work sitting down to do a few rows is lovely too.

There is something about rows and changing colours .... I will think "I will just finish this row"  or "I will just get to the colour change" and that motivates me to get just a little bit more done!  

My basket of wool sits right next to where I sit on the lounge ready to go.   

What are you making at the moment?   Does the time of year change what you are working on?
Next week we will have show and tell so if you have projects you would like to share please email me at brinkzi21@hotmail.com  I already have some amazing things to show you!  Everyone has been busy with so many good ideas.  

I hope your week is going well.  If you are in Australia enjoy the day off and remember the sacrifices paid for our freedom and those currently serving. xxx




Sunday 22 April 2018

The World Within our Walls. A proper day off.

When the girls were little we started a tradition of having a complete day off now and then which we called pyjama days.  I think this was influenced by my Mum who always said prevention is better than cure.   Mostly these were on the weekend.  If one of the girls appeared to be coming down with something then it was better to let them rest than to go to school and wait to get actually really sick.   So there were times I made the decision that a day of rest was best.  Usually this followed very early nights and other things but if these didn't work then the next thing was to try a day off.   Sometimes all three of us had these days too.  We loved them!  The kids would stay in pyjamas all day,  play, watch movies, snuggle up, have soup and generally a proper day off.   I would declare "you are having a pyjama day!" and this went over as the best thing ever!



From when the girls first started kindy, then school,  I found out what really overtired children were.  Children that fall asleep eating dinner.... one time Chloe fell asleep and her head fell in her bowl.  Drowning in your own bowl of food is definitely a sign of over tiredness lol.
Times when kids are crying and they don't know why.  Times when adults are crying and they don't know why either!
Sometimes it was just that feeling of being utterly run down or coming down with something.  Sometimes a crisis of some kind that meant really a quiet day would be a very good idea.
For all these reasons we would declare a pyjama day.   And Mum was right, prevention is better than cure.

Mum has kept everyone stocked with soft warm rugs. We always have some on the lounge.

There is an awful ad on TV here about someone very sick sneezing, coughing and spluttering germs and flu bugs wherever they go. The ad says "soldier on..." and shows them on public transport going to work enabled by a certain tablet.   Meanwhile they are spreading their bug to everyone around them and getting sicker probably!  I hate this ad and the message!   No! If at all possible stay home and keep your germs to yourself.  Look after yourself and do what you can to get better.
The first time I kept Chloe home from school for a day with sheer over tiredness I felt guilty.  The same when I thought she was just coming down with something.   But the results were so good and I think many times we averted getting really sick or run down.  Over the year it tuned out their school attendance was excellent and they got seriously sick very rarely.

Some of Mums work. 
When the girls were little they had pink and multi coloured rugs with sparkles in them.
Mum would put in little knitted pockets for small toys. 

I hope I instilled in them that we need to be aware of how we are feeling.  Are we overwhelmed, over extended, going down hill...  should be stop, re assess,  have a rest or get some extra sleep?
We often need an intervention ourselves... it might be the Doctor saying that we need a week off.  Sometimes then we listen, sometimes not!

I put on a quick chicken soup.  Lots of garlic is the key for germ fighting! 

Now I know there are times and circumstances when people cannot take time off.  The young Mum with several children might never be able to get a break when she needs it... amongst others.  And then there are jobs we fear losing etc.  but I am talking about when we do have the choice and can make these decisions.... there should be no guilt in declaring rest is needed.

People often say I get lots done.  I think I sometimes do but usually it is more the result of keeping at something in small bites and also bursts of activity when I can.  There are days where I just cannot keep going,  have a migraine or just feel too tired,  too overwhelmed.   To me a day off then is my best investment.  Put some soup in the slow cooker.   Drink lots of tea.  Read and write.  This is not a waste.  It is just the most sensible thing to do.

My husband will get very tired and keep going.   He has had tons to do and on Sunday afternoon he said he will keep working on a woodwork project.  I said to him I think he should just have the afternoon off.   And he did. He played music for the afternoon and I could see it did him good.

It is known that we need times of rest for our immune system.  God made no mistake declaring seven days one of which was to be a day of rest.   But many people do not get this day.
I learned a long time ago that if I pace my day and treat it as a job where I get tea breaks and a lunch break then overall I get so much more done.  You feel tired and take a tea break.  Then you are ready to do some more!    I think in the picture of a month or a year taking a day off is the same thing, overall maybe you will actually be more productive.  And sick less often.

These days of rest were times when the home as a sanctuary from the world was so important.   The girls would create a "nest" on the lounge with a blanket and a pillow.  A drink nearby and a plate of nibbles.  They would be so snug and comfy.  The house would smell of something cooking.  Nothing could be nicer and more comforting.   We need this so much sometimes.  Permission to do nothing but be restored.



I think a lot of terrible decisions have been made by people overtired, overwhelmed and worn out.  With time to rest, reflect, restore our chances at life are just much better.  This is not time wasted,  it is vital to re charge the batteries.  How often have you re thought something and seen it in a different light after some time to think on it?
Some of my biggest eye opening revelations have come when I have just stepped back and waited for a bit.  Then the penny drops...  something you never saw before becomes obvious.   I credit a quiet day and time out for some of the most important realisations and decisions!

Yesterday I had a day like this!   I planned, made lists, had cups of soup and tea.  Today I am ready to get going and hope to have a great week!

How is your home a sanctuary for the sick,  run down, anxious and sad times?  When I was little Mum would set us up on the lounge with a blanket and pillows, drinks and snacks and I loved it!

Have a wonderful week.  We have a public holiday mid week with Anzac Day.   And lots to do today! xxx






Thursday 19 April 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 20th April, 2018.

I started the week inspired by Sewingcreations, GardenPat, Kathy and others who consistently report incredibly productive weeks.  When I think of the word "diligent" I think of these girls and many of you!  There are blogs I read and that is what I like about them too.... they are busy getting stuff done!  

 I made a good plan on Sunday as I find doing this always helps my week and the last few I have not done that as I usually would.  That was first.  Then I hit the ground running on Monday.
This did help my week.  I arranged to go to see Hilde and shop the fruit and veggie shops and op shops near her.  This day of travelling further afield to shop always pays off.   The verse that says "she is like a merchant ship bringing home food from far away places"  comes to my mind even when I do a short trip like this!  For half an hours travel the savings are enormous.

Hilde and I had tea and exchanged recipes and plans!   We are both making Mimi's Limoncello recipe.  I am set with my lemons which we picked from her tree...


This is the lemon tree. It is hard to show that it is huge! 


The roof you can see on the right behind it is a really high roof as the house is on stilts!

We also picked herbs.  This is Hilde's parsley she has these everywhere as they have self seeded and come up in cracks...


I came home with herbs plus Thyme plants.   

In the local shops I bought hair products and colour at my usual amazing prices i.e. my hair colour for 33c a box (vs $19 each locally) and heaps of veggies.   I loaded up the car with Queensland Blue pumpkins,  sweet potatoes,  baby cucumbers for 99c a kilo (2.2 lb) and everything I need for lots of soup.

In the op shops I found six crystal glasses for $7.50 which was good as recently I broke a couple.
I always admire how Rosanne stocks up on household supplies in the thrift stores.  I have a list of things that I think are good to stock up on and one thing is sewing cottons.   These are surprisingly expensive here now.  
I found these...


They were all real cotton (not polyester) and each bag was 4 for $1.  Almost all of them were new full reels.

This is what I ended up with all 25c each...


Forty one reels all up!  I have never been so well stocked up!

Also I have been adding first aid books to each first aid kit.  I have one in Andy's van, one in my car.  I need another first aid book for the house.  I gave the girls each one for their own kits.  I do this because everyone relies on the internet for instructions assuming it will always be available and the power will always be on.   I found two very good home remedy books to add to my household medical cabinet for $3 each.


Having seen Rosanne's medical cabinet and followed her thrift shopping I was thinking she would be happy seeing these!   Thank you Rosanne for your encouragement! 

I also found in a new looking black box... a beautiful black Bible with gilt edges.  In perfect condition.  What a find!  I just love it. 

From that trip I also have a huge cauliflower that is becoming cauliflower cheese tonight.  
It was a wonderful day!

At home I had some other bargains including large Brie cheeses for $1.50.

My Flybuy points and vouchers came in the mail.  This is kind of the closest thing we get to coupons here.   I went online to redeem my points to dollars I can use in Coles. 


It turned out that I have $50 to spend!  I will turn that into at least $100 with half price items and specials.   So I am really pleased and I then sat and stuck my weekly vouchers into my diary for the next few months.  

I realised I have not been counting Andy's work lunches in my savings.  For a while he was working at home.  Now he works in the city in the mornings and at home from about mid afternoon and I am packing lunches again.  This saves $100 a week but he assures me most of the guys at work spend all over the $20 a day that I count.

I made a big curry in the crockpot and made a raita from Mum's mint and homemade yoghurt.


This gave us two dinners plus a meal to put in the freezer. It was so delicious! 

I need to add this all up for my Vicky Challenge.   Andy already added his up to be $440.   That is pretty darn good!

Today I am heading to Coles where I might convert my voucher to pantry goods if I see great deals... I have heard they are clearing many brands of shampoo and conditioner...  I decided I better check this out. 

I hope you had a good week.  How did you build up your nest,  get ahead or save?  
Have a wonderful weekend! xxx










Tuesday 17 April 2018

The Home Pharmacy. Essential oil gift making.

Early in this little series we covered how far a bottle of essential oil will actually go.  It is a long long way!   This means you might have sufficient oils on hand to make gifts and beauty supplies.

I have been dabbling a bit in both.  I keep hearing of people with great essential oil supplies that they have bought as some time and not used very much.  Turning these into gifts is a great idea, as well as putting them to work for you! We also might have oils that we love and work for us and others that sit there unused.... these might still be perfect for someone on your gift list or to go into a blend or even a cleaning product.

Someone told me about a site called Camp Wander.  I forget who and I am sorry I lost track, this is how things have been lately... well THANK YOU!  Her information and her products are amazing.  I wrote to her and but does not ship to Australia sadly.   The things I was learning studying sites like this led me to google lots of information on beauty products using essential oils and gifts too.

Because I am messing around with oils Chloe gave me a bottle of hemp oil.  No hemp is l not like weed lol it is a great source of Omega's and I was keen to try this!  It is an interesting very dark green...
Mum gave me a bootle of Emu Oil.  This is rather interesting. Unlike baby oil it is actually extracted from what it is called and I think they do not necessarily fully cooperate.  So that is a bit off putting.  (To say the least.)   But then I thought ok Emus are raised as meat in many places and I eat chicken, duck and turkey.... so I decided to think of it as a large turkey!  Emu's I might say do not look moist.  I had a close up view of one the other day as it ran in front of Dad and I in his ute.  We missed it by about one inch I think!  Anyway I have this oil and Mum is saying this has helped her sore knee more than anything she has tried so far.  And that is a lot of things.

On Camp Wander she has a beauty serum she called Ultimate beauty Serum.  The ingredients are listed and so you have the basic recipe.  As it turned out the number one ingredient was Emu oil.
If you search the internet for serum recipes you will find many with Macadamia nut oil and others.  I think you can successfully substitute oils.  Mimi has her recipe here which as Vitamin E, Neroli and Jasmine.    Most beauty products you buy are full of fillers and preservatives. the actual active and good ingredients are usually well down the list.  Most times the jar has cost them more to produce than the actual product.  With good ingredients we can replicate many of them and make a better quality version.
The Camp Wander ingredients were seven things and I have five so I made this up for myself.


The ingredients I used were Emu oil (most by far) Lavender 4 drops,  Frankincense 3 drops,  Geranium 3 drops, Rose 3 drops.  The bottle is a small bottle I think maybe 50 mls.  Anyway this is so nice!  It leaves your skin feeling heavenly and with a velvety texture. Not oily at all, just like silk.  I love it and so I thought given serums are $50 to over $100 then it is a lovely gift too.

The next one I made was Hemp and Lavender.


This is sold as a antimicrobial,  it is good for nails,  known to reduce redness and eczema, anti inflammatory and antioxidant and anti ageing... (what more do you need, really?!) oh and full of Omega 3 and 6.  Then bonus... it can be used to remove eye make up and at the same time moisturise your lashes and make them grow better.   So I made up some of these.  And it does remove eye makeup beautifully and you then feel as if you have moisturised already.


I made up some gift packs of both oils and I am thrilled with the treats I have made myself.

In an earlier post I showed how I made cleaning products and hand wash with On Guard oil blend and used this pack as a gift.  I made room sprays and hand sanitiser and these all add up to very nice themed presents also.

Last week I made two gifts using my oils.  You have to be the judge of who you think a gift like this is suitable for but I think anyone who is into natural therapies, has a particular health issue, is interested in alternative medicine... they might really appreciate something like this.  Chloe first gave me some blends she made up to try and this is what got me started.  I am so grateful as it lead to so much more!

Here with  Autumn setting in anything that fights germs and flu is a well timed gift.  I gave Allie two little rollers of On Guard and a cold and flu blend for breathing...


So far I have ordered my roller bottles with metal rollers from Amazon. They have cost $20 or so for a dozen.  This is where I get them from here.

I made my stressed and worried friend some relaxing and sleep blends and packaged them into cute little paper bags.


I also made Vanilla Spray.  This is with Vanilla Essential oil and it smells amazing.  It could be a perfume or a fridge spray.  I made some for both purposes...


In the war years my Nanna and her friend used Vanilla essence as perfume. They both ended up with brown patches behind their ears but still they smelled really good!   I love Vanilla and this is a stronger version than an essence.

Finally I made up some spray purse sized bottles.  I found these thanks to Mimi!  You can find them here.  For around $1 each they come in pretty colours.  I used half vodka and half water in these and made up a heap of germ busing sprays plus perfume sprays!  I go by ten drops of essential oil to one bottle.  I have found these suitable for purse perfume, sanitiser, On Guard mist, calming blend...



They are just lovely.  To make a perfume spray just go by scents you love.  You can google the main ingredients of any perfume and it will tell you what it is made up of.  I also made a sort of copy of Clarycalm which I love and that has Clary Sage, Lavender and others.  I really like that one.  That is a doTERRA Blend that I recommend as it is so calming.  It could be called Crisis Care! 

Since all of this I have ordered some other items on Ebay, some little velvet bags to put small bottles in and some lovely rollerball glass containers.  

You might have essential oils and carrier oils already on hand to be able to make up gifts and put them to good use for yourself.  If you have something and you are just not sure what to do with it then google away!  Many things are amazingly versatile and have many uses and something will be good for you or good for gift giving.   Look around and see how much these things cost ready made!  It is a lot! 
I just realised this is a Christmas Challenge, Money Saving, Beauty and Essential Oil post all in one!  

I will be making some more gift and beauty products so we will have more on this!
Do you have supplies you could put to use?
If you have an oil and don't know what to do with it then please post in comments as between us we will come up with ideas!
And if you have a recipe using essential oils for something beauty or gift related or an idea on this please share.  

Today is sunny and lovely. I am going to see Hilde and having a bargain hunting afternoon.  Mainly I am hoping for lots of veggies for soups and stews.  But I never know what I will find and I know Hilde has a basket of lemons for me and bunches of Thyme.  I have printed some of Mimi's recipes for her as I know she will love them (she doesn't use the internet...)

I hope your week is going well! xxx



Sunday 15 April 2018

The World Within our Walls. A day of catching up.

When life is busy there is nothing as nice as getting a whole day to yourself at home.  No appointments,  errands, shopping,  just a whole day to do whatever you want.   This can be hard to achieve and although I like a day like this home alone I still count days when Andy is home too as he will get on with his projects and I will get on with mine.   When the girls were little it was the same thing,  they were good at being occupied and I would create something for them to do while I could get on with my day at home plans!

I call this my catching up day.  I love them.  I can get through a whole list of odd jobs that have been waiting.   These mount up!   The kind of day when you attend to the pile on the corner of the counter, pay bills,  wrap a present and write a card,  return emails, look for the thing you can't find,  put photos into albums,  clean the dishwasher and fold the sock mountain.  This kind of thing!
By the end of the day you feel caught up and so organised.  If I am still going strong late afternoon I will clean out the inside of my car.   This feels like extra points!

Usually I will have written a list and enjoy crossing things off.  Such satisfaction!  Also I will just go along steadily and have cups of tea now and then before tackling the next thing.  So I really enjoy it!

The overall affect of a day like this on the house and running of things is fantastic!  I will go to bed at night feeling so happy that I am on top of things rather than the other way around.

If I can end the day with clear counter tops (this is one of my big problems!)...




Washed floors...


A clean and fresh fridge...  (that smells of vanilla!)


And a house that smells good!  (This just adds to it for me.)  THEN it was a fantastic day! 

If I have time another thing I love to do is refresh flowers.   I like a lot of flowers.   I usually have a mix of fresh, dried and fake.   Now and then they all need a change around and re doing but this is lovely especially if I have found something to add to what I have.   Sometimes I will have found a new vase or basket, usually in the op shops.   Some of my best ones are huge and have been a good shape that I have spotted but a hideous colour or design so I just paint the whole thing.  This has given me great vases for a couple of dollars at the most.



If I am having this kind of day usually I have put the slow cooker on early or have a freezer meal thawing.  Then dinner is easy and done!

The benefits of an odd job and cleaning day are huge.   Realistically maybe we can only get half a day sometimes.   I plot to get whole days and when I look at my planner I can see I just do not have one free day and cancel something if possible or try and group things together so I can be home more.  This week is good so far.  I have two free days... one I think I will use to go see Hilde and stock up on bargain veggies to make some soups!  The other I hope will be a stay home catch up day.

Often after a day home someone will ask you what you did.  At that point your mind goes blank and you say "nothing" or fail to even come up with an answer....   as if housework is nothing.   But that isn't true!   Building up your home makes you feel good and blesses your family.   
In Laines Letters I noticed Laine would write down everything she did.  When her husband came home rather than say "nothing"  she would tour him around her achievements.  Often he would be impressed!  He knew she was busy working and they were a team! 

If you are more up with things than me a whole day home can give you the chance to re arrange the pantry or cook up some freezer emergency meals.  And sometimes you also need a day home to just rest.   An actual day of nothing lol!   These are all subject coming up!  

Do you love a day like this?   Or do you conquer all the extra little things in bite sized chunks of time?  There are times when we also have to do that.  We might have a day of cleaning and call it Spring or Autumn Cleaning... the change of seasons always makes me want to get stuck into things that need doing and kind of freshen things up. 

Have a wonderful week.   True Autumn has returned, we have beautiful rain and I have a basketful of new crochet yarn! xxx





Thursday 12 April 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 13th April. 2017.

It was a much more normal week and I had lots of catching up to do.  The wheels really fall off when not home enough!  Also it was hot.  We have had this late burst of heat and then there was grass fires around the city and on Wednesday we were in a blanket of smoke.  It stank too!
Finally it is cool again!  There wouldn't be anyone who liked the weather his week!

Yesterday I got busy washing as we are told rain is coming sometime today....  we need rain desperately.  The garden needs it, the farm needs it.  Chloe is almost out of rain water.  All the drinking water on the farm is rain water.

This week I made some cup cakes.  Half were for Andy's lunches and half were for Harper.  These ones were Harpers not Andy's!


I recycle the cake toppers endlessly,  Lucy gives them back to me.  I have Princesses,  fairies, ballerinas in several colours.


I stewed some Quinces in the slow cooker.  They start out lemon in colour and rock hard.  After slow cooking they come out pink.  They are beautiful and I had stewed fruit for my deserts and breakfast.



I finally finished a cotton baby rug and it is ready to post. 


Now I need to start a new project!

I had two days where I just stayed home and caught up.  These were beautiful days.

Andy made an enclosure for the chickens as in the winter they have no sense and stand in the rain and get soaked so we are putting them under cover.

I got out my winter boots and shoes and cleaned and polished them up.  I spent a while on it but they came up looking brand new! 

Yesterday I spent an hour or so making up some essential oil blends for gifts.   For my niece (it is her birthday today) I made winter essentials.... On Guard and a cold/sniffles blend.  
For my friend who wants to try essential oils I made the things she is asking for... something to help with stress, relaxation, sleep.   I made a Clary Sage and lavender blend,  Lavender Peace and Console.
This all was fun and so relaxing.  The house smelled glorious.   


I packaged them into these gorgeous little paper bags... (love these!)


Once you are set up with oils yourself it is very inexpensive to make up some blends as gifts.  A roller blend is $30+ to buy... but you can make them for about $2.   I am going to do a post on using your essential oils as presents soon.  I already did this with Chloe's Easer gift which was all germ busting cleaners and sprays.  So my supplies now are giving me so much more than just medical uses.

Yesterday Scarlett started walking!  So excited about this! 😊

Today I am going to a wedding dress fitting with Chloe!  And we are having lunch together.  Then we are having dinner with Allie.  I already baked her a banana birthday cake.   So if rain comes over the weekend this will be perfect.  

This was my week!  It was really nice! 
How did you build up your home,  increase your pantry,  save or get ahead?  
Have a wonderful weekend. xxx










Tuesday 10 April 2018

Saving with Vicky, Part 2.

Last week were were talking about points, coupons and massive savings that can really help build up the pantry and gift cupboard.  These can vary a lot depending on where we live and I have always felt I miss out as Australia does not have coupons in the way the USA does.  However thank you to everyone who helped with last weeks tips and ideas and as a result I have found many more things here in Australia than I knew about before!  Also there were great tips on saving up Flybuy points and converting them to loads of pantry stock with good shopping and buying specials and great deals.  When we have points to spend HOW we spend them is as important as collecting them in the first place!

As far as actual coupons and coded go there is a great page on An Organised Housewife.  This has amazing offers to brands like Sheridan,  Mecca and hundreds more.  Some of the best deals are on the initial page here.  On the right you can click and find alphabetical listings of most well known stores and find the store you want to buy from.  This way you can grab a current voucher to just about any shop.  i.e. today I can grab 40% from Adairs or  $10 off a Coles order.  It is just endless.   Now I need to remember to check here before buying or ordering from anyone.  This constantly changes and is updated.

Finder.com.au is easy as you just type in what you are looking for and the sales come up.
There is a good article here at The Thrifty Issue with great ways for the Aussie readers to save on just about anything you are needing to purchase.   Certainly the number one tip is probably to use the internet to do the work for you.  Once we had to go store to store to compare prices and now it takes minutes yet these minutes can save you a small fortune.
I once thought sales and discounts extended to clothes, electrical items and bigger things where as now I know the price you pay for a prescription from the Chemist can vary enormously.  This can amount to thousands a year all up.   So a compare around initially is a really good idea even on things you think or assume are a "set" price.

I can recommend Appliances online.  In recent years we have bought a couple of things from them after checking around.  They are amazing and we have been so happy.  Best service ever!

There are many discount online stores...  Catch seems one that has consistently amazing deals.
With considering a country move I am investigation delivery costs and options in a whole new way..


Now over to Vicky...

I am continuing with revisiting our saving strategies and resources and hope to cover as many as possible. First I would like to say that I by no means want to discourage anyone and I whole heartedly believe that savings of any kind is good and even though some things may not be available to us now they just might later so knowing a little isn't a bad thing. Also I do well for my household and needs, but I know others do much better by what's available in their areas. Extreme couponing is not for me because it was never my goal to have 1,000 boxes of cereal, just to stock the pantry and stretch the grocery budget as much as possible.

As I stated in the last post I have found that when I lose one way to save I can often pick up another. I will address coupons in another post for this one I would like to talk about Ibotta! 
Since everything seems to be going digital or programs changing I have lost some things for example Kelloggs Rewards are easy. You sign up, link your cards and whenever you buy a product you get points. Plus they send you bonus points in emails.



The reason I lost part of it as a savings is because codes used to be printed in the packages and dumpster diving netted me a lot of extra codes. Coke changed their rewards and I too got the $5 Amazon gift cards at Christmas, but it's mostly sweepstakes anymore and not the coupons and gift cards that it used to be. So I picked up Ibotta! It is easy and if you make sure to only purchase items you normally buy it is a good way to get a little back so if you are not familiar give it a look see. You click on the offers you may purchase and if you do you get a little back.



I hang onto free coupons until they are close to expiring for some because what I am doing is waiting to see if I can turn them into a little better deal and here is an example:
I had 2 coupons for a free box of the hair color and there was an offer on Ibotta to get $2.50 for buying a box. I went to CVS and scanned my card at their coupon machine and it gave me a $2 off 2 boxes of hair color coupon. I didn't know for sure if it would work with my other coupons since they were for free items, but just in case I added 2 bags of $1.49 candy for Easter. All of the coupons went through so it basically paid for $2 of the candy and my total was .98 and I got $2.50 in my Ibotta account. 
One of the other ways I save is Swagbucks. I use the gift cards I earn to help stock things like toilet paper, cat litter or if I need canning jars or to buy clearance items online or even to just give as gift cards. How much you earn depends on how much time you want to put into it. Some years I have a lot of extra time and can earn quite a bit and some years not much and that's fine with me because in my mind even just a few extra dollars is more than I had before.



I have more, but I thought if we went along slowly it would give time for anyone who is new to be able to take things in and not get overwhelmed. I hope that is alright. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
XOXO
Vicky

Thank you Vicky!  Last week Kelsey mentioned she does well from Ibotta also.
Teresa wrote to me and she had found beautiful kids design pencils on an Easter clearance.  Although they had no actual Easter images on them they were in the Easter stuff and went out for 10c a dozen.  So she just stocked up her gift cupboard with four dozen of these for a whole 40c.    Very often I see amazing post seasonal holiday clearances.  Last year after Fathers Day I got beautiful mens note books that said "Notes of a genius" on the front.  I added these to Christmas gifts and they caused a fair bit of laughter. haha They were $7 originally I think and out for 50c... so into the gift cupboard they went!

I hope your week is going well!   I am heading off to Aldi today.  I have a date with Harper and we are going to the toy store to study doll houses! xxx