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 12 July 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 13th July, 2018.

Thank you everyone for the great comments on Wednesday's Home Pharmacy post.  I will try to catch up on replies over the weekend.   Also can Shirley who contacted Karen Morris  please re email her... Karen messaged me that for some reason her reply to you keeps bouncing back to her.  She does not want you to think she has not replied!

This week our new mattress arrived!   I was so excited!  It came sealed and wrapped in giant plastic bags which I kept to re wrap it when we move house.
From night one we both noticed the difference in our sleep and comfort.  Just wow!
While everything was taken apart I washed the wool underlay and amazingly got it dry on the line as we had a full sunny day.

Some of the ways I saved and got ahead this week were:

With my phone contract a few weeks back I was able to get a free upgrade to a newer phone.  So I always take that right away.  I sold my old phone this week and amazingly got $260!

I made a dozen quiches in king size muffin trays.   I use ham or bacon in place of pastry.  They are really nice for breakfast or lunch.

I still have a lot of lemons so I made up a batch of Lemon Butter.   It is quite quick when you make it in the microwave.

It is so beautiful with all the yellow ingredients of the lemons (9) eggs and butter.

I love citrus in winter I think it seems so bright and cheery.  I say these are jars of sunshine!

I made melting moments, half were gluten free and half were normal flour.

A tin of these were for Chloe and Luke...

These remind me of biscuits my Nan used to make. She always had pale pink icing in the middle.  My baking used up some ingredients in my use it up challenge.

 I made Harper and Scarlett cup cakes before heading around there to see them...

I found two huge bargains for the present cupboard. Two good gifts for $2 each, marked down from $30!   Into the stash they go!

Later I found another gift for a child also for $2. 

I made two batches of yoghurt.

This week we had a major plumbing problem but Andy fixed it himself thankfully!
I also cut Andy's hair.

I made up some essential oil roller balls as a gift.  I made one set up as relaxation, sleep and calming blends and another as cold, flu and immunity blends.

These are so easy to make and have a high retail value but now that I have supplies on hand they do not cost very much to make.   Also I find it lovely to have the oils out and it makes me feel wonderful for the whole day as I will dab on things I love! 

I think that is about it!   Today I am having lunch with Chloe then heading off to her wedding dress fitting.  The sun is shining too! 

How did you build up your nest this week? 

I found  this lovely quote this week but I do not know who to attribute it to.
I thought this is the Proverbs 31 woman!

She's a dreamer
A Doer,
A thinker,
She sees possibilities everywhere.

That is us!  There are possibilities everywhere.  Take every opportunity!  
Learn new skills and put the word out there for things you are needing.   One of my new skills (kind of!) is using the oven much less and small appliances much more.  Mainly to save electricity.  I have had a week of cooking dinner in small appliances instead of the oven and with great success!  A small appliance is also easier to clean than a dirty oven!  Bonus!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. We have had a prayerful week here. The two dear friends who died in the last three weeks leave behind grieving spouses who are dear to us, Another dear friend has been horribly sick and our daughter in Germany has been so homesick. I have had a slow week of hurting and praying for these and others. We have eaten easy meals since it is so very hot here and spend no money on groceries. My husband saved us money by making a repair on the camper van himself. One day we took our lunch to the lake park where it is pleasant even on a hot day. This weekend we will celebrate the first birthday of our youngest grandchild who is named after my husband. More and more we realize just how short life is and how much we need to value the time. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, I'm sorry to hear of the sadness at your end. Prayers are with you all. Mimi xxx

    2. Yes, Lana, ditto Mimi’s sentiments. Prayers for you and yours.

      Kelley on Guam, USA

    3. Lana, So sorry to hear of all the losses, prayers for All. May the Lord comfort those left behind.

    4. Dear Lana, I am sorry for such a sad time. It must be very hard when your daughter is so homesick. I think that would be very hard. I know you are doing all you can to help her through it. I imagine as I hate being away from family. I dont do separation well at all. You need to take care of yourself at this time as all this grief plus illness is a lot to deal with. I am so glad you have a very special first birthday to celebrate! That will be lovely. Big hugs from me. And prayers. Love

    5. Sending you love and prayers, Lana. Lots of love, Bridge

    6. Thank you all. Our daughter's homesickness is compounded by those who died being special to her, too. It is so hard when I get a Facebook message and she tells me she has been crying all day. Their work there is flourishing and a new church has been planted so she knows they are where God would have them to be but it is still hard to be so far away.

    7. Lana, what a terrible amount of grief to deal with. I’m so sorry. Fi

    8. Dear Lana, Im late reading this as I have been away two weeks , but feel for you and your daughter . Prayers and hugs for you both , love Maria xxxooo

  2. All your food looks delicious! Great deals for your presents too.
    It usually takes us both awhile to get used to a new bed. Yours must be great! Have a great week!

    1. Thanks Vickie! Yes its a good bed, settled right in. We both have been feeling much better plus waking up less! Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

  3. Annabel,

    It’s all wonderful!

    We love out toaster oven. In fact, we plug it in outside in the garage so all the heat can stay out there. (We live on Guam where the average temperature is 80F year-round.). We use our Crock Pots and our turkey roaster out there, too. Marvelous little handmaidens!


    1. Dear Kelley, In summer here the last thing we need is the oven on... you have it year round! I am learning how to get around this issue plus save electricity.
      I love learning new stuff! Have a wonderful weekend! Love

  4. What a lovely week you had! I'm so glad you're happy with your new mattress.
    We hosted out of town guests for just one night; this gave me an excuse to really clean the kids' rooms, as adults and teens would be sleeping there, and we had all the little kids sleep in a big blanket fort in the living room. Also this week, we picked and froze enough tart cherries from our backyard tree to make 9 pies or crisps! Our raspberries and strawberries are producing enough for our breakfast each morning. We checked our honeybees and they have started storing extra honey that we can take at the end of the season, so that is exciting. We are entering the part of summer that is a lot of work but that really pays off as we can enjoy it all winter long!

    1. Dear Leigh, I generally find visitors make me do all kinds of extra cleaning and organising. You did well and I bet the kids loved their fort! Kids love this kind of thing!
      Cherries, strawberries and raspberries... beautiful. The fruit to me is the best thing of summer. I love that you have bees! In cooperation with friends we hope to keep bees at the farm. Honey is wonderful. Also expensive! I love that it keeps. A stockpile of honey would always be a very good thing to have. I know how the end of summer work is... sometimes for me it is peaches, nectarines etc. But it is worth it and a short time. So wet done on getting so much done! With love

  5. A lovely week for you Annabel! Those quiches and yoyos look absolutely mouth watering! I had a whole day of cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry, and baking and making do this week. I started to clean out the fridge on Wednesday, thinking I needed to do a grocery shop as is our habit. But once I started looking, I realised that if I made yoghurt, baked bread (I just came up with a great Gluten Free Artisanal loaf recipe), and made treats, all I needed was milk, eggs and fruit. We'd also been gifted some passionfruit and lemons, so I made passionfruit curd and lemon curd, like yours. So quick and easy, as you say, and we just love it, even if Daughter does call it 'curdle' You'll be amazed at what a difference a new mattress makes. Unbelievable! Your gift bargains sound wonderful too. Have a lovely weekend. Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi,

      I too cleaned out the ref as we are flying to the US mainland for over a month. It dawned on me that, since we moved into this rental exactly two years ago, hmm? Have I even cleaned out this ref EVER like this?!?! Dr. Laura Moore teaches to turn your shame into embarrassment and when you’re there, you can take action and do something about it. Love that. Even Good Husband said, “The ref looks great, Babe.” Reward enough for me!

      I also chopped up and froze celery in 1/2-cup portions. Savings!

      Wish we could grow such beautiful lemons and fruit here on Guam. Marvelous!


    2. Dear Mimi, Your bread recipe could go global. Seriously with the price of GF stuff... it is amazing. I have gf pizza crust going today. I saw these are almost $8 each in Coles... this is base no topping.
      As it turns out I am working on the fridge and freezer... so my pizza will have cheese from the freezer, bacon from the freezer... tomato paste.. from the freezer! I love this, kind of like a free meal. Should leave least overs too.
      A bit of inventiveness with what we have can be hugely productive. With the curd I think we are living in a parallel universe! With love

  6. Annabel, the change when we bought our new bed was felt from the first night in it. No more bad hip pain for me nor back pain for hubby. I don't think beds last that long though as ours haven't been cheap ones. It is worth the expense though to be pain free.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, This is the same here! I was slow to catch on I thought it was just me! I agree... to be pain free, sleep well, be refreshed, it is vital. I am going to not let so many years go by from now on. I hope you are having a lovely weekend. We have sunshine here so very nice, with love

  7. Hi Annabel and isn't it wonderful having a handy husband who can do repairs on things without hiring a tradesman which costs a fortune. Your baking as usual looks divine and great pickups on the gifts for such good prices :).

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

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $248.40 this week :).

    Earnings -
    - Earned $44.69 from the sale of thyme picked and dried from the gardens and saved capsicum seeds from the gardens through my eBay internet shop.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 7 x 250 g of strawberries on special saving $4.38.

    Blessings -
    - After having a smashing good time with a couple of recycled jars I had here due to really cold sub zero temperatures here on jam making I texted 2 close friends living within a couple of blocks of me who supplied me with 12 washed out and recycled jars & lids they had saving $12 over purchasing them in the shops. We now have adopted a warm up jars with hot tap water and then putting the jars and lids in and filled with boiling water and emptying them out just before pouring the hot jam in them. Bingo no broken jars due to very low winter temperatures and another case of we live and learn new skills and techniques :).

    Trading -
    - Traded 46 g garden picked and dried French lavender, 28 g of English lavender, 21 g of marigold (calendula) flowers and 100 g of dried rubbed oregano and 26 g of dried tarragon from excess pantry stocks for 3 x 44 g lavender lip balms, 1 x 25 g of chocolate lip balm, 3 x 10 g lavender lip balms and 1 x 10 g of vanilla lip balm saving less postage $65.92 over purchasing them locally. Thank you lovely fellow bluebird :).

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 26.56% of the way there.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 12 jars or 3.608 kg for $21.31 from some home grown and some purchased strawberries and free lemon juice given to us by a friend saving $38.58 over purchasing it in the supermarkets for an equivalent quality. 2 jars will go to the ladies that kindly supplied us with the jars as a thank you.
    - Made 2.8 kg of homemade honey,oat,coconut,almond and sultana granola from items in the pantry saving $28.69 less expenses over purchasing the same quality in the shops.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 1.127 kg of cherry tomatoes saving $11.27 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    - Separated thyme picked and dried from the gardens making 319 g saving $42.87 over purchasing similar organic dried herbs in our local shops.
    - Picked another huge lot of thyme, English and French lavender from the gardens which we are drying for sale and home use.
    - Saved a lot of marigold seeds from the gardens to replant into another garden bed around the house.

    Hope everyone has had an equally wonderful week :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, Yes it is, working in cooperation and as a team... if we can do this we sure achieve a lot and what an asset a handyman is!
      It is a lovely idea to give something back to the ladies that gave you jars. I have used this principal with people who give me fruit. I bet you get more are next year too as people appreciate thanks and kindness so much.
      You did amazing from your thyme! Wow! This is all adding up!
      Speaking of a smashing time.... I cracked the inner of my big slow cooker. It was my own fault and now I wont do that again... I heated it up and forgot about it with nothing in it... then I added stuff and it cracked. I use this big one so much as it will do a whole leg of ham. :(
      I am very happy about your trading! That is wonderful!
      You are really reaping a lot from all your hard work. Soon I am hoping for a garden I can show you since you have inspired me so much!
      Have a great new week! With much love

    2. Annabel thank you for your encouragement :).

      Sorry to hear about your crock pot inner and hope you can pick one up either second hand or from the manufacturer. If you can't get one second hand I always find emailing the manufacturer works and they usually keep spares there to sell.


  8. Annabel, your mini quiches look divine, I will have to try using ham instead of foil cupcake paper.

    Our week here was started in traveling back home after my husband taught classes over the weekend. I of course brought a good bag full of hotel items I saved. For a 3 night stay I was amazed, 12 paper coffee cups with lids & 15 plastic cups(all individually wrapped. 14 coffee pods, 12 regular tea, 14 lemon & ginger tea, 9 bars of soap (no idea why they put out 3 bars per day. 3 each of shampoo, conditioner and lotion. I also brought home 6 Chobani yogurt and 3 cartons of milk. The milk saved us from going to the grocery store for 2 days.
    When we finally did go grocery shopping I was able to pull sales and matching coupons together to purchase $112 in merchandise for $26. In that trip $6 was spent for 6 pints of blueberries that went in the freezer pantry for the winter, at a savings of $6 in itself.

    Being stuck in a hotel room for 2 days I put the time to use and finished off one Christmas Present of a kitchen ensemble. It included 2 potholders, 2 pot lid holders, 2 pan handle holders, one dishcloth, 1 Swiffer duster cover and 1 bottle/jar washer and 2 towel holders that hang off of kitchen cabinet knobs.

    Adding to my gift pantry and home pantry this last week made me feel a bit accomplished even with time lost on the road.

    Hoping you have a Wonderful time with Chloe at dress fitting.

    1. Dear Rosanne, I love to have coffee cups etc for travel and also any time water of power is down, very handy!
      You do amazingly on the sales and coupons. I am glad you put the motel time to good use. Having things to work on is so good. No time is wasted.
      Your gift cupboard will be looking good! Have a lovely weekend. You probably have catching up to do at home! With much love

  9. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, those quiches and cookies look yummy! I hope you have fun with wedding dresses!

    This week's efforts:
    Cooking and food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were brought from home. I baked brownies for snacking and made a big roast with rice and butternut squash picked from our garden. Our local store had unbelievable prices on cherries - 98 cents a pound, so I bought lots for snacking and may bake with some, too.

    Household: I framed a finished cross-stitch piece and my husband hung it and another one for me. Both bathrooms got a good cleaning, as did our floors, and the dining room furniture was pampered with lemon oil.
    My husband put together an organizer system that holds all of my stitching magazines - it is the perfect size to stay in the closet next to the organizer that holds my stitching supplies. It is so nice to have everything in one place, and space for other things!
    We added a tourniquet with windlass to our medical supplies - it seems like a good thing to have, especially given some of the happenings of late.

    Entertainment: We enjoyed books from our home library, and I went for several rides this week. I also did my own clipping & "spa" day for my mare - $150 saved (and I think she likes the extra fussing).

    Shopping: We found some beautiful foiled wrapping paper for $3 for a big roll; I bought two, and now we are stocked up on wrapping supplies. A trip to the thrift store yielded a big book of cross-stitch patterns for $2.99; some are dated, but there were several patterns with sunflowers and garden themes that I just loved. They will make nice home decor and gifts when stitched!

    Crafts & gifts:
    My husband tweaked my lapstand so that I can rotate the piece 360 degrees to start and end threads - super handy!
    I gave a like-new book to a friend (saved $15). We went out for coffee together and had a really nice time - it turns out that she loves to refinish furniture and wants to learn to knit, so we are going to help each other learn these things!
    I put some stitches into my Halloween cross-stitch and into knitting a laceweight shawl, socks, and a scarf. Little by little gets the job done!

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy, What a deal on cherries. I saw cherries last summer for $22 a kilo. There are 2.2 pounds to a kilo. Later I did get a big bag on special but not your price!!
      I always stock up on wrapping paper when I see one I like that is versatile at a good price! You never have to go looking then when you need it.
      Your embroidery supplies sound well organised, your husband is so helpful. Crafts are the hardest area to organise for me!
      Your friend and you exchanging skills will be fantastic! Also this is good fun. When you finish your projects do show me if you can! I will do show and tells again when I can.
      The brownies and roast sound beautiful. It is a while since I made brownies but with cool weather I have been doing roasts. It is good having roast meat for the lunches etc as well.
      I hope you have another great week! With much love,

  10. Dear Annabel & Bluebirds,
    Annabel, how do you use the lemon butter? We have something called lemon curd - I guess it's the same thing. I use it for fillings in cakes and other sweets.

    Sometimes I have a problem with my quiches or custards releasing liquid after it cools. Am I putting too much liquid to eggs? (I'm one of those "don't really measure" cooks) I just drain off the liquid and serve, but if there's a solution to avoid it, I'd rather do that. If I put veggies in, I always make sure they're cooked and as dry as possible.

    I can see everyone has been really busy. I've been baking muffins, etc. and making jam, using up blueberries and blackberries. I've dried extra tomatoes from the garden and stored them in olive oil. I've been careful to plan so no leftover food goes to waste. If I can't see a near-term use, it goes to the freezer for a future pie, soup, stuffing, etc.
    In the evenings I try to keep busy with needlework while we watch tv. I was inspired years ago when I read about a grandmother who would knit socks as she walked to town! No idle hands there! Don't think I'm coordinated enough for that, but I try to do things like needlework, snapping beans, and other things in my "down" time.

    Happy weekend to all,

    1. Dear Phyllis, I think Lemon Butter and Lemon Curd are the same... I also fill cakes, pies etc with it.
      I am a dont really measure cook too! I will have the liquid issue sometimes in quiches with veggies. So I cook bacon, veggies etc first to get rid of liquid. You could try increasing your egg ratio a little. Otherwise all I can think of is let cool completely at room temperature.... possibly take out of tins when you can and sit on a cooling rack or paper towel even, then refrigerate?
      I also use my down time! If I am sitting I am crocheting or something. Also if Andy is driving or I am in a waiting room or something I take things to do. I write letters at the dr surgery she is always late. One time I did y whole tax return! haha! this is true! When I went in she said sorry Im so late. I said thats ok I got my tax return done!
      I dont think I could walk and knit though! But I would be game on a bus or train!
      I do not believe in being idle. Rest is good but hours in front of the tv are just a waste to me... even if we make rugs for orphanages or nursing homes we can be doing something.
      Phyllis we could happily sit and chat and work on something together I think! With love

  11. You are all so inspiring! As a newer reader and commenter, can I ask, who is Vicky? I've tried to find a previous post with the info. Anyway, I wonder when you all are doing the Vicky challenges.
    I had some leftover cream cheese and found a recipe for cream cheese cookies this week, so I made a double batch, and froze some. Our microwavable lavender-filled pack for easing sore muscles got several holes in it. My husband said he'd go get another one, but I sewed it up and it is as good as new. I love getting gel nails at the salon, especially since I have a couple nails with splits that will not heal. But it is so expensive, and last week they cut my cuticle and it bled. No more. I will go back to the glue-on nails which actually look pretty nice, and save a ton of money!
    Thanks for allowing me to share, and for helping me to do better in my housekeeping. As I shared before, now that my children have grown, I've become a little lazy, and I'm grateful for the inspiration shared here. xo Deborah

    1. Dear Deborah, Ok here is a link to get you started that explains the Vicky Challenge. there is also a link in this post to another page to read. This will explain! Then if you want to read more there is The Vicky Challenge in the index on the right of my page. I hope you will like this. I find it hugely motivating every single week I add up my Vicky Challenge. I never could earn so much money as I do at home as working outside I would have work related expenses, tax etc. Your savings are not taxed!
      My husband gets splits in his nails. It is worth mentioning the to your dr. as funny things with nails can be to do with heart or lungs. Otherwise it can just be nutrition and calcium can help nails a lot. But once you get a split it is hard as it catches on things and so on. So you have to protect it and hope it will grow out..
      Thank you for your encouragement! Each week you will find yourself busier and busier. Busy is good, there is so much to do and so little time! Have a wonderful weekend, with love,

    2. Thank you Annabel. I will check out those links. Also probably a good idea to check with my doctor re my nails. xo

  12. Annabel,
    Your cooking looks yummy like always and you did amazing finding such mark downs on gifts for your stash. Also $260 for your phone how wonderful! I hope you are sleeping much better with the new mattress a good sleep makes all the difference on busy days. I had a big boost to add to my savings this week I was sent a Kohler bath tub to review! I looked up the cost and it is $1247.00! I was shocked. Seeing as how we have been talking about doing a reno to the one bathroom it is perfect timing and a huge blessing! I also got a $25 grocery store gift card and used that for a few things and put $25 cash from the grocery budget into the emergency fund. I cut Rick's hair $10, sold 4 dozen eggs $8, hung all laundry out to dry. I also got a $5 Walmart gift card for a survey, got several free samples in the mail including 3 coupons for free items that ended up being money makers by using Ibotta. I did a one hour live chat about a local hospital and got $30 and I painted a little crate that I got out of my son's burn pile and painted it using what I have on hand. If I have to use the oven I fill it up and do all of the baking at once. Rick found 10 cents LOL! I put it under found money in my savings. It may only be 10 cents, but it's tax free and got added to the change jar that is our mini savings. Rick made enough to pay all of the bills so that is done for the month oh and I found pasta and jars of pasta sauce on clearance for .50 each so I added 4 boxes of pasta and 4 jars of sauce to the pantry. 2 of the sauces were 4.48 a jar so the total savings for all was $14.96. Everything in the garden is doing so well that I think I may be canning in about 3 weeks! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky, Thank you for your words of help to Patti.
      I am going better on the new mattress. Unless I start thinking about moving!
      It must have been hair cutting week!
      That is great Rick did really well. You are ahead! And soon you will have so many veggies coming in! You will be busy but it is going to fill your pantry and give you so much fresh produce!
      I hope you have a great new week! With lots of love,

  13. Hi Annabel lovely week at your house you always make such beautiful things.Kristi sent you an email. We are still in prayer for my health. It has been over 4 months and the doctors still don't know what's wrong. Please pray for Kristi she works full time and has been doing everything at home too. We think it might be some kind of mites maybe fat and bird and also some kind of nematode or microscopic worm. I have bite from the top of head to my feet. They are even in my hair and eye's. Lots and lots of extra cleaning has to be done every day. The docs in the USA are not very informed about parasites. I am praying for healing. It is worse is certain parts of the house and nights are worse I can sleep much they seem to be more active at night.I pray that God blesses the lovely blue birds this week.
    Much love Patti
    Ps Annabel feel free to just read this if you want our emails don't seem to talk very wel

    1. Patti,
      I understand your plight and would like to suggest if possible based on your comment that if possible get the cans of foggers that people use for fleas and use one in each room especially where you have carpet and upholstery of any kind. There will be the extra cleaning that goes along with it, but once the foggers are done open and air out the house and vacuum and do your cleaning. Also if the parasites are in your skin then believe it not the medicine used to treat lice works as it's an anti parasitic just don't put it in your eyes naturally. Take any sheets and pillowcases off the beds if you bomb and be sure to wash the pillows after bombing. I used to work in the medical department of a jail and this wasn't an unusual thing to happen. At the time we used Quell I don't know if they still make it. Warning it may burn especially if you have been itching so be careful of broken skin if you decide to use this. I hope this is helpful.

    2. Dear Patti,
      I am so sorry over your health. I have checked everywhere i.e. my junk and spam etc but I didnt get that email. Can you please ask Kristi to re send it?
      Thank you Vicky for replying. Patti when I had two spider bites it was terrifying. I was so sick. We didn't know where I got the bites. I turned everything upside down I was terrified something was in the bed. It was exhausting. I will email you privately. You need answers fast. I will pray. I hope Vickys advice can help you also. With much love

    3. Vicky,
      Thank you for all the practical tips. We will be doing those. What a good idea about the foggers, Nix and the cleaning.Is Quell like Purell hand sanitizer. We now have 4 vacumes for different parts of the house floor verses furniture etc. It was very kind. We will keep on fighting these things. Big blessings to you.
      Much love Patti

    4. Thank you Annabel. Kristi sent the email over.I hope you have a lovely week
      much love Patti

    5. Patti, Quell used to be Nix it was the medicine used to treat lice, but we also used it on the skin for scabies and other parasites inmates had.

  14. Your week sounds lovely, Annabel. I bet your new bed is glorious. I even love freshly washed sheets! Ah, the simple things. I am excited for you and your new chapter. It is very exciting. I love the cupcakes you made for Harper and Scarlett. Also, it must be very exciting with Chloe and Luke's wedding coming up. Our week has been good, I have planted herbs and cherry tomatoes and even watering them of an evening is a delight. I am very much grateful to you- I am also crocheting and have finished a few tea towels edged with the shell stitch. My goodness, it really helps me to calm me. I hope I can get crafty in some way with my boys...even if their craft may be woodwork! So good for the brain. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      I love to water in the evenings. It is somehow very relaxing. And you have veggies in your new garden!
      I am so pleased you are crocheting! I love edgings! You can also make so many gifts as well as things for the house. Do you have a Kmart there? Right now they have the most divine t towels for$3 with flowers, cows, all sorts, they are so "designer" and I am crocheting edges on those.
      I also find crochet relaxing. I am no good just siting there. Having something to work on is peaceful and happy it really is. I line things up so when I finish something I have something to go on to. Please show me photos sometime! Have a lovely new week! With love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    You've had a beautiful week! All of your cooking and baking looks lovely and I'm sure a real comfort in winter.
    I don't like having the oven on in the summer but this week I made two loaves of zucchini bread. The zucchini was from our garden! Colton has been looking forward to this bread for a long time, so I was happy to make it. We kept one loaf and the other loaf went to the fire station with him.
    It seems like I didn't get much done besides the usual but I am keeping up, which is a nice feeling. I saved this week by skipping my trip to the grocery store. My current goal is to cook from our freezers so that we can just get away with having one freezer instead of two. Once we do that, we want to replace our chest freezer with a large upright one. It's nice having two, but honestly things don't get rotated like they should and I'd rather focus my efforts on the pantry, no electricity required!
    I also saved at a new local charity shop I discovered. I found three huge gardening books with tons of images I will use for card making. My total for all three was only $1.50! I'll be revisiting that shop for sure!
    A while back, Colton tore out a water feature from our patio that was basically just a snake attraction and mosquito breeding ground. This week he was able to fill in the hole and rock the area, as well as patch up other areas in the patio. He also pressure washed it. It looks amazing! I am so happy about this. It is one of those projects that kept getting moved to the bottom of the list and now it's done.
    That's about it for our week! We are both looking forward to a restful Sunday.
    Love, Kelsey

    P.S. I'm losing my mind. Sunday was John's birthday lol! I baked a cake and a batch of cupcakes and we enjoyed a nice time with family and friends. Nothing huge and elaborate and stressful, just simple the way we wanted it, despite the pressures to do otherwise :)

    1. Dear Kelsey, Happy Birthday to John and I love the way you celebrated that is just lovely.
      The zucchini bread sounds beautiful! I bet they loved one coming into the fire station!
      I am thinking at the farm I will also go for an upright freezer. I have had a chest one. It is hard to keep on top of them I agree.
      The thrift store you found sounds like a very good discovery! The cards you make alone with be great. If the prices are good then you are on to a winner!
      The removal of the water feature is good... water features are generally bad news with little kids too apart from snakes and bugs. So I think you did well and got lots done and the birthday baking alone was a lot!
      The firemen will be admiring Colton's wifes good cooking! I bet he loves that! Have a good new week Kelsey! With love

  16. Dear Annabel,
    Your little quiches look so yummy! I think I need to make some. The rest of your baking looks great, as usual, too.
    It's good that your new mattress is helping so much. We keep talking about getting a new one and need to take action.
    I didn't get a comment in about your medicinal post, but read it and the comments with interest. I'm slowly gleaning information... One thing that continues helping me in several ways is swimming and doing other exercises in the pool.
    I've done a little more mending. Replaced the elastic on a pair of swim trunks for my husband saving the cost of new, plus allowing him to keep a pair he really likes.
    Sorted through some clothing and other things yielding reduced clutter, donations, and free rags.
    We saved $13 on a gas fill-up by completing surveys, purchasing gift cards for stores where we shop, etc. to get fuel points. Cherries are still on sale for less than $1 a pound. They are delicious! They aren't something we can grow around here, so are a special summer treat.
    Started to wish you a lovely weekend and realized it is nearly over for you. Hope it has been a good one!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, Watch for a big sale and get the best mattress you can. The difference is mind blowing!
      Swimming is my best exercise. It agrees with me so much.
      What a bargain on the cherries! I love cherries!
      We still have most of Sunday and it is sunny and lovely! Thank you Elaine! With love

  17. Your melting moments look divine- the pale pink is beautiful! Last week I saw melting moments in a cafe with bright blue filling - slightly disconcerting and not nearly as appetising! Homemade is definitely more appealing! Jen xx

    1. Thank you Jen! it is funny how colour makes so much difference. I will always remember my Nans so soft only just pink. I love it to this day! xxx

  18. I love the little cupcakes for the girls. They are so cute. You have been very busy with lots of baking. I am glad you like your new mattress. We got a new one about 2 years ago and it has made such a difference. The oil blends are so easy to do once you have all of the oils. My list is here:

    1. Thanks for sharing your oil blends list! I will come and have a look. I have a few oils I am so drawn to at the moment and cant get enough of them so I think there must be a reason! We can save so much making our own blends. Thank you! xxx

  19. Hello Annabel, just wondering where you purchased the lovely metallic looking roller bottles? Regards Robyn S.A.

    1. Dear Robyn, I love these bottles! They come in packs where I get green pink and purple. I get them on Ebay au the seller is great it is thuacheng (10431) I have gone back for them a few times now. Postage is free and they work out at an amazing $1.30 each. Made up rollers of many brands are $35 plus. With my coconut oil and essential oils (I used ten drops) the cost of a roller ball is only a few dollars each at most. Huge savings plus you are making personalised blends! Plus it is really fun! I have got a few people started on oils this way so guess what they are getting for Christmas! I might even do bright red ones for Christmas gifts. With love

  20. Aack, Annabel,

    I had a long-winded post and then it was deleted as I accidentally hit the wrong button when going to publish it. Boo hoo! So, this is the short version.

    I hope the wedding dress fitting was fun! I love the look of those melting moments!

    The garden is finally going strong...salads every day!! I took a couple of photos, so just need to send them to you. Out every day weeding furiously and got a nice big batch of swiss chard (silverbeet) in the freezer last week.

    You are so productive, even though I know you are very busy getting ready for a move!!

    Lots of love, Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I am sorry about your comment! Thank you for trying again!
      I cant wait to see garden photos. The first ones you sent me I was amazed... it is honestly out of a magazine! Now you are getting rewarded by the sounds of it! That would make a very busy time... I hope it just keeps coming in!
      I just posted moving news! We are getting close now! Many thanks Jen, with love

  21. Hi Annabel,

    I haven't commented in awhile, but I've still been reading and absorbing so much info from you all about building up your homes! I recently completed a mentoring group on Titus 2 and I thought of you and your blog so many times, especially when talking about being keepers of the home. Wouldn't you know it that I picked up a book the church had mailed out, started reading it on a whim one night and it was on the same exact topic! God's trying to tell me something for sure!

    I have two young children and have always worked outside of the home. I sometimes think God's placing it on my heart to be home with them and I wonder if reading yours and Laine's writings all this time has been preparation for such a task. I'm in prayer about that for sure!

    Thank you for so graciously sharing your wisdom with us all and reminding me of the important things in life!


    1. Dear Tarin,
      Thank you for commenting. I would have loved to join in that mentoring group! When you have young children it is a very precious time. It is gone very fast. I believe we can "do it all" as they say but not all at once.
      You feel free to email me anytime. Otherwise keep reading Laine is my best advice!
      If you feel tempted to stay home... a good exercise is to sit and work for a bit on your figures. are your wage and think on your work related expenses and think on them seriously i.e. many of us do end up shopping faster, needing convenience meals or take out, maybe dry cleaning, certain clothes, gifts for co workers and random stuff! Take out fuel or transport, tax, childcare and so on. When you get that figure divide it by hours worked. My friend who did this got about $1 an hour. Obviously it depends on how highly paid you are etc. But she could save more than that in the home with time to cook, shop the best deals, pack lunches, mend, craft, garden... etc. So weigh it all up and pray. I will pray too!
      Thank you for your support with love

  22. I appreciate this blog so much and this community of ladies! Many of us are buffeted by the storms of persecution because we have chosen to live contrary to the world. And I've compared noted with other ladies and they agree that those who attack them the most are Christians (or those that claim to be). So sisters, take courage that there are others who share your convictions. Don't believe the enemy"s lies, you are no alone!
    We must obey the Lord and be Keepers of the Home. Making our homes a refuge in a cold and selfish world. My husband shares often how thankful he is that we chose to struggle on one income. We have amazing relationships with our 8 children and they all love Jesus! Thank you for reminding us about the Proverbs 31 lady, Annabel.


    1. Your comment was a blessing to me, Leslie. Thank you!
      Love, Kelsey

    2. Thank you so much Leslie. I have accepted now that fitting in with the world is just a waste of time lol and adjusted my expectations! And so I more and more appreciate you and the ladies that go by God's Word not the worlds. See you are at the stage now where your husband and children rise up and called you blessed! This is the harvest after lots of sowing! There is so much work to do but it is so worthwhile. Thank you

  23. Thankyou Annabel , I really enjoyed this post , and especially seeing your melting moments on a plate the same as my mother had .She served beautiful mornign or afternoon teas to visitors on this china, and your photo brought back lovely memoriesof seeing this china in her blonde oak display cabinet .
    Re: using small appliances , I have used a convection microwave for over 20 years and taken it to Asia when we lived there . It might look small but I have cooked a full dinner using the microwave cycle and roast Chicken, turkey .lamb and pork in the convection cycle , often with veges roasted around the meat . I woulnd't be without it.
    My daughter swears by an air fryer for quick healthy cooking and I saw an tv ad today about a similar type of fryer that came with a pizza plate, kebab holder and it said cakes up to 25cm diameter can be cooked .It said the fryer replaced about 6 other kitchen items including a toaster .That got my interest , although I dont see me buying one any time soon as Im use to my crockpots and other appliances .
    Love Maria X

    1. Dear Maria, I love afternoon tea and pretty china. I have a lot of pink china with roses... mostly odd bits!
      I think a convection microwave is a very handy thing. I also have an air frier more recently! Well that is amazing! Fast and no oil! I was a bit sceptical... but I do almost all roasts in there now! Roasts are what mess up my oven and oven cleaning is my absolute worst job. And the oven draws a lot f power. So Im a convert! I hope you are settling back at home! With much love

  24. What a beautiful post, Annabel. Oh my goodness!! Look at that driveway and that view. It's so peaceful, serene and beautiful! I am so excited for you and to think you will be close to Chloe and your Mum and Dad's and how it feels like you are 'coming home'. That's God talking for sure. A real message! I cannot believe how much you are achieving with a move on the horizon. Truly amazing! It is so good to get organised and get ahead though and it will all pay off when you are sipping on your cup of tea, with your family, overlooking your beautiful surroundings. Things have been busy here, but this week it is my focus to eat out of the fridge and cupboards. I will avoid the shops! I also bought enough presents for Christmas and birthdays for our boys at a 40% off sale. I am excited that it is all covered and we don't need to find money to cover it later. Sending you love (prayers and hugs). Love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, I cant wait to be able to show you lots more photos!
      Well done on the Christmas presents for the boys! That is the way to do it!
      What a good way to get ahead. I appreciate the prayers... I am counting down to see inside the house and it is somewhat never wracking! With love,


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