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 20 December 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 21st December, 2018.

Here we are a few days before Christmas!!  We have been doing so much to try and have a few days to feel the Christmas spirit and new farm life.  Last night we did just that.  We had returned from a trip to the city.  Boy was it ever busy in Adelaide.   The traffic on the way home was busy too.
So when we ate dinner outside on the deck we just soaked in the peace, the birds and we both kind of went ahhhh we are home.   THEN  two huge Wedge Tailed Eagles flew over us and circled around for several minutes.   We just sat there and didn't move!  Yes we love it here.  They welcomed us home I decided!

Some of the ways we built up the nest this week included:

I fixed up two old beds.  These were Chloe and Lucy's beds when they were little.  They got them for Christmas one year.  I saved up for these and they loved them.  In fact they still remember how on Christmas morning they woke up in the beds.  They thought Father Christmas had magically transformed their beds.  So you can imagine... while they slept I constructed each bed (they came in a ton of pieces) and lifted each child into the new bed and moved out the old bed... and neither of them woke up!! haha!  
Well... I could never part with the beds.  They have been kept in the shed all these years.  And now here I am with a bigger house and two Grand daughters...
So we dusted them off.  I was worried about rust and if I still had all the bits and so much porcelain that might be broken...  but nothing was! I had boxed up all the little pieces and it was all there.
With a lot of scrubbing and polishing they came up ok and I even put them together myself as I knew exactly what to do.
I just needed two mattresses.  Meanwhile I collected all the linen I would need. 

The end result...

It still needs some finishing touches but I have a room and I have little story books I kept that were Chloe and Lucy's favourites plus toys. 

The next room to conquer is the spare room that will have a Queen sized bed.  We are picking that up from Chloe this afternoon as she has a surplus bed.  I have all the linen for this bed also ready to make it up.  I can't wait to do this as then another room will look complete.

We got the mattresses  for the single beds while in Adelaide.  Andy had bought a trailer.  This was another thing on our "farm" list.  To take rubbish to the dump,  the mower to be serviced and many other things we need a trailer. 
So this was another goal achieved this week and the first load on the trailer was the mattresses.

Andy is pretty darn pleased with his new trailer.   For Christmas I got him a large lock up toolbox for the back of the ute and he got this too!  This also adds to our preparedness as now the ute will be equiped with tools, water, first aid and so on.

Early in the week I made three large impossible quiches.  I had ham, cream and eggs to use up.  They provided dinner, lunches and Chloe and Luke got one.

Basically all you do is make a quiche with anything at all in it and instead of pastry add half a cup of flour.  I just use Gluten Free flour (no one notices) then cook it in a pie dish lined with non stick paper.    Kind of like zucchini slice...  so easy... so good with relish!   You can use up so many things this way!

Also I made two trays of Chocolate Fudge.  This is so nice and so easy.   It can be sliced up and wrapped nicely for presents.   I gave some to Dad and some to Luke.  

The recipe is:  3 cups milk chic chips, 1 can condensed milk, 1/4 cup margarine or butter.  Melt in bursts of 30 seconds in the microwave and stir. When melted throw in your cherries, nuts or whatever you want.  Set in a tin lined with non stick baking paper (in fridge) and then slice up into logs or squares and package nicely.  It is fast, easy and yum!

I added glazed cherries... you can add nuts, sultanas, whatever you like.   You could top with hundreds and thousands for kids.  

In a paddock I saw these pom pom type grasses growing.  I don't know what they are but I picked some to see if they dry well or fall apart.  Not sure yet...

If they dry they will be interesting in an arrangement.  My Nan always picked anything interesting and worked things into arrangements.  She would have done the same!

I made cupcakes to take the girls.

When Scarlett sees me she just says "Cake" lol

Out on the deck we have some shade so I potted up a hydrangea and I just used an old farm cast iron pot (which was full of holes) as my pot.  It looks really nice.

The nest I found last week was turned into Christmas decor.  The egg was found by Chloe in her mail box!  

Andy worked on the shed.  He had a lot to do.  The before situation was like if there was a TV show called "hoarders move house"  or something like that.   This is now!

Around the house I have put baskets of pinecones and pine branches.  

Our Christmas tree is only going up today!! It is pine branches we cut from a pine out the back.  I am about to decorate that... talk about better late than never!!

So that was my week!  How did you feather your nest and build up your home? How is christmas shaping up for you?

I have some really big plans for the New Year.  But before we start thinking of me beginnings lets think over the whole year.  It can be a whirlwind.  When I stop and think about everything this year held is was just huge!  We have come a long way.

I want to thank you all for your friendship all year.  We all have highs and lows, good days and bad days.  Having friends to share it with and work along side with makes a world of difference.  We may all be scattered far and wide but we are so similar in many ways.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Have a wonderful Christmas! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, blue bird beauties and blokes!, what a beautiful post Annabel.thank you.
    I have a similar recipe for fudge , my mum found it a few years ago and it’s so easy and so yum, all it is is dark chocolate, milk chocolate, condensed milk and malteasers, yummy yum yum!.
    The pine ones and pine needles look amazing, the nest is very special and as for Scarlett associating you with cake well that’s funny and sweet!, the way to a girl is through her stomachs??!.
    my week has been ok, a good saving week but a bit of a spending week too.
    I had all my usual savings plus:
    Grocery promotional savings $20off my order , this allowed me to buy myself a DVD I wanted .
    I saved at least $75 at the supermarket by buying reduced to clear items including more yoghurt pouches for under 60 cents each instead of $2.25 each , I never pay that!.
    I received some lovely gifts over the last two weeks, I won’t count a $$value but it saved me money and built up my home and got me ahead too.
    I made a simple lavender foot soak recipe up and have he aps of ingredients for not much more than the cost of a small bottle of a product. The ingredients were simple and readily available in supermarket.
    I have had a great savings week, I paid down some debt, put money away for my holidays, started my emergency fund again and more.
    Approximate savings for the week over many areas $875.
    Have a great weekend Annabel and everyone , I ho ho hope you all have a merry Christmas and a safe and healthy and joyous new year.
    Love Barb W

    1. Dear Barb, I have to say Malteasers would be amazing in fudge!!! Inspiration!
      You did very well to pay debt and work on the emergency fund at this time of year! Well done!
      Thank you for reporting your week and savings all year. It is always a joy to read what you have been doing. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Barb! With love,

  2. The very first thing to say is thank you. I have learned so much from you Annabel over the past four or so years. I really have. And thank you to all the ladies who post comments, I've learned so much there too. This is a lovely network you have set up here. I think that everyone would feel the same way.

    The beds are gorgeous, the girls will love sleeping in their mummy's beds. They are a pink ruffly gorgeous affair, and the matching side tables and the shiny mirror. As if they wouldn't be already, they will be clamouring for sleepovers. (I have a large Thomas the Tank bed for my grandson, it fits a cot mattress and at the foot of the bed is a sort of toy box built in). My 27 year old son wants to sleep in it but he doesn't fit lol. So I can only hope the little guy is wanting some sleepovers with Granma and Granpa.
    We bought a trailer a couple of years ago, even having a ute, it is useful. Andy's looks a nice solid affair.
    As usual your cooking looks lovely and how cute that Scarlett greets you with the word cake.
    I love hydrangea, ours are well over seven feet tall now. The blooms are beautiful. Andy's shed looks great, looks like something you'd see on tv.
    I had an interesting phone call this morning from my partners sister, who has rung me once in six years. This was to advise that her daughters boyfriend has a food allergy and could i organise a christmas meal without those in it. I was like omg it's Friday, all the big food is bought, the menu is planned and you want me to possibly change it, especially for someone who I was 'told' would be coming. I was not asked would it be ok if the new boyfriend came? So feeling bit annoyed at that, if a knife goes into butter that might have been near this food, he will be ill. I was told he doesn't like eating at other peoples places and I bet you can guess what I was thinking.
    All my christmas shopping was done quite some time ago as I have done it in dribs and drabs. yesterday i had to go to the shops to get flowers to go to the cemetery and the crowds were unbelievable. I am so glad to be organised. You were instrumental in my extra Christmas planning Annabel. I had felt quite organised (compared to family and friends) in the past, but you certainly smartened me up. It was only yesterday that I was thinking of you in general etc and yes, you have made a difference to my life and lifestyle. So thank YOU and wishing you the best and most lovely Christmas. (I'm guessing there will be baby news sometime soon as well for you). Fi xxx

    1. Dear Fi, Thank you so much for everything! We have gone along similar journeys in someways especially now with moving etc.
      I cant even imagine seven foot hydrangea. How amazing. Mine never do that well at all. And I love them!
      I think it can get impossible with special requests re meals. I never say a word if I am going to someones place... I eat what I can and what I like and dont eat what I cant... I hate a fuss. For someone with a child who has a life threatening reaction I feel terribly sorry... but this is the extreme case. For a guest you didnt invite I would say you will no doubt have a variety of things and he can choose what suits him and leave what doesnt!!! I love that you got a six yearly phone call lol. See me rolling my eyes?!
      I am so glad you got things done ahead. I am so thankful of everything I did already! Laine taught me that. What a relief it is that most of my stuff is wrapped etc. There is still tons to do but what a help.
      Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me. We will start of the new year with lots of plans!
      Have a wonderful Christmas. And my 2019 be your year of healing and happiness. With much love

    2. I agree with Annabel, Fiona. We don't have food allergies in our household but we generally just don't mention that we don't eat this or that. We simply skip it and eat what we know we can. And if we find we've accidentally eaten something we might normally avoid we keep quiet about it then too. I do realize allergies are different but in this instance I should think at that late a moment, it would be best if he brought his own foods...

    3. Goodness Fi,
      As someone who is gluten free I would never ask that of anyone. I am with Annabel on this. If it is that serious then most people I know will bring something to contribute that they know they can also eat. Your partners sister could be the one to do that. You might like to polietly suggest that , in the interests of the young mans health and safety as you cannot make any guarranties at such late notice that you can do this. Sigh. People have such a sense of entitlement these days and a serious lack of consideration and manners. Remember, you are not responsible for how she chooses to respond. Having a wee reply ready for any negative response, that you can say will help you feel prepared. Fi I wish you a verry Merry Christmas. Have a lovely time with those you love and who love you.

      Mandy (NZ)

    4. I’ve just popped back to read the rest of the replies and yes Annabelle, Terri and Mandy you are all spot on. It is very rude to expect a Christmas roast and desserts to be altered three full days prior and especially for an unasked guest. But I will be gracious with plenty of secret eye rolling. And Mandy I have a good reply written down about something else that will come up involving free holidays at my new place when I move. Her words not mine believe it or not. You can’t ignore someone for six years, tell them they are not welcome in her home (true! Even her mum and brother) and expect to hop on a plane and be picked up from airport for a week or two free holiday..... not happening. Thanks for your comments.

    5. Fiona our sons first wife was allergic to so many foods and she too blew up and swelled up if she even brushed past something she shouldnt eat. We ended up asking her to bring was she could eat in a container that could go covered in the microwave. It saved us a lot of worry and she got to eat what she wanted. She didnt at first like us asking her to bring her own food but it meant she was safe and we didnt purchase foods that would never be used again.

    6. What a great idea Jane.

  3. Those beds are beautiful glad they went back together so nicely what a blessing you stored them so well...Sharlene

    1. Dear Sharlene, Thank you! I am so glad I kept them now!! It is quite nostalgic having them set up again. Have a wonderful Christmas! With love

  4. Merry Christmas to you and Andy, and all the family Annabel. I hope your first Christmas in your farmhouse is everything you've ever dreamed of. Love Cath xxxx

    1. Thank you Cath!! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas too and New Year! And holidays! with love,

  5. What lovely beds! Your granddaughters will love that room. Looks like a Princess lives there. That mirror on the wall is beautiful. It adds to all the theme. So pretty.
    You are so the homemaker with all your baking, and the many things that you do. I love your progress you are making in your home. Things are falling into place more and more. Sounds lovely where you live.
    Have a Merry Christmas!

    1. Dear Dots,
      Thank you! I had the mirror for many years and it is just right for the room! I had everything, the cupboards etc as well.
      Thank you for your kind words!! Have a wonderful Christmas! With love

  6. Oh, Annabel, those beds are so gorgeous! The girls will love coming to stay even more than they do now lol
    And I love your pom pom grass, I hope it dries nicely for you :)

    Your year really has been amazing! And next year will continue in amazing-ness as you build on what you have started.

    We've had a busy end to the year, with finishing primary school, and we bought a holiday house! Settlement was yesterday! It's a 3 hour drive from us, and is probably best described as a bush beach house. Not sure how we will style that! But it's been a bit exciting lol

    Mixed in with that was some particularly nasty storms here, the one last weekend fried our hot water service, our internet and phone, and half of our outdoor Christmas lights. The main things have just been replaced, when we had another shocker last night. Luckily we were ok this time.

    Wishing you and your lovely family, and all the Bluebirds, a very happy Christmas XX Fiona

    1. Dear Fiona, Wow what an exciting thing to have a beach house! That will be wonderful. I have heard about the storms! Thats bad, I am glad no fire started or anything, it was bad enough!
      Moving on to high school is a big thing! A new stage! Enjoy the school holidays and some relaxation. Have a beautiful Christmas, with love

  7. What a fabulous thing to do when your girls were little, that would have seemed like sheer magic to them at the time.

    The beds and linen look just lovely, the grandkids will just love staying over.

    I haven’t been well this week, so not much getting ahead this week, more like just getting by the best I can.

    Have a lovely Christmas Annabel, I look forward to hearing/seeing all your plans in the coming year.

    Cheers Cheryl

    1. Dear Cheryl, I hope you are feeling better. We all have weeks where we just read water and survive. When sick rest is best. This is why we get ahead when we can... because there will be times we just cant!
      I hope you are better to enjoy a beautiful Christmas! With much love

  8. The beds look wonderful. My cousin used to have a four poster like that and I used to be so jealous of it! 😂 They must have woken up feeling they had been transported into a magical world when they were young! 😊

    Enjoy a lovely Christmas at your farm. Hope you cope in the heat as I imagine its scorching temperatures there like we have forecast next week.

    Thank you for all of the hard work you pour into this blog and community. Xo

    Much love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      I always thought these beds were special. The friends who came over always loved them too.
      The temperatures have been downgraded so we have very nice 30s until Thursday when bait hotter but still not too bad, thankfully!
      Thank you for all your support and friendship! Have a beautiful Christmas and New Year! With love

  9. How lovely everything looks, Annabelle. Those pink beds are so gorgeous, the girls will love them. I admire your sense of decor and how you make do and it all looks fabulous. Sometimes when I am in need of inspiration, I think "What would Annabelle do?" and get up and so a bit more! Have a wonderful Christmas in your new home.

    1. What a nice thing to say! Thank you. I am all for use it up, re use it, re model it, repaint it! Also mix and match. I love that really old rustic things can look wonderful set with something amazing like a chandelier. Rustic charm? I know you are like me in that you notice the beauty all around. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! With love

  10. Annabel, thankyou for another inspiring post. I have just written the fudge receipe down and will try it. This afternoon I picked a bucket of apricots from a neighbor to make jam. MERRY CHRISTMAS Annabel and to everyone here. Clare

    1. Dear Clare, Thank you! I love apricots. To me they make the best jam and are so useful and delicious. Enjoy them. I love love love fruit season!
      I hope you have a very Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year! With much love

    2. Annabel, I wanted to let you know that two nights ago we were invited to a neighbours for a Christmas BBQ - so I made your fudge recipe - I put in glazed cherries and a handful of dried cranberries, I also put red and green sprinkles on top to make it Christmasy. I then cut a square of cardboard, covered that with Christmas wrapping, arranged some square pieces of fudge and used cellophane and ribbon to finish it off. I put leftovers in my fridge for which I was very grateful yesterday when four unexpected relatives turned up. It was funny because I put a plate of the fudge in the middle of the table - then went to make everyone a cup of tea, when I turned around to ask who takes what - there was only one piece of fudge left! So I re-filled the plate again. This was particularly amusing as these people are not real sweet toothed people. My husband said when they were gone "did you see that I have never in my life seen (a particular person eat one sweet thing - let alone three pieces!)". I was very happy. I am ready to make another one this morning for Christmas Day.☺ So thanks again for sharing, Clare

  11. Annabel I myself had beds like that, and even my sons used a particular one over the years, that had been in my family for 4 decades. I stripped it back to bare wrought iron which of course was black, and trimmed the tester in a more masculine black and white box pleat. I still had it for my daughter and for her, I painted it Porters Duchess Satin which was a pearly gold, and dressed it with bright yellow gingham. She loved it for ten years at which time it went to another cousin. Such precious memories in a simple childhood bed. I’m sure Harper and Scarlett will treasure theirs. They are beautiful. Merry Christmas to everyone. Much love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, The pearly gold sounds divine! I tossed the original curtains which were too fru fru and got plain net curtains from IKEA. They were so cheap and just drape nicely. Easy solution!
      It is great your bed is enjoyed still too. I think these things are really special.
      Have a beautiful Christmas with your family! With love,

  12. Those little girls of yours now have their own Princess bedroom. How wonderful! I think it is amazing that you still had all the bits for the beds and that everything was still in perfect order. You are a clever lady.
    Those flowers look similar to the ones I was picking in Mt Isa for the Rural Health Conference in July. My friend picks them every year. She sprays them with hairspray which keeps them together and stops all the fluff going everywhere.
    We had Katie's Birthday this week. She requested a Nutella Cheesecake. I made the Nigella Nutella Cheesecake. Super easy and super sweet. I also made her chocolate cupcakes with strawberry icing and Malteser Slice. She loved her Luxury Spa Pack and waterfall cardigan that I made her.
    Mum and Dad overnighted with us on Katie's Birthday. My sweet tooth Dad had a wonderful time He only eats peas, corn and potatoes. We eat so much more and Mum loves the variety. So glad we could cater for both.
    Plans for Christmas have changed again. We are now having a very quiet, just the two of us day. Merry Christmas to all of you. Stay safe and have a wonderful time.
    Life is Ho Ho Ho good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I am going right away to try the hair spray trick!! Thank you!! They are really soft and lovely so I hope they will last. Its worth a try!
      You did so many lovely things for Katies birthday. She must have had a wonderful day!
      Also it was lovely your parents came. And your gifts were ready! All the gifts you have made have been just beautiful. You made so much this year. I am hoping to follow your example in the new year!
      I hope you and Bluey have a wonderful Christmas. With much love and many thanks,

  13. Wild clover is my guess on mystery flowers. Gail

  14. Dear Annabel,

    I love those beds! They are so gorgeous! How wonderful that you have kept them all these years, they will be so loved by your little girls!

    We have those flowers along the roadsides out of Quorn. I have often wondered what they are too. They look pretty in a bunch, I wonder what you will do with them?

    I also love your Christmas baskets, they have a real country feel about them.

    I hope the first Christmas living at the farm with your family is a lovely one. This has been such a beautiful journey to follow, so glad that you share snippets of your life with us.

    Christmas day is going to be hot here (40C), followed by even hotter days (44C), hope my veggies survive! Tomorrow I am going to go through my linen cupboard looking for some old sheets to use as extra shade :)

    Much love and happy days,

    Tania xoxo

  15. I simply can not imagine Christmas in such a warm and lovely atmosphere. That would be something.
    Sounds like a great week. LOVE those beds.
    You and Andy have accomplished so much this year and that is such a wonderful gift to you both!

    Blessings and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  16. Dear Annabel,

    Oh, those beds! They are absolutely beautiful, as is the room. I love the story of Lucy and Chloe at Christmas when they were little. Can I stay over in that room? Ha, ha!

    I love hearing about your new are definitely home. Andy has done a wonder on that shop, and now he will be able to really use it!

    We tramped down the road and got our tree last Sunday...and brought it back in the wheelbarrow. Ha, ha! It is very tall and suits the vaulted ceilings in our living room.

    Last night I gave my hubby his double-breasted wool vest that I made (with plenty of sweat and tears, I tell you)...and the reaction was worth all the effort! He is pleased as punch, amazed that I made it, and looks like a million bucks when he puts it on! He definitely likes to be dapper...I think he would love Andy's hat collection. :)

    Today will be spent cleaning house, making tarts and chicken liver pate, and celebrating the beginning of hubby's long Christmas vacation!

    P.S. Your hydrangea is beautiful...I love the blue ones!

    xxx Jen in NS

  17. What a wonderful week you've had, Annabel!

    Those beds are gorgeous and I know the girls will cherish them.

    I love your hydrangea in a pot! I have always wanted a hydrangea and I finally got one a few years ago (on sale, of course!). It gives me a lot of pleasure to see it in bloom!

    What a delicious fudge recipe! My favorite way to make fudge is to melt 2 cups chocolate chips (any flavor) and then add a container of frosting (not whipped). Spread into an 8x8 pan and chill. That's it! You can use any flavor of chip and frosting.

    I am, I think, ready for Christmas! It is amazing for me to say that as I am always last minute! But, the gifts are wrapped, food bought, ect. I have a few last minute cleaning things to do, but nothing major. Next year though, I plan on lots of homemade goodies. I've come up with quite a few ideas already.

    A very Merry Christmas to you and Andy, Annabel! And to your lovely family as well. I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for us all!

  18. Dear Annabel and fellow bluebirds, I just wanted to stop by and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I love coming here for inspiration, smiles and love that you all share! Thank you all and especially you, Annabel! We are still moving houses and there are many boxes all around me. It will get done --eventually! I have to laugh about it to keep my sanity!!! Love and Hugs, Holley

  19. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    That bedroom is beautiful, Annabel! Andy's workbench area also looks very nice.
    It has been so super-busy at work that I have been very neglectful of writing down efforts and sharing them, but it so helps me to read all of yours.

    Food: All work lunches ($150) and snacks ($40) were cooked and brought from home. Cooking-up included a chicken and veggie stir fry, sirloin tip roast and veggies, and a big batch of turkey broth in the crockpot.

    Home: I re-arranged the foyer (swapped furniture with another area) and my husband hung a painting for me. The change is nice and it looks more fresh and open.
    The furniture got a lemon oil treatment.
    My husband fixed a pretty wooden crate (it was part of a gift basket that was damaged in shipping to us) so that I can use it in my decorating. It looks new! He also fixed something on the dishwasher that was installed incorrectly.

    Entertainment: Reading books from our home library and watching a movie together at home with a dvd from our home library, hot tea, and cookies. It has been beautifully mild out, so we have been going for rides on the horses a few times a week.

    I did the finishing on six small stitched pieces that became ornaments for our tree. (I'm not very good at finishing that is not framing, yet, but they look fine on the tree and each one gets neater and faster). Free youtube and blog tutorials helped me figure out how to finish the pieces.
    The knitting was finished on a worsted-weight hat to keep me warm after winter rides; the pattern is Antler, a Ravelry freebie. (Similar hats were $25 in the store.)
    A little knitting on my lace-panel socks, and I finished another pair of striped socks.

    Candy-making - fudge, chocolate-covered grahams, peppermint pretzels, and rocky road (I do marshmallows and honey-roasted peanuts in mine, but you could add whatever you have). These will make gifts and be part of the cookie tray at our house on Xmas. The fudge and rocky road are very quick and make tons!
    A big box of gently read, new-to-her books (with some tea and a skein of yarn) went to my friend in another state. She loves new things to read and is fine with pre-read books, so I hope there is something that she likes in the box.
    Holiday cards were sent from my thrift-acquired stash; cards are so expensive in stores now!
    A pretty crystal bowl found at the thrift for 99 cents made another holiday gift.
    Some baked goods went to my husband's workmates and boss, and were a big hit.

    Wishing you (and everyone) a lovely holiday and wonderful New Year.

    And I hope everyone has a great weekend!

  20. Debby in Kansas, USA21 December 2018 at 08:36

    Those beds are magical! No wonder you didn't want to part with them. I had a canopy bed when I was young, but it was nowhere near that pretty. It was the standard white Sears set with the gold trim.

    It was funny you mentioned the hawks. I went outside yesterday and it was eerily quiet. The feeders, the birdbath, etc. Normally, they're quite busy. I looked around and sitting on the fence was a hawk. I've never seen one come so close to the house. We usually get Red Tailed Hawks, but this one was all brown. Not sure if he was a young 'un that hadn't got his red feathers or if he was another type. He didn't pay much attention to me or the dog, just fluffed his feathers a few times, then flew away.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Dear Debby, Thank you! I have always heard of Sears... so it must be very famous.
      All the birds head for cover when the eagles are around! The wedge tailed eagles are so large that a friend of mine had her small dog picked up by one. She saw it... he started to howl and carry on and the eagle dropped him! Ok it was a small dog but still you dont expect an eagle to carry away your dog.
      Have a wonderful Christmas Debby, with love

  21. As 2018 draws to a close I want to thank you for all that you do for this wonderful community. I have learned so much from you and everyone who comments. There is such a feelling of calm and serenity one gets when reading here. I just love it , Merry Christmas to all. Anne

    1. Dear Anne, that is so true and exactly how I feel when reading this blog. It is absolute serenity. Thank you, Annabel for all of your hard work XX Love, Bridget

    2. Dear Anne, Thank you so much! I have learned so much too from everyone who contributes. I think I have been on a steep learning curve now for a few years! There is much more to learn too!
      I hope you have a beautiful Christmas and New Year! With love

  22. Annabel, those beds are adorable! Harper and Scarlet will feel like they are princesses when they sleep in them. You have a real gift for making things magical for children! It looks like we'll be having a green Christmas in my area of Ontario, as all our snow has melted for now. I'm wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed Christmas. How wonderful it will be in your new home!

    1. Dear Marie, Thank you so much! Green is good! We had some rain so our normally dry summer paddocks are now slightly green which is just so nice and our driveway etc is lovely and green. This improves our outlook a lot.
      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year too! With love,

  23. The beds came up beautifully Annabel!! I imagine Chloe and Lucy will be as happy as Harper and Scarlett to see them! And the room looks so lovely with the extras you've added. I look forward to seekng the other guest room completed!

    When I made my first crochet blanket I was searching projects on Ravelry and found a lady who had crocheted two granny stripe blankets for when her twin grandsons came to stay. I just think it must mean the world to children to feel like there is something especially for them when they go to their grandparents house. I'm not sure Harper and Scarlett will want to leave your house lol.

    We have travelled this week to have early celebrations with family, and it is crazy busy here as well. It's nice to see people but I will be very happy to be back home for Christmas.

    I hope you have the most wonderful and relaxing Christmas at the farm with all of your family around you. Thank you so much for continuing the blog with all you had going on this year!

    Merry Christmas everyone

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, Not that long ago I considered getting rid of the beds. I nearly did and both girls basically said "you cant get rid of my bed!!!" and so I hesitated... now I am so glad! It is quite nostalgic seeing them up.
      I love the idea too that Grandma has things especially for the grandchildren and special things. It sends a message for sure. I think this is also the case whenever we make something for a child... we made it for THEM. I remember Chloe and Lucy loved it if I made then a nightie or a dress... like it was really special to them.
      The traffic on our roads was bad so I guess the same there. I am glad you are home again.
      I hope to do a much better job next year with the blog but I am so glad I still did weekly reports as it kind of gave me moral support (which I needed!). Have a beautiful and special Christmas Jen, with love

  24. Merry Christmas Dear Annabelle and Happy New Year! I have reviewed the past year best I could. It was in some ways a painful year and it was filled to the max with busyness. I am planning a New Year think out for budget, purchases, projects, plans all next week. I can't wait! I love to make plans and cross things off lists, lol.

    1. Dear Terri, We are cut from the same cloth! I love a new year, new planner, new lists and crossing things off. Also the chance to review. It has been a big year. For me I have also had some painful things and some wonderful things. After Christmas Day we slow right down for a few days. This is my chance to really reflect and plan. I love that time. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas and wonderful 2019! With much love

  25. Annabel,
    Merry Christmas!
    Oh what a year it has been for you and yours. As you know we follow in each others footsteps though out the year, it has surely been a whirlwind.
    Andy's shed, truck and trailer are surely a welcome addition to his prepping on the farm and will come in so handy in may situations. I laugh because my children made fun of my Large Vehicle, till they need something moved.

    The beds are truly Princess Beds, so beautiful. I would love one like that. We set up a bedroom for our Granddaughters, they call it the Princess room also, the corner posts on their white beds are prisms. During the afternoon sun it they fill the room with rainbows.

    We became Grandparents again on the 10th, our daughter gave birth to a Grandson, his middle name is my husband's name, oh how we all cried when our daughter told us. So if our lives parallel, don't be surprised if you get news soon.

    We have been conservative on gifts this year, only 3 small ones per person and I am so happy that I had made all the girls their homemade presents early in the year. Working throughout the year on Christmas and other gift times is so much more economical and a great stress reducer. Hoping to start next Christmas in January.

    Please wish all your Family the Merriest of Christmas and a Happy New Year. May yours be filled with Love and Joy.

    1. Dear Rosanne, When we finally have time to consider where we started and where we finished the year we will both be amazed. So many changes. I believe all this was timely and prudent too. When you hear the nudge you have to listen!
      We also think in term of being prepared and contingency plans. We have both made improvements there too.
      It was wonderful to welcome a new Grandson! A Christmas baby really!
      I hope you have a beautiful Christmas with your whole family. Thank you for all the friendship and support all year and all you have taught me! With love,

  26. Annabel firstly I would like to say we would like to wish you and your extended family and fellow Bluebirds a Happy Christmas from both DH & I. Your friendship and support has meant the world to us with us being on similar life paths especially recently :) .

    You are really making your home look beautiful and those beds are just divine and so glad you kept them and are reusing them.

    It has been go go go here and we haven't stopped. It has been a good week for feathering our nest here and buying lots of preparedness items for the home that we didn't have before. Being a larger property far more heavy duty tools were needed.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $2157.51 in savings this week.

    Home organisation -
    - Finished unpacking all the boxes and the kitchen is now fully set up and operational.
    - 1/2 of the lounge room is all set up.
    - Our bedroom and clothing is mostly set up apart from more clothing in bags.
    - Bathrooms are fully set up and laundry is almost totally set up with the addition of a gorilla 4 shelf storage unit in there to store washing detergents, vinegar and the like.

    Groceries -
    - Used 1 of our e-vouchers and with $40 off and specials saved a total of $43.87.
    - Purchased 2 x 2 lt bottles of BBQ sauce on half price special saving $6.

    Earnings -
    - DH made $185 from 2 mowing jobs which we used to buy needed garden tools for around the home.
    - We also heard that in a small country town near us in a supermarket near us that they sell all their meat and dairy at ridiculously low prices on Christmas Eve so we plan to go and try and pick up what we can to stock our freezer with for far lower prices.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 3 Racq gift cards giving us $15 off what we purchase. We plan to use these for needed household items and the groceries on Christmas Eve.
    - Purchased 4 stainless steel garage shelves on special for $9.95 per set saving $20 on usual prices.
    - Bought a 2 drawer 122pc auto car maintenance kit with metal tool box included for $34.99 saving $330.10 on usual tool prices.
    - Purchased a large house extension ladder on special saving $160 on usual prices.
    - Purchased a stanley 28 pce screwdriver set on special saving $35.04 on usual prices.

    Repairs/Renvations/house maintenance.
    - Taking around 4 hours in total DH fixed our sliding door track straightening it with pliers, oiled kitchen door handles so now they work, oiled the really huge old Hills hoist so now the handle turns and it goes up and down, installed cup hooks for our kitchen dishwashing brushes and L hooks to hold our bread and cutting boards saving around $400 over hiring someone to do it for us. We purchased the hooks in bulk discount packages from the hardware store.

    Gardening -
    - DH and I spent 20 hours removing a Bogainvillea huge bush impeding on our side driveway, I trimmed all the hedges and trees impeding on the paths and touching the house taking 4 hours and DH did around 3/4's of the 1.21 acres of mowing between heavy rain taking around 1.5 hours. By doing this ourselves we saved $1147.50 over hiring a gardener to do it for us.

    We still have boxes and bags around the home unopened but we are getting there and had to buy more shelving and other items to suit what we wanted to do.

    Have a great week :). We had our first black out last night with the storms and pleasurably sat outside on the back covered patio and had a BBQ and listened and watched the birds, of which there are many, lit with our solar powered lanterns. Ah the bliss of the simple country life off grid for a while. We survived very well I might add :).


    1. Dear Lorna, The neighbours will all be watching all the activity! You have got stuck right into it as we did. Hit the ground running as they say!
      Where did you get that car repair kit for that price? What a good deal!
      I love the sound of your laundry shelving. I also agree... with everything bigger and the type of jobs we have also needed heavier and bigger things from lawn mower to tyres!
      You did well to sail through the first blackout! A BBQ is a great thing.
      That was a very good week. You will be seeing such a difference. Remember some before photos. I wish I had more now considering how things were when we first arrived to how they are now. It is amazing.
      I have just loved your weekly reports and found them so encouraging to me. We have been on such a similar journey this year. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful Christmas! With love

    2. Hi Annabel and the 122pc tool kits we purchased from Repco as they were having a grand opening sale in the town we were in before but I also believe they may be a Christmas special in their stores too.

      The brand was G Tools which I have never heard of but we have used the kit extensively throughout the house. The only difference between an auto kit and usual kits is they have an air filter remover tool :). The kit was both imperial and metric and had spanners, allen keys and everything you would need to do home or auto repairs with.

      I wish I had bought 2 of them 1 for each car but finances are rather tight for a while.

      Sewingcreations15 (Lorna)

  27. Dear Annabel,
    The girls beds are so pretty. Your baked items always look beautiful.
    I have continued onward in eliminating items that we don't use from our home. I have a long way to go, though.
    Have a blessed and joyous Christmas, Bluebirds.

    1. Dear Glenda, Thank you! I hope you get a break from your decluttering challenge over Christmas. We did this as we moved.... not one item I didnt love, need, use was packed. It made packing take longer but it was good. My "stuff" is now pantry and preparedness and medical etc which I am building up. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, with much love,

  28. Dear Annabel, oh my goodness those beds are absolutely beautiful! How lovely of you to find them (they are stunning!), and put them together as a surprise. It is wonderful you now have them for your granddaughters and they will also talk about them in years to come :) I love Andy's shed, it is so neat and organised. I also love your trailer. These things alone will save so much money in the future. Thank you for all of your hard work, Annabel. Your blog is such a joy and gift for everyone that comes across it and it really changes lives :) Thank you for all of your wisdom and generosity of spirit. I am wishing you, your beautiful family and all the beautiful Bluebirds a very Merry Christmas XX Lots of love, Bridget

    1. Dear Bridge, Your parcel arrived here and it is under the tree! I like saving things for Christmas Day! Thank you so much!
      You will enjoy our start in January I think... meanwhile enjoy a beautiful Christmas, with love,

  29. I love the beds, Annabel. What a blessing you kept them as they will bring a lot of joy to two little girls. Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope it is relaxing for you. It will be quiet for us as my grandchildren are holidaying up north so no pitter patter of little feet for Christmas. Looking forward to seeing what your plans are for 2019.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I hope you are enjoying your new kitchen! I am sure you will have plans to see the grandchildren and your daughter in the not too distant future. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!! With much love

  30. Those beds are lovely! Other people already wrote what I thought when I saw the pictures of the bedroom you have set up for your granddaughters - they will feel like princesses.
    When I was a child my bedroom was my father's old den. Mum never got around to changing the curtains. When I slept over at my grandparent's place, I slept in a room full of furniture that my mother used when she lived there. The bed had a lovely, white frilly bedspread and the curtains were white and lacy. I used to feel like a princess when I slept there. It is good to have a special place away from home. I hope you enjoy many visits from your granddaughters.

    1. Dear Debbie, I am glad your Grandma had such a pretty room for you. It makes me think of sleeping over at my Nans which I loved!
      My Nans was a home away from home for me. I stayed with her a lot even into adulthood.
      Have a beautiful Christmas Debbie!! With love

  31. Dear Annabel,the beds are gorgeous! The girls will love staying , might not want to go home though ;-) Andy's truck and trailer look very smart (yours too ).
    Your quiche looks good too,might just make that for a family lunch on Monday and your fudge recipe too , thanks!
    Those pom pom plants remind me of our Toi Toi plants which are longer and pointy. Your pink cakes would go down a treat here with my little visitors.
    Thank you for finding the time to continue to blog and encourage us all ,when I know you must have been very tired , we all appreciate everything you do here .
    Wishing you , Andy and family a Happy Christmas and time to relax after such a busy fullon year , love and Best wishes , Maria xxx
    And Merry Christmas and safe travel to all the bluebirds!

    1. Dear Maria,
      We are having a bit of a relax now. Partly too hot outside... and partly tiredness! I have big blog plans for the new year. Keeping going even once a week helped me keep on track. I get motivation from everyone!
      Have a very Happy New Year! With lots of love,

  32. The story of the beds is enchanting! I just love it! Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you Lana! Have a very Happy New Year! xxx

  33. Dear Annabel,
    Firstly I would like to wish you, Andy and family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Merry Christmas also to all the bluebirds. This is the first blog I have ever been a part of and it is such a beautiful community to belong to. I appreciate all the effort and beautiful posts you write Annabel, your sharing of your family and life adventures. Your new home is just beautiful.I am now on holiday for 2 weeks. Hoping for some summer weather. Despite there predictions of a dry, hot summer, we have had more rain than usual. If they are correct Christmas day is to be a sunny and pleasent 24°c. I do appreciate that in Australia, USA, and many other parts of the world rain is desperately needed.
    We are hosting Christmas at home this year, with our family and close friends. Christmas evening meal being the celebration. My brother is working Christmas day so this always works well. The rest of the day is relaxed as we prepare for the evening.
    Our goals for the coming year are to save and reboost the bank accounts after my time off this year. Fortunately the savings are still very healthy, this however will give us even more financial security and quality of life. On the work front, I have some new systems to learn which will enhance what I am already providing, so I look forward to that. On a personal level I will be back into my daily walking which has gotten neglected among the events of this year. It is a great stress release and pleasure I enjoy.
    Stay safe and well over this Christmas period everyone. I look forward to catching up in the New Year.


    1. Dear Mandy, Thank you for your kind words!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday! I am so glad you found a new and better work situation so that was important this year.
      It is great you know your goals for the new year. Also that you still had savings. This is great and yes you can build on them. Very wise.
      Walking is so good for health, stress busting, sleep...since at the farm my walking and exercise is up a lot. I sleep much better! Also... there is something just in being outside, getting sunshine, nature etc as well and this definitely benefits me overall.
      I hope you have a very happy New Year and gorgeous holiday! With much love and thanks,

  34. Those beds are so beautiful Annabel. You have done well in keeping them. My year was one of doing new things and I think they were just a start of things to come. I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago trying to come to terms that it was December and my 2018 had flown past on golden wings. It has been a good year. God Bless.

    1. Dear Sherri, New things are good! I hope the new year holds many more new and good things. The year does fly past. Christmas certainly does. I hope you have a very Happy New Year and wonderful 2019! With love,

  35. Annabel,
    just popping in quickly to wish you, your family and the Bluebird family a safe and Merry Christmas.

    Janine xx

    1. Dear Janine, Thank you! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a very Happy New Year! With love and thanks,

  36. Wishing you and Andy a wonderful and very happy Christmas at the farmhouse. You have had a massive year and should be very proud of all you've achieved. Thank you for your friendship and all that you share through your blog that helps and uplifts so many of us. Love Kelly xo

    1. Dear Kelly,
      Thanks so much! Thank you for all your wonderful comments and reports of savings and your week. And your friendship and support! Yes it has been a huge year. I got my planner out today (Thursday) and started to write down the main things from the year. It is a long list!
      I hope to get the new year off to a great start and have lots of blog plans. Have a wonderful New Year and 2019! With love,

  37. To Annabel

    Wishing you, Andy and all your family a Merry Christmas

    To all the bluebirds wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas

    I know our DD8 is looking forward to tonight and tomorrow.

    Playing a bit of catch up as I had DP in hospital Friday night (when I planned on finishing wrapping presents) but now this is all done, thanks to a 3am going to bed this morning. Managed to go to the supermarket around 9pm last night and get groceries thanks to a checkout operator giving me the heads up they were open until midnight and it is usually fairly quiet. She was correct and I got it done in good time and no queues to contend with. Today I will spend cooking and preparing food for tomorrow as best as I can with an early night (early as possible with an excited child) so I can be fresh for tomorrow.

    Merry Christmas to all, take care when travelling.

    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly,
      I hope your DP is better now. I had many late nights wrapping presents when the girls were little! I cut it fine a few times!
      The girls were too excited to go to sleep so I developed the tradition of going for a drive to see the lights. We would go around our town and the next town. By the end they were asleep and I would put them in bed. This worked for as long as I could physically carry them up to bed!
      I hope it all went well and you have a very happy New Year. Now for a quiet day or two first!! With much love

  38. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds
    I am just popping in to wish one and all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

    I have been missing in action for the past wee while - working on our plans for the extension, dealing with Council, draftsman and a quick meeting with the builder before we started on the official paperwork.

    We learnt that we have official approval to do our extension, still a couple of things to be done before we have a start date but it does mean that sometime next year we will be in building mode and at some stage without a kitchen and possibly a laundry.

    Christmas starts here in a couple of ours when our children (adults) arrive - we are still coming to grips with the loss of my mother in law 12 months ago so December has been kept a bit on the quiet side.

    Like a lot of you there was a lot going on here and I do wish I could say that next year would be a quieter year but with the extension getting done then the arrival of our furniture and boxes that have been in storage since we moved back to Queensland I think it will be 2020 before I can look forward to a not so hectic life again.

    Annabel I have loved being taken on your journey this year.



    1. Dear Lynette, Yes renovating, planning and council approval etc are all such a lot of work. At least 2019 should see you achieve all this and then you will have things as you want them. That should set you up for a long time. Enjoy the quiet time now if you can as it has been a big and full year. I hope you had a lovely Christmas. It is a time that a loss like your MIL is felt acutely.
      Thanks so much Lynette for all your friendship and support. It has been a big journey this year! I am amazed how big. Now wonder I am tired lol!
      Have a very Happy New Year! With love

  39. Dear Annabel, just wanting to wish you, Andy and all your family a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019
    and also wishing the all our lovely Bluebirds the same.
    Love Lorraine

    1. Dear Lorraine, Thank you so much! Wishing you a wonderful 2019! I hope you had a beautiful Christmas! With love

  40. Have a Merry Christmas. The bed room came out great. The girls will love it.

    1. Thank you! Have a very Happy New Year too! xxx

  41. Dear Annabel, when our older daughter was about 6 years old, she woke up on Christmas morning in a new canopy bed all decked out in pink, fit for a princess. She was so thrilled that Santa had worked such magic. She still recalls that Christmas as one of the very best. Her bed was very pretty, but your girls' beds are the prettiest I've ever seen! I would've kept them, too. How ideal that your granddaughters will enjoy them.
    It sounds like your family is finding perfect contentment in the country. So happy for you.

    God bless,

  42. A belated Merry Christmas from me and my family to yours. xx Annabel those beds are so pretty and what a lovely welcoming room and all the more meaningful that there is such loving history to them, all the lovely stories and memories you can share with your grand babies. Our Christmas was good, all my kids and their families came home,it was great, but a little bittersweet as this is our first Christmas without my dear Dad who passed from dementia in June. We made the effort to enjoy Christmas as it was Dads most favourite time of the year, My Mum did quiet well considering. Annabel thank you for your amazing efforts at inspiring us, you had quiet a year and ive been following your advice of doing a little at a time as it all adds up. Im all inspired by you to try new things and feather my nest with more care and confidence, ive even brushed a bit of dust off my much neglected blog. May I wish you and all the Bluebirds a very Happy New Year. xxxx


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