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 14 February 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 15th February. 2019.

I truly had a wonderful week!  We have been blessed with really mild weather and even a little bit of rain.  It is so much easier when it is not hot.  Dad thinks Autumn has come early so I hope so.  That would be a dream but we still could have heat again yet.

There were lots of ways we built up our home, saved, got ahead, added to the pantry etc. this week!

We decided it was time to pick the pears.  Birds were getting a fair few and they broke easily from the stems or fell to the ground.  Pears are strange as they don't ripen on the tree and you must pick them hard.  This is a first for me!   It was great fun picking the two trees and they were so heavy I couldn't believe it!

They are beautiful.  We have five baskets of pears!

The apple tree is heavy with fruit.  Each day they are getting brighter... I notice the difference now, I took this photo a week ago...

Last night I saw they were really red.  There are hundreds of them! 

I made all the plums I was given last week into things.  First a cake.  This was just a GF packet mix covered in slices of plum then dusted with icing sugar.  Served warm a cake like this is a good dessert.

You can really slice any stone fruit over a plain old cake mix and call it a dessert and no one is any the wiser.

Also some jam.  Dad got three jars.

I added some veggies to the garden... chard, broccoli and late season tomatoes.

I had op shop (thrift store) luck.  Lots of luck actually!   Several good books, beautiful soft palest blue muslin,  a Wedgwood casserole dish ($4) and a set of vintage stationary ($2)

I made Harper a Cinderella pillowcase and Scarlett farm animals one and got her first pillow for her.

I was able to add quite a bit to the pantry and some potted plants to the front of the house and they look so nice. 

We are still picking tomatoes and I made up another batch of relish as it is so delicious.

My niece has her birthday tomorrow.  She loves my coconut ice so I made her a whole slab of her own. 

I decorated it with dried rosebud (ever handy) and then cellophane and pink ribbon.

I have been given left over glass little candles from a wedding.  There are 96 of them! 

There are so many possibilities here! What a boost to my gift cupboard these will be!

We had a trip to the city.  I was able to do a stock up at Aldi and I visited the peach tree in the lane where I used to get free peaches every year.  I knew I was probably a few weeks to late to actually get peaches.  But for some reason the peach tree was also late!   I got two huge buckets of perfect ripe peaches!!! 

I was so excited!  I gave some to Mum and Dad and some to Chloe and Luke.  We have lived on fresh peaches.  Last night for Valentines Day I made a peach crumble...

Baked peaches are about the most delicious thing ever!

As you can see this is our time of summer fruit.   It is really a time to make hay while the sun shines!
Dad called in with his hat full of Mulberries.   He told us a place to go to pick lots and when we tasted them we decided yes please, we will make a picnic out of the trip to pick them.  And Dad added there is a huge old apple tree covered in red apples.  He said go in about two weeks as they are almost ready.  So we are planning this trip... it is about an hour away.  To me this would be so much fun.  So now we have two apple trees to pick.  But I figure there is a lot you can do with apples and we will share them.  I will make a tray of baked apples for Dad too for telling us!

Isn't it amazing how much can happen in a week?  The Tuesday Afternoon Club has me trying even harder to make the most of every opportunity, use it up, set it to good use...  very motivating!

Today is a beautiful day.  I need to get some washing out on the line. 

How did you feather your Nest this week?  I hope it was a good week for you! xxx


  1. Annabel all that abundance is amazing. It is wonderful to hear how you are using it up and making it work for you.
    It has been a survival week here as the temps and humidity went sky high. I was having difficult coping and finally gave in and set the mobile air con up in the sewing room. I only had it on for a couple of hours but it gave me the relief I needed.
    Bluey picked up a bucket full of sweet potato for free. These have been shared with neighbours and our daughter. Some has been cut into chunks, baked and frozen and the rest is being eaten on a daily basis. Bluey knew I wasnt coping with the heat so he picked up several loaves of bread for free. I dont have to turn the oven on to bake bread. Thoughtful man.
    We have been getting a trickle of avocado and mango from various friends. The bats were fierce this year so there hasnt been an over abundance of mango. So we are eating them as soon as we are getting them. We have been planting the seeds and have a few trees up. In about ten years time we will be the ones handing our excess on.
    The barby and the slow cooker on the veranda have been the go to cooking implements these past few weeks. Cold meat and salad have been the meals of choice.
    I did use the oven one day as I baked up a caramel slice for Bluey for Valentines Day. I made him a card and although it was covered in flowers he really loved it. The card is in the middle of his work bench in the shed. The caramel slice is pretty darn delicious as well.4
    Life is bring on more rain please good.

    1. Dear Jane, I think heat plus humidity is awful and very draining. I am glad you have a cooler for emergencies. I also dont turn the oven on in the heat. No way! I am glad Bluey loved his card! Your card making is beautiful and that was one of the nicest ones ever!
      I love caramel slice! Long time since I made one.. would be a good gift too! The coconut ice was a success with my niece... she loved it!
      I am very grateful for the fruit and it is a window of opportunity to do lots with it. Possibly I will get figs and quinces yet!
      Have a lovely weekend, I hope its cooler, love Annabelxxx

  2. You made my mouth water with your talk of fresh fruit. All of it looks so delicious! We just went sledding with the grandchildren and they loved it. They are pretty exhausted now. Oh how I long for spring though. Probably as much as you do for Autumn. Have a great day.

    1. Dear Vickie, I do long for autumn! Sledding does sound so much fun! I can imagine how much kids would love that (and how exhausting it is!)
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  3. You are certainly blessed with those fruit trees, Annabel! You have had such a bountiful summer :)

    This week I canned strawberry jam and chuck roast and made gluten free brownies for Valentine's. I also made some beef stock, but still need to can that. I also had my needle craft guild meeting where we did a needle felting project. I haven't quite finished mine yet. I did some gift planning, some food preserving research, and planned some rearranging projects in my home. Next week will be busy! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Dear Jenn, What a good week! Your jam and cooking sound beautiful. Very good to have beef stock. Now needle felting really interests me. I have seen the most amazing projects. Just beautiful. So this would be a great skill to have.
      I hope all your projects this week go well! I am trying to get off to a good start as it is so good having a productive week! With much love

  4. Dear Annabel,

    Everything looks so bountiful! 😍 really delicious looking fruit! I love the coconut ice you made for your niece. It looks so beautiful wrapped up.

    The cooler weather has been so much better! I hope your dad is right about early Autumn! That would be amazing as it is much easier getting everything done.

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye, We have a really mild week coming up! I agree it is so much easier getting stuff done. I REALLY hope it continues. It is also much darker in the evening. Also Easter lollies are everywhere!! So I hope too the heat might be over. Have a very good new week! I think we will be picking apples for one thing! With much love,

  5. What a great week you had Annabel! The cake looks lovely with the plums in it. Harper and Scarlett will be very happy with their pillowcases. I also love coconut ice, I think a big slab of anything like fudge or brownie would be a lovely gift. You have wrapped it so beautifully! I'm so pleased you got the peaches!

    I had some good 2nd hand finds this week as well. I got a wooden Noah's ark toy, a shelf in the shape of a house that will hopefully look cute with a bit of a paint, and an adult Disney princess colouring book with some gorgeous prints. All for $4.50. I am wanting to give my daughter's room a bit of a 'mini-makeover' for her birthday, so have some projects planned. The shelf has now been added to the list!

    We haven't had rain for weeks, so hopefully we will get some soon as the tanks are pretty low.

    I should finish the crochet blanket this weekend so will finally be able to contribute to the Tuesday afternoon club! I love seeing what other people have made.

    Have a lovely weekend

    1. Dear Jen, I saw in a shop that really bite sized amounts of coconut ice were $4 so this is when I realised a whole slab of it was a good gift! You had great op shop bargains! To me this is so much fun and what an advantage to get lovely off like this for so little.
      I cant wait to see your blanket! This will be amazing to see as I am slaving away on a blanket and I think it will take a long time! But I am still enjoying it. then you will have to decide what project to go on to! Have a good new week! With love,

  6. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds, Annabel you have been so busy, it all looks so good, well done. Your niece is going to love her present. I have had busy good week too. Some highlights were that I attempted to read a crochet pattern of a little sheep from Attic24. My daughter would love it. I managed to do two ears and the tail. I cannot figure out body but I will not give up, I am going to ask for help this weekend. I went through my bathroom supplies and am pleased that apart from 4 purchases needed I have enough for this year so will start using things up now. We just had to pay a big bill so we have decided to eat what is in freezer and pantry instead of shopping this fortnight. It was time for me to take a good look at my supplies anyway. Have a great weekend everyone, Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I find Attic24 patterns amazingly good but a sheep sounds complicated!! I hope you get it though! I hope your use it up week goes well. This is very good for freezer rotation! And being inventive with pantry items! I hope you have a wonderful new week. We are working on a project today that I have wanted to get done what seems like forever! So hopefully by tonight I will be very happy about it! With much love

  7. Hi Annabel,

    I am so envious of your orchard!! I would love to be able to grow and harvest an abundance like that!! And I cannot believe this peaches were just there for the picking! Amazing! There doesn't seem to be any forage-able food like that in my area at all!

    Your op shop finds always amaze me, I never seem to find nice/vintage items like that.

    I have had a very busy week this week, I'm feeling better, and have some energy again (at last)

    I was gifted 2 dozen eggs from a family member, eggs never go to waste around here, so they will be used in baking or cooking or breakfast.

    I took a leaf out of your book, and asked hubby to cut my hair for me, he did a great job, so I saved at least $30 there.

    I had half a cooked corned beef to use up, so I made some pasties. I was going to buy the pastry, until I saw the price of it, and how much I would need to buy to make them, so I went home, and made my own short crust pastry from scratch, it cost me mere pennies in comparison. (I was just being lazy planning to buy the pastry anyway)

    I brewed our weekly Kombucha, I make it every week, I usually get 4 wine bottle full and it only costs me a couple of dollars max, so much cheaper than shop bought.

    I made bread rolls from scratch and froze them to be used for hamburgers on the weekend, again cheaper and healthier than shop bought, and I made up the meat patties for the burgers from scratch and froze them ready to go. I got 13 patties out of 1kg of mince!

    In the garden I'm picking beautiful sweet passionfruit, we just eat them fresh, we all love them so they don't last long. I picked one zucchini from the garden, which went into a savoury zucchini slice and a few chilli's.

    I picked up and extra days work unexpectedly, so that has built up our coffers a bit. has been a busy week, but oh so enjoyable!

    Have a lovely weekend

    Cheers Cheryl

    1. Dear Cheryl, We are lucky with our fruit. I am also amazed that so many people would walk right past those peaches and not pick them! Today I started picking apples. They are beautiful. It is such a joy!
      Good on your hubby! My daughter cuts my hair and I cut Andys. It is wonderful!
      It was lovely getting eggs. They are so versatile... you get any meal or even desert.
      It is great to build up the saving s when you can. It all helps. I am so glad you are feeling much better. I am slow replying as it has been a very hectic week but it has been good. I hope your week is going well! With love

  8. Dear Annabel and beautiful Bluebirds. I have loved hearing about your fruit-picking. It has all been put to such good use. I bet the fruit tastes so much better just off the tree. I really love how you use it all up. It really is lovely. I love your niece's present- it looks so pretty all wrapped up. You have such a great way with presentation. I love those pillowcases you have made your granddaughters too. I love how they are personalised to their little personalities- so cute! I have hag a good week. I did finally get to the op shop and I bought a newish board game, shoes for my son, and shoes for me. I also bought a rechargeable lantern- here's hoping it charges properly. I hope so. I also was able to donate to Townsville Floods, there were drives here asking for good at home. It felt good to go to the cupboard and give from there. I would like to give more in this way. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      One of the advantages of a good pantry is being able to help others! It is wonderful. And there are times of great need like this.
      I think we have apple picking ahead this week. Yes I try to use every bit and share it. These are the times we can get ahead and put things to good use. I think this one is easy as there is so much you can do with apple.
      Thank you re the crafts and sewing. The girls loved their pillowcases! It was great! Scarlett went to bed when we visited Saturday taking her new pillow with her. We put Harpers pillow case straight on she says Cinderemma instead of cinderella. I hope you have another great week this week! With love

  9. Hello Annabel and what a great week you have had with all of that lovely produce and berries too and local knowledge on where to find more too :). Such wonderful gifts you received and great op shop finds too.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $348 in savings last week -

    Blessings -

    - We were gifted 3 dozen eggs from a friend who had to many.
    - Another friend gave me quite a few figs from her tree as she had to many. They have been my fruit for most of the week.

    In the kitchen -

    - Made a cheesecake with cream cheese purchased on special and lemon juice we froze from gifted lemons saving us $69.48 over purchasing one of equivalent quality in the shops.

    House organisation and maintenance -

    - DH replaced flyscreen in a door and window and removed chicken wire from a garden bed we are removing saving $125 over hiring a tradesman to do it for us.
    - I cleaned half of the homes glass windows and doors inside and out.

    Sewing -

    - I made 4 bread bags which I listed in my eBay store for sale.

    Earnings and finances -

    - I earned $34.38 from the sale of 2 bread bags in my eBay store.
    - DH earned $50 from a paid mowing job he got.
    - We paid off another extra part payment off our home mortgage.
    - Listed 28 homemade items on eBay on a free listing and final auction value fee promotion saving $46.20 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -

    - Purchased 50 disposable lighters for use around the home and some for storage saving us $61.60 over buying them in the local stores singularly.
    - Purchased needed fabrics for the sewing room and enough curtain fabric to make 2 rooms of curtains to replace blinds that don't work. These were all on a 40% off sale saving in total $45.72 on usual prices.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, Straight away you hit on a good point... local knowledge!! I would have no idea bout those trees if not for Dad. In a new area discovering the road side fruit trees, the people who have trees and dont pick the fruit... the fishing spots and so much more must be discovered! Hopefully your friendly neighbours would be good with things like this for you.
      Figs plus eggs are beautiful! I am sure you re seeing them to good use! I think bread bags will be a good seller. I recently discovered that iceberg lettuce keeps and keeps in a similar fabric bag... I use an old pillowcase actually. I wash the lettuce and drain it will then spin it out in a pillowcase and then store it in a dry one all wrapped up. Well it just lasts and lasts!!
      You are adding so much to your store! It is wonderful Each week you seem to be paying extra on the mortgage too!
      The idea to get disposable lighters online is another one I am going to follow you on. Lighters are not something we would ever want to run out of. I keep a few in the emergency cupboard.
      Also week by week I can see your are doing improvements inside and out. It must really be showing now as it all adds up. We have a running list of things to do. Some is according to the weather too. This week one thing is cleaning up the chook house, installing nesting boxes and filling them with hay and this will involve the trailer to remove all kinds of junk the last people left laying around. The new chooks are about to start laying I think so we need to get it done. I have some interesting finds to use for nesting boxes and there is hay up in the shed. I cant wait as it will be such an improvement but we had more urgent things first. Finally we are up to this! I would just imagine you working through similar lists!
      I know you will be saving a fortune on your curtains! They will be lovely! I hope you enjoy your Sunday and have a very good new week! With much love

  10. My goodness - all that fruit!!!! You are definitely fortunate and blessed. It sounds like you will be a busy lady in the weeks to come. That is just wonderful. It sounds like you have a wonderful week for sure. Blessings.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! Yes this is amazing! Today (Thursday) we begin to pick our apples. The top ones need picking and we will let some ripen more. But the birds are getting in... I will just daily work on fruit until I get it all done. It is a blessing and I wont waste a thing! Thank you so much! With love

  11. I hate to think what that casserole dish cost brand new! I was just pricing Friendly Village covered dishes. They were expensive and now they are made in China instead of England. Which makes me grateful for those I have collected at thrift shops over the years really cheap and all originals from when they were made in England. I have a teapot and a sugar bowl purchased new made in China and they look good but you can tell the difference. Thrift stores are God's gift to us frugal collectors.

    1. Dear Brenda, Well being Wedgwood I think it would be really expensive. I love it. I love moulding etc and white on white. I love English china also. I watch out for it wherever I go! Yes thrift stores really are amazing. Some days you have luck somedays not... but overall it is so much fun and I have added to my crafts, pantry, linen, books, china, clothing, accessories... pretty much every area and even gifts! I have also had finds that I have sold and made quite a bit on over the years. I hope you are having a good week Brenda! With much love

  12. It is winter here, and we have had snow every day. MY DH shovels the driveway and cleans off my car for me every morning. That is the best Valentine's gift. Better than flowers.

    Your fruit looks so lovely. I was raised on an apple orchard, which also had peaches, apricots, blackberries and walnuts, so I was spoiled growing up with fresh fruit.

    We were able to get 5 pounds of butter and 5 turkey breasts for a little over $31.00 last week (after discounts and a coupon). Each turkey breast was around 8 pounds. I think that is around 3 kg.

    We lost our power for around 5-6 hours on Saturday night due to the wind and snow. It got to around 50 degrees in the house. We were okay under blankets. Had candles and flashlights for light. They were so good at coming out in the cold to fix it.

    I cooked one of the turkey breasts in the crockpot on Sunday for dinner. Had it with frozen homegrown mixed vegetables.

    Made broth with the turkey bones from our Christmas dinner. It is in the freezer now.

    Brought breakfasts and lunches to work. I am an accountant, so this is a busy time of year for me. I will be retiring in about 2 years.

    There were a few other things, but that is all I can think of at the moment.

    1. Dear Nancy,
      What a good husband you have. It is so nice how you appreciate all he does!
      Your temperatures are so cold! I am glad they were able to fix the powerful you. We now have a wood fireplace. If the power goes out we could stay warm for a year... but we do not get the cold like you do at all and it certainly doesn't snow. I am glad you had candles and flashlights.
      Well done on your breakfasts and lunches at work. That would save a lot per week. Everything to save and get ready for retirement is a great idea. I think growing up on an orchard would have been beautiful! My husband loves apricots best of all. She this year we are planting two apricot trees! We just need for summer to end to get these trees in. We want to have an orchard and we have four established trees to get us started and today I planted two lemons! So that is progress! I hope you are having a good new week! With love,

  13. That casserole is just beautiful Anything you serve from it will be beautiful. The pillowcases were a wonderful surprise for the girls. I am watching the peach trees here. The warm weather last week seemed to wake them up way too early. Recent years have seen many late frosts that killed the peach crop and what was left were not sweet so I nave not canned peaches in 3 years. Peaches are big business here so I am hoping the farmers do not have to suffer another loss.

    We joined Sam's Club for $45 and got a $45 credit to spent plus I got $18.25 in rebates on ibotta. We were able to stock up on soe things for very little.

    We have decided to stay in our house for now. The price of real estate has priced us out of the market without selling this house first. It is real peace just to stop and be happy here for now.

    1. Dear Lana,
      I know the struggle that house hunting can be. When I was pregnant with John, Colton and I were looking for a new home that we could call our own. For one reason or another, nothing we looked at would work for us. It was so stressful and had me in tears a few times. When we decided to just stay put at the ranch, we both has such a heavy burden lifted off our shoulders. We experienced true peace realizing that God wanted us to stay here. We realized that we were pushing for something that was not his will, at least not at that time. Now looking back, I can see so many reasons why staying was in all of our best interests. It seems God often works in that way and it allows us to just praise him so much more, seeing that he is working for our good, and sparing us from our own error, however difficult it may be at the time. I am glad you are at peace and I just wanted to encourage you here to trust in God's timing. He has a reason for this!
      With love, Kelsey

    2. Dear Lana, That will take a lot of pressure off you. Also moving is expensive overall so possibly you could spend the money you would have spent moving on removing the trees or some of them that block the light. Sometimes even one or two key ones can make a world of difference. We have two we need to have removed, way beyond what we can do...and waiting on that.
      Thank you Kelsey for sharing your story and I remember that time very well!
      I wish we had a Sams club as I hear a lot about that. I also hear about a few other of your famous stores. We just dont have them! But I guess we have a few of our own and there is Costco and Aldi here.
      I hope you have a wonderful new week! With love

  14. My goodness, the bounty just goes on and on doesn't it? How beautiful that plum jam is. In the South we make pear preserves. It is syrupy and sweet and very good on a slice of toast or a hot biscuit (scone to you) in winter. Pear relish also, which is pickled and tastes very good as a relish on meats. And an older lady friend always made a pear pie much like apple pie. Mama canned her hard pears, cutting them in half and putting a simple syrup over them. My goodness you've got my brain ticking along!
    I've had a good week, more at home than last. I am almost done remaking the slipcover but had to stop because my shoulders/neck/upper back were aching. I do not sit in a proper way when I sew, and that is strictly on me. I have, for the duration of the weekend, put the new slipcover on the chair. I'll go at it again on Monday when John is back at work and I can think things out without being distracted. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Terri, I am going to look up these pear preserves. This sounds really interesting and I will be needing to take action fast once they ripen. Terri I have to get up often and walk around if I am sewing for the same reason. I think being able to sew a slip cover is a wonderful skill! I hope you have a wonderful new week! With love

  15. What a wonderful lot of produce Annabel and I’m in awe of all the wonderful things you’ve been making. My husband has had a bit of luck. He won 2 meat trays at a local footy club which one of our daughters invited us to last night. To support the junior players he bought $5 worth of tickets in the weekly fundraiser. That bought 30 tickets but as the raffle was going to be drawn in a few minutes, he was given 70 tickets to get rid of about luck! We’ll share with the girls.

    1. Dear Maria, Oh wow on the meat trays! And two! With meat the price it is winning this has to be a huge help. How wonderful! You had a good week! Sorry for my slow reply, each day is hectic! I hope this week has been good for you also! With much love,

  16. Dear Annabel,what a lovely lot of abundant fruit has come your way one way or another , keeping you very busy in the kitchen . That is a good quick recipe idea for a dessert , I must get a pkt mix next shop to keep on hand.Jam looks glorious too !The Wedgewood Tureen is a lovely and lucky find .The pillowcases are so sweet , and I love the coconut ice heart you made for your niece .You had a vrey busy week ! Lots of love , Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      The cake mix is a quick cheat desert but gosh it can be good for using up fruit! So are the Miracle Muffins basically anything can go in them! I hope your week is going well. I have taken so long to reply! Today is apple picking day... well we are making a start as the birds are getting stuck into them now. With much love,

  17. Annabel,
    All of the fruit looks so delicious, so happy that you are being blessed,don't you just love finding free fruit!

    I was able to add to a few pantries in my home this last week. We traveled this last week and I was able to visit 2 thrift shops. I was blessed with spools of thread, embroidery floss, a picture for my living room, a baking pan, a pitcher that is just so pretty, buttons, snaps, books, and one sheet. Plus I filled a grocery bag with my hotel take homes. I had a very blessed week.

    May you continue to be blessed with a bounty of produce.

    1. Dear Rosanne, I LOVE adding to the sewing pantry. Yesterday I was doing some hand sewing. I needed several odd colour cottons that I would never normally buy. But due to buying whole bags of thread on wooden spools (for about 20c each) I had each colour. I looked in my drawer of cottons. I have just about every colour thanks to thrift shopping! I love your finds and hearing what you got!
      I hope you have a great new week. We are blessed with mild weather so hope to get lots done! With love

  18. Dear Annabel,

    I can just taste those peaches! Mmmm, mmmm!!! That slab of coconut ice is just drop dead gorgeous, and bet it tastes great, too!! I love that stationery you picked up at the thrift shop!

    This has been a busy, but crazy week. We had a big snowstorm, and my hubby had to stay overnight in the city one night because of the weather, which sort of made everything off. Luckily all was fine by Valentine's Day! :) Got some more progress made on removing bathroom wallpaper and on picking out new lino and countertop. Knit a dishcloth, crocheted an edging on a tea towel, made a couple of sets of Valentine's cards! Also made three kinds of Valentine's chocs for the kids and for my husband. Made 2 chocolate cakes. Sold 4 doz. eggs. Shovelled snow!! Vacuumed the house thoroughly now that I managed to find a new vacuum...including doing the upstairs landing walls, which were awful. Also found some great shimmery cardstock at a thrift shop to use for making cards. All in all, a very productive week. Hoping this week will be a little more normal, though! I hope your picnic outing for apples and mulberries will be wonderful. You will be swimming in apples!!

    Lots of love,

    Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Wow what a week! It was a good idea that your husband just stayed put. Its not worth the risk. Safe and sound is better. People seem to do the maddest things in storms and bad weather. We dont have ice storms but here people are convinced they should drive across flooded roads and so on!
      You will be glad when you have all the wallpaper off! That is the hardest bit!
      Your Valentines Day celebrations of cards and cooking sound just beautiful. I love how you included everyone. I really like the idea of the shimmery card stock! You have given me an idea!
      I hope the new week will be just as good! I am trying to get off to a good start! We are on a project today I have been waiting to get done so this is a great start! With much love

  19. Dear Annabel,
    What a great week you had with all of that fruit! I love seeing the baskets filled with such bounty and all the things you have been making. The coconut ice is so pretty and the way you packaged it is beautiful.
    I am just giddy with excitement over my week! It seems it was a week of freebies and bargains! But first the usual...
    I started more vegetable seeds. I've also been harvesting from the garden and this week I managed to pickle all of the beets.
    I mended two skirts and altered one. Patsi's sewing challenge is helping me get these things done that I have been putting off.
    I sold some of John's clothes that he has outgrown. I am only keeping back my favorites in case we have another boy some day.
    I saved on craft supplies by purchasing them on sale and using a gift card.
    I also saved on groceries, including buying a ham at half price for only $10. We did a stock up on shredded cheese, bulk cinnamon, and sugar to refill my bucket in the pantry. I used up some unhealthy ingredients in the pantry that we don't plan on restocking and made a desert that lasted us several days. I packed some as snacks when we made a trip to the city to avoid eating out. I had a freezer meal waiting for us at home.
    Now on to the exciting things... We have a friend who works for a business that sponsors a lot of local events. From one such event, they had lots and lots of hot dogs, buns, chips, and condiments left over still in their packages. Our friend sent us home with 6 packages of hot dogs, 8 packages of hot dog buns, a bottle each of ketchup and mustard, a jar of relish, and 20 small bags of chips!! For FREE!! I'm so grateful to add these to the freezer and pantry. The same friend rescued three boxes of new, blank notebooks that his company was going to just throw away. He sent me home with one box of 18 notebooks and said to let him know if I wanted more! I will use these plus make some over for gifts.
    This week we were also given eggs, a cake mix, and an orchid.
    We donated a box of clothes to our local thrift store and while we were there we looked around a bit. I found a board book for John with birds, and it has buttons on it that makes the corresponding bird sounds. The book retails for $15 and I got it for .25! I also bought some farm animal books for John plus a bag of plastic alphabet letters that I will incorporate into a gift. All this only cost me $1.75. Colton found a home brewing kit with everything still in its packaging so it was brand new. It retails for $45 and he only paid $20. The lady who volunteers at the thrift store has been saving her Pioneer Woman and Mary Jane's Farm magazines for me, so I got those too.
    This weekend we went to an estate sale and found even more bargains. I got a box of half gallon mason jars still new in the package, plus lots of new jar lids and rings, some cook books and a gardening book for a friend (I already have it a love it and it retails for $30), a bird book to use for card making, a bag of ribbon spools, a rice cooker which I have been wanting, a vintage Pyrex bowl, craft beads, and two baking sheets that I will use to put my seedling pots on. All of this only set me back $13!! Then the lady threw in two free dresses (one I gave to a friend, the other I will cut up for fabric as it is a lovely rose print) and some farm animal toys for John. So you can see I am very excited!
    My savings this week came to $475.94.
    I hope everyone has a great week to come!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Wow, Kelsey, you have had an amazing week! I wanted to let you know that I just saw your comment about a steamer for removing wallpaper. I just may try that for one of my wallpaper projects!

      xx Jen.

    2. What an amazing week, Kelsey! I love how you have gratefully received goods and then are putting them to good use. No wonder people give you things. It is is all appreciated and used. I need to sell some of the boys' clothes too. Much better than sitting in a cupboard! Thank you for showing us even more ways in how to be a Proverbs31 woman! Lots of love, Bridge

    3. Kelsey what a week! No wonder you are excited. Sorry it has take me so long to reply. It was a week of blessings and I know you make the most of them. Im thinking maybe the notebooks could be made over to sell too? I have been altering small note books but it all depends on the cover etc. Either way so wonderful. You have everything to keep you busy for a while! Now I am hoping your friend has more events! Your garden has really come a long way so fast! Isnt it wonderful! The beautiful jars and for Colton the brew kit. Andy has a brew kit and it is amazing! He has brewed and bottles for gifts too and this has been a major hit and money saver! Guys love this kind of stuff. I really am thrilled for you and hope this week is working out wonderfully too! I am excited as it is Thursday here and we are starting to harvest our apples! It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining and we are filling buckets with beautiful apples. What could be nicer!?
      Thank you for sharing your week! I loved it! Love

  20. Dear Annabel,
    The fruit looks so healthy and fresh. The apples are beautiful, as are the peaches. That is a lot of work to put up fruit, but so worth it. We used to can 75 quarts of peaches and 75 quarts of pears each year when the children were home. We could have done more, but my helpers, (husband and children) who were peeling lasted about that long and were DONE. :). I was thankful for the help.
    Aging is sad in the aspect that, unless one has excellent health, it certainly slows down the canning process. For the past few years we have only dehydrated.
    Your hard work will be so lovely to gaze upon all winter in your pantry.
    You had a very good week!
    Love and hugs,

    1. Thank you Glenda! 75 quarts is a lot! That would have been wonderful and taught your kids these skills as well. I think doing small lots helps with keeping up. If I made jam I will often just do five or six jars at a time. But it adds up. With the apples I will make something with apples every day. I might do half a dozen crumbles one day. Baked apples the next day. But day by day work on through them. I can manage that better than all day apple processing. As it is, today is the first day of picking apples! I am so excited! We can feel autumn in the air here!! So I hope you can feel spring coming! With much love

  21. Annabel,
    It is such a pleasure to stop by here and be inspired. In fact, you just inspired me now. My back has been hurting and I have been eating out of the pantry this week because it hurts too much to go grocery shopping or to cook. My husband offered to go get take out, and after reading your post, I rummaged around and discovered some meatballs and an apple cake in the freezer. So we're good to go!! I so enjoy your posts. What a bounty of fruit you've got!! xo

    1. Dear Annabel, Thankyou! I am sorry about your back. Back pain is just terrible. Rest sometimes is the only thing. Andy has a bad back right now. The things we have put away in the freezer are the answer in these times. They are so good to have. I know apples cakes are in my future as we are picking apples this week! Thank you so much! Love

  22. You were truly blessed this week. That is amazing. Your pantry must really be filling up. That was so nice to get all of the candles. They must have really overbought. The cake for your niece is beautiful. You could sell it.

    1. Dear Makingcentsofitall, Thank you! I am planing lots of things with those candles! I have already decorated some and some are going into preparedness kits I am making for gifts too. Each time I make a gift and save a lot of money like on the coconut ice gift my savings help build up my pantry! It is a win win! I hope your new week is going well! With love

  23. Lots of delicious fruit, Annabel, and those op shop finds, wow!

    This might sound small, but I finally used up leftover fast food salsa packs in burritos I made for my grown disabled son. Not a lot of savings but it added some flavor for zero cost. Have a great week, Bluebirds! Love, Teresa

    1. Dear Teresa, Everything counts! And yum burritos! They are great. We did not grow up with burritos or enchiladas etc so only the last couple of years I learned to make these! I love them! I hope this week is going well for you! With love


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