The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Thursday 25 April 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 26th April, 2019.

It was another good and busy week.  I hope you had a very Happy Easter.
On Saturday I visited the girls and took some Easter cooking and treats.  The lamb came with me in the car!  I had bottles prepared and off we went.  The girls loved him!    Before we left I noticed the lamb had a dirty side where he had sat in you know what.   So I made up a bucket of water and thought what do you wash a sheep with?  Then I thought "I know, wool wash!"  It worked a treat and he smelled lovely.  It was only a patch wash not like a whole bath...

I had made more quiches and took two dozen and honey gingerbread cookies for the girls.   My biscuits didn't look very glamorous but they liked them and they were demolished!

This all caught me up with the eggs and I also gave Lucy a dozen.  Then when I got home I went and collected more eggs! haha!
I search Lucy's veggie garden for thistles and also brought home some chard and spinach for the chooks.  They just go crazy over this!

Mum and I are heading down to see the girls today so I go with a big IKEA blue bag to fill with chicken greens and my garden gloves and scissors.

The rest of Easter long weekend was spent with everyone working on pulling down an old (and dangerous) shed at Chloe and Luke's.  It was a big job.  Luke had the tractor there and when he had time he drove it over here and went up behind the sheep yards and dug out big tractor scoops of sheep manure and drove them down to the house.  He dumped several scoops in the fruit tree yard... this will be for new fruit trees and my pumpkin patch!   Then near the veggie and flower gardens and finally some for Andy to spread on the lawn as fertiliser.    I can't quite guess how many wheel barrow loads one tractor scoop is but a fair few.  This was so fantastic!   We joked that his Easter gift to me was a pile poo but I said this is the best gift you could ever give me!   Now I can plant pumpkins, trees, build up my veggie and flower gardens and more! 

This week we had some rain on and off.   Not enough but something.  We are really desperate for rain. 

I made up a batch of Miracle Cleaner as I was completely out.  I love this for the way it smells and that it is natural and kills germs.  The spray bottle once had Aldi cleaner in it and I saved it and soaked off the label.  

So many containers are actually quite nice to recycle for make-your-own things.  The foaming soap dispensers are easy to refill too.

I visited Mum.  I came home with a big basket of Bay Leaves. 

There is some Rosemary tucked in there too... this was for a lamb roast that Mum gave us.  She also gave us some beef.  It was fantastic as they are big bits and will make many meals!   Also it was lucky... Mum asked if I had room in the freezer.  Because of the new (yet old!) freezer from Adelaide I now had plenty of room so I could say yes! 
The old freezer, having been in a shed for years, was a bit scruffy.  Despite a good clean the top had marks.  I covered the top with marble contact paper and it looks amazing and matches my kitchen bench tops!   Appliances that are scruffy or marked can be painted, have a chalkboard front, be covered in contact... seriously they can look fantastic.   I once painted an old fridge pink and had roses all over it.  I loved that fridge! 

It is Andy's Birthday coming up.  His favourite cake is fruit cake so I made one for him and two extra.  They store for a long time and I love to have cake on hand for visitors.  A fruit cake is a good gift too.

Sure enough Dad turned up so I opened the little cake and sliced it so he could have some.

I made a tray of gluten free scones and froze them to go with soups etc.

The lamb (who is now called Scooter) is 12 days old.  He has done so well and skips and plays and follows me everywhere. Then suddenly early in the week I thought he wasn't so energetic. Then in the evening he couldn't even stand up!  I thought it was curtains.  I reviewed everything and found maybe I was diluting his formula powder a bit too much so I strengthened it.  The amount I was giving was right.... anyway within two days he was back to normal and now he races ahead of me to feed the chooks as he knows where to go!   He also likes to come in to see the chooks.  They are less keen! 

I was given four beautiful plants for the garden for Easter.  These were the best gifts!   I planted them all right away.

I have been working on my crochet blanket and a fairy garden and cupboard.

Near the kitchen I have this little door that Harper was fascinated with.  Once it was a laundry shoot then some genius put a water heater there.  So it was a door to no where... and not pretty!

I have been working on it to make a fairy cupboard.  This is so far...

The little Blue Wrens are my favourite part!

Yesterday I made little cakes to take with me today for the girls...

And also a chocolate cake for Chloe and Luke and one for us.  

So it was a great week and we went ahead in leaps and bounds especially in the garden department.  I am saving for fruit trees.  Normally they go in during winter.  So we can dig and prepare the spots for them now and make protective surrounds.   Soon this yard will be the lambs yard too for a while.   

I think one of the Bantams is going broody so soon I can do my swap with Allie and hatch chickens!  
And Harper and Scarlett's dog is due to have puppies THIS WEEKEND!  

In what ways did you get a chance to get ahead,  build up your pantry and supplies, save and feather your nest?  I hope it was a good week for you too! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel,
    As always you had a very productive week. You have done an amazing amount of work on the farm in a short time.
    John repainted the downstairs kitchen and dining area this week using paint we had left over from the main kitchen. It looks so cozy and warm and didn't cost us anything. We had four Bakers Racks stored in the garage, so the shelving for the downstairs kitchen didn't cost us either.
    I rearranged the main level kitchen and used a cherry mission table in the dining area, so, again, no cost. This why the Marie Condo method has never appealed to me; we have always rearranged with stored decorations or furniture and not had to buy new to change things up. Whenever we purchase an item it is something we really like, so it is always useable again within the decor scheme.
    Two of our terra cotta planters, filled with Daylillies, didn't make it through the winter, so we will use two white large planters we have to repot them into. No sense buying more when we already have these as extras.
    The weather is beautiful here now and the fruit trees and fruit bushes are beginning to leaf out. Hopefully, the fruit crops will be plentiful this year.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, It sounds like you are getting the benefits of spring now! It sounds just lovely!
      You also had a very productive week! The kitchen painted and some rearranging is a lot! It is wonderful John was able to do the painting.
      I love the sound of your pots and the fruit trees budding. Soon you will have blossoms! I hope you have a good weekend and excellent new week. We have spent Saturday spreading manure and many other things achieving a lot! With much love

  2. Annabel it has been another Super Nanna week for you. Having all that lovely beef and farm grown lamb. My mouth waters thinking of it.
    We have finally been getting rain. This is normally our dry season and Christmas is our wet time. Not this time around. The weather is still very mild and nights are not cold. I have been taking advantage of this in the garden and have lots growing.
    I transplanted what was originally three asparagus plants that were being croweded out by the coffee trees. I ended up with 8 crowns to replant. I also dug up and transplanted the Queensland Arrowroot plant that was in too shaded a spot. I ended up with 9 really good rhyzomes to replant. I grow this plant for mulch. I have spaghetti squash, sweet potato and Nastursians growing gang busters across what was a dry and barren area. The weather has been amazing for the garden.
    It's Katie's Jared's Birthday next week. I had some Marvel Comics fabric I picked up as a remnant in my stash. This is now a pillow case for Marvel mad Jared. I also used my embroidery machine and momagrammed his letters onto the cuff. Mind you I unpicked it four times until I finially got it right.
    Hand embroidery has also featured this week. I made up two of Jenny's designs. One has been made up into a bookmark for Mothers Day for Mum. The other was done because I liked it. I havent made it up into a project just yet.
    Bluey has almost finished our new TV cabinet in a meat safe style. He has spent very little on this project but it is coming up an absolute treat. Once completed I will share a photo in the Tuesday Afternoon group.
    I hope that the rain makes its way to your part of the world. We are not complaining one little bit about what we are getting.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Jared will love his pillowcase! Another idea for the future might be Marvel Pj pants or boxer shorts. He will love his personalised pillowcase.
      I am glad you have rain. We spend half our time looking at clouds hoping they contain rain. Things are seriously bad now. The paddocks are sand.
      Your embroidery is gorgeous! I love your gift for your Mum!
      I cant wait to see the TV cabinet since I loved the meat safe! Also we now have a fair few pallets... stuff keeps getting delivered on them!
      I would really like to grow asparagus. I might seek your advice on that. Your garden is going great guns.
      Have a lovely weekend and new week. Lambie is growing g like a bean. I am betting I have another lamb within a week! With love,

  3. Hi Annabel and you look like you have had a wonderful week :). Your baking as usual looks divine and Scooter looks so happy and seems like he has adopted you as his human mother :) .

    This week for us was more community service where we helped our local RSL sub branch cleanup and prepare for the Anzac Day memorial service on Thursday. It was all hands on deck and myself and another military veteran lady cleaned the inside of RSL club until it sparkled and DH helped with another couple of veterans set up the outdoor gazebos and to cook afternoon tea for the veterans and band members. What a magnificent day it was and DH marched for the first time in years in the Anzac march and laid the wreath for our RSL sub branch.

    Our Vickie challenge added up to $217.21 in savings last week :) .

    In the kitchen -

    - Made a batch of MOO yoghurt saving $2.81 over purchasing it.
    - Made a half a batch of brownie/chocolate sauce premix saving $7.33 over purchasing it in the shops.
    - In the breadmaker we made 3 loaves of bread during the week saving $10.47 over purchasing them in the local shops.

    Finances/Listings and extra earnings -

    - Paid our usual fortnightly house mortgage payment.
    - Listed 20 items on a free listing promotion saving $33 on usual listing fees.
    - I earned around $12 from the sale of a homemade cotton eye mask on eBay.
    - DH earned $150 from gardening jobs he did this week. We put aside the expenses for oils, fuel and other needed equipment from each job as he does it. Next week some of this will be used to purchase fuel and sprays he has used and the rest will be kept for maintenance of our gardening equipment.

    Purchases -

    - Bought 3 x 3kg prescripton dry cat food for our cat who was born with half her teeth (she still manages quite well though). I used some of my earnings from my PayPal account and the full budgeted cat food account to purchased it using discount voucher codes on eBay saving $20.28 over purchasing it in the local vets.
    - Purchased 2 x 12mm x 300mm and 2 x 16mm x 300mm wood auger pieces on eBay saving $128.08 over purchasing them in our local hardware stores. We are going to use these to put up a front gate so have to drill through large ironbark fence posts to attach them and are going to use these for both our kangaroo garden enclosure and rebuilding our chook pen too.

    Hope everyone had an equally wonderful week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, It was just wonderful how you both helped the community and cleaned the RSL club. This brings the community together very much. It is excellent about your and your husbands earnings. This all amounts to so much extra and as you say pays for additional things plus maintenance. I am excited about your fence and chicken pen! I hope to get to see those! This week I hope to have a temporary lamb pen on the lawn that I can move around so the lamb starts eating grass. He needs to be locked up at night though due to foxes. Then we will work on fruit tree protective surrounds before we buy the new fruit trees. Notice there is always plenty to do!?
      The yoghurt, brownies and bread all sound so good. I hope you have a lovely weekend and new week. We are a bit desperate for rain. So looking at the sky! With much love

  4. I just have a courtyard now to play in but where we once lived I loaded manure from my Dad's farm in a bag or bucket and brought it back 3 hour drive for my garden! Since you are eating gluten free does it bother you to handle regular flour? I am allergic to wheat, barley and rye. Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy, I see fine with cooking wheat flour I just cant eat it. I am sure I am not celiac or anything it is just an inflammatory issue. If I eat even a little I just ache so terribly especially my legs. I know some people have to be careful to not even tough it. I know Laine was sick due to a cross contamination issue. So I am lucky with this.
      I have been spreading manure in the veggie patch half the day! I have a lot to do! But it will work wonders.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  5. Dear Annabel, what a delightful and inspiring post. It makes my day and week brighter just reading it. Thank you! How wonderful Luke could save you all that manure and now it will be put to good use. I love your fairy garden- it is GORGEOUS! The girls will have the best time playing with it. I also love those little cakes. It gives me ideas for Henry's cake (next week! I can't believe he is 4...). I love the miracle cleaner. I bet it smells so good and your miracle cleaner is such a pretty colour. We have finally put some vegetable garden beds in. 2 to stay with. I would like one more soon. I am excited because we have already planted plants in the two of them. I am so excited! I love going out there. Next step is to save some money to flatten the yard and then buy some fruit trees (we have a mango, I would like at least an avocado and a lemon...). It is exciting. Sending you love. Love, Bridget. Thank you for everything that you do here and on FB. It really encourages me. I am blessed to have 'met' you.

    1. Dear Bridge,
      Yes Harper is also turning four! I remember they were born quite close together. She is Cinderella mad so that is our theme. A lady was making a fairy garden for little boys... she was in the cheap shop with me when I got the tiny blue wrens (which were $1!) She had built a little bird house and bridge from natural materials and she was getting little frogs and mushrooms etc for her fairy garden. I thought that was super cute.
      It is fantastic about your garden beds!! The more time outdoors the happier I am I think. You will be really surprised by what you can grow and how it soon is abundant if you just add things as you can. So many things can be grown if someone will give you a bit of theirs too. I am not sure what grows there but I am having some success with seeds too. This helped me really get a lot going quite fast.
      I am glad you feel encouraged! We need friendship and encouragement. I do. Having friends to share our journey with really does help and that is apart the things we learn from each other. Have a lovely weekend! With much love

  6. Hello Annabel,

    Your week, as always sounds busy and productive!! I would have loved a gift of sheep poo too!

    I had a good week the weather is finally cooling off up here, and I’m finding myself out in the garden a lot. I planted 2 olive trees and a late season mandarine tree in my orchard, bringing my total of trees to 7! I probably won’t plant anymore over Winter, but I hope to plant the rest come Spring.
    I also planted some spinach and French marigolds in the veggie patch. And I’ve started clearing the grass around our established fruit trees in the house yard, as they are hard to mow around. It’s a big job though so I will tackle it bit by bit.

    I made a couple of loaves of bread this week and Anzac biscuits on Anzac Day. I used the original recipe from 1914, without coconut and they were delicious! I’m going to make them again, but with chopped macadamia’s through them, I think they will be lovely.

    I made a batch of sauerkraut this week, it always goes well with meaty winter meals.

    School goes back next week, and I’ve got all the uniforms washed, ironed and ready to go, I will just need to do some baking on the weekend for all those lunchboxes!

    Anyway have a lovely weekend. Keep inspiring us all with your enthusiasm for work.

    Love Cheryl

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      When school was going back we did baking for a few days before. As the girls got older they loved to decorate the cakes and cookies and make pinwheels etc by themselves. I loved to have beautiful things for the first days and lots in reserve!
      Well done on the expansion of your orchard! It is cooling off here too. I am starting considering lighting the fire for the first time.
      Your bread and Anzacs sound delicious!
      I have started spreading the manure around the veggie garden and watering it in. It is going to take a week I think to unload the full trailer. Then I will begin on fruit trees and the pumpkin patch! My method is a bit each day soon adds up!
      Have a lovely weekend ! With much love

  7. I am so jealous about your Easter present. Ahuge load of poo beats choccie eggs anytime :)

    1. Dear Sue, You are a gardener!! I started putting the manure on the veggie garden. Next I will start digging holes for fruit trees and filling them with this goodness. It will make such a difference to our fairly sandy soil. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  8. Hi Annabel,
    Sorry I haven't been around in a while. I'm not sure when I'll get back to blogging, but have so much reading on everyone else to catch up on.Your posts always make me feel happy! The fairy garden and cakes are beautiful. How lucky your grand daughter's are! Lots of love, Mel xx

    1. Dear Mel, I am really happy to hear from you! I have missed you but understood. Thank you Mel. I would love to see you blogging again but you do things as you feel you can. I am pretty sure I remember an amazing fantasy thing your husband built for your kids... it was like a platform in the jungle, I dont know what to call it. Anyway it was so amazing. I hope to go on with my fairy garden and make it awesome like that! With much love

    2. Hi Mel so wonderful to hear from you you’ll never believe it but I was reading your blog again a couple of days ago and really loved following your family life like Annabels your blog teaches me the importance of the little things in our lives and creating a simple life I always feel so contented and happy when I read your blogs Look forward to seeing you on here again Mel love Shelley

    3. Hi Annabel, yes it was a wooden gnome tree house! I am studying full-time this year and life is hectic but good. I am still crafting away and living frugally xx
      Hi Shelley, thank you so much! It is really lovely for you to say that. I have a house full of teenagers now-yikes! xx

  9. Perhaps you could make your fairy garden seasonal... change things out. And when the girls come to visit, hide little treats in the garden, have something special for them to look forward to. (not that all their visits to see the best Grandma in the whole wide world aren't special!)

    1. Dear Joy, This is a lovely idea! Already you made me think of how crazy I could go at Christmas with a little christmas tree and presents etc! Great thinking! I will add to the outdoor garden a lot as I find things I can use. Much of it will be natural things and little treasures. It is really fun! Have a nice weekend! With love

  10. I just this afternoon finished making a bed skirt for my master bedroom. I bought material yesterday and used an orphan full top sheet to fit a queen bed.
    This week has been about doing odd jobs of all sorts, little things I noticed wanting doing so I did them.

    I have found the wisdom in looking for $off coupons on the meat at Aldi. I found $5 off coupons on ground beef (mince to you) and it brought the cost per pound down to a very good price indeed. I bought all they had which was a total of about 10 pounds total.

    I love the wool wash on Scooter, lol.

    1. Dear Terri,
      You are an excellent seamstress, I know from upholstery and cushions you have made. So the bed skirt would be lovely.
      Well done on the coupons. This is the way to shop and stock up! We are having to get really savvy with shopping as fresh produce and meat is going up so dramatically.
      I have had to wash Scooter again since. He is bounding along now. I am betting I end up with another lamb soon too. At least I am in practice now.
      Have a wonderful new week! With love

  11. your lamb is very cute!
    enjoyed catching up with the rest of the posts too; apple butter sounds very interesting! anything like the apple sauce? also did you know that with the peels & cores you could've made apple cider vinegar? apparently you just add water! i've never made it but read on blogs the few who have ... another frugal item for you :))
    lovely posts
    thanx for sharing

    1. Dear Selina, Thank you! I havent made vinegar but thought of it... so maybe I will as I still have heaps more apples to work through. The apple butter is different as it is deep caramel brown and concentrated although I love apple sauce also!
      Thank you for such a kind comment! With love

  12. Dear Annabel, I just love little Scooter, the lamb!What a sweetie following you around.
    Your Fairy garden is gorgeous! I have a small bowl fairy garden and had intended to make one in the garden , in an old urn but that wasn't practical in the end .You have the perfect spot for yours.
    The cupcakes look yummy and boy would I like one haha we have been cutting down our sweet intake and so I try to make things with a healthy twist but what I made on Friday unfortunately 2 out of 3 did not turn out well. The obvious would be to turn them into desserts but that is what we have cut out for health reasons ,especially for my hubby.I must say I find it jolly hard not baking like im use to .
    You had a very productive week all round,well done !
    Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I can see you with a lovely fairy garden! A little bit of glitter and some treasures go a long way... today I found a huge old shell in the garden.... into the fairy garden that went!
      I found it a huge challenge at first to go no wheat. Change is hard. I do ok if I can have a cake or pancake or scone. I gave up chocolate and lollies... oh the pain of that lol. But anyway overall this is good and working so hard on carting wood, hay and manure and so on I have gone down a size in my jeans even! Andy will only eat an occasional cake like one or two a week. He has no bread. Now it is soup season that is a help as I can live on soup!
      I hope you are having a lovely Sunday and it will be a good new week! We are hoping for rain! With love

  13. Hi Annabel
    I'm so pleased it wasn't curtains for Scooter! I also love that you used your wool wash to clean him. The fairy garden is such a nice idea, it's looking gorgeous! I would be thrilled if someone turned up with cupcakes covered in lollies so I imagine the girls were!

    I went on a trip this week with my girls, it was lovely. And exhausting! I left some meals in the freezers for the boys as well as lots of baking for snacks. Winter sports started today and it has reminded me how much smoother everything runs if I spend a bit of time on Sunday preparing for the week. My goals for this school term are to spend as much time at home as possible, go to the supermarket as little as possible, and get some of those jobs that never seem to be the top priority done.

    It seems the vomiting bug has now passed, and everyone is healthy ready to start back at school. Not the ideal school holidays but we've made it lol.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen,
      Scooter is now getting really big but he is a sook and wont drink bottles for anyone but me lol.
      How nice you had a girls trip! Special memories are made on trips like this.
      I like your goals. I just get so much more done when home. I came to hate running around. With sports etc it is quite hard but at least trips into town can achieve several things at one time. That is what I am doing... if going to town I try and get everything done and avoid going back as long as possible!
      I live by lists!
      When school goes back you will zoom along with the jobs that want to get done! Have a good new week! With love

  14. Hello dear Annabel, so many beautiful things you have made this week. I can imagine your little lamb was a huge hit with the girls. He is so sweet. What a great idea to bake for family at Easter instead of choc eggs. I may try that next year. I bought 12 milk carton boxes of 15 Cadbury eggs half price $4.50 each and gave the 4 granddaughters their handmade white little bunnies as well. They all LOVED them, a big hit. So happy about that. We had a most wonderful Easter with my whole family at my daughters farm, it was truly precious time, especially with my adult kids.
    Your miracle Spray bottles look so pretty. You make EVERYTHING look lovely!! You certainly have a gift for presentation Annabel.
    How wonderful is your Mum to give you roast lamb and beef. So many delicious meals out of them. I bet Andy can't wait for his birthday and his yummy cake.
    I see you made scones to have with your soup meals. Would you be able to share that recipe please Annabel? I make dumplings/doughboys to go with our winter soups and casseroles but will definitely try the scones.
    I've been trying to find the recipe for your sausage rolls Annabel, to no avail. Have you shared it on the blog before? I'd love to try it out. All your pies, quiches and sausage rolls made in bulk must be a wonderful help in busy times. How do you reheat them please? Do you let them defrost and reheat in a slow oven Annabel? Also where do you buy your GF flour? Sorry for so many questions.
    Your fairy garden is so beautiful and as always creative! The little cakes for the girls are so pretty. You're a wonderful Nanny Annabel. I love every post you make on your blog. You have a great gift with words and sharing so much wisdom. Reading about your life on the farm is a real treat. I'd love to see photos of your farmhouse. I can only imagine how you have turned a tired house into a home of beauty and charm. I'm also sure so many other Bluebirds would love to share them too Annabel. Here's hoping!
    I made a delicious Apple Crumble from heavily discounted apples, it was so delicious. I can't believe the price of fruit and vegetable where I live. There is only a Woolworths in our town and the prices are so high. $6 for a cauliflower! It's only going to get harder as winter progresses to afford decent veggies.
    Enjoy your week ahead and Thankyou, as always, for being such a special part of my life, through your words of encouragement and caring. Loads of hugs and smiles, Lorraine oxo

    1. Dear Lorraine,
      I thought your bunnies were just beautiful and think they will be kept forever. Very special! I am glad you had such a lovely Easter.
      It is Andys birthday today (Sunday) and we are going to dinner at Chloe and Lukes. I am also making a black forest cake which will be desert and an extra birthday cake!
      The easiest scone recipe is if you google The Bluebirds are Nesting Hildes scones it will come up... just SR flour plus cream. I also do 4 cups SR flour but I use GF, about 40g melted butter, 1 egg, added half teaspoon baking powder and 2 cups milk. Mix and add more flour as needed to make nice soft dough. The egg is what helps GF scones rise more. They work out so well. Of course you cans serve them sweet or savoury. If I have mashed pumpkin I will put in a cup then keep adding flour until the dough is not too sticky or add cheese. Then its a savoury scone and so nice.
      With sausage rolls... nine times out of ten I will buy sausages on a great special, simply skin them and wrap in puff pastry. If keen I will mix them up with some grated carrot and re assemble. Otherwise I use Jamie Oliver recipe.... he also has one where he makes one huge sausage roll and then you slice it up. Looks like a puff pastry wrapped meat load. Big time saver!
      For most things from freezer... I take out in morning to thaw and I always re heat in the oven so they are crisp and like just baked. In emergency I will fast thaw with microwave then in to oven.
      Aldi have wonderful GF flours but now so do Woolworths and Coles. I have found them all very good.
      I am starting to take more photos around the house now I am kind of getting it how I want it. We spend so much effort getting the garden going first.
      Yes prices of fruit, veg and meat... plus butter! are going crazy. I saw celery for $8. Broc if $9. I am not sure how far you other from other towns.... but I started to travel further a field once a month for more choice and stock ups. It can pay off. Really explore the options and see if any farmers markets etc are around too.
      Thanks so much for your encouragement Lorraine and your wonderful participation in the Tuesday Club! I love your work! We encourage each other.
      Ps to reduce costs you can make up your own GF flours. If you google you will find recipes. There are different ones. I do without almond meal. In general I find a recipe will need more GF flour but mostly I will simply substitute it and it works ok. Otherwise some flourless cakes are very good Nigella has a lovely flourless chic cake... you would never know and no flour at all. We are lucky to have so many alternatives now.
      Have a lovely Sunday and new week! With love

  15. Dear Annabel,
    What a lovely productive week you've had. It seems like only yesterday Harper was a little bit of a girl and now she's going on four. Your bunny cookies came out so cute, as did the little cakes. The lamb seems to be thriving with your wonderful care.

    This week has been a good one. I made loads of Miracle Cleaner and used it all around the house. Mine is lavender scented and we love it. I picked more dandelions from our property and made 9 more jars of dandelion honey (jelly). These will also be put into gift baskets, as well as for our own use. Time was spent sewing items for the gift closet. It's now time to start thinking about Mother's Day cards and some small tokens for my sisters. I will probably make some melt and pour lavender soap from my stash as well as sachets and lotion bars. Everything is on hand. We went far afield this week to run some errands and noticed that all gas stations from where we live to where went went were all charging the same price, over $3 a gallon, which is quite a hike from what it had been. All in all it's been a good week. Hope everyone has a good weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I have made morale cleaner with lavender also as it works the same with lavender being antiseptic and smelling so good. It is a great alternative. Lemon for orange oil might be pretty good too.
      I am thinking about Mothers Day too! It is nice to get ready for the next occasion. The dandelion honey sounds wonderful!
      I am amazed Harper is going to be four too. She is getting quite grown up and now is full of questions and curiosity. Guess what? She loves crafts and making! :) Have a lovely Sunday and very good new week! With much love

  16. Hi Annabel,
    Scooter is so cute. Your beautiful vases that you showed last week would make wonderful gifts for others. You could tailor them to suit the reciever with colours, motifs,etc. I love reading about your days on the farm. I too love being outside. I have been making over an old filing cabinet today. I bought it for $12.50 a few months back. The paint has cost more than the cabinet but I enjoy having a project like this. I have 2 undercoats on and will do a top coat during the week. It is interesting hearing the talk about the cost of living around the world. Our butter has been over $5.00 for anumber of years now. I buy it when it is on special and under $5.00. Petrol is another huge cost in NZ. It is currently $2.34LTR. Because our car is filled with 95(premium) it is $3.40LTR. We go to a petrol station that gives $.12c LTR discount. I averaged out over a year this gives around $70.00 discount. So for us that is about a tank of petrol. We have an economical car to run. We always buy a car such as this.
    You have had another productive week. My plan over the cooler months this year is to paint our inside door frames, skirting boards. Christchurch winters can get very wet,overcast and we have a high water table, due to being built on former swamp land. This can be quite depressing so an inside project will help me through. I love reading about what all the bluebirds around the world are up to. Thank you everyone for sharing.
    Happy Birthday today to Andy. May he enjoy many more.


    1. Dear Mandy,
      Your filing cabinet will look great. I love a painting project!
      Your project over winter will be very good. I really used to struggle with winter, certainly towards the end. I would crave sunshine. I really got better with it by having a lot of projects I really enjoy on the go, taking some vitamin D and getting outside as much as possible on any half bright day. Now I find it a really productive time! The summer we spend so much time outdoors there isn't much time for craft! We have a few Bluebirds in Christchurch now!
      I hope your new week is going well! With love

  17. Hi Annabel

    Well DD8 and I had a wonderful laugh at the cute name of your lamb as Scooter is our cat's name.

    Hope Andy had a lovely birthday as I am sure he would have by enjoying some of the delicious cake.

    Here we have rain on and off since Easter Monday and in between we have been out wandering the bike path by the cane fields and seeing the mist in the mountains. Nights are getting cooler but days are still wonderfully warm.

    Your Easter cookies looked lovely and I am sure the girls would have loved them.

    What a fantastic idea with the fairy garden in the cupboard space. It really looks wonderful.

    Went back to sewing today after school holidays and public holidays. Have managed to get the inner and the backing attached today ready for quilting when I return on Wednesday.

    Not sure about anyone else but I feel like the year is really going along quickly as we are almost into May.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, You have a Scooter too! Our Scooter is like a jumping bean!
      The rain sounds lovely. We are still hoping.
      How good to get back to your sewing. I cant wait to see what you make next. You are doing extremely well with it.
      Yes I do agree how fast the year is moving. It has been busy and good but May already!
      I hope you are having a good new week! With much love

  18. Dear Annabel,
    Your baking looks so lovely. That is a real blessing for your family I am sure. I'm glad Scooter pulled through. I had a bottle calf once and nobody thought she was going to make it but she did! She could't walk and she was blind, but by the end of it, she could get around as well as the others and even gained her sight! I called her MooCow and if I yelled her name out in the pasture, she would pick up her head and moo at me.
    This was a good money saving week for us. We are doing somewhat of a spending freeze as we work on the new shed and only buying the materials for that. We are trying not to reach into savings for as long as possible on this project.
    We saved this week by eating all meals at home, and I added a meal to the freezer. I have menu planned again and even though I usually don't stick to it very strictly, it eliminates the "what's for dinner" question. I tried a few new recipes using what we have. I made pudding, tortillas, and a vinaigrette. They are all "keepers". I made lots of iced tea this week as a treat to help beat the heat.
    We did end up buying some groceries, but we spent very little and saved almost as much as we spent.
    We exchanged some windows for the shed, saving $20.
    I listed some clothes on Ebay that I bought at the bag sale for that purpose. I've also been working on retaking a lot of my product photos for my Etsy shop.
    I bought a laminator, which has been on my list for some time. I used a gift card I earned to pay for it. We also used points we earned to buy John some new socks, a new blade for my paper cutter, and all of the brackets Colton needs for the shed roof. No out-of-pocket cost!
    I was given 6 more chicks. Yes, I have a problem lol. But I have also sold 9 of them to make room.
    We bought an apple tree earlier in the year, but it never budded or grew. It just looks dormant, while the other apple tree we bought and planted looks great. We snapped a photo and took it to our nursery to ask about it. The man said he wasn't impressed with the new supplier they had this year and gave us a free tree to replace it! He also told us what we might do to save the current tree and replant it next spring.
    I hope everyone has a great new week!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, How amazing about that calf! I have said I will take two calves. There are always orphans. Calving will be later in the year. I expect I will get another lamb or two also.
      I am glad the recipes you tried were all nice and you can add them to the regulars. I love that!
      Your shed is a great project. It is so good to be paying as you go and saving in other areas!
      More chicks! You are a chic o holic I think! haha!
      Very good on the apple tree. You might still end up with two trees with luck. I move things if I think they aren't going well. Sometimes that does work.
      I hope this week is going well and your clothes on eBay sell. You are doing so well Kelsey! With much love


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