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, 11 July 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 12th July, 2019.

It has been a really good week!  It is raining now and has been for a couple of days.  It did hit with a big storm and we have lots of branches down and mess.  But the rain is worth it.  I like to watch it pouring down the pipes into the rainwater tanks!

Some of the ways I built up our home and got ahead were:

This is a big one!  Laffie is weaned and so are two more lambs.  They are all eating grass and hay, spinach, parsley and other leaves from the garden.

This lamb is Jellybean.   Do notice Laffin's eyelashes! 

Before the rain we went on with cleaning up and burning another area.  This was bonfire number 23!

Once the fire is going well we work away and throw on branches for an hour or two until that spot is pretty well cleaned up.   I save boxes, household paper and dryer lint for my fire lighters.

I baked Dad's favourite cake and he turned up just in time to see it fresh in the tin and cut his own piece.  The rest I sliced and froze for when he visits.

I stewed some apples (still from the big apple tree) to go with some pork.

On Tuesday I made a big pot of spaghetti meat sauce then made up pasta bakes.  The recipe is essentially lasagne except with spiral pasta instead of sheets.  I find this so much easier.  A huge tray of this went down to Lucy and the girls.  I froze some and we had this for two nights this week.

I made gluten free little cakes.

For the girls I made little cakes and dusted them with icing sugar.   This is because a certain someone just eats the icing if I ice them.

I made a stack of cleaning cloths from a soft flannelette sheet I found in the op shop.

Mum gave us some turkey.  It was four pieces for two meals.  So this made two dinners including tonights.   She also gave us some meaty bones for Scout.  And little Scout is doing so well and tries so hard to please.  

We love her!  

I had a few strawberries sitting in the fridge about to go to waste.  Then I remembered some in the freezer.  I made them into jam and made up a batch of gluten free scones.  

I had left over roast venison and made several Shepherd's pies.  They were beautiful and some went into the freezer.

And I made Gluten Free Melting Moments.  These were delicious!  

Luke came by yesterday.  He calls me Mother lol.   He says "Hello Mother I have a present for you!"  Luke has me figured out.  The present is something he found... a calf feeding set up that will feed three calves at once!   I have the same thing that feeds one calf.  So I know this would be worth over $100 and it will be wonderful to have in my animal pantry.   I was so pleased!   

One of the things I set to good use this week was feed bags I had saved up.  These come with grain for chickens and various animal feeds.   There is one with a Kangaroo I have seen too which I would love to get.   Anyway they are an item that people throw away.
I made heavy duty shopping bags.  They are also water proof so can be wiped down.

I love them!  A lady in The Tuesday Afternoon Club gave me another idea for them too so I will save more.  

Also I tried something new and felted some soaps.  This was fun and easy.  It is like soap in a wash cloth or bag.   I seem to be accumulation a whole heap of gifts that are very practical/reusable/ money saving etc.    So on my list next is soap making.

So it was a week of getting lots done,  a day visiting the girls with Mum, rain and cooking.

We have decided to get more chickens.  We get five eggs a day and now this is not enough.  I give eggs to anyone I know of that needs help,  I take two dozen a week to Lucy and like to give Mum a dozen.  I like to use them for bartering and I use a heap myself.  Now Scout loves a cooked egg  better than anything!   So we are getting more chickens!    I can't wait!  We know someone who breeds all kinds so I hope to get some pretty and interesting chooks to add to the flock.

I hope you had a wonderful week.  Lets face it some weeks it is an achievement to still be alive at the end.  Others are big weeks for getting things done.  This is a case of make hay while the sun shines! 

How did you build up your home, pantry, savings or gift cupboard this week?  We all learn such a lot from each other.  A little bit of encouragement and someone to work along with is good too.  Thinking over my week makes me happy.  I can see I was very blessed this



  1. love your posts and they are such an inspiration to me. I look forward to your post each Friday.

    1. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

  2. Dear Annabel and bluebird friends,
    Well it’s been a week of survival for me but I am here and I have managed to do a few things along the way.So all in all it’s been a good week for me.
    I got some free items this week including Queensland’s Sunday paper the Sunday was thanks to a couple who were shopping at the store I was that I got it .I was shopping and found a lot of cheap items that I buy regularly so I bought some extras of things because I had money in my grocery money and slush fund I wasn’t out of pocket anything extra. Anyway the couple I met at the shop picked up a Sunday paper and the checkout lady said “ oh you can have that free” , i then jokingly replied well that sounds good and the lovely couple got me a paper and I said to the checkout lady that served me “ am I eligible for a free paper please”?? She said yes so in my bag a paper went , I had a lovely free read.
    This week I also built up my pantry with some tomato soup , $1 a tin for my favourite brand .it was 2 for $3 somewhere else and I nearly bought it but decided to wait.
    I also bought my usual big bottle of gentle wash ( I have very sensitive skin) and my pharmacy are giving away a full sized product with a 1 kg bottle of the wash I buy , value for the facial scrub I got free is about $15 I think.
    It’s been a pretty good crafting week here.
    A lovely new friend gifted me a box of craft supplies, stamping tools , stamps etc , so I have been having so much fun stamping.i should have some stamping projects to show in the Tuesday afternoon club next week.
    I will be eating from the freezer , pantry and fridge for the next 4 or 5 days and trying not to buy anything except maybe some corn cobs!.i love corn cobs.i May just put them on next weeks shopping list instead.
    Annabel I love your soaps the felted ones and how cheeky are those animals?, beautiful and cheeky!.
    I was so happy you got Scout as I knew you wanted a dog, she looks so lovely.
    Have a great weekend everyone.
    Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, You had great deals! Also how wonderful about the gift of crafting supplies! I like stamping and the many ways it can be used. I cant wait to see what you have done! I am happy too as that would be so enjoyable for you to do.
      Thank you re the animals! They are lovely. It makes me busy sometimes but it is worth it. They add a lot to life. Have a wonderful weekend Barb, with love

  3. Wonderful stories here Annabelle! This week my big achievement was a bit of decluttering which I had been putting off for a good while now. The bonus is a free shelf in the linen cupboard.

    1. Dear Earthmother, Decluttering is good. I am attempting to organise my laundry cupboard and shelves. If I can organise my way to a clear shelf I would be happy!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  4. Well done with everything Annabel. I love that Luke has turned up and gifted 'Mother', with a multiple calf feeding set up.
    This week the weather has been just beautiful. The days are warm and the nights clear and cold. It has got me into a bit of a cleaning mode. I started by washing curtains. This had a real domino effect with venetian blinds, window surrounds, fly wires and windows all being scrubbed. The mess left behind meant furniture has been moved and cleaning under and around. I am still going but it wont be long and the house will be really clean. It's almost a spring clean in the middle of winter.
    Katie took me op shopping. We went to our favourite the 'Treasure Cove' and came away with 15m of various sized pieces of fabric, including 4.5m of crushed silk, a 20m roll of cross grain ribbon, a 5m roll of rick rack, 3 shirts and two dresses for $18. We did go to the big name op shops and left very disappointed. With the big name op shops we noticed that it would be cheaper to purchase new rather than second hand.
    I picked up my new to me spinning wheel. She has been named Violet after our beautiful 93 yr old neighbour who passed away late last year. Violet knew how to tell a good story, or as an Aussie would say she knew how to spin a good yarn. Very appropriate for a spinning wheel.
    I had best get up and continue on the cleaning. I have one set of windows to go. Mind you this is in the sewing room and the domino effect could see me in there for the rest of the day. It will be worth it.
    Life is shiny windows good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      Good weather is such a bonus. I think better sleep and better weather means much more energy! And sounds like you are putting it to good use.
      I love a spring clean too... and I understand the domino effect! Pretty soon one thing leads to another and there are cleaning projects everywhere.
      Gosh those fabric and ribbon finds were amazing. Fantastic. It is true here too that some op shops have lost the plot and it is cheaper to buy new. But luckily the country ones are mostly better. I have a couple of favourites down here and one that is exactly as you say.
      I am so pleased for you over the spinning wheel! Now you will be able to get spinning every time you have a spare moment. And I am glad you are remembering your dear neighbour Violet.
      Clean sparkly windows are the best. We are having storms so I will have to wait for them to pass to do anything about mine but we have rain and that is good.
      Have a good weekend after your busy week! With love

  5. Dearest Annabel, I just love your posts every week and look forward to them. They have inspired me to do more also, but I found that I'm jealous too of all you get accomplished and compare myself to you and see I fall short, ugh! Something to work on :)

    1. Dear Tandi, I dont know about your circumstances and you may work in a part or full time job or any number of variables where as I work full time at home. One thing I never do is turn on day time TV. The other thing is I take morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea breaks and have a cup of tea and eat something then take off again after the breaks. I seem to overall get more done if I pace the day. Goals for the week and day, lists and planning are my other biggest helpers. I would get half as much done if I didnt have lists!
      Thank you for your kind words! With love

  6. Dear Annabel,
    Your shopping bags are so cute! Great that you were able to repurpose the feed bags. I love the photos of Scout, the calf and lambs. You have a way with animals.

    I cut up the big watermelon I got on sale and combined it with grapes to make a fruit platter to take to a potluck luncheon. Everyone brought so much food, that there was quite a bit left, so I gave what was left to a family that I knew could use it. Still had plenty at home. I made 24 muffins and 2 small loaves of banana bread. Some of them went to the potluck, too, and I was able to send some home with our granddaughter.

    I purchased a steam mop a while back and am really enjoying the way it gets our tile floor so clean while being easy for me to use and not requiring harsh chemicals. I also found a stick or handheld vaccum on sale that really works nicely when I don't want to get out the bigger vaccum. It also gets into crevices and places the regular vaccum doesn't reach as easily.

    We were able to order $80 worth of over-the-counter medication at no cost through my husband's insurance again. I got a call from another of our insurance companies reminding me the bill was due in a few days and offering us a $48 discount. I was getting ready to pay the bill anyway, so gladly accepted the discount.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      It is really wonderful how you use the $80 medications. There are so many things good to stock up on. What a bonus this is. Also the discount was great!
      I love my hand held vac. It is so much easier to get out, wiz around and put it back. I love it. Steam is very good. It disinfects with no chemicals. I have a steam cleaner which I use for the sink, bathrooms etc. You can also run the steam along cracks in the pavement to kill weeds, again with no chemicals. I also do my oven with it, windows etc.
      Your cooking sounds lovely and it was nice you could send some food home to help someone. With much love

  7. Dear Annabel, I love seeing pictures of your animals. Scout's smile is huge. She is at the right place! I love how Luke calls you Mother. It was lovely of him to give you that gift. It is lovely how you get on well. I really love all of your cooking and I love melting moments and those cakes with the toppers for the girls are so sweet....I also love how you made such good use of your produce on hand. Nothing is wasted. After my son has been watching War on Waste (he loves bin trucks), he now reminds me when we are wasting So it is an area I really want to improve in, because groceries are so expensive these days. I am excited to hear about your chickens. I can imagine sitting with a cup of tea and watching the chickens must be quite lovely! Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge,
      I have found it terribly easy having son in laws, if you feed them they like you. But I am blessed with very good son in laws.
      It is so cute your son loves garbage trucks. A nice truck driver will always wave back to a little kid. We used to stand out on the kerb and watch them coming and wave. Exciting stuff lol!
      Food waste is a big budget killer. I have got it down to very little but then anything truly about to be wasted feeds the chickens or Scout. So absolutely nothing is ever wasted. I love it. I am trying to get more chickens this week but no luck yet! Have a wonderful new week! With love

  8. My only deal this week is one of our local grocers had Hills Brothers 26 oz high yield on sale for $3.98 limit of 4. Hubby and I have cut down our coffee intake and now just use a 5 cup coffee maker. Coffee for awhile here just got to expensive so we cut back and this should last us a long time.

    1. Dear Tealady, Coffee seems a big expense for a lot of people. The coffee maker sounds good. This is an area you can drink good coffee but still save.
      I hope you have a good new week! I am trying to get off to a good start! With love,

  9. I love those shopping bags, so bright! Other than we are freezing its been a good week. We ate out of the freezer and pantry. I made a large batch of pumpkin soup which fed us for a few days. I got some rhubarb plants for free to replace ones i bought last year that didnt grow. I saved money by not automatically having my Norton anti virus renew. It was almost double what i would have paid in the shop. I ended up paying $6 less than purchase price. The Myki on the bus wasn't working so i had a few free trips this week. Did some paid surveys and was given a block of chocolate, some unused toiletries and a few kitchen supplies. Had some cupcakes and scones given to us which were gratefully accepted. My mum is 90 and recovering from a recent stroke that has left her almost blind we are taking it day by day but we are managing really well. I will ask someone to sit with her while i take a load of stuff to Savers. Life is good. Leanne xx

    1. Dear Leanne, I have kind of struggles with rhubarb! Now I have one plant that seems to be doing well. They like A LOT of organic matter, manure etc... rich stuff. So this helped me.
      I am so sorry about your Mums stroke. I am glad you are managing so wonderfully. Well done. This time is precious but not easy. I hope you have a good new week Leanne, With love

  10. Wow what a great week! The bags you made from the feed sacks are brilliant, I’m guessing they could also be made from the sacks you can buy rice in at Costco’s, might try one day. Scout is just gorgeous and looks very bright and intelligent too, a great companion dog. Our old girl is 12 now, still has her crazy moments then sleeps the day away bless her. We are busy setting up our little garden after the builders work. It’s starting to look a little like the cottage garden we wanted so we are happy we are going in the right direction. I love your Friday updates and always have a cuppa made ready so that I can sit down and enjoy reading your news. I have a granddaughter that used to just eat the icing but now at five she eats the whole cake up. Both girls love the recipe I use from the Dairy cook book I bought years ago from the milkman.

    I’m off to find our shark steamer now πŸ˜‰πŸ˜€

    1. Ooo, rice bags from Costco! Great idea, thx.

    2. Dear Catz, Thank you re the idea on the rice sacks. I have never been to Costco but I hope to. I am not sure the breed of your dog. We have had many dogs in our family that lived well into their 20s. Most were smaller type dogs but one was a blue heeler and another was also a bigger dog but I think she was a blend of many breeds. I think 24 is about the oldest.
      Thank you for your kind words on my Friday updates. Soon I hope to have some mid week posts again also. Its beautiful you cook lovely cakes for your Granddaughter. I remember everything my Nan cooked for me. It was amazing. I grew up eating beautiful things like sponge cakes and cream kisses! Have a great new week. With love

  11. What a lovely farm you have Annabel. I can't help but smile everytime I see your Farm babies. Everything is so happy looking. You love and care deeply for everything your hand touches. It flourishes. Wish I could say the same. I am too busy and never enough time to do it all anymore.

    1. Dear Tammy, I am really feeling for you feeling too busy. I have felt too busy many times. It is a fine line. I dont know if it is possible to review what you can cut back on if anything. It is hard with many pressures on us. Now I am not feeding so many animals many times a day this has made things easier. I love to be busy but hate when I simply cannot manage. So I hope you for to find some ways to make that balance right for you! With love

  12. Do you have a recipe for the gluten free melting moments? I couldn't find a search bar on your blog & would love to try them.

    1. Dear Jenny yes here it is... I am not sure where you are located but it is easy to convert measurements online from metric to imperial if needed.
      1 and a haf coups plain Gluten free flour, 1/3 cup gf custard power, 1/3 cornflour, 1/2 icing sugar. 250 grams butter softened, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, mix and roll into balls, smaller than you think as they spread a bit. Press them with a fork to be a little flatter and bake on baking paper in 150 C or 300 F oven. Bake until just showing slightest tinge of turning golden or brown only about 10 minutes. Let cool. Glue together (lol) with nice icing... I did pink anyway you want to make it or else mix butter, milk and icing sugar to form a good icing. They are really good! Hope this helps, Love

  13. Well you said it well when you said some weeks we just get through and are alive at the end. We have muddled through this entire week and it was a hard one since my Dad now has Hospice caring for him as of this week. Hospice cares for people in their final days here in the USA. It was kind of hard to face and I have not found the courage to tell our kids yet. Hoping for a better week next week.

    1. Dear Lana,
      I am so very sorry about your Dad. We have the same thing here and a good hospice is very caring and very good medical care. Yes that would be very hard to face. Most people know what it means when a person goes into a hospice although some done realise. I know telling the kids would have been a hard thing to do. I hope you feel happy with the level of care your Dad is getting. That is a comfort. But I personally do not know how I would cope in that situation or when anything happens to my Dad. It was bad enough when he was seriously ill in hospital. I am praying for you dear Lana. With much love

  14. Dear Annabel,
    You did have an amazing week, for sure!!
    I love the bags, all the baked goods, the animals, and seeing Scout's big grin made my day. What a precious and wonderful life you have now.
    This week has been one of support for others, trying to do some food storage stock up on sale, and sewing. We are trying to make a few inexpensive changes around the house that will yield big results for me.
    John is installing some mini blinds on all the windows and getting rid of the Bali shades that were here. I have always had mini blinds in every house I have lived in and love them. They are an upkeep, but seriously, what is not to like about a window covering that can be tilted so one can see the beautiful nature outside, yet provides privacy from someone seeing in.
    Also, we ordered some swing doors for the kitchen entrance that is off the foyer. I am not a big fan of the open concept that is so common in today's American houses. Now, anyone wanting to come into the kitchen, when I am in there working will have to go through the dining room. The doors can be left open when I am not in there working. It was a win-win situation for me. I want to be more comfortable in the kitchen to bake and cook, but the open concept throws me completely off.
    The blinds, by getting them ourselves, having them cut to the window size, and John installing them cost around $300 total, compared to the $3,000 that a private business wanted to custom make and install them. We were pleased with the savings. The custom doors were only $300 and they will afford me privacy, make my life more comfortable and they match the existing internal solid panel doors, so we felt very good about that.
    The forecast is for very hot here going forward. Our green beans look good, so that will be a blessing for the freezer come Fall. I cut herbs back yesterday and hung them and have so many more cuttings to do that I will have to work on that over the weekend.
    Have a wonderful weekend to all!!
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, It is good to make changes that make things more workable and comfortable. That is really good. I knew you would like Scout! Thank you for all your kind comments on what I have been making.
      We have the opposite weather and it is cold and wet and more of the same. I can handle this better than the heat though.
      I hope you get a restful weekend. I was going to say too... I am not fond of the open plan living. Should you need to keep warm you cannot keep one room good it is all open so you have to warm (or cool) such a big space. With electricity getting more and more expensive this is a big cost. One cozy or cool room is enough to be ok. They were not thinking this at the time of these designs.
      With much love

  15. Dear Annabel,

    I look forward to Fridays when I can catch up on your news from the farm 😊 Scout is growing so quickly and such a beautiful girl. All of the animals are doing so well under your nurture and care. It is such a joy to read about all of their progress and antics.

    Those gluten free scones look just amazing. I cannot believe how good they look and your cakes for gf. Had to laugh about one eating icing only. We have one little grandie girl just the same here πŸ˜‚

    This week my decluttering and deep clean is finishing in the bedroom and beginning on the craft room. Yay! Only one room left to tackle after I get my craft room in order but its the dreaded spare room filled with all its hidden sins πŸ˜‚

    Your stockfeed bags are amazing. You are just so resourceful! I love it!! 😍

    Have a great week ahead everyone. I love reading about what everyone is up to.

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      I have come to learn with Gf just to cook the exact same recipes and use gf flour. Basically they turn out. So it is amazing!
      it will be so nice to have your craft room as you want it!
      Thank you re the feed bags. I now have one with a Kangaroo on it! I am watching out and asking people now as I have the idea (thanks to Sharynne) to use them to hold plants. So now to sew these up.
      Have a great new week Kaye, with love

  16. You have had such a busy week again Annabel! I adore little scout, what a cutie, you are lucky to have each other!

    Those feed bags are absolutely fantastic! There’s so much that can be done with so little if we think outside the box isn’t there.

    I’m having a short break from work this week while the kids are on school holidays. I’m spending part of every day out in the garden, still desperately trying to get it into shape before the hot weather returns, it really is to hot to do much in Summer time.

    Have a lovely weekend Annabel.

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      School holidays are such a busy time. We did a lot of crafts and cooking and relaxing.
      This time will get you way ahead on the garden. I am amazed how much even a few minutes a day soon adds up to a lot done.
      Have a wonderful new week! With love,

  17. Hi Annabel I just love the lambs and laffin. They eyelashes are to die for. Scout looks like he has found his happy place. So happy for you all. Look forward to seeing the new bunch of chickens. This week was a busy week at work..nuff said. My son though did come over and helped me get rid of some excess items. I am happy they went to new places. He also helped me repot some plants. He loves working outdoors. Other than that I was very grateful for leftovers from last weekends feast. I had leftovers for supper all week. I also used the ham bone and some scraps to make ham and navy bean soup. I got six 500ml cartons for the freezer. I look forward to fall and having soup to eat. Tomorrow is picking day. On the prairies in Canada there is a bush that produces Saskatoon berries. The bushes are high bushes. The berries are about as big as the nail on your pinky finger or a bit bigger. They are juicy, have a unique taste make wonderful pies, muffins, scones, dehydrated and canned. Almost everyone has their “secret” patch. I get to visit mine finally this year. All our produce is behind. Strawberries are only ready now. They are roughly two weeks late. I will also pick those tomorrow very early. Hope to take pictures. Thank you for your blog, your beautiful attitude towards life, your pictures of your baking and for the Tuesday Afternoon club. Much appreciated.

    1. Oh wow I am loving the sound of your berries! How beautiful and what fun to collect them too.
      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Laffie does look like she has false eyelashes!
      I absolutely LOVE left overs and making the most of them. Sounds like they helped you all week. And it was great to make a good soup up. You certainly put everything to good use. I would love to see your berries if you are included to send a photo. If you are in the Tuesday club do post them there. I really love foraging and gathering. And then making the most of it. I love your name too... Glorious needlework and life! So true! xxx

  18. Annabel well done on weening Laffie and the two lambs and that will give you so much more time. Oh bless Luke for calling you "mother" as I think you are very motherly and caring to many. Your baking as usual looks divine.

    This week was a week of doing many little jobs which were time consuming and a few big blessings thrown in.

    Our savings last week added up to $216.50 :).

    Service -
    - DH and I helped a friend who was putting in a driveway next door to level out the gravel with our homemade leveling tools. This made it so much quicker to get the job done as they only had shovels.

    Blessings -
    - We asked a friend who was putting in a driveway next door if he could level and move all the soil with his tractor from our grape yard vineyard down the back over the fence to fill in near the creek on our back boundary and pull out a cemented star picket. We offered to pay him for fuel and time but he said "just shout me a beer" saving us lugging many wheelbarrows of dirt and digging for us and also saved us $200 over hiring someone to do it for us.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Internet listings & finances -
    - On a free listing promotion on eBay I listed 10 homemade items saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.
    - We paid an additional payment of $175 off our home loan. Yay for 2 rate decreases making our variable rate home loan repayments less. We pay both our fortnightly payments and monthly interest broken into fortnight repayments to save time and interest on our loan. We are currently 5.9 months ahead on our mortgage that we started in January.

    In the gardens -
    - Cut all pipes for the drip irrigation system. We still need to buy some poly pipe fittings so we can set it all up.
    - Filled all 10 of the garden beds up with more amended soil as they had settled.
    - I weeded all of the ornamental flower beds around the home.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna,
      I love that you include service in your categories. This is so good. I might adopt that if I may.
      Having had the help of a tractor a few times now I know how amazing it is to have a tractor! I can never believe what gets done and how fast. What a help.
      Being so far ahead on your repayments is amazing, so soon. Well done.
      Your landscaping and grading is coming along very well. When you hit Spring it will be amazing. I am improving soil every chance I get and I know this Spring it will be much better soil than what I started with last year. And we will have shade cloth. The first year is a real turning curve.
      Have a lovely Sunday! With love,

  19. What a nice week you've had Annabel! It's so nice to hear how the animals are getting on, it must be rewarding when they wean. You have certainly done a wonderful job of getting them to that point.

    I love reading about all your cooking and baking, especially the way you help out your girls with extra meals etc. It's not just a gift of food, but also a gift of help. Not having to worry about dinner on a busy day can make a big difference. I'm sure they really appreciate it.

    We are one week into school holidays, we have headed back to where we used to live to stay with family for a bit. It is nice to see people, but our little miss is not sleeping well in different surroundings, so I think we may cut the trip a night shorter. Bad sleeps catch up with me!

    I had wanted to turn our fridge/freezer off while we were away to thaw it completely, so we used up everything bar a few sauces before we left. The day we left I realised we still had some ice cream in the freezer that I'd meant to serve for dessert the night before. So the kids got to have some ice cream with their breakfast which they thought was about the best thing ever lol.

    I knit a wee baby cardigan which has no seams, I've never done that before. It took a bit of practice to figure out how to join in the arms and knit them in the round, but I loved not having to seam at the end, so think I will keep working on that technique. I love knitting and crochet in Winter! And that's another ball of yarn gone from the stash. I'm slowly starting to see a difference!

    I hope you're having a lovely weekend, and enjoy the new week

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, When your kids have homes and kids of their own I just know you will be a Mum and Grandmum who cooks for them!
      I still remember well how a meal you dont have to cook is such a help. 5 pm was always crazy and the lead up to dinner. A meal was such a big help.
      Iceceam for breakfast to the kids was probably like an awesome start to a holiday! Good job. I just had a giant freezer rearrange and sort out. It is much better now!
      The cardigan sounds just lovely. Having your stash is good. The price of yarn, especially wool is so high now. You have many gifts to make right there.
      Have a good new week Jen! With love

  20. What a lovely read Annabel. Your post is so inspiring but reading the comments is so uplifting too.

    How do the felted soaps work? Do you use them as a regular soap, like it is it inside a washer or do they 'unwrap' the felting?

    1. Dear Debra, The felted soaps work like a soap in a face washer or crochet soap holder... they sids up inside the wool. They are meant yo last until the soap runs out. One thing is for a child they have something to hang on to rather than the soap being slippery. It helps get a good lather too (which I like) I hope that helps! Thank you for your kid comment! Have a beautiful new week! With love

  21. Your little cakes reminds me of a way we saved money when my daughter's family visited in May. Her youngest daughter's birthday was when they were here and my daughter asked if I would order an astronaut cake and she would pay for it. (Anna is nine years old now and loves everything about space travel!)

    I knew that would be very expensive. I remembered how you used cute images on your little cakes before and suggested that to her. She found adorable astronaut images on ebay for a few dollars, we printed them out at my house, and the birthday girl decorated them herself. She loved them on the homemade cupcakes for her birthday. :)

    1. Dear Brenda, Maybe you have a future astronaut in your family! What a great idea for the birthday and cake! I will be on the look out for astronaut themed things now. I see planted themed things sometimes.
      I hope you have a great new week. Mine is off to a good start so far! With love

  22. I love reading your blog. Im not young anymore but there are still things i can do to make us more self sufficient. Ive used the wool covered soaps in the past. Never thought about making my own. And i lobe the shopping bags. My sister gives me bags filled with hay her horses dont eat for mulch. I never thought about making shopping bags, but i will now!! Thank you.

  23. Dear Annabel,

    What a lot of goodies you made...the photos are making me hungry!! I love your feed bag clever! And your puppy is so cute. She needs to grow into those ears!! Ha, ha.

    It sounds like you get to see your Dad a lot more now that you are closer...that's wonderful.

    This has been a very busy week as I have finally had the chance to get in and do some gardening, though it is pretty much too late for some things. I don't know, though...I still keep getting signals that gardening is not where I should be spending the majority of my time this summer. So I am trying to make peace with that, though I still keep looking out and seeing all that I usually have planted and don't this year. I'm sure there's a reason.

    Just found a beautiful mirror on the side of the road, out for the garbage man while I was on my walk. The truck was just getting ready to throw it in, and the fellow said, "This is the worst part of my job...all those 7 years of bad luck adding up!!!" I said, "Let me have a look at it," which he did, and then I told him I would come back with my car and save him from one batch of bad luck! It's very heavy as it is huge with a solid wood frame and lots of scrolls. I'm trying to decide if I should paint it or keep it as it is, but either way, what a score! Usually no one around here throws out anything serviceable, but today I lucked out!

    Hubby is up on the roof reshingling, which is a horribly huge and hard job, poor guy...especially in this heat! On the up side, it is looking very good and when it is done we won't have any leaks!!! :)

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

    xx Jen in NS


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