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 July 2019

Feather your Nest Friday, 26th July, 2019.

This week I was a bit tired!  I slept in a bit a few times and struggled to wake up even then!  But it was a very good week.   I had a list of goals planned.  Honestly this keeps me on track as much as possible.  I tend to get side tracked!

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

I had huge lemons from the op shop and plenty of eggs so I made Lemon Butter.   This is so easy to make and so delicious with many uses.   The fast easy recipe is here Jars of Sunshine.
I got two giant sized jars.

One of the things I used it for was to fill little cakes.  I took a tray of cakes down to the girls and they loved them.

I made half gluten free and half regular.

This week I made Butter Chicken in the slow cooker and it was delicious. I shared this with Lucy's family so they had it for dinner one night also.

Dad called in and gave me a huge jar of honey. I think it would weigh two kilos. (4+ pounds)  I love honey, so useful.

Finally I finished my Sweetpea blanket.  This took me a ridiculous amount of time.  I don't get to sit down like I used to, even in winer!   I really enjoyed this.  I love Attic 24 for patterns as I cannot read them and she shows you step by step in pictures.  This pattern is called Trellis.  I loved it.  I made this in wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills.  It is so warm and soft. 

I already started my next blanket.  I want one for the living room on the lounge.  This one will be soft neutrals and I aim to be faster.  I worked out how little time slots really help so I will keep the crochet next to the computer.  So many times a day I will be looking up a recipe or instructions and the internet is slow here.  While I am waiting I will crochet.  While I am learning something on You tube I will crochet.   

When our new water tanks replaced the old rusty ones we saved a small tank that was up on a stand as it was in ok condition.  This week we turned it into an animal shelter.   Andy took to and cut out a door.

I thought that the lambs and Laffy would be wary of a large new object and may not want to go in it for shelter for some time.  

Well that wasn't the case...

Later evening I snuck down to have a nosey and Laffie and the little lamb Blossom were fast asleep snuggled up in there.  They love it!     In bad weather this will be an additional shelter to the little shed they have and have kind of outgrown.

After getting eleven new chickens we needed more nesting boxes.  I had to figure out what to use.  This old metal shelf was in the big shed full of junk.  So full of stuff and cobwebs that I never realised it was actually a pretty good set of shelves.   Andy emptied it and cleaned it up and we moved it into the hen house.  This thing was so heavy!   I wired a series of baskets to it and filled them with hay...

Each day I pick excess from the veggie garden.  Laffie loves any broccoli that has gone to shoot.  The chickens get silverbeet, household scraps and each day I weed the garden until I have a full bucket. This gives them extra greens.  (And kills two birds with one stone)  I just noticed the fluffy bottom in this photo lol!

One of my goals this week was to make soap.  The Wool Wash making got me thinking about it.   I made two batches on Wednesday and a double batch yesterday.  

This one is Wendy's recipe from My Abundant Life.  It is looking so good!  Later today I will slice it up.   I used two types of Rose Essential oil and it smells beautiful.  I added to the rose theme with little rose buds.  Whenever I have roses or get a chance to pick some I dry them.  So I have a trusty box of dried roses to go to.  I can't tell you how often these are handy! 

I have used them to decorate food, little parcels, bath and beauty products and more.  The little buds I had were just right.

The creamy yellow soap is being unmoulded today.  I made this so I have some for me.  It will be thick slices and the recipe used olive oil and beeswax.  It has Manuka honey and Manuka essential oil.  I am so pleased with it.  
The heart shaped soaps I think would be great to save for Valentines Day.  Overall these will boost my gift cupboard quite a bit.  Handmade soaps are over $10 each here in the stores.  They are expensive!   I also have crochet wash cloths to pair them with.

When we moved here there was a safe in the shed.  A locked safe!  Well a locked safe is full of mystery and intrigue!   This week Andy found some old keys up in the workmans cottage.  Suddenly it hit him what if they are the safe keys!?   Well they were!  Sadly the safe was full of nothing haha but now we have a safe! 

I made some spaghetti sauce and it gave us several meals and a meal to add to my frozen emergency meals.

I picked Broccoli from the garden and also bunches of parsley.

Lastly, we had three big bonfires and cleared up another three areas.  Because of storms we have many fallen branches to add to the already big piles!  If it does not rain today we will have a couple more.  

So that was my week!  Now I see I got a fair bit done.  It is just amazing how much we can do and then forget.  If someones says "so what have you been doing?" it is easy to go mind numbingly blank and feel ridiculous when you know you have been busy!    It is so good to review your week.   We should feel good about our work and rather just have a giant "To Do" list ahead of us also realise how much we already have achieved!  I feel so happy with my week! 

How did you save, get ahead, add to your pantry or garden, preparedness...?  I hope many opportunities came your way.  

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, I love the way you think out side of the box and reassign items you have to a new life! Your soap is so pretty as is your sweetpea blanket! My big savings this week is 3 fold: (1) preparedness: Lifestraws on clearance - a 3 pack for $12.91 (2) gardening/food: garden soil on clearance for $1.71 for a 40 quart bag and (3) clothing: I ordered 3 packages, of 3 each, of the kind of socks my husband wears for nothing out of pocket. (I used Amazon gift cards I've been saving, earned through Swagbucks and affiliated links through my blog.) It's been a savings kind of week and I'm delighted to have found such bargains!

    1. Dear Patsi, I saw the price on the Lifestraws. You know I have used them a gifts yet we have none! I must get a couple. I saw the lovely socks you got your husband. Very clever and a great deal. Good thinking. So you stocked up in two important areas! Well done! With love

  2. Your soaps are gorgeous, Annabel. I love the deep rose red color you used; and the Manuka recipe? Oh, my!! How luxurious and expensive! Among the heart soaps, I see one adorable owl soap ^00^. Laffie and Blossom cuddled up together sleeping nearly breaks my heart with preciousness. All of your herd looks so healthy and beautiful 💖 The Lord has really blessed your hard work. And your "girls" (chooks) have got it good, too👍🏻It's wonderful to see. Your Sweet Pea blanket is gorgeous. I can't get over the 2 kilos of honey your Dad gifted you, man!! What a blessing and it's probably local to boot. Well, continued blessings to you and yours. xxMary

    1. Dear Mary, Yes the honey is all off our farm. Bee keepers ask to place boxes on the farm and in return every year they give a huge bucket of honey as payment. And when I say ticket think those really big food grade buckets. And guess what! Manuka bush grows on our farm and is plentiful! So we can say our honey is at least in part Manuka. I was amazed as the bush that is everywhere with like flowers... I never knew it was Manuka!
      Thank you re the blanket and the animals. I kiss their little faces. They are very loving and soak up attention. Especially now Blossom the baby. I pick her up and she pushes her face into mine. It does melt my heart. I just had one owl mould! It is a cute one! Have a wonderful weekend! With love

    2. Annabel, I'm trying really hard not to be envious of your homegrown Manuka honey😣😬🤣xxMary

  3. Hi Annabel
    No wonder you are tired! You had a very busy and productive week! Your blanket looks so gorgeous, I had to chuckle when you said how ridiculously long it took you to finish it.. I'm sure that is still so much quicker than the average person!! I seem to take a few years to finish a quilt sometimes. Your soaps look lovely too - the honey and olive oil one sounds so nourishing. Do you mind letting us know where that soap recipe is from? I haven't achieved much getting ahead at home this week as my youngest has been very sick. Times like this sure do show the importance of making hay while the sun shines. Have a lovely weekend. Cheers, Kelly

    1. Dear Kelly, Thanks so much! I will write this recipe up... it is my own as I changed an original recipe so much that I need to re write it. I will post it on the Tuesday Club and next weeks blog as I will show how it turns out when sliced. Which is good I hope! This soap is very nice and as you say nourishing. Kelly I do hope your youngest is doing ok now. Every thing falls apart when one of our children is sick. I hope the weekend will be relaxing and a time of recovery. With love

  4. Another busy week! Even with being tired you accomplished so much. Between you, Wendy and Mary, I'm itching to make soap. It will have to wait. I am still making tomato pasta sauce and water bathing it, I found some jars at a new (to me) op shop for 20c each and as they had been for pasta sauce, they're the right size. We have a birthday this weekend, so this afternoon is cake making and then later tonight I'll get the balloons and happy birthday banners out, and make pancake batter for the morning. The power ended up being out for 18 hours; there was still plenty to do that didn't need power, then I curled up under a rug in front of the fire and read my Kindle. Perhaps bush camping has helped me cope without electricity - good preparation for our move! Have a lovely weekend, stay warm and dry. Love, Cath xxx

    1. Dear Cath, While you have tomatoes that comes first for sure. All produce does. But your soap making time will come! I really had a lot of fun with this. My daughter who is a bit of a stylist declared that my soap was PERFECT. I will live off the fumes of this compliment from her for ages!
      Cath camping is amazing training for so many life skills... and living without electricity. Mind you many people say they are camping and they have electricity but to me camping you have none of this kind of stuff. Aside of how to cook on a fire there are just so many good skills. I hope the week is going well! With much love

  5. Annabel, your soap looks great. Those heart shaped moulds are beautiful aren't they? Those and the sunflower ones I have are my favourites. No wonder you have been feeling tired as you work so hard. Have a great weekend.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Yes! I ordered them when I saw them on your blog and they came packaged just the same but magically sprung out to be nice! I also used your recipe...Castile Bubbles. I am posting a link to your recipe in The Tuesday Club. I found it very easy and it came to trace almost immediately! It was also very fun! With love

  6. Annabel I am not surprised that you have been tired. You manage to fit a lot into your week. Those shelves are a great find and you have put them to great use. Same goes for the little tank. How does that saying go? Reuse, rethink, recycle.
    My lemons and limes ended up as lemon lime cordial. When mixed with soda water this is quite a refreshing drink. It has been warm and I have been doing a lot of physical work, so this drink is most appreciated.
    Excess chillies have become sweet chilli sauce. The sauce has a nice spicy heat and not a lot is required.
    Tilly loved her twirly dress that I made her for her Birthday last Wednesday. I was sent a couple of videos of her spinning away. The dress was made from fabrics that had been gifted to me.
    Bluey was given strawberries, bananas, mandarins, sweet potato and capsicums. We have eaten as many as we could while they were still fresh. The last of the strawberries were baked up into strawberry and white chocolate muffins. The bananas ended up in banana cake. Bluey used the last of the capsicums and the rest of the sweet potato in a big pot of soup. We ended up having this for dinner twice in the week and the last of it will be had tonight. With toasted Turkish bread spread with olive oil and garlic it will be another delicious use it up meal.
    I cleared off and pressure cleaned the veranda this week. It was a big job and took longer to get done than I had expected. However the results are wonderful and our outdoor living area is lovely once more.
    Life is sunshiny good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      You must have enjoyed those videos so much. Gorgeous. That dress was amazing and obviously just loved!
      Wow you really have had a lot of produce! It all sounds so fresh and nice. (and healthy) I know you dont waste anything and make the most of it.I saw how your veranda looked! tropical paradise out there! When spring arrives we need to do some pressure cleaning too.
      I hope the new week is off to a great start. It is going too quickly and now a new month is about to start! With love,

  7. I am glad you know when to slow down a little Annabelle! Such a productive week anyway!

    1. Dear Earthmotherwithin, It is not easy to slow down but I had to a bit. Heavy wheel barrows and shoeing equal sore muscles!
      I hope your new week is off to a good start. With much love,

  8. Annabel your soaps are divine as is your crocheted blanket and baked goods. You got so much accomplished in a week :). It seems we are both on a recycle and reuse binge which is a fabulous way to save money.

    Finances -
    - Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion on eBay saving $16.50 on usual prices.
    - Paid an extra $175 payment off our mortgage.
    - Notified the company we purchased our new 20 tonne log splitter off that the item is faulty and spewing out hydraulic fluid and asked for a refund.

    In the kitchen and home -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Damp dusted the whole home to get rid of the drought dust and it now sparkles.

    In the gardens -
    - With excess soil removed from the grape yard enclosure by a friend with a tractor who put the soil over our back fence we back filled areas where erosion had happened from previous creek flooding. We have spread 2/3 of the soil out and have a third to finish it. There was a lot of soil.
    - Connected the water from the garden tap through 19 mm pvc pipe reducing to 13 mm pvc piping to the 13 mm drip irrigation frames in the 10 garden beds. We reused more connectors being t-pieces and elbows from our previous gardens as we forgot to buy more.

    Water preservation -
    - Saved grey water from our washing machine to water spider plants, canna and calla lilies in the ornamental flower gardens and star jasmine.
    - Saved our hand washing water to water hedges around the outside of the home.
    - Saved shower warm up water to fill drink bottles with and to damp dust the house with.
    - Used grey water pumped from our grey water tank to water the lawns with to hopefully green up the grass around the outside of the home. We also used some of the water to water the mulberry and fruit trees.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful week :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Dear Lorna, I knew you would like my farm finds recycling. Old tanks have many uses! You are doing well with the water conserving. I love that you have hedges! The dusting is good. I need to do the same as we had some major dust storms and also an idol fire is good but when it is cleaned out ash gets in the air and lands on things.
      I hope your fruit tress and mulberry will thrive.
      It is disappointing about the log splitter, hopefully they will do the right thing by you. and fast!
      IT sounds like you are getting a lot done on the irrigation. I cant wait to see your spring gardens! I am seeing the first signs of spring already i.e. pink blossoms, wattle everywhere... just little signs. I have a lot of weeding I am doing as sheep manure is good but a lot of weeds came up. I also have barrow loads of manure to add to the veggie patch. I have a lemon tree not doing well that I need to move. Once spring comes it will be really busy. We are putting up shade cloth as after the first summer we know where we need it. Have a very good weekend! It was a good week! With love

  9. Oh what a busy and productive week Annabel. I don’t know how you find the time and energy sometimes.

    I adore that sweet pea blanket! I’ve tried to teach myself to crochet, but I can’t do it, even with pictures. I think I need some one sitting beside me and coaching me 😂

    Little Laffie and the lambs are developing such a personality! They must give you so much entertainment and joy.

    I’ve bought everything I need to make your wool wash, I just haven’t found the time to make it yet. Maybe I can find a bit of time on the weekend to do it.

    I picked up an unfinished project this week, and began inroads into finally completing it. Two years ago I started restoring a timber outdoor setting, I got the table and two chairs done and that was it! So I’m back at it now, and determined to get it completed by Spring. It’s a big job that involves pulling apart each chair, sanding each piece all over, applying 2 coats of paint, reassembling the chair, and giving it a third coat of paint!! No wonder I stalled on the project for a bit!! Getting back into it has kept me quite busy.

    I’ve also been meaning to wash the cushion covers on our other out door chairs, when I took one of the covers off, I found the insert cushion was made from thin flimsy fabric, and it tore when I was pulling it out! Now I have to make stronger covers for the inserts so I can get them in and out in the future without damaging them. But that’s a project for next week I think!

    Have a lovely week Annabel. And listen to that body of yours, if it says rest, then rest! Your body knows what you need, when you need it!

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      I hope you can find someone to get you started on crochet! You only need to learn a few things... how to chain, how to do three basic stitches. Once you have those you can basically make anything. It is so fun. So ask around... someone will know!
      The lambs and Laffie are so sweet. If there is a disease to get from sheep I probably have it as I kiss their faces and tell them how they are beautiful. lol
      You will enjoy the wool wash. Line your jars up ready to pour it into. Then just let them sit and it will set basically over night. Always then dissolve your scoop of wash into hot water... I have a little jug I use, then add it to what you are washing, cold water is ok. it is wonderful.
      The table and chairs will be great. You will use them so much. I love eating and sitting outside. Like an extra room to the house.
      I had to rest a bit and go a bit slower. Yep my body was complaining. Could have had something to do with shovelling manure and wheel barrows with heavy loads!
      I hope your new week is off to a good start! With love

  10. Annabel, the thoughts of what you do each week make me tired ! I love the idea of the soap, BUTusing caustic soda makes me nervous !! You are such a wonderful cook. I love the idea of the shed for refuge for the animals. Your blanket looks beautiful ! Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, Thankyou! Caustic soda is easy really. You just need ventilation and it is like handling boiling water... carefully. But that bit is over fairly fast and soon you are blending in your warm oils then the magic happens. The results really do seem magical. This is as close to scientific as I get though! Have a beautiful weekend! With love

  11. Sounds like quite an eventful week. The blanket you made is beautiful. You can see that your farm babies love the new shelter. That is so neat. What a great idea for the nesting boxes. You are sure a good example to others on how to use what you have and getting creative.

    1. Thanks so much Cheryl! The little house has been used constantly ever since. They love it. I am so happy they have a really good enclosed shelter for free too! Today I found a big old food bucket and that is going to be nesting box too. It was down the dump! Have a lovely weekend and thank you! With love

  12. Dear Annabel,
    You had a very productive week even feeling a bit tired. I have been wanting to make soap and you are an inspiration.
    Our grand daughter was here for three days last weekend, so we made plum conserve, baked, cooked, cut herbs and hung them to dry and talked about future plans. She will be 15 in a couple of months and wants to learn as much about gardening, cooking, and sewing as she can. I am the only resource in the family still doing those "old fashioned" things. She wants to learn to make lotions and soap, also, so I need to practice again.😉
    I have never made Lemon Butter, but love lemons, so thank you for the link. I will try that.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Much love to you,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I loved the soap making. I am still enjoying it as today I sliced the creamy Manuka soap. It is looking beautiful!
      Your Grand daughter would have had a wonderful time. She will remember how to do all these things! SHE WILL REMEMBER EVERYTHING! Lotions and soap are great and she can give some to friends for gifts. She will love it! Lemon Butter freezes perfectly. Since it is rich a little goes a long way. It is delicious! It really goes look like sunshine in a jar! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  13. I love your blanket and your reuse of the tank. The week just flies by sometimes. I'm glad your getting rest. Last night was the first night I slept 8 hours straight in a very !omg time. We are still getting deals at garage sales so that is fun. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Dear Vickie, I am so glad about your sleep. I am terrible if I dont get enough sleep or disturbed sleep. I need a good 8 or 9 hours. It is about the best thing for your health to have good sleep.
      Garage sales can be amazing, I am glad you are having great finds! With love Annabel.xx

  14. I have been doing lots of work in the garden. Picked my first zucchini and a bunch of peppers. Been using all of the fresh veggies in my cooking all week.

    1. That is fantastic! If we use what we have as we go along and preserve what we cant use it is much easier (and fresher) overall. Plus the savings! I can feel spring is not terribly far away here and know I will have a lot of garden work to do. Meanwhile I am in weed control! xxx

  15. Dear Annabel, even when you have a "slow" week you achieve so much. What a great idea to make the tank a shed. I love the photo where they are all having a look inside their new house. Your soap looks beautiful. Thankyou for another inspiring post, I needed it, I have the go slows. We moved 18 months ago into this house and its now time for a spring clean. Ive been putting it off, last night my husband helped move some major pieces of furniture so now I am in the thick of it - by which I mean - there is stuff everywhere on all surfaces including floors. I am decluttering along the way. A major hurdle for me is worrying that I might need that 'thing' ONEDAY. I detest having to buy something I have thrown out in the past. Our house is only small and can only hold so much, so its a balancing act I guess. Have a great week everyone, Clare

    1. Dear Clare,
      You will be so glad when the spring clean work is looking beautiful and it will fire you up. I think when we see a big difference it kind of gives us energy to keep going. Then it feels wonderful to see the results! I dont throw away anything I might have to re buy but I do store things like this usually in the shed or up in high cupboards etc. I am blessed with a lot of cupboards here though. I have really enjoyed making the soaps and the creamy one is all sliced up now. I am so pleased with it! Have a good weekend I hope it is all going well! With love

  16. Dear Annabel, I absolutely love that sweet pea blanket. It is just so beautiful. I love the colours. I love your lemon butter recipe- it is the best! I can only imagine how great those cakes taste. Your soaps are absolutely beautiful. Lucky recipients! I love how you help out your family. I also love the way you have found and re-sued things for your chickens. It is lovely seeing your chickens. Go easy on yourself- you achieve so much more than the normal person. You achieve so much! No wonder you are tired. I hope you ave a good rest. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Thanks Bridge! Many times I buy an inexpensive sponge cake from Coles or Woolies and fill it with lemon butter then top with cream. Easiest thing ever and a good cake even for a birthday cake. I am pretty happy with how the animals are coming along and finding this good fun. The animals are the highlight of my day. The soaps are cut up and drying now. I am really pleased. I will have lots to show on Tuesday at least! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  17. Annabel, your Sweet Pea blanket is worth the hard work. What a feast for the eyes! I know what you say about the soaps. That is such a huge money saver, and what a great 'instant' gift they are. I pop in often, but don't always have time to comment, but thankyou as always, for inspiring me. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you! I enjoyed these batches of soap so much! They are drying so nicely. I keep feeling how smooth they are, quite velvety. If that is a word! I know you are so busy so I admired how you made face cream and beauty products! Have a very good new week! With love

  18. Annabel you have been working so hard and it shows every week. I love, love how you found and used what you have on hand at the farm for your animals! Andy did a good job cutting the water tank and it makes a perfect shelter.
    Do you have a grinder attachment for your kitchen aid? It is a great thing to have for making burger, I think you say mince? And sausage. Especially if you get deer your not limited to roasts and sandwiches, etc.
    It is amazing the things we can get done. I do so much better with a list.
    Oh my if the ladies that have seen my gardens before would see it this year, it is pitiful. Drought is easier for us to handle than too much rain, the rain tanks are both filled to the brim though. We will not give up on the garden until it's too cold so wish me luck!
    We took in a few loads of scrap and I love when clean up equals money Lol! I've done the usual for this time of year of hanging out the wash on nice days, a little foraging I found another source of wild berries and wild onions and my crock pots keep me ahead on the cooking. I made puff pastry yay! It made excellent chicken pie and raspberry turnovers.
    I have been finding lovely sheets and pillowcases and China pieces at the thrift store, but my most favorite is I found a great desk for $10. You know how long I've been looking! I am still excited over it. Also we painted the big cupboard Rick built for the pantry. I have put some things in it, but haven't yet decided what it's true function is going to be.
    I hope everyone has a great weekend.

    1. Dear Vicky, Thank you! Yes we say mince where you say ground beef? This is a good idea. We could like you say do venison but minced lamb and beef too.
      I am hearing and seeing so much about not only the poor gardens but poor crops. It seems so widespread. Knowing how your garden usually looks and what a good gardner you are hearing yours is nothing like usual proves things are crazy weather wise this year. It seems a shock but of course this is what we try to prepare for. I really hope this does not happen to our spring and summer. Obviously it would affect the price of everything!
      I was really happy for you over the desk! Yes I know you have wanted one so long. The thirst store has been good for you! Lovely sheets give you many options! I hope this week you might have more good finds! With lots of love,

  19. Dear Annabel,
    Your sweet pea blanket is beautiful! And I absolutely love the new shelter for your animals. It is perfect! Soap is on my list of things to make and yours is gorgeous. It will probably have to wait until things slow down with the garden shed construction, but it's just as well since I am well stocked with bars of soap right now.
    This week a lot was accomplished outside. The old coop was torn down and Colton saved the good tin and lumber for what he called "another project". Hmmm, I want to raise meat chickens, buy a dairy goat, and raise a pig lol. Best finish the shed first though ;) I weeded, fertilized, and mulched the apple trees. We were given a banana tree and we thought it had died during transplant but kept watering just in case. Sure enough it came back! It is in a pot now so we need to decide where to plant it. I also started my tomato and pepper seeds for the fall garden and dug up some small agave plants (offshoots from the mother plant) to repot and hopefully sell at the farmer's market. We were blessed with a little bit of rain, too. We set out buckets to catch it and I have been watering my potted plants with it. Colton captured more bees for one of our hives that didn't make it.
    In the kitchen this week I have continued to meal plan. It is paying off as we are eating healthier (my clothes are fitting better after two weeks!) and eliminating waste. We ate all meals at home and did not have to do any grocery shopping this week. I canned a batch of cherry jam from cherries purchased on sale last week. I have enough for us so these jars will be to sell at the market.
    I received a free bag of coffee after getting a coupon in the mail for purchasing a manual coffee grinder from the same company (bought for free with points I earned). I also placed an Amazon order for things we needed but it didn't cost us anything out of pocket because I used points we earned there too.
    I rearranged the pantry (John helped lol) and emptied out small bags of this and that into larger jars. Now I have more room in my pantry and I made a list of things we are low on. I will try to earn gift cards to fill in these gaps.
    In an effort to reduce disposables, I made 12 more cleaning cloths/wipes from thrift store flannel I had on hand. I also made a laminated page that I decorated and attached a magnet to for the fridge. It is for writing down my frugal tasks each week. I think having it visible and in a central location will help me be more diligent at keeping track and reporting.
    I am pretty happy with my week as I stayed home and we didn't spend any money except on gas! Reading the Tightwad Gazette is partly to blame, I think!
    I hope everyone is doing well and has a good weekend!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, Life on the ranch sounds so much like life on the farm here. I think once you get going i.e. with chickens and it is so wonderful, enjoyable and beneficial then it leads to wanting to try more animals. The garden is the same... one thing leads to another. I find it so exciting!
      The other day I was looking up information and I discovered that Texas has more people than the whole of Australia. Can you believe that!?
      Agave should sell well. I have seen them very expensive in the nursery.
      I am impressed with Colton and the bees. Honey is a very good thing to have.
      You are doing well with the meal planning. Since I learned to review what I have in the fridge properly every few days the wastage is way down. I have a list of use it up meals! Also being away from shops I have made man changes. I am amazed how much better I used everything up and stretch meals! It is an enjoyable challenge!
      Yay to writing down your frugal work! And it is good it is where you can see it (and Colton) To me this makes you appreciate and see how much you accomplished and saved. Also it seems to spur me on as I like having a good list an plenty to report!
      The cherries sound lovely and some for you and some to sell! You truly had an industrious week and I love all you are planning on the ranch. I would love a goat. Someone near us raises pigs for pork. We are planning on buying half a pig for the freezer from him. I need to have my freezer ready.
      I cannot tell you how much more work I get done when I stay home. And how much it saves. I have to go to town tomorrow so I incorporate so many things so I dont have to go again for as long as possible.
      Very good week! I hope the new week will bring lots of good things and you end up with a long list on your fridge! With much love,

  20. Annabel your blanket is fabulous! It must be so warm being wool. I'm so impressed you have already started another one! After a big project I often do a couple of smaller ones to recover lol. I'm so pleased for you that you have managed some sleep ins this week. You certainly deserve them! I must make some lemon butter this week, it's my absolute favourite. Yours is such a lovely colour.

    I made four double dinners this week, three are in the freezer and one we ate on a busy night. I also tried a new cake recipe, it's a chocolate cake with no eggs or butter and it is absolutely amazing! I made one gluten free and my son said it's the best cake he's had. So I'll definitely make it again, as butter and eggs keep going up in price here. A good recipe that uses neither is a win!

    Have a great week
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, I know you relate to the work in a blanket! Yours is bigger than mine too. But stripes are quite motivating! Just get to the colour change.. :)
      I have a post planned.... this recipe would be good for it. Yes butter and eggs etc all expensive. I am not sure the price there but butter is like gold! Also shortages in some places in Europe I believe. So a good recipe. Very good your gf son loved his cake. I am finding GF flour is great and substituting it in recipes is working well. It seems to take more mixing in. Have a great new week! With love

  21. As always, thank you for sharing! I always find inspiration from all the Bluebirds.
    Have a blessed week,


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