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, 16 March 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 17 March, 2017.

This week it started to feel like Autumn and today is just gorgeous!  I am so happy about this! 
As we had a public holiday Monday I feel like it has been a short week and that I didn't get that much done. But once again, thanks to the notes I take as I do things, I look back over the week and feel much better! I have quite a bit I can count in my Vicky Challenge as well! 

I finished my DIY chandelier and it is ready to hang.

Chloe came up on the weekend and brought figs she had picked.

I used these straight away in two meals. The first night I made fig pizzas. The next night I stuffed some with cream cheese and wrapped them in Prosciutto. These are really easy and delicious. 

I still have a bowl full of figs in the fridge. They will be either jam or fig paste over the weekend...

In my sour dough adventures I made Calzones. They are probably very un authentic. However they were yum!  Really they are just pizza pockets.  I used capsicum, cheese, bacon, salami etc.

Also I made buns. This lot were raspberry.

I have it worked out now that the addition of milk, eggs, butter and sugar gives a sweet dough and it is like with the plain bread mix as then this gives you heaps of things to make which are just variations on a theme.

Andy is making me a new clothes line. For a long time I have wanted an old fashioned style one which is right across the back yard. My current one is old and nasty but I love hanging clothes on the line and sheets and towels smell so beautiful from sunshine.  I saw a picture online with each end having pretty scrolls in the corners.  Andy looked for wrought iron to use for this and the corners were $80 each.  So this idea was scrapped.  Mum's neighbour this week gave us the four corners we need!  All they need is painting!  They are perfect! 

I can't wait! 

I froze some strawberries for smoothies as they were going soft too fast. 

As well as fig pizza I used up a heap of leftovers on another pizza.

I did a heap of pruning, fertilised the roses and the lawn and generally have been tidying up in the garden.  The parsley has millions of seeds and I have baby parsley coming up everywhere.

For my Vicky Challenge I counted making all lunches, the chandelier, the savings on the lattice work,  my tray of buns, the figs etc. and it amounted to $776 which is the best week in ages. 

How did you build up your home and savings this week?  I hope you have a lovely weekend.  
I am off to hang washing in the sun and try and be outside as much as I can while it is so nice.   xxx

I have been doing a bit of pruning in the garden and fertilised the roses, spread some lawn food over the lawn and generally tidying up.  There are baby parsley plants coming up everywhere because of self seeding. 


  1. Autumn weather? So envious! As I write this at 10.15am, I have sweat running off me and even off my eyelashes. The fans are all on full but all they are really doing is moving the heavy, humid air around.
    We have had a most welcome, and needed, 30mm of rain over the past few days. No this isn't much, but it is more than we have had since last October. The rain and the heat have lead to a rise in the humidity.
    Bluey got out and fertilised the brown and crunchy lawn whilst it was raining. Good old couch grass is going green already.
    Bluey finally felt well enough to make the trellis along the side fence for the new passionfruit plants. I have been wanting this for a long time, but as with all good things, I had to wait. The passionfruit seedlings I had started last year were all over a metre long. They have managed to transplant quite well and really enjoyed the rain.
    I took all the clippings that had been in a drying pile in the garden and put them through my little mulcher. All the passionfruit seedlings have a nice pile of mulch around them. Prior to the mulch I gave each plant a topping of homemade compost and worm castings. Massive savings just with the new passionfruit vines.
    I installed the solar guttering lights and feel much better having light up the dark driveway. Bluey jacked up the caravan on special stabilizer lifts. This helps extend the life of the tyres on the van. We finally saw the accountant for last years tax. Only have 3 more months and it will be time for this years. With Bluey being so ill last year we decided it was time to review our Wills and Medical Power of Attorney. We are now up to date with all the legal bits.
    Katie and her Jared have a friend having a baby in May. They asked me to make a baby blanket and baby hooded cardigan. These are done in the Father's favourite footy team colours.
    I have written $478 for this weeks Vicky Savings. Most of this attributed to my clever Bluey. He is having a well deserved quiet day today.
    I am kicking myself for deflating and putting away my little wading pool. It would be most welcome right now.
    Life is a really sweaty good.

    1. Jane I has 3 seperate customers in the shop last Friday from your neck of the woods. They were desperate for rain and said that they were on water restrictions. So glad that you finally got some rain.



    2. I am so glad to hear that Bluey is feeling better!

      Our weather here in the USA has been the opposite of your with bitter cold temps and wind. It is will be warmer tomorrow and I am looking forward to it!

    3. Dear Jane, Well since you wrote this your lawn would be having a party! I am so happy you got really soaking rain!
      Well done on excellent savings! A trellis of passionfruit sounds fantastic! Also I really agree that light is a deterrent... crooks don't want to be seen! I have ordered solar lights for our backyard... he front yard is quite well lit up with solar lights plus sensor lights... now the back will be as well. All these things make a difference I am sure.
      I hope you are having a good weekend and it is cooler! With love

  2. Hello Annabel, what a lovely post to read. The clothes line will be a lovely match for your house i think. Your weather sounds so pleasant too. Have a lovely weekend. Fi xxx

    1. Dear Fiona, The weather has got really warm again! Its ok though... and its a good weekend. I hope you are having a lovely weekend as well. I cant wait for this clothes line to go up the old one is kind of an eyesore! With much love

  3. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds .thank you for another great pos Annabel I love your chandelier and those wrought iron corners will be amazing, what a great gift , just perfect for you. The raspberry bun looks so yummy as does the calzone.
    My week has been very quiet but has included my usual subsidised cleaning and two hours of meal prep . $90 savings
    My dad gave me some cuttlefish that he brought back from their holiday that he found on the beach ( I apologise if I mentioned this previously ) , cuttlefish fish are expensive in the shops , I estimate Dad gave me $25 worth.
    I saved $32 in grocery savings and saved $20 of this for Christmas.
    I cut out some die cutshes to make some cards , saving me time when I am ready to make the cards I don't have to cut out shapes. I will save $ when I make the cards.
    I bought a huge box of chocolates as a family Easter present for my sisters family . I saved $15 on the chocolates as they were on a good special .
    I made and had made for me meals from scratch and avoided takeaway or going out for dinner one night , saving $15 . I gratefully received a meal from my parents $10 . I got transport with my Dad instead of getting a taxi or community transport $40 saving. I think that's it for savings Annabel , my Vicky challenge savings this week are $215. I hope everyone has a great weekend . Sending love to those bluebirds who are unwell or need some love . Love Barb W.

    1. Good on you, Barb!

      How are you this week?


    2. Dear Rachel, how are you?.I am still struggling with pain but have been trying hard not to let it get me down . I will be ok , thank you for caring Rachel.
      Love Barb

    3. Dear Barb, What a good idea to give a family Easter gift that is smart thinking.
      We have a neighbour who gets us cuttlefish and we collect it too if we are at the beach. I have seen tiny ones for $2 in Woolworths!
      You did well! I know you haven't been feeling too good. I hope things improve Barb. Pain really is wearing and its hard to even concentrate! With lots of love and thinking of you, Love

  4. This week we found out that we are getting almost $800 in tax refunds! For the past 5 years we have had to pay between $1600- $2500 at tax time but I made some adjustments for 2016 that changed that! What a blessing! Since losing 96 pounds in the past 10 months, I no longer need my Cpap machine at night and I was able to find a company that I could legally sell it to. They sent me a free shipping label. I sent it out on Monday out of state and by Wednesday night, they had paid me $250 into my paypal account!! Then the got a call from a research company that I've worked with before and on Wednesday I will go to their facility about 12 minutes from my home and be on a focus group about chicken and for my 2 hours will be immediately paid $85!!! I got a Pinecone check for $6 and am pleased with that too because every small amount translates into paying off debt and adding to our savings account!! Tomorrow, finally, I will deliver our pallet coffee table to a client and get $85 for it!

    On Sunday, we are excited to go to a devotional at our Church that will introduce the new Self Reliance courses. There are 4 to choose from: Education, employment, Personal Finance and Starting and Growing your own business! The courses are 12 weeks and 2 hours each week and free to anyone in our area without regard to Church affiliation or not. We are excited to begin the Business course to find ways to continue and improve our side business we have been doing!
    In the kitchen, I made 4 breakfast Sausage, egg and cheese bagels to use up 4 lone sausage patties from the freezer and 4 plain bagels on my counter. I made 18 pumpkin butterscotch muffins to rotate a can of pumpkin that had been on my pantry shelf. Since there are only 3 of us at home, I kept 6 out for a breakfast selection and froze the other 12 as an easy pull out breakfast for days when I'm in a hurry!
    I made chicken salad croissants, bagged and labeled them in fridge for easy lunch options! Portioned out dinner leftovers into individual serving containers for more lunch options. Why is it that if I do this and label them I. Fridge that suddenly Hubster and son can "see" them and use them instead of stopping at a drive-through on the way to work? The same ingredients had been in plain sight!! Lol!! I don't mean nod doing it when I see the effect on our budget!
    We had company for dinner tonight and I didn't get home until 20 minutes before they arrived. I hadn't remembered they were coming until less than an hour before when I was on the other side of the city! I considered pizza delivery, but instead picked up a couple tomatoes and a half gallon of ice cream at Aldi's and had Hubster pull out 2 ziplocs of cooked ground beef that I had made previously. I added home canned chili beans and homemade taco seasoning to the meat and arranged all of the ingredients on the table for a DIY taco buffet with ice cream as the dessert. They lived it and I saved about $22 just on that meal!! So grateful for my pantry!!
    I finished 2 more baby quilts and put them into our gift drawer.
    All in all, it's been a very good week! I would live to get your recipe for the sweet rolls, Annabel! They look scrumptious!!!
    Hope everyone else is having a great week!!

    1. Would love to see pix of your baby quilts!


    2. Dear Gardenpat,
      Wow I love your week! First of all your amazing weight loss... apart from the way you feel it changes everything and even that machine can go! Well done on selling it! This is fantastic! On top of the tax refund! I saw the pallet table and it is really good! The free timber is really a little business for you!
      I am so impressed with your Church and the Self Reliance theme. Also that anyone can go along to the courses. I went online and read one of the handbooks about self reliance. I think this is a very important subject.
      All your cooking is so good! It all added up to a brilliant week.
      I will post that recipe. It is very similar to the Sticky Buns... if you go by that dough you can use it and fill it with berries, jam or whatever you want then use an icing glaze over the top. But it is slightly different so I will post that soon. Thank you for sharing your week I loved it! Have a lovely weekend! With love


  5. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    You've chandelier-ed your way through a fruitful week, Annabel! Good job!

    My week? I've baked a good number of bread buns, and cooked some cinnamon scrolls as caramel dumplings indoors on the fire. They worked!

    We had good rain, and large hail. We're loving the autumn weather!

    I've weeded and weeded; re-spun drenched washing and dried it by the fire; enjoyed hand-me-along neroli oil; and, just when I've been trying hard to fit things into my days, I have found myself taking on more and more!! Ha ha!! Next week, it's curing olives from Dad's trees!! Ha ha!! Ha ha! I guess I'm not in a rest season, then!

    I hope Patti, too, is working through the healing process well.

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel,
      Hail! I am glad about the rain! Large hail can be damaging though. The largest hail I have ever seen was last year. I guess it was 1.5 cm wide? Well that was enough to destroy fruit crops with big holes.
      What a busy week! I want to know about the olives and how you do them. I think there are two ways to do olives? But they will be wonderful! And did you see recently a picture... it was focaccia made by Jane with olives over the top!
      Caramel dumplings sound amazing. Beautiful cooking Rachel! With much love

  6. It looks like you will have the prettiest clothes line in town!

    1. Thanks Lana. My old one is UGLY and this will give me more actual hanging space as well! I hope you are having a lovely weekend! xxx

  7. Hello Ladies! Everyone has been so busy. I cannot wait to see a picture of your clothesline, Annabel. It will be quite charming :~).
    I have chickens and gardens on the mind today. A month ago I started plants, under grow lights, inside and as I watered them this morning I decided that there were some that were just pathetic. I do not grow broccoli and cabbage very well for some reason. So I pulled them out and put more herbs purple basil, cilantro and parsley in their places and also a number of nasturtium.

    I also decided it is time to put in a small dedicated herb garden that will also have my strawberries and rhubarb in it. As to the is time to really get working on expanding their fenced in yard and put up the new building for their new coop. I bought the house in a kit form last fall, but it has been a busy busy season and we didn't put it up. The house they are in now is over 18yrs old, we built it in 1999. It is in poor shape and I've made all repairs I can without investing too much in a building that needs to be demolished. Time to get moving!

    Jane and Gardenpat you both have some great savings this week. Way to go! Like Jane our big savings comes from my hubby. He is so talented and has saved us so much over the years!
    Everyone have a blessed day!

    1. Dear Kath,
      There are somethings that grow for me wonderfully and some things that I just am no good at. Mostly there seems no rhyme or reason although now and then I find a cure. I remember one was parsley. My parleys would get so far then fade. I couldn't figure it out. Then I read parsley has to have a really deep pot or the ground as it makes a long deep root. Pulling up some parsley showed me this is true. I got a really deep pot and had wonderful success and now I have it like a weed. It is really good that you got ahead with seedings with the light!
      I would love to see your chicken house! I am sure they will love moving in to that! You could have a hens party!
      I am so glad you have a hubby that is like Bluey and Andy... repairs and making things etc. it is truly a big factor to getting things done without big expenses.
      Have a good weekend Kath! And thank you! love

  8. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds,

    I can hardly wait to see what you do with the corner pieces for the clothesline, Annabel. And the stuffed figs, yum.

    As you know this has been a crazy week for the Northeast U.S. I'm so grateful that we didn't lose power, and for having a plan in place and, of course, the pantry. Things started moving again yesterday and we were able to go out and about. Our Dept. of Transportation did a phenomenal job of working round the clock in our area, schools opened with a delayed 2 hour opening and traffic was moving well. However, tonight, depending on which station is listened to we're either going to get more snow, snow mixed with freezing rain, or rain mixed with freezing rain. This is going to continue throughout tomorrow. I hope the meteorologists are wrong!!! If they're right we're still well prepared.

    This week was largely spent doing a little quilting, crocheting, painting and reading, and the usual fluffing and straightening up, floors got washed, and some things put in the donation box that might help someone else and watched the snow falling. Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, You got on very well and it is really wonderful that you have such good people working around the clock to keep things working. Also its good you were able to go out just incase this next lot of weather causes you all to have to stay in again!
      Being busy and content at home is so good. Instead of being frustrated you are working away on lovely things! I love that!
      I am getting started on my paining today! I have everything! Ill need luck!
      Have a good weekend Cookie! With love

  9. I've had a busy busy week in my home. Our weather was quite cold but no snow for us in my part of the state and for that I'm grateful! I shared on my blog the freshening I'm doing in my home as I spring clean. My favorite project this week is my 'new' shower curtain, made from a pair of sheers I had been using in my bedroom but switched out.

    1. Dear Terri, I love spring cleaning and the effect it has. Also what a good idea with the shower curtain. I thought that was brilliant! Have a good new week! With love

  10. Dear Annabel and Friends, it's lovely to see everyone so busy and productive. I love it! I had a really good week this week with lots of baking achieved, some costumes completed for a Year 12 Theatre assessment for my daughter, a makeover of an old piece of furniture finished, and some shelves built. I've decluttered like a demon, and my home is looking sweet and streamlined. It's a really good feeling. Have a lovely weekend everyone! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I saw your dresser and it is totally transformed. I hope you love it as I do!
      Well done on a great week! I saw the costumes also and they looked amazing. Have a great new week! With lots of love

  11. Dear Annabel, You had a very good week. I love the chandelier and all the yummy food. Pink icing! :)

    I had pie crust in the freezer that needed to be used, so made a berry pie with my home canned berries. It was yummy! I'm still working on my extra 3 a day and was able to get quite a bit of extra cleaning done. I also continue to declutter and have more items to donate.

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend all you wonderful bluebird ladies! Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri, Berry pie sounds gorgeous. I love pies! I just think they are so beautiful.
      Well done on your cleaning and decluttering. A little bit extra a day on anything works miracles in a year or even in a month. I am always amazed by that! Have a great new week. With love


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