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, 8 February 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 9th February, 2018.

This has been a much quieter week!  It has been hot and headachy weather.  I had a headache I couldn't budge.  I knew it was time to slow down.

The highlight of the week was Scarlett's Birthday.  She turned the big 1 and we had a picnic in the park.   It was a beautiful day.

There were pink cup cakes and Harper thought these were just fabulous.

We had everyone there, Great Grandma's and cousins and Aunty Chloe and Luke (the big kids)

As you can see it was a lovely day and a beautiful park which is two streets away from us.  It is filled with Kookaburra's  that sang the whole time. 

Some savings for the week were:

Luke gave Andy a heap of yabbies so that was dinner one night.

I was given jars.  Just wen the jar situation was getting grim two bags of jars came in!

At the supermarket I found some bargain steak so that became dinner that night.

I picked the last of the peaches... or close to the last...  some I sent home to Dad.  Chloe took a bag home too.  I think I picked about 15 kilos this week  (over 30 lbs)
We lived on fresh peaches which are so nice cold from the fridge on a hot day.  I also froze more and made a crumble. 

Mum came to the city for the party with a bucket of farm honey.   It is 15 kilos of pure lovely honey.  So beautiful.   The going price seems to be about $15 a kilo so this added $225 to my Vicky Challenge!  Very happy!

I had a roadside find.  I cleaned up this little bike for Harper.  I added stickers.  It is not in new condition but it is the next size up from what she has and she will have fun with it!

Otherwise it was a case of trying to stay cool, water the garden in the evening and keep the stove off! 

Thank you for the huge response to Wednesdays "The Home Pharmacy" post.   Thank you for so much help!  I can say this week I have learned so much already. 

How did you feather your nest, save money, get ahead or build up your pantry this week?
You might have been struggling with cold weather instead of the heat! 
Have a wonderful weekend!  xxx


  1. What a lovely party! Great pictures! I thought the trike you found was new! Good idea to use stickers.

    1. Dear Vickie, Thank you! Harper was so impressed. She said I made it for her. Well I did stick on the stickers lol. They covered some marks and made it look much better! Have a good weekend! With love

  2. Ooh Annabel the party pictures are so lovely! Great find on the bike for Harper, she will be thrilled.

    I have meant to do the Vicky challenge since you first mentioned it, but always forgot to write down an accurate account of what I'd done. This year I was determined to do it properly, and I'm so pleased! For January I saved $4340!!! To be fair, that is boosted hugely by it being summer holidays. If I was not home I would have paid for a holiday programme for 4 children and daycare for one, so most months will not be that high. But I was surprised by the figure even before I added that in. And as you've said so many times, it was the little things that added up like making my son's birthday cake, and packing lunch and drinks for days out.

    I'm still getting my head around what to count, and how much things are worth, but at the end of the day it's really just for myself that I'm doing it, so it doesn't need to be an exact science.

    I didn't comment on Monday, but your post about making our home how we want it really hit home. I love making things for my children's bedrooms, I have cross stitched pictures, made blankets, mobiles, toys etc. But I think I need to concentrate on our bedroom and living area more. They are looking a bit unloved lol.

    I hope you have a relaxing headache-free weekend :)

    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen, Oh my goodness this is why I say write it down and count it up! It can be just so much more in savings than you realise you are doing! These are tax free dollars! This is amazing and proves how much all the little things are worth.
      I observe what others are paying for, this helps me figure out what to count. I am continually amazed and it is kind of a fun game now...
      You did a beautiful job of painting the bedroom... but now Im not sure if that was your own room, I think so... and it looked wonderful.
      Homes are a constant job of cleaning, tidying and decorating... I think things are fine then suddenly it seems like theres a ton that needs doing!
      Have a great weekend there.... still hot here! With love

    2. Jen that is awesome savings!

  3. Annabel, you truly have the most photogenic family! What a lovely celebration. And so much pink...yay! Mimi xxx

    1. Thanks Mimi. I am not sure about Scarlett yet but Harper goes for pink and purple. Every time! xxx

  4. It's hard to believe Scarlett is one, and Harper coming up 3. Big girls already. I have done lots of sewing and today I'm making your winter sunshine cake. I don't have extra orange juice though, and thought about making my orange berocca juice instead. I really don't want to go up the street as I've been up this morning to the library and supermarket as we have friends for dinner tonight. I just don't want to go out. I'll give it a go and see what happens.
    I have done lots of sewing and making things for the new baby. Also nearly finished a new top for myself and lots of organising in the sewing room. It's been really hot here too, a lot of humidity which we don't get too much of and I find it energy sapping
    Hope your headache goes away. You have been so fortunate with the fruit and honey and the cute little bike.
    Have a great weekend. fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      I am wondering how the cake turned out? I love that cake but now I make the yoghurt one as I have no citrus either.
      I want to see what you have made for the baby... it will all be beautiful I know.
      Yes humidity is energy sapping... the heat here this week has been totally draining. In the extreme!
      Have a good weekend! With love

  5. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) .

    You did so well Annabel picking up the trike and beautiful honey from your Mum and everyone looks so happy at Scarlett's birthday party too. You deserve a more relaxed week every now and again as we all get tired and after all that fruit you preserved I would be tired too.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $125.72 in savings this week.

    Here is how we feather our nest and saved money this week.

    Earnings -
    - Our next door neighbour asked if DH could mow and whipper snip his lawns and he earned $50 which we banked into our home deposit savings account.

    eBay listings -
    - Took advantage of a free listing promotion and listed 10 items and saved $16.50 in usual listing fees.

    Financial -
    - We redid our budget due to grocery price rises and put in an allowance for increasing our food storage in the pantry of $20 per week and reduced our home cash emergency kitty down to $20 per week now we have a fair amount in there. We also run with an emergency kitty of $2000 in the bank for unforseen emergencies.
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 24.07% of the way there.

    Purchases -
    - From Aldi we purchased 36 tins of lychees on special for $1.68 per can ( 14 to replace used stocks and 22 tins to increase our food storage) saving $38.52 over usual prices. In the supermarket here they are usually $2.75 per tin so it is a huge saving.

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

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 1.1kg of cherry tomatoes in the gardens saving $13.20 over purchasing them in the supermarket.
    - Planted a 7mt row of bush bean strike beans and silver beet in the newly amended garden beds.
    - Picked a huge amount of sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender from the gardens which we washed and have drying both inside the house and behind 90% shade cloth on the front veranda stuck through a cleaned wire rock screener which works perfectly. We will use some of the herbs for our own use, some to sell on eBay and some to trade.

    Water preservation -
    - Hand watered our lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine all week.
    - Saved vegetable steaming, washing and dish rinsing water to water seedlings, newly planted seeds and strawberries in the gardens.

    Electricity savings -
    - Saved $7.50 from only turning on the electric hot water system when we needed to and using our solar lanterns to light our home at night.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      A good week! I notice your husbands mowing is a very handy thing and both a help at home no doubt as well as a side line. The eBay listings for free is great. I never knew they did this until when you mentioned it first. What a help. All the herbs drying... wonderful. I often am so busy admiring my herbs when they are at their best I dont harvest enough then they go past that best point.
      The heat is really battering the garden here. I know it will recover but it just looks terrible now!
      I think we both deserve a relaxing weekend. It has cooled down a little but still very warm. We swam last night although we were so tired it was more of a float than a swim!
      Thank you for sharing your week it was very productive, with love

    2. Dear Annabel and yes the heat here has really hit the gardens here too and ours also look rather battered. We are in an interim period having pulled up a lot of crops that got sun damaged and burnt and replanting too. Hopefully we get some late season crops to tide us over.

      DH is a champion earning extra income considering his huge injuries, he does so well and he finds things much easier to mow since I bought him a backpack brush cutter more suited to his back injuries and the ride on lawn mower.

      Another one here that usually admires the herbs and never picks them but this year I made it a goal to harvest them all as I see them. Admiring the beautiful lavender flowers gets to me and I find it hard to pick them :).

      Typo on the pantry stocking and home emergency fund should have been $20 a fortnight not per week, oops.


  6. What a sweet party and I love your roadside find. :) Oh to be blessed with all that honey...I would be in heaven!

    1. Dear Debbie, These were really good things this week that is for sure. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  7. What a beautiful family, and a wonderful celebration. That honey is worth it's weight in gold - it has great medicinal properties. I put honey on stings and grazes, cuts, burns, eczema and dermatitis and cover with a gauze bandage. Much nicer to use than an antiseptic ointment. And it will keep for just about forever too - it may turn candied, but it is still good to use. A teaspoon or two every couple of hours for a sore throat is a better option than antibiotics. It may not be Manuka, but pure honey "regular" honey will still fight infections. I have a jar in the cupboard just for first aid. And with the price of Manuka being anything up to $81/kg you really do have a goldmine in the pantry!

    1. Dear Cath, Thank you! Yes I really believe in honey too. We noticed something over the years. Dad has had various friends who were bee keepers. They lived to great very old ages! We are still seeing this that regular honey eating seems to go with health and living to a great age.
      Also I have been reading about hospitals buying Manuka Honey. But like you I think pure honey with nothing done to it is a close second. I saw someone say once honey has no value it is just sugar. There are sure some dummies out there, I think honey is one of natures miracle workers and they are still discovering its properties. This will be part of my medicine pantry as well as my regular pantry! It made my week! Have a lovely weekend, I hope it is not too hot there! With love

  8. Beautiful party. May I ask what are yabbies?

    1. Dear Saundra, Yabbies are freshwater critters kind of like little lobsters.... thats my best description! The boys all seem to love them and have great fun catching them. They cook them up in pots on the BBQ outside. You can buy them in some stores and they are expensive too! I hope that helps! With love

  9. What a lovely party! Happy Birthday to Scarlett!

  10. Happy Birthday sweet no-longer baby! The day looked like so much lovely fun. I hope you are feeling better. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Sarah, you have a lovely weekend

  11. Dear Annabel,
    I was sorry to hear about your headache, but hope it has gone away.

    The birthday party looks like such a fun time with wonderful memories for the whole family!

    How cute that Harper thought you made the bike! It looks like a nice one and will give her lots of fun.

    The garden and yard have received most of our attention this week--trimming, transplanting, fertilizing and watering. I've picked some basil, tangelos and a handful of tomatoes. The flowers are blooming and lovely. We have had an unusually warm winter with temperatures in the 80's F. I hardly feel like there has been any winter. I don't think I like that since I know how long and nasty our summers are.

    I've had some nice savings the last few weeks. At the grocery store this week, I combined the 10% senior discount with sales and coupons. One grocery usually has. Friday free item. They have sent a second free item to my email the last couple of weeks. Last week's extra free item was a pint of ice cream. Sometimes they aren't anything I like, but I will usually pick them up to see if someone else can use them. For doing a review, I received coupons for 3 large containers of Quaker Oats for free and a $5 gift card to buy one more. I'm still playing grocery store games when they have them 😀. I recently won a 3 pack of ice cream bars. There was a Coca-Cola contest around the holidays from which I won 4 Walmart gift cards for $5 each, as well as a free movie pass and free popcorn and drink. We took one of our granddaughters out for lunch using a gift card from my birthday. By shopping through Ebates, along with another discount, I was able to order an amaryllis for 35 cents. These savings have been over the last few weeks, not all this week.

    I am thankful to be making a good recovery from the knee replacement surgery.I started out patient physical therapy a few weeks ago and am very pleased with the
    therapy team and progress they are helping me make. I have "graduated" from a walker to a cane.

    Wishing you and the rest of the Bluebirds a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, I am so glad things have improved with your knee. My Mum is having terrible problems with one knee now with lots of pain. Suddenly everything is much more difficult.
      I love the way your stores give you a free item! How fantastic! All your prizes too have been great!
      It is amazing about your weather since I know so much of the States has had ice and snow storms and everything!
      I hope you are having a lovely weekend, with love

    2. Something worth trying for your Mum'S knee pain is rubbing that leg 10 times every two hours from ankle to hip. Toxins lodge in the knee and they can often be freed with that lymph massage.

  12. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Gorgeous pictures, and that bike is adorable. She will love playing with that.

    It has been a light week here since it is cold and virus season in my state.

    Food and Cooking: We have been cooking from the freezer and pantry, and brought all work lunches from home. ($120 for lunches and $30 for snacks.) A friend gave us a new spice blend to try and some cranberry/walnut salad toppings.

    Household: My husband fixed a fence panel and post that was damaged in the wind, using his tools and materials on hand. It was $500 the last time we had 2 panels replaced by a professional, so maybe $150 for the fix? He also made some small repairs at the barn where we keep the horses.

    I re-organized the kitchen, cleared off the counters, and scrubbed everything down. It looks much more open and we have more useful counter space now.

    Shopping: There was a good sale on toothpaste ($8 savings, I bought several). I also purchased a standing organizer with drawers for $30 (on sale) and spent an afternoon sorting and organizing my stitching patterns and supplies. I think it will be much easier to find everything now, since things are properly sorted and I won't need to dig through one big drawer to find things. We did some price comparisons on kitchen appliances, since our dishwasher is ending its useful life and we are considering a more energy-efficient refrigerator - there is a very good sale this month on the brand we prefer (literally hundreds of dollars), so that gives us something to think about.

    Crafts: I finished one pair of knitted socks (sparkly grey) and stitched a few small motifs to use on greeting cards. I framed a small cross-stitch freebie I had stitched for my husband for Valentine's Day. (this one:'aime.pdf) We also used some greeting cards from our stash to send birthday greetings to family members.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    1. Dear Kathy,
      Cranberry and walnut topping sounds just lovely!
      I need to organise my craft stuff so much! I am trying to use up a lot.
      I think considering energy efficiency has become a high priority now this things as prices just keep going up and up. We look at everything twice now before turning it on!
      The socks sound so pretty! Also the cross stitch! I am making a heart shaped chocolate brownie slice plus a card and some chocolates so far this is the plan!
      Have a great new week! With love

  13. Happy Birthday sweet Scarlett! Annabel you have such a beautiful family. You had a productive week. I am sorry about the headaches. I praying the weather cools off so your head feels better. Our weather has been in the 80's it has been lovely winter. It has been a quite week here. No shopping this week just eating from cupboard's and freezer.
    Much love,

    1. Dear Patti, Thank you! The weather has finally improved! This is the first day (Sunday) and it is so much nicer and easier.
      I am glad your winter has been ok as I kept seeing some places have been terrible! Have a good new week! With love

  14. Great article.. I saved this week by using what was in my pantry - also is Laine scheduled to do another post??

    1. Hi Becky, Yes I think the next post will be about cooking without electricity i.e. thermal cookers etc but Laine has been snowed under helping with grandchildren as one of the Mums has not been well. So soon I hope! xxx

  15. Annabel,
    Scarlett is just adorable! And Harper is going to be a beauty for sure. Still lots of staying home on my part, but I have been making the rolls we eat at dinner. Rick plowed the neighbor's driveway and she paid him $20, I got a free deodorant in the mail, our ladies gave is 4 dozen eggs and I was offered 3 cases of bottled water for 3 dozen so I of course said yes! We were gifted about 3 pounds of baking potatoes, I got more cheap or free items using Kmart cash and free items at CVS. And with the Kmart cash I added a few propane cylinders for our little propane cookers to our emergency supplies. I also saved 2 stamps by paying the bills over the phone. Over $130 savings so not bad!

    1. Thanks Vicky! That was a handy swap on the eggs.. this is why I love chooks there are eggs then you can sell or swap eggs as well!
      Keeping the propane on hand is a good thing too.
      Well done on your savings on your own challenge named after you! xxx


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