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, 1 March 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 2nd March, 2018.

It was a busy week!  And we saw the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn!  I can't tell you how excited I am about this.  Summer is my least favourite month.  It is dry, we have fires, the garden ends up looking awful...  But I love Autumn!  We have beautiful days and cool nights.  So I am doing a happy dance about this!

Today I am going with Chloe for her wedding dress fitting.  What a day!  I am so excited!

Andy is much better.  He had a very sick week but is doing well now.  So I didn't get heaps of extras done it was more a matter of keeping up.

These are some of the ways I saved and got ahead this week:

I found some great bargains in the supermarket.  I found half priced steak and we had some for dinner and I froze two lots for other nights.

I used bananas from the freezer and left over yoghurt to make muffins for the girls.

I bought the ballerinas from an Etsy shop called The Dream Peddlery.  She really does peddle dreams I thought with her creations....   I make a lot of things. But if I buy something I love to get it from a small home business.   If you like paper crafts take a look at her shop too.

I worked on using the figs Chloe gave me.   We had them baked with cream cheese and prosciutto 
one night.  This is before baking...

I served them with rocket, a simple salad, and sticky balsamic vinegar.
Another night I did them baked with cream cheese and honey and served them with ice-cream.
Also I made jam with figs and almonds.  This is so good!  The colour turned out quite a deep burgundy...

I made yoghurt.

Every spare moment I worked on my craft room and craft cupboard.

During the week I got this photo sent to me by Luke...

This is my fruitcake he is eating.  I interpret this to mean "this is good please feel free to send more"  and this is all the encouragement I need  😊   (you can see he is on the tractor and the dry paddock) 
Chloe rang and she had just saved her chickens from a Wedge Tailed Eagle!  I told her to try and take a photo at the same time as flapping her arms if it should come back!  These are HUGE and can easily carry off a chicken.  But she has never had this happen before! 

I hope you had a good week!  How did you build up your nest, get ahead,  add to your pantry? 
I am off to get ready for this wedding dress fitting.  Days like these are very special! xxx


  1. It's good to hear that Andy is feeling better. Your jam with figs and almonds just looks so good! We have to watch out for chicken hawks here they too love to swoop down and grab a chicken before you know what's happening. Weddings are just so exciting!

    1. Dear Vickie, I guess they are not called Chicken Hawks for nothing! I need to look at those and USA eagles to compare. Scary! One time someone we know had their little dog lifted up by an eagle. The dog was barking the the eagle dropped him! I was amazed by that. The things you have to deal with in the country! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  2. I too am welcoming autumn Annabel. I have saved this week by sending my partner off to work with four days worth of homemade quiches and egg and bacon pies. We estimate they would represent easily $20 a day. He is an outdoor worker and eats a good size meal. I’ve made a couple of dozen jars of Passats and put them away for the upcoming year. I have done lots of sewing for the baby and made myself a top as well.

    That’s very exciting to go wedding dress shopping with Chloe. Have a ball.

    Lol to the tractor shot of Luke’s hand and partially demolished cake. He’s a smart cookie - ensuring the home baking continues.

    Have a good weekend. If xx

    1. Dear Fiona, The lunches would save at least $20 a day, this is the figure I work on too... and be so nice!
      We had a lovely time playing with fabrics, colours... I am satisfied that Chloe's dress will be truly her style and gorgeous on her!
      Chloe keeps the fruit cake hidden and uses it for when she is out of fresh stuff and baking as it keeps so long. So out it came the other day... I think I better get some more made up soon. I have all the ingredients and a lot of eggs to sue so many I better just make some!
      Have a lovely weekend to you too! With love

  3. What a wonderful day you and Chloe will have! Lovely memories that you will make add to the thousands you already have xx
    My first big essential oil order arrived this morning, I am about to have a look and add some to my diffuser :)

    1. Dear Fiona,
      How exciting on the oils! I hope you love them and they suit you and the needs in your household.
      We did have a great day! So much fun!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  4. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds...As usual you are the benchmark for us all Annabel. What a beautiful week. Those ballerina toppers are just the sweetest thing ever! My mouth was watering at the figs and the jam too. I had a really lovely week, probably the best since before Christmas as I had a virus that seemed to go on forever. This week I baked a lot, made essential oil sprays and gifts, did some flavoured salts for hampers, cleaned and freshened the house after the humidity and storms that are typical where we live in February, and just generally caught up. I'm rewarding myself with a similar tidy up of my craft room this morning. I can't sew as I can't see the sewing machine! Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. Mimi xxx

    1. Oh I forgot to say have fun wedding dress shopping! Is there anything nicer? Lovely dresses, happy daughter all glammed up? Enjoy. Treasure the memories...Mimi xxx

  5. I remember those special days leading up to our daughter's wedding. Such sweet Mother and Daughter days. Treasure them up in your heart!

    We got 20 free yogurts plus a quart of vanilla yogurt for $1. We are stocked for awhile. Also 2 free soft cream cheese. I rolled over $139 of my February grocery budget of $250 into March. It will only be spent if great deals come along. Otherwise it can roll along to another month. Good looking fresh fruit seems to be lacking at the grocery so we have been eating pineapple that we canned last month. We bought a $50 gas gift card for $40.

    We met friends for breakfast this morning and only spent $3.12 because we had a coupon. This is becoming a weekly thing and we are really enjoying it so much. It is so good to have dear ones come along side and pray for us as we pray for them. Our homeopathic practitioner said that it is important for my husband to do things he enjoys as he heals from his brain injury. He loves to eat out over everything else so I bit the bullet and set up a cash budget for that every month. It is a lot because I wanted him to not have to worry about it but we had $50 left of February's money so we have put it away for something special like our 40th anniversary this June. We had money left by using coupons and taking advantage of special deals.

    Hubby repaired a toilet for $11. A plumber charges $110 just to come out. He also installed a grab bar along the wall going down the steep steps into our garage for a cost of $32. Other options we had priced where $150 and up. He started on a big inside painting project that a few years ago we would have called a painter to do for us since it involves a 2 story stairwell. I am going to be keeping an eye to be sure he stays safe doing that!

    We caught a cold on Wednesday but treated it with oils and we were well by bedtime. This was the week of the month that we cook for the homeless shelter. We save by looking for specials on the food and by buying the disposable foil pans in bulk at Sam's. The inner city has gotten much rougher in the last couple of years and now we always go together to deliver instead of just one of us. The guys who have been there awhile know who we are and appreciate the food so we feel like some of them watch out for us.

    Have a good weekend! We are longing for sunshine after this dreary, wet week.

    1. Dear Lana, You did so well with your groceries! Your husband saved a lot of money with his handyman work. I would agree that recovering from something big it is good to do happy things he enjoys. Savings in one area can help another!
      It is so wonderful you cook for a homeless shelter! Well done. I am sure there are people there that appreciate it deeply and would watch over you.
      That was a good week! With much love

  6. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :) .

    How sweet are the ballerina cupcake toppers, love the Luke photo and he is clearly enjoying your cake, and what a productive week you have had. Have fun and take some photos of Chloe as family photographic memories in the dresses she tries on and picks out.

    Here is how we saved money and feathered our nest this week -

    Earnings from internet sales -
    - Earned $7.85 by selling saved seeds from the gardens which I have left in PayPal to build up and when I have enough will download it to offset some pantry buildup expenditure.

    eBay listings -
    - Took advantage of a free listing promotion and listed 20 homemade items saving $33 on listing fees.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a quadruple batch of oatmeal and golden syrup biscuits and a double batch of magic mix white sauce and pudding mix from stored food saving $25.59 over buying the equivalent in the stores.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 967g of Lebanese cucumber, and 1 lonely cob of sweet corn from the gardens saving $6.90 over purchasing them.

    Sewing -
    - Made a large bread bag to hold our 1.25kg homemade bread from the pillowcase of a single quilt set I had previously made curtains for the laundry and toilet area of the house saving $22.50 over purchasing it.

    Electricity -
    - Saved the usual $7.50 by putting on the electric hot water system when necessary and using our solar lanterns to light our home at night.

    Water preservation -
    - Used vegetable steaming, washing and dish rinsing water to water transplanted carrots in the gardens.
    - Used save grey water from our washing machine and showers to hand water the house paddock lawns all week.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, I have a fair few eggs at the moment plus dried fruit. So I am thinking to make up more fruitcakes since they keep. Really they only improve with time. I think I could use some as Easter presents!
      The bread bag is a really good idea. I think they could be a good seller too like the re useable veggie bags and shopping bags seem so popular. The magic mix white sauce and the golden syrup biscuits sound so good to me!
      I did take photos of the dress fitting. Chloe chose her fabrics and colours. It will be lovely. And it was so much fun! Really October will come around fast I think!
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love

  7. Good jet-lag morning to you from Toledo, Ohio!

    Truly, indeed: What a fun season you are in with dear Chloe! I’m sure it was marvelous! So happy for her, Luke and ALL of you!


    1. Thank you Kelley! Enjoy your time in Ohio! xxx

  8. Dear Annabel,
    You had a very productive week considering Andy has been so ill. As always, your photos are lovely.
    John and I are finally some better from Influenza B. Nasty stuff here this year.
    I am looking forward to Spring here, although we have about six weeks left of colder weather yet. I plan to add Oregon Grape to my medicinal bushes in the yard.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      I am so glad you both are getting better. What a winter you have had! You will really be looking forward to spring weather.
      I hope you have a restful weekend! With much love

  9. Annabel,
    Oh what wonderful memories you are building with Chloe, enjoy the bridal fitting.
    I envy you and your fig jam, figs here are so expensive year round, the least expensive are $5.99 lb in season.

    I have been so fortunate while traveling with my husband on his business trip to visit thrift shops in the cities he works in.
    I was able to find a whole bed set of an embroidered quilt, shams and throw pillow, it was a king size and fits my queen perfectly since it is a high bed, I spent $17 total for it.
    I have been adding to my library of books, my last acquisition was 10 cookbooks for a total of 75 cents. I have never seen these price before.
    I also found a beautiful counted cross stitch for $1 and an embroidery picture for $3.
    My canning jar pantry was added to with 6 jars for $2.25
    My list goes on and on, spools of ribbons for 18 cents, 280 buttons for $2. The Lord surely blessed me.
    My sewing pantry is so happy now. I do need to clean and reorganize all to add to it. But I am not complaining, I am happy to clean to make things more organized.

    I do so hope you and your dear family have a wonderful weekend and Andy continues to improve.

    1. Dear Rosanne, I have seen figs here for $80 a kilo. (2.2lbs = a kilo) and last year they were sold at $2 each!
      You have had some wonderful thrift store finds! What fun for you too!
      I love to find ol cottons... the old ones are great quality!
      We did have a beautiful day yesterday. It was lovely and the end result is going to be gorgeous!
      Have a good weekend with some relaxation! With love,

  10. I don’t comment very often but I love your blog. I read every post and always look forward to the next one. You make such beautiful recipes. I do some freezer cooking. Some meats I manage fine. I was just wondering if anyone has trouble with their freezer meals tasting “off.” I made several freezer meals a while back to take with us on vacation to the mountains. We had a kitchen in the condo and could save money by cooking some of our meals. I thought that would be perfect so I wouldn’t have to take all the ingredients separately. I was a little disappointed. Especially my turkey/dressing casserole didn’t taste as good as fresh made. But sometimes I have issues with the way cooked turkey tastes after it’s been frozen. I’ve tried to google tips for this issue but never seem to find exactly the thing I’m looking for. I do freeze homemade bread sometimes, also zucchini bread. Just some other things taste funny to me. I try to heed all the tips I read of getting the air out and double wrapping etc. I was just wondering if you might do a post on how you freeze all the baked goods, meals, & desserts you make ahead sometime. It obviously works great for you because you make so many lovely things. I try not to leave things in the freezer to long but we are empty nesters now and my husband travels with his job. I would just like things to taste a little fresher if I’m gonna go to all that work. It’s not a huge problem because I preserve (can) alot of my own convenience foods so it’s not like I have to have a bunch of freezer meals. I also use my crockpot (slow cooker). I would however, like the option of some freezer meals & treats occasionally that I can pop in the oven. Thank you for any advice you can give. ...Vicky in Ky

    1. Dear Vicky, Thank you for commenting! Well I think you hit a good idea. Next time I am having a cook up and freeze up I will make a post of it. Frozen meals are such help and money saver. I havent had the problem you are having with the turkey... the only turkey I have frozen has been roast turkey with roast veggies like a tv dinner style meal. So someone else might have an answer here. It sounds to me like your doing everything right with the wrapping etc.
      One thing I wills ay here is the casseroles I make in the slow cooker.... I always make extra.... this becomes the filling for meat pies. I only need puff pastry and I have a pie... and these are a wonderful freezer meal. I love pies! Thank you this is a good idea.... we just hit autumn so I will be doing much more baking! With love

    2. I think the hardest thing to keep tasting good in the freezer is anything with cooked turkey. I try to use it in casseroles or make turkey salad with it but chicken always tastes and keeps better. I do a lot of freezer cooking and have not had an issue until we went to our house at the lake a few weeks ago and took ten freezer meals along. Those meals tasted off to me and I think it is because no one had been there for a couple of months and the whole fridge had an off odor. I am definitely packing a box of baking soda to go in the fridge next trip. A few charcoal briquettes will absorb odors even better but I don't want to buy a whole bag for a few pieces.

      I freeze meals in containers or if I do casseroles they are in glass dishes with both plastic wrap and foil over top. I put quick breads in plastic wrap and then a ziploc freezer bag or for muffins, they go into a sealed plastic container. I wash all my plastic freezer containers by hand because I think they pick up off odors in the dishwasher and that can transfer to foods. Hope this helps!

  11. Annabel,
    Wedding dresses and ballerinas I love girly things. And I would for sure say your cake is appreciated and Luke would be the happy recipient of more! That is a great compliment. Your cooking and baking always looks so good.
    It was a good week for savings and I only left the house once. Rick sold a 4 wheeler and half is to pay the bills and the other half into savings for the new garage we have to build. The other is so old the roof fell in. Our taxes and utilities are going up ugh! My one day of leaving was to pick up produce that was on sale for a decent price saving $20 and dropping off a bag of donations on the way and plastic bags for recycling, I always be sure to take advantage of any bottled water deals to add to the storage and hubs uses alot in the summer and was able to get a 24 pack for .99 with a store coupon at one store and a 35 pack for 1.67 at another with 2.30 in points that I had for that store, both stores are close so a one tank trip. Rick sold 9 dozen eggs $18, I got a nice sample of cat food in the mail $1 and a product to review of a cooking sauce not sure of the retail cost so I am guessing $6, I got $5 for free from Paypal, but little time to use it so I ordered a half yard of fabric from Etsy and used that to make it free. I made our dinner rolls one night and used stale buns for garlic bread another. We are still burning wood which saves each month and I got more Kmart deals which I will count when I pick them up. Oh and last week I bartered my organizing skills for pretty fabrics to make a shabby chic quilt and got the top done. So not a bad week.
    Vicky- some things if you are doing freezer meals you don't want to cook completely like your turkey. When it's almost done it is better for freezer meals because it still needs to cook a bit more. I do the same with other meats, but things like pot pies, soups or lasagna I cook fully and let cool well before freezing. Pasta is better a bit al dente for freezing too. I hope that helps.
    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

    1. Dear Vicky, The sale of the four wheeler is a big boost especially this time of year. That was great! All the staying home was good too! When we stay home we just tend to get stuck into other things that need doing.
      All your store points and how you use them are amazing!
      Thanks for the tip on the turkey. I hadnt thought of that with turkey yet if I do pies, lasagne etc I lightly cook those so when they get heated up next time they wont end up too dark or dry. Makes sense!
      I hope this week is as good as last week for you! With love

  12. Oh Those figs look so lovely! The ballerinas will bring out the little girl in any woman! ;)
    Love Farmer Luke's hint. My husband does the same.

    Wanted to thank Kelley for her lovely room and inspiration.
    Couldn't seem to post a comment on that entry.

    Also hoping to make some miracle cleaner soon.
    I made some progress in my craft corner last month. I had saved old blankets for the inside of quilts. But they were not getting used as they were very dark and showing thru my beautiful cottons. So I cleared them out and donated them to the local humane society. They were delighted!

    Blessings to you Bluebirds,

    1. Dear Leslie,
      Thank you for your comment to Kelley!
      I just made a huge batch of miracle cleaner myself. One bottle is for a gift. Once you give it to someone then they keep wanting more!
      Well done on donating the blankets and giving them a useful life. If they were showing through the fabric they just weren't going to work. I am doing these things in my own craft room as I progress (slowly!)
      Have a good weekend! With much love


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