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.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

The World Within our Walls. A day of catching up.

When life is busy there is nothing as nice as getting a whole day to yourself at home.  No appointments,  errands, shopping,  just a whole day to do whatever you want.   This can be hard to achieve and although I like a day like this home alone I still count days when Andy is home too as he will get on with his projects and I will get on with mine.   When the girls were little it was the same thing,  they were good at being occupied and I would create something for them to do while I could get on with my day at home plans!

I call this my catching up day.  I love them.  I can get through a whole list of odd jobs that have been waiting.   These mount up!   The kind of day when you attend to the pile on the corner of the counter, pay bills,  wrap a present and write a card,  return emails, look for the thing you can't find,  put photos into albums,  clean the dishwasher and fold the sock mountain.  This kind of thing!
By the end of the day you feel caught up and so organised.  If I am still going strong late afternoon I will clean out the inside of my car.   This feels like extra points!

Usually I will have written a list and enjoy crossing things off.  Such satisfaction!  Also I will just go along steadily and have cups of tea now and then before tackling the next thing.  So I really enjoy it!

The overall affect of a day like this on the house and running of things is fantastic!  I will go to bed at night feeling so happy that I am on top of things rather than the other way around.

If I can end the day with clear counter tops (this is one of my big problems!)...




Washed floors...


A clean and fresh fridge...  (that smells of vanilla!)


And a house that smells good!  (This just adds to it for me.)  THEN it was a fantastic day! 

If I have time another thing I love to do is refresh flowers.   I like a lot of flowers.   I usually have a mix of fresh, dried and fake.   Now and then they all need a change around and re doing but this is lovely especially if I have found something to add to what I have.   Sometimes I will have found a new vase or basket, usually in the op shops.   Some of my best ones are huge and have been a good shape that I have spotted but a hideous colour or design so I just paint the whole thing.  This has given me great vases for a couple of dollars at the most.



If I am having this kind of day usually I have put the slow cooker on early or have a freezer meal thawing.  Then dinner is easy and done!

The benefits of an odd job and cleaning day are huge.   Realistically maybe we can only get half a day sometimes.   I plot to get whole days and when I look at my planner I can see I just do not have one free day and cancel something if possible or try and group things together so I can be home more.  This week is good so far.  I have two free days... one I think I will use to go see Hilde and stock up on bargain veggies to make some soups!  The other I hope will be a stay home catch up day.

Often after a day home someone will ask you what you did.  At that point your mind goes blank and you say "nothing" or fail to even come up with an answer....   as if housework is nothing.   But that isn't true!   Building up your home makes you feel good and blesses your family.   
In Laines Letters I noticed Laine would write down everything she did.  When her husband came home rather than say "nothing"  she would tour him around her achievements.  Often he would be impressed!  He knew she was busy working and they were a team! 

If you are more up with things than me a whole day home can give you the chance to re arrange the pantry or cook up some freezer emergency meals.  And sometimes you also need a day home to just rest.   An actual day of nothing lol!   These are all subject coming up!  

Do you love a day like this?   Or do you conquer all the extra little things in bite sized chunks of time?  There are times when we also have to do that.  We might have a day of cleaning and call it Spring or Autumn Cleaning... the change of seasons always makes me want to get stuck into things that need doing and kind of freshen things up. 

Have a wonderful week.   True Autumn has returned, we have beautiful rain and I have a basketful of new crochet yarn! xxx





46 comments:

  1. Your home is beautiful! Once a month, I buy fresh flowers from Costco for $10 and they make my kitchen so much prettier.

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    1. Dear Lori, Thank you! I love flowers. Just love. My Nanna was a home florist all her life and it rubbed off on me a tiny bit! With love, Annabel.xxx

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  2. Dear Annabel, yes I love these days too. Mondays are usually my catchup day as our weekends are so busy. Your home looks lovely, and vanilla scented sounds perfect! I agree that writing things down really helps you appreciate the accomplishments in your day. And helps others appreciate the accomplishments in your day...lol! Beautiful post. Love, Mimi xxx

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    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you! I think to others it is all miraculously done lol yet it actually all takes a lot of work! I am hoping tomorrow is one of these days for me. I have a lot of little projects on the go! Have a good week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  3. I have long thought of those day as 'Good Intentions Day'. That is, I do all the things that I have good intentions to do but they just have not gotten done. The thing I put off the longest is making phone calls and appointments. It really feels good to get those things done. I have a written list that we work from everyday here and it is good at the end of the day to see it all crossed off. When my husband was still working he would often look at my crossed off list when he came home and it was a good thing to be able to show what I did all day.

    Your flowers are lovely and I am glad you weather has cooled and the rain has come. We had hard rain and storms today so my husband cut a huge vase of my George Lindsey Tabor azaleas and brought them in yesterday just in case the storms knocked all the flowers off. They are wonderful on my kitchen table.

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    1. Dear Lana,
      I love the name Good Intentions Day! I put off making appointments that I dont like i.e. dentist. I am terrible at that.
      The Azaleas sound just beautiful!
      I have been applying your advice about early intervention with oils and remedies. This is such good advice and applies to just about everything, we need to be aware... and with my headaches learning the VERY first inkling that one is coming on is the time to act... rather than let it take hold... this helped me more than anything else. So now to do it with colds, sore throat etc. Thank you! With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. I love days like that! This morning was a mini-day that made me smile. After I fed the chickens and collected 8 eggs, I made a batch of Boggles (a cookie with craisins and rolled oats). It made 12 dozen cookies so I froze some.
    I made a new recipe up in my crockpot- Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili- for dinner tonight and all the ingredients came from my pantries and freezer! It made enough for dinner tonight as well as leftovers for another dinner or two plus some lunches!
    I then pulled from the freezer one of the 6 DIY pizzas that I made up and baked it in the oven for lunch. It was yummy and we got enough slices for two separate lunches for the 3 of us!
    Simple things but it made me happy to think of how preparation can make life so much simpler!

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    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      Ok you will have to tell me if you liked the new slow cooker recipe and if so then I would like to get that recipe.. it is ingredients I really like!
      Also being autumn the slow cooker is out for a lot of use. It is on today with a beef curry.
      Simple things make me happy too. Did you notice how chickens make you happy as they are happy and busy... it seems to rub off! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Oh, Annabel! That Slow cooker recipe was absolutely scrumptious and it made enough (even after 2nd helpings) for 2- 3 more meals for the 3 of us!!i wondered about putting the cream cheese in the crockpot the whole time, but it was fine!
      Here’s the recipe: https://pin.it/mntzftjuzp76bl

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  5. Hi Annabel and yes I love days like that too where I have a full day to do needed things although it rarely happens :) as we usually always have things to do.

    I try and concentrate on deep cleaning one area at a time in the time I have during each day and that seems to work. This last week though we have deep cleaned the whole home by cleaning windows, door surrounds, outside of cupboards, ceilings, damp dusting belt rails, blinds, ceiling fans and furniture and polishing it, decluttering and throwing out rubbish, vacuuming, mopping and pressure cleaning the front and back verandas and outside fly screens, windows and house. The whole home sparkles and smells far less dusty too and we had our rental inspection today which we passed with flying colours :).

    Today we are doing one of those nothing days to rest after all of the activity we have had in the last week and the only thing we will be doing is fertilising the vegetables in the gardens.

    Sewingcreations15.

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    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      Wow you have done a true spring clean. Only autumn clean! Well done! It feels so good and looks so good to get this much done.
      I hope you enjoyed your rest day after all that... well deserved!
      I saw GardenPat picked up from you about the free eBay listings and has found it wonderful! This is a case of how helpful one tip can sometimes be to someone reading, thank you! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Yes, Sewingcreations! eBay free insertions info was a new inspiration to declutter as well as make money from it! First time out with it this week, I made $50 from 3 things I had totally forgotten were taking up space in the house!!! EBay sent me a message now that they are having a 100 listings free promo and it even allows Buy it Now option!! Look out family!!! Nothing laying around the house is safe now!! Lol!!

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    3. Thank you Annabel yes we are truly pooped but not stopped this week either :).

      Gardenpat you are most welcome for the tip I am glad it helped you to declutter :) and best of all make money out of unused items in the house too. Ebay has a stack of free listing promotions on each month, so much so you never have to pay listing fees as I never do. It all helps.

      Sewingcreations15.

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  6. Annabel you remind me of the energiser bunny :-) Now that the weather is cooling a little I feel more motivated to get stuck into jobs I have been putting off. If only the other inhabitants weren't hoarders. Sigh!

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    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I am not always energetic but I do things in bursts lol so it still adds up. Cooler weather is a helper to me too as far as energy and getting things done! With love Annabel.xxx

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  7. Lovely post Annabel, and very timely .It's been one of those days here too.Yesterday I vacuumed the house and washed the floors , not something I usually do on a Sunday but boy Im glad I did.
    After my exercise class this morning , I then made a stsosp on the way home to sort out some papers Im doign for my inlaws, that is takign way too long .I was goign to ring, but it paid off calling in and asking.Went on to my inlaws and kept them in the loop , came home and put washing on (as my swim gear needs washing)made a coffee and then started cooking . Made two loaves of bread, a big quiche and a pot of soup.We've just sampled the soup and bread for dinner, too full to have the quiche yet .
    Family are now staying tonight and possibly the next two nights and I will be babysitting Wednesday ,my little grandson , Looking forward to that . So you can see whY im pleased the housework is done early and I did the cooking today. Tomorrow Im out visiting aunties and we are out for dinner in the evening.
    Annabel I just love your white kitchen , and how you paint everything and give it a totally new look !Love the instagram photos too , Chloe's hair looks so pretty and feminine as does she in her long dress.
    With love, Maria xxx

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    1. Dear Maria,
      Life is busy and getting a catch up day is so important! Thank you re instagram! And your comment on Chloe. She has found a way to be a farm girl and always look feminine too, I love the effect!
      Your cooking is glorious. I hope you are enjoying the week it sounds really busy! With love Annabel.xxx

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  8. I, too, love days like this. Your home is so pretty. Our local grocery was giving away free bunches of flowers that were too old to sell on Saturday when I was in there. I grabbed a bunch of yellow flowers and put them in a vase in my living room and have enjoyed them so much. I need to splurge and treat myself every now and then!

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    1. Dear Little Penpen,
      I would have taken those flowers too! Even really past it flowers I hang upside down and dry as they are so useful. Or just to have petals!
      I think flowers are very cheery. They are so beautiful. Do treat yourself sometimes! With love Annabel.xxx

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  9. Annabel, I too enjoy those kind of days, they are just so refreshing to my soul!

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    1. I agree Patsy. Life is busy! There is much to do. But it is happy and good to be busy at home and I feel so content I think this is a blessing for sure.xxx

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  10. Hello Annabelle, we sound like kindred spirits! I thought I must be strange because I love being at home, especially a quiet house - it feeds and refreshes my soul. I find work at home therapeutic and satisfying. I often joke that I must have a problem and need help!I have come to resent days when I have appointments that take me outside the home, as you accomplish so much in a day. I have realized however that the school day 9 -3 is quite short, and goes so quickly. As we don't have a spare room or office, it seems to be the kitchen table where everything gets dumped!How this erks me.My Husband appreciates what I do behind the scenes, as he knows we make a team. I couldn't do what I do without him being the earner, and he coudln't maintain his busy schedule without me doing what I do.So it's a great match!I often become so busy and driven, that I don't even eat lunch . I simply get too busy to stop to eat! I love to cut flowers grown in the garden and place them in a vase to grace the kitchen table. Trouble is when we have a day in the garden, the inside of the house becomes neglected.I love to fill the kids lunchboxes with home cooked fare, and love to have a cake or biscuits there to welcome guests.It can be a juggling act at times, but there's no where I'd rather be!! Blessings from Robyne in S.A.

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    1. Dear Robyne,
      I am glad you feel the same. Lately I have made an effort to be home more. I feel better, do better... the house is better. I also do not like appointments much and try to limit them or combine them to one day and get them out of the way!
      Your husband and you sound like a great team. this is very good. We can achieve a lot with team work. Also for me the juggling act is real... the balance thing is difficult. I tend to have cook ups and baking days and when there is stuff in the freezer this frees me up elsewhere. I also like KNOWING there is back up in the freezer. Life is busy but it is good! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

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  11. I make a list and just work my way through it. When Hubby comes home from work and asks what I have been up too I always tell him. He used to kid that their is a laundry fairy in the house because he would put dirty clothes in the wash at night and the next day they would be clean back in his drawers and closet. Glad to hear I'm not the only one with a mountain of socks. I also seem to get a mounted of items that need to be mended and I will just knock them all out on one day a month.

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    1. Dear Makingcentsofitall, I love a list. Oh yes the laundry fairy! lol well I do think many people think it all happens by magic as then they will say things like what did you do all day and others will say you are so LUCKY your house is so clean and smells nice. See me rolling my eyes!
      Andy is a centipede he must have that many legs as he has that many feet and socks lol With love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Dear Annabel,

    I'm with Mimi; Monday is usually a catch-up day. You'd never know the house had been thoroughly cleaned on Friday by the time Monday rolls around! And because I don't do laundry, clean, etc. on Sunday, by Monday a couple of loads need to be done, the bathroom swished and swiped, all sorts of food needs to be made for the week's lunches, etc.. But usually it only takes about half of the day and it's under control again. You're right, if a person can't get a catch-up day on a regular basis to tackle the "sock mountain", etc., then it all starts to roller coaster!

    Beautiful photos of your house!

    Love, Jen in NS

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    1. Dear Jen,
      Monday is busy here too, I like to get things going on Monday! When the girls were at school Monday was big. Also the first Monday back at school after holidays was huge. I would fully attack the house lol
      Thanks Jen, with love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Hi Annabel,

    Your kitchen is so lovely - all of that white and the butcher block counters are so restful and beautiful. Love the peonies! And those refrigerator shelves!

    I love when I have a day that I can putter away at things - it is so nice to get everything in order - but I do most of my tasks with the "one bite at a time" approach. Combining trips also works well - for example, if I have mail to take over to my desk, I try to pick up anything else that needs to go in the office, our bedroom, or the master bath, and not run back and forth three times.

    Hope you have a great day,
    Kathy

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    1. Dear Kathy,
      Thank you! I should have said my fridge shelves are IKEA placemats. They are so easy to take out and wash, in between major cleans anyway...
      I think the combining trips is a great tip. this works on every level at home and outside with errands etc. In fact I often create a day home by combining things rather than spread things over different days. But going from one room to another Mum has always said take something!
      Many thanks Kathy! With love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Your home is absolutely gorgeous! And I know it is that way because of one small project at a time...one thrifted and painted base, one organizaton job, one meal tucked into the freezer. One thing I have learned from you is that these little things really do add up to a beautiful and smooth life! I have a long list of things I'd like to accomplish this week and Mondays are always my most productive day as a homemaker! Something about a restful day at home with the family on Sunday makes me want to get things checked off my list once the big kids and husband are back at school and work on Monday. My 4 year old helper and I are going to tackle that list now and then spend the afternoon at the park :)

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    1. Dear Leigh,
      Thank you! Yes this is my motto, little things add up! It still amazes me! But it is so good. We do not have to do everything in one day.
      Five minutes a day gets things done, an extra item every time you shop stocks a pantry... etc!
      I feel the same about Mondays, I like to get the week off to a good start!
      I liked your plan for the day I hope it was lovely! With love Annabel.xxx

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  15. I have a random question re: the slow cooker cheesecake! It is my husband's birthday tomorrow - it's already 3 p.m. today and it is my daughter's birthday or else I would have started the cheesecake already ... but can it all be done in day or does it have to sit overnight?

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    1. Dear Gigi, It will cool and if you put it in the fridge be ready to eat that day. For a birthday I would then top it with strawberries or blueberries and cream! It is yum and so easy! Good luck! Love Annabel.xxx

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  16. Annabel,
    Your house is so lovely! I keep a master list of things that I want to get done for the year. The extra things that I don't do daily or weekly. Alone days are very rare so not just sitting and enjoying the quiet is a challenge. I do pretty well though I think. Busy work can make all the difference when the little things pile up.
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    1. Dear Vicky, If alone days were only a few a year I think I would use them as total rest days. Depends on who is around and how demanding they are! I think so many things fall into the category of not weekly but just irregular things we have to fit in somewhere! You have a good system! With love Annabel.xxx

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  17. Beautiful! I love how light and bright your home is. Tomorrow I hope to have a catch-up day☺️

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    1. Thanks so much Lynn! I am having my day! And enjoying it too! xxx

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  18. I love catch-up days. Mine usually don't show that I did anything that day, one reason I write down everything I do in a day. But it is those little things that build up and need attention. The houseplants need pruning, the coupons need purging, cutting, organizing. That pile of printed recipes needs to be organized and put away. Oh look that pile of jars that need to go to basement or mending to do.
    After it all I feel accomplished, even if no one notices.

    Don't you just love how clean your home smells after a good washing. I love how mine is after I mop the floors, so fresh.

    Today I started my dreaded job of purging my closet, I tend to hold on to clothes that I think I will fit into again, we are talking years. Well I did 15 minutes sprints. If I hadn't worn it in 2 yrs or it is to worn out to mend it went into a bag. I accomplished 3 large trash bags full to donate. I only did about a 1/4 of the closet but I now have my purses on a shelf and shorts, they use to have to sit on floor next to the shelving. So I see improvement, even if no one else does. I am going to try to finish it all this week and move on to the next room.
    Spring cleaning is going to be a major clean out this season.
    I am taking inventory of what I have, what I may need to look for to replenish a few items. I want my wardrobe in a usable order, if not an item that is used, no need to keep it, if I find I use another items many times over, it may need a mate.

    I did change my bed linen over to Spring since I was in the closet, so my bedroom looks so much more lighter.

    I do want to add your home is so beautiful and airy. It is so inviting!!

    Rosanne
    xxx

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    1. Dear Rosanne,
      I love your list of jobs! Yes the plants are often one of my random jobs and purse cleaning out another...
      Well done on your work on your wardrobe. Right now I need to get out my wintery things and make up outfits... shop my wardrobe! I already cleaned and polished my shoes and boots. Now they look new!
      I am bringing out warmer bedding here and throws on the lounge.
      Today is a home day and I have been making serums and gifts from essential oils... plus washing as it is sunny. Lovely day! With lots of love Annabel.xxx

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  19. Wow, your home looks just beautiful, Annabel. Even your diffuser adds beauty ;-)
    I love your idea of painting "hideous" things white for continuity- it all goes, then! Your pretty fridge interior reminds me mine is way over-due for a "freshening" LOL
    Take care, lovely.

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  20. I Love t hose mats in your fridge! What a great idea!! Have you heard from Laine at all? wondering if she is going to write an article?
    Thank you
    Becky

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    1. Dear Becky,
      The fridge mats are IKEA placemats and so cheap and helpful!
      Yes Laine and her family all had the flu very badly. They are recovering now. I do hope to have an article though sometime! With love Annabel.xxx

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  21. Your house is lovely. Today had a baking day mum asked for an apple pie and some coconut slice so will bake them for her. While the oven is hot I will make some blueberry muffins for myself and sterilize some bottles as I did another batch of berry jam. Went to coles and was stunned at how cheap the frozen vegies were $1.17 for Birds Eye peas, beans, corn, baby carrots and mixed vegies 500 gram packs. I had $35 in vouchers so I bought 30 packs filled the freezer and should last until next year. Making pumpkin soup, and making myself find 5 things everyday to donate to the op shop. Keeping myself positive and proudly singing I Will Survive..... Leanne

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  22. Dear Annabel,
    Your home looks so lovely and I know it is because of the way you care for it!
    Monday used to be my catch up day, as with Colton home on the weekends, we usually had a project going. Now in this season, I tackle things in chunks. It is actually funny that now I can get more done with a baby because I have these moments throughout the day that are "now or never" type of moments. There is no procrastinating or things just won't get done and that's not an option! I know I have told you about my new one room a day schedule. This is how I get to those odd jobs. If it is living room day, I tackle the pile of papers on the end table that has been mounting. Kitchen day, everything gets pulled of the counters and wiped down, fridge gets cleaned out, pantry tidied, etc. Hallways and laundry room day, I will hand wash that one garment I have been avoiding. That is how I am able to manage and it works great for me. Once Colton starts working shift (in two weeks!), I will have to readjust, but I am still going to try to loosely follow this plan as a guide.
    Thank you for such inspiration, as always Annabel!
    Love, Kelsey

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  23. Hi Annabel

    I really love the photo of your kitchen, it so gorgeous.
    I am sorry that I have been posting for a while, but I have still been reading and playing catch up with a lot of things.

    I too love days where you do not have to leave the house, but as you know for me these days are very rare. I have to do the school run daily as DP works away during the week, so I am alone to do this, meaning I have to go out daily. By the time I do get home it is almost 9.15am and washing is usually ready to be hung, before I even think about doing any tidying up.

    We have just been informed of a house inspection next week so I will have to get my finger out and do a thorough clean, not that they look at that but I look at it let me tell you.

    This morning we walked to school and I walked home which took me an hour to and from, so I am feeling more energetic and wanting to do more so I may start with a room that is hardly used and get stuck in.

    I have been having diabetes issues but they are now being controlled by a new drug and I am on the way with weight loss an feeling a lot better. Poor DD7 got Salmonella just prior to school holidays and was sick for most of the holidays. I am now hoping to concentrate more on the house as I had let it slip during this time so was really enjoying reading this post as it gave me so much inspiration to just get on and do it.

    Off I go to start

    Take Care
    Love Aly xxx

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  24. Reading your post makes me want to get busy in my home! I really enjoy this series you are doing. Very inspiring! Your home and garden look so pretty. Would you consider doing a tour of them? Thank you for always being so encouraging. I always feel like I can accomplish more re after reading your posts!

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I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for understanding.xxx

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.