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, 26 March 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 27th March. 2015.

This week we were away for five nights on a little holiday in Tumby Bay. This is the sweetest little beach side town! It is a six hour drive (or bit more) from home so I can do a lot of crochet in that time!

Sorry for no posts Monday or Wednesday on account of this. I don't say much about going away as it is a bit dumb security wise to advertise being away from home. I think I have caught up on replies. Thank you everyone who commented and I am sorry it seemed I hadn't replied. They were a joy to read when I got home last night. What is lovely is that we all live in different places and in different circumstances. But we all work to build up our homes, happiness, security and to save money and look after our families. That gives us so much in common.

We planned this little holiday last year. I knew that once it got close to Lucy's due date I would not want to be going anywhere. (She is due May 14) And I knew once the baby is born I won't want to go anywhere either! mmm and we hadn't had a break for ages. And Andy needs one I thought. So I booked this. We stayed in a little cabin on the beach. I am a believer in having breaks and that it can be done inexpensively. A break changes your perspective and is so healthy in so many ways. It was beautiful. We arrived and felt relaxed immediately! And the sea air made me sleep like a log!  But I will post about this on Monday and on inexpensive holidays. This was standing on our front little lawn... the best rainbow I have ever seen. The photos shows it but doesn't show how bright it was. It was INCREDIBLE!

Today I will stick to how we saved money and built up our home.

The night before we left I made up ham and salad rolls and packed a basket with a little fruit cake, serviettes etc. Then in the morning I added the rolls and a thermo each of tea for me and coffee for Andy. This way we can stop and have breaks, something to eat and drink, when we see a nice place to stop. This saves a lot. Once ages ago we stopped at a country town far away from anything and had coffees and toasted sandwiches and it was $40! Never again falling for that! This is nicer as we can stop and have a sea view or wherever we want. Packing a picnic the night before a trip is my habit now.

The weeks before we go away I start to save up groceries to take. In the last days I add fresh things. So we take bacon and eggs, tomatoes etc for BBQ brunches, teas, coffee and all kinds of things. So we had things for lots of easy meals.

On the morning we left I took a lasagne from the freezer and wrapped it in a tea towel. This was so it could thaw for the day and be dinner on the first night. We were tired and I heated this up and we ate it watching the sun set and the birds on the ocean! Lovely.

On Sunday we went into the local store to buy fresh milk. I looked at the magazines and saw one that looked lovely. I picked it up and it was $15! I said to Andy I will wait until Monday when we go to the op shop. And guess what!?? At the op shop I bought 40 beautiful current and recent magazines for $2.
Yep that is 5c each. I can't tell you how much fun I had with those magazines! Bliss. So many ideas, crafts, recipes.... I tear out the pages to bring home for my various scrap books. It was lovely. So relaxing too. And Andy bought a couple of dozen motorbike magazines, also for 5c.

We went op shopping. I got a Queen Anne plate and several other old English bone china pieces. And books for card making. I found two glorious rose books and a Shabby Chic book to use to make cards. They were each $2. Each one gives me so many images to use. The rose photo book has over 50 suitable pictures for cards. So I have new supplies for very little. And now I am looking forward to card making one rainy day.

In quiet times (and when I wasn't reading magazines!) I wrote letters. I used my last lot of cards I made recently. With my "stickers" to pretty them up. This is so enjoyable to me. This was the table at one stage before I headed to the post office!

We walked out the front and fed our scraps to these guys. They were so beautiful and funny. They will eat out of your hand but you have to be a bit careful as their beaks are really sharp. We were good buddies by the time we left. :) This is what you call inexpensive entertainment!

A local tourist magazine had vouchers for free coffee in the local bakery and we used those.

We had a day op shopping at a nearby town. That was a good fun day and we found some amazing things.

It was very relaxing and beautiful.

Now back to the real world! I need to go and get some groceries today ready for the weekend.

How did you build up your nest and save money this week? I hope it was a good week.
Also Easter is almost here! I need to think quickly about that and the holiday break. I need to make some lists and get organised. Next week will be a busy week and a short week with a public holiday for Good Friday.

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Hi Annabel. What a lovely week you had and this little spot just looks enchanting! I love that you find inexpensive ways to take a break. We try to do this too, and it's so rewarding and relaxing, isn't it. The rainbow is stunning. We always say that a rainbow is Mum (my Mum who passed away some years ago now), saying hello. It's a lovely thought. This week I found Victoriana images online for cardmaking, and these will save me greatly in the coming months. Little images glued to pastel pink card, layered with paper lace doilies and velvet ribbon will be gorgeous. I made my own yoghurt and drained it, turning it into banana splits for my daughter and her friends, and made fizzy bathbombs for her to gift them for Easter. I made a Frangipani Pie to cheer a friend up, and propagated literally hundreds of succulents and echeveria, some of which I'll use to make your terrariums for gifts. So a happy week here. I'm glad you and Andy stole away. Once that baby is here, wild horses won't drag you anywhere for years! My little darling grandaughter said to me on Wednesday 'Nanna you're my BEST friend'. Oh my gosh. She just makes my heart sing. Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi your week was great, as usual! Of everything the Frangipani Pie for a friend is my absolute favourite... and so many baby succulents. The frilly one you posted a picture of is amazing and I have never seen one like it. It all truly adds up to a wonderful week. Week by week this is all adding up!
      The lace doilies, pastel pink plus velvet combination is sounding heavenly to me... you have me thinking this would be amazing on the wrapped chocolates you do or the wrapped soaps I do.... it is the luxury effect of the right combination!
      Have a great weekend and thank you for sharing your week!xxx

  2. Annabel, your holiday sounds wonderful! I love reading about the frugal way you prepared for the meals. Such good tips! Glad you're back!

    1. Thanks Patsy! I have some catching up to do on my pantry and all kinds of things but it was worth it!
      Have a lovely

  3. What a lovely get away for you, and isn't it nice to do it on the budget and not come home and eat top ramen for the rest of the month!! :) (ask me how I know that feeling!) We have tried to get away to places in our area a couple of times a year and it does make a difference. We are gearing up for spring here and have been outside for the last couple of days, always good to get that first sunburn out of the way! :)

    1. Well Kathy I too have overspent on holidays! or other times and suffered the pain and we call it the rice diet :)
      It must be so nice to have spring coming. I know it was a long cold winter! The change of seasons is great, new things to do, cook, garden etc.
      Have a wonderful weekend xxx

    2. We call it the bread and butter diet in our house.

  4. Annabel a second honeymoon, that's what your week sounded like. How lovely. The books you chose were beautiful and I can't believe magazines at 5c each. How could you not. Someone said recently at a bbq that so and so was a complete sting cos they took their own coffees and sandwiches on drives. Hmm, I was listening but refused to comment, which was fine cos it was a sort of group conversation and not everyone needed to say their bit. If I had said my bit it would have been "i love to do that too a lot of the time, by doing that I have the money to do the bigger things, like go away in the first place". Sure it can be nice to have some special treats but by limiting the money spent on these, the bigger treats are so easy to accomplish. I know you will nod at this too. Mimi as well. Great idea to save up the food to take away too, especially lasagna on the first night away. Another thing too, is that it is quite obvious that you and Andy are soul mates. I think people who are in true matches such as yours, need to do the going out thing less, it's like you are so comfortable together and staying somewhere lovely and romantic, you don't need to be out at pokies pubs or whatever all the time.
    What amazes me is the number of people that cannot go out for an hour or two without buying food and drink. I'm staggered. Even the people who stop on the way to work and buy coffee then again at morning tea and lunch. There is a great book I read years and years ago by David Bach, and he talked at length about the 'latte factor'. By giving up that latte you can do the bigger better stuff and have no money worries. It was called the automatic millionaire. Very good reading.
    I loved the photos of the beach, it looks awesome. Really beautiful. Glad the pelican didn't take off with a finger or two. Anyway, glad you are home and back online. Fiona xx

    1. Thanks Fiona! I am laughing even imagining us at the pokies. This image reminds me of in The Simpsons.... Marges sisters with a fag hanging out of the mouth etc. You know the ones? Sooooo not going to happen! hahaI agree about the latte factor. It is frittering masses away and not knowing where it goes. Very easy to do! But I cant figure out how people afford it!
      Thank you for the thoughts about Andy and I. It is very easy and relaxed and we love the same things! This has to help!
      Now back to the real world and a fair bit of washing! Have a great weekend! Lots of

  5. Welcome back Annabel. You have been missed. xoxo

    Glad to hear you enjoyed a lovely break and what fabulous op shops! I love going to op shops when we go away. We also take lasagna for the first night and a packed lunch and snacks for the trip. We also take premixed (home made) mixes like chicken crumb mix and pancake mix etc in snap lock bags. Preparing ahead saves me fussing too much while away with meal preps and keeps costs way down.

    We have had a big bulk shopping day in a larger city an hour away that has now completely filled up our storeroom, pantry and freezers. We should be set to only need tops up of fresh veg, fruit and milk now! Our grocery bill should stay low over autumn and winter I hope. I added more honey, sugar, nuts and spices, tomato products, peaches and tinned fish products. I also bought soap products. A lot of items were up to 70% off retail!

    Other things were cutting my husbands hair, and my daughter and I color each others hair. I finished off making up my easter baskets as Woolies had half price cadbury (crate) eggs to complete them. I've been stashing mini packs/bars for the last month when they were half price and also got 25% off other items. I included PJ pants for one daughter, and a movie (10 dollars down from 24) for youngest as I don't buy a massive amount of chocolates for Easter.

    Hope everyone has had a good week. I look forward to reading all your comments. xo

    1. What a good week Kaye! The big buy ups are a lot of work by the time its unpacked etc but very worth it for such big savings. Was it Aldi? It sounds like the distance was more than made up for with savings like 70%!
      It is funny we both take lasagne on trips... great minds think alike!
      I like to do easy stuff too so it is a real holiday. But it is lovely and not expensive this way.
      Your home hairdressing would be a huge saving. I would probably get a shock at prices now. Over a year this is a lot!
      Well done on a very good week! It is so good to feel stocked up. Have a great weekend! xxx

  6. Annabel goes to show that a holiday doesn't need to be expensive. Love the op shop bargains you found.

    My week has been interesting and today has resulted in me finishing up my volunteer work next week. I now have a busy weekend ahead of me getting everything organised and taken over there so I do not have anything left here other than some folders of things I need to think about and perhaps toss. The folders will of course be kept for other things.

    On the way home I picked up 4 kilos of mince from a butcher who was selling it at 2 kilos for $15-00, This is cheap for good butchers mince. I have plans for some of the mince to be made into holiday meals for our break in April.

    Like you I do not advertise that we are not going to be here - had a friend who did that on facebook and came home to find the place had been robbed.

    Tuesday I sorted through some items I usually took with me when I took the girls on camp, card games like uno and some coloured pencils, textas and a few other things along with some scissors. Went through the linen cupboard and I decided that 1 set of single bed sheets was ample so two sets were popped into seperate bags after a sticker saying what size they were was put on the top sheet along with a double set of sheets, some beach towels, a couple of extra towels that I found lurking in the linen cupboard, 2 as yet unused hand towels and 2 unused tea towels were also packed up - these were all dropped off to my bank to be sent over to Vanuatu - the poor bank manager had been taking everything to her house and couldn't wait for the truck to come and take it all away today.

    I found some first aid stuff for the girls (now no longer needed) and sorted out a 'walk about' kit for the Unit. Decided that I could do with one in my car so have been putting that together too.

    Missed seeing our daughter when she called in on Monday afternoon. She had been working on the Island and decided to call in here on her way home.

    Next week is going to be an interesting week - I know that we have the water tank and pump turning up and fingers crossed the concrete can be done. My husband heads away the week after and also part of the following week so while he is away I am going to put together some easy meals to take away with us, bake some biscuits (IGA has margarine on special for 99 cents) and give the house a really good 'bottoming'.

    I also have plans to take some books down to my girl friend and sort out some knitting to take with me. Hopefuly the weather cools down enough for me to do some.


    1. Lynette I am quite pleased you will be free from some of the problems you've had and be able to concentrate on other things. I hope you feel good about it and all you have done.
      The tank will be a great asset.
      You think like me... meals and knitting to take away on your trip! It is lovely to have that to plan for and look forward to.
      I hope finishing up next week goes well. You have lots of future projects to turn your talents too after this!
      Have a lovely

  7. Good to have you back, Annabel. I am glad you and Andy had a little break together. Not long before the bub arrives. I am getting lots of photos of my new little grandson smiling so I can't wait to see him at the beginning of May. You will love being a grandma.

    1. Thank you Nanna Chel! You must be so looking forward to seeing the grandchildren. I cant wait. I am a mix of emotions. I feel nervous and excited. I know it is a whole new season!
      We are all getting a sense of its not long now...xxxx

  8. It all sounds just wonderful. So glad you got a chance to relax for a few days. I loved the packed lunch ideas and what fun to go op shopping. Gorgeous photo of that rainbow.

    1. Thank you Mary! I love country op shops! They are just wonderful. I got some pure wool blankets too for $4 each. Pure wool blankets now are $300 plus to buy new. Amazing.
      We had picnics in the prettiest spots. Much nicer than a roadhouse thats for sure. I hope you are getting the autumn day we are here, it is beautiful! xxx

  9. Great to have you back Annabel. You had some good finds at the op shops. Wish I could have gone shopping with you.

    Here's my frugal tasks list -

    * Gratefully received some sandwiches, mini quiches, salad rolls, milk and bread,

    * Dried all washing on the line and clothes horses.

    * Baked four loaves of wholemeal bread. It's been about a month since I last baked as we've been eating bread that was given to us.

    * Made chocolate truffles with homemade sweetened condensed milk I had in the freezer.

    * Continued to pick raspberries each day. I think they are starting to slow down in production. Darren and I are thinking about a second location in our backyard so we can grow even more next year. I'll be very happy if I never have to buy them again. In one season we've got our money back on the cost of the two plants.

    * Gratefully received two bags of glass jars with lids from a cleaning client. There were 15 jars in total and all were just the right size. I can see a bumper stockpile of homemade jam and relish next Summer.

    * Filled up my car with petrol bought at 108.9 cents per litre. Everywhere else had gone up to 133.9 cents a litre.

    * Continued to only do five loads of washing a week. I seem to have formed a new washing routine after 19 years of washing three loads every Mon, Wed and Fri.

    * Picked up some reduced fruit and veg on the bargain table at my local fruit and veg shop. $1 a bag of carrots ( over 1.5 kilos ), $1 a bag of apples ( 2 kilos ) and a huge piece of watermelon for 50 cents.

    * Made chunky beef and veg soup using 1 1/2 slices of leftover roast beef and the stock it cooked in.

    * Darren and I went to the Melbourne International Flower Show on Thursday. Yes I do spend money from time to time ( hehehe ). To save some money we took afternoon tea, snacks and water bottles with us. We also collected any free samples that were being handed out. We'll be right for Powerfeed and Seasol for a while.

    * Refilled and diluted the dish washing liquid and shampoo / conditioner.

    * Saved and reused lots of bread bags for bin liners and to store food in the freezer.

    * Washed and reused some zip lock bags.

    1. Your week was wonderful Wendy! I am starting on soups this week. It will be according to what vegies are on special. I love soups.
      I am so glad you took plenty of photos at the flower show. I will look forward to seeing more. That would have been lovely. I hope you are having a good weekend. Thank you for sharing your

    2. I'm card makng this weekend - YAY !!!

  10. John and I call it picnicking and we do it on every big road trip. I enjoy packing a lunch for us and try to pack another for our trip back home as well. It's a savings and the opportunities to stop and eat where views are good is so nice. We've stopped at parks, at lakes, even once at a hospital with a lovely oak tree to shade the picnic tables they'd put out!

    Here's what I did this week to save in my home:

    If anyone cares to take a look I did a Spring makeover of my living/dining room and it cost me a whole $20. It's very fresh looking and makes the spaces feel as though they've been done anew. I also made new curtains for the kitchen sitting and laundry. No post/pictures of that up yet. My sewing machine died! I can't finish off my kitchen sink curtains until I have a working machine.

    1. You sound like you both enjoy the same things as us Terri. I am dying to see your sink curtain when your machine is up and running again. Nothing is nicer than fresh curtains!
      I love to be able to have a re arrange, freshen up and change for the seasons all for nothing or very little. It FEELS nice, the changes are refreshing. We are just getting cooler, I will be getting out rugs and candles and things to cozy things up. xxx

  11. Dear Annabel, welcome "home" lol! I'm so happy you and Andy had such a wonderful time away. What a blessing, and I love how you planned and pulled it off. We do the same. Packing most of our food and truly planning the treats (in our case, favorite dinner spot on the pier) feels luxiurious without the guilt or as you mentioned, resorting to the rice diet when you get home! I love all the magazines you got! What a major treat! The rainbow is glorious and I love your little beach friends :). This week I feathered my nest by finishing the spring cleaning. It feels positively wonderful, the house is just spic and span. Now i can get at a few projects since everything else is in order. Friday I was at the school all day as it was field day for the twins and parents are invited. Only this year, then 5th and 6th grades and field day will be a thing of the past so I am soaking it in. I took video of the tug o war matches as they were exciting and soooo funny! We hosted a get together at our house Friday night, my sister-in-law asked us if we would like to have a friend of hers come who is an emerging solo piano artist for a private concert. Was she kidding us!? OF COURSE! We opened our home, she made all the arrangements and provided all the food and drinks and desserts! our kids went to our friend's house and we had (his first ever) private, in-home concert! He's wonderful, if you look him up on pandora or whatever, his name is Adam Andrews. He composes beautiful music, he loves God, his wife and children and has the kindest spirit. So it was a lovely evening to say the least. How amazing is that? ok down to business...I got boneless skinless chicken breast for 1.69/lb and got several to portion out, vacuum seal and freeze. Bill got the garden in. My first time ever propagating a really leggy succulent and I think I've got them going! I was encouraged from reading a comment by Mimi and I googled it so off I went. Met half of our savings goals, half is better than none. Celebrated our wedding anniversary Tuesday. Beautiful night and what a treat, a sweet client of Bill's sent home a dozen white roses for us! She is a really nice lady and and she sent us flowers last year as well. I wrote her a note right away. Lastly, found great calendars .50c and 1.00, tons of great pictures for card making! So spring break is here (late for our district but finally here), the kids do not return to school until April 6th and they are so excited! Lots of good days planned. I hope you're nestled back in and have things the way you like them. Everyone's post are so nice, I just love reading every last one of them. Much love, Colette xxx

    1. Congratulations on your anniversary Colette! How beautiful to be given white roses!
      What a week you had! What a wonderful opportunity to have a concert in your home! I am sure you will remember that forever! I will look Adam up and have a listen.
      I am so glad you soak up days like the twins sports day and realise they are precious!
      Calendars are a great source of pictures. Sometimes I see them too out as they no longer sell after a few months... and really cheap. Some are divine! Also some have words/sentiments you can include on or in cards too... or make bookmarks or tags... or make over gift bags to be glam.
      I am so happy about your garden! What happiness to be planting in spring. I am sure your succulent will grow. The only time I ever failed was with light potting soil. They like horrible soil, sand, heavy soil. Light potting mix is not so great. So think cheap soil and you are onto a winner!
      Colette I know this was going to be a hard month for you and you have still saved each week! Well done! And we are almost into April!
      Spring cleaning! I really feel as if I need to think its spring here and do spring cleaning or just do Autumn cleaning. You are exactly right... when things are done you can then go ahead and peacefully work on other projects. I will try to do some this week and try to use some of the long weekend too. You have given me a new goal!
      Thank you Colette. I missed you and so look forward to hearing what everyone has been doing! xxx

  12. Hi Annabel, glad to hear you had a lovely holiday. Its nice to have a change of scenery & a change of pace every now & again. I can't get over the incredible bargains you find at your country op shops! Good one! Not much to report here this week, as we have all been sick with a cold, not very fun when it goes through the whole family. So this week I'm happy that I managed to serve my family a homecooked dinner each night, except one, so thats not too bad. A saving I made was planning & buying the kids easter eggs early and on special, & not going overboard with a ridiculous amount. Looking forward to a new week & a fresh start tomorrow. Hope you have a wonderful week back at home feathering your nest. Kelly xo

    1. Dear Kelly, it's a hard week when everyone is sick! You did well with all the meals and keeping up.
      I agree kids don't need huge numbers of chocolates. We made Eater nests to hide the eggs in, they were made from shoe boxes covered in cellophane and filled with shredded cellophane and tissue paper and so pretty! When I was little making this nest was the highlight! When the girls were little we would have Eater egg hunts. the farm has a clump of pine trees like a mini forest. I would hide mini eggs under pine cones and in branches... This hunt would last ages and the girls had little baskets to collect their eggs in. They loved this! When they were older I began to buy in the sales at the end of winter lovely slippers and pyjamas. Then these would be included at Eater. But your Eater is in Spring? So it could be things for the summer holidays? But when they are little the excitement is the big thing. A cute activity is to leave little Easter eggs in the neighbours or friends letter boxes. Kids love sneaky stuff!
      I hope everyone is well for next week. We have just four working days to get things done before Good Friday! Have a wonderful week, love Annabelxxx

  13. Annabel, I adore this post and I love that you shared it at Five Star Frugal. Thankyou, and I know you'll have something equally lovely to share this week. Mimi xxx


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