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, 30 April 2015

Feather your Nest Friday. 1st of May, 2015.

Friday and a new month! You might as well get comfy as there are so many things to report!

Firstly thank you to everyone who contributed to Jar Mixes. Just wonderful thank you. Mum is coming to town on the weekend and brining me a heap of big jars with lids and I can get going making some of these ready mixes that I want to try. If this was a good idea for you go back and copy the great recipes that came in as they kept coming until last night! I now have so many. Also Colette had the idea to make the SOS mix up in a jar as a gift and print the booklet that went with it as part of the present. This would be a fantastic gift for anyone wanting to save money and also anyone trying to avoid preservatives etc.

Cath gave us the recipe for Bisquick at Debt Free Cashed up and Laughing. Mum always called this Baking Mix. Uses for Bisquick include easy pies, scones/biscuits, dumplings, cakes and pancakes. It is a versatile base for so many things. Maybe we can work towards a Bisquick cookbook? Cath also gives her ready mix for chocolate cake!! So I will be busy stocking my pantry with mixes this week which is just in time for helping me help out when the baby arrives! Thank you Cath!

Following on from my post the other day on "Stretch a Meal and Use it Up" Tania posted her Mum's Apple Roly Poly. This recipe uses up apples AND qualifies as a stretch a meal desert as well. Deserts are handy when dinner is a bit light on or perhaps just a soup. Finish the meal with this and you will have happy bellies all round. Tania made it a photo tutorial and now I have seen this I think how gorgeous, delicious, filling and easy this is to make. So please add this to your list of ways to stretch a meal and use it up Tania's Mum's Apple Roly Poly. Thank you Tania!'

So how did I build up my nest and save money this week?

It was Andy's Birthday. I made him his favourite fruit cake which he loved. When he came in the door it was waiting for him on a nice glass cake stand. A cake stand makes everything look special! I did a tutorial ages ago on how to make them. This one is simply a glass plate glued to a candle stick. The cake then was desert and his lunch box morning tea all week and we are still going for a good while yet!

From last weeks 99c a kilo pumpkin I made a huge batch of soup. I have a super size crock pot (slow cooker) and packed full I get a bulk amount of soup. It was so good. I gave some to Chloe as she loves this, froze some and have been making it my lunches. Usually I remove some before I blend it and make pumpkin scones. But this time I didn't as I had the cornbread I made earlier in the week. Together these make a beautiful meal.

I found bargains! I bought marked down turkish bread, flat bread, focaccia breads all between 50c and 99c. This was a huge amount. These go on to be made into pizzas, heated to go with soups, as sides and we have a focaccia for dinner on a Sunday night as an easy dinner and use up all kinds of left overs.

Also I got zucchinis for $1.79 a kilo. I have heaps to make another big batch of soup next week.

I had some lovely ceramic empty pots. I filled them with soil and added little parsley plants to them. This turns empty pots and continually coming up parsley seedlings into gifts I can give. Once these are six inches high or so I will be able to give them away.

We also had fantastic news. My husband has not been getting paid enough for his main job. When he takes out expenses he isn't earning much at all. This is very depressing for a man who likes to provide. He has been kept going by doing other jobs in between. This week he got three extra jobs to do that amounted to a few extra days work AND he was offered a better full time job. He starts on Tuesday! This job at least pays a fair wage. So the mood around here is a sense of relief, joy and happiness. This certainly falls under the "building up our house" category!

I added to my pantry and cellar.

Mum had given me two pieces of beef. I made a huge curry, enough for several meals.

Something that I think is a general building up your home thing is I learned a lot this week! I have had some very generous mail that I am learning so much from. My list of subjects to go on with in Pantries and Preparedness is never ending! The same applies to the list of methods and reciepes for Stretch a Meal and Use it up! I have reached the point of having to make lists. This is so exciting to me!

It was also our Anniversary and I got flowers!

I hope you had a great week.  How did you save money and build up your home? It is so easy to forget all we accomplished or not even recognize how much we did as we do many things automatically! But they are worth a lot. Most days I write in my diary the main things I achieved in the day. Otherwise I really forget. Also on Sundays I plan the week and write a list of goals. As I tick these off I feel a sense of accomplishment. I don't always get all these done but it is still great to get some of them done. Then I can look back at the week and be pleased anyway.  And the week isn't quite over yet! This afternoon I am giving my fridge a big clean out and re organize, getting my floors all done and doing some gardening. The sun is shining and it's a beautiful day!

Have a lovely weekend. On Monday I am adding to the Stretch a Meal and Use it up series. xxxx


  1. Such wonderful news for you and Andy this week! Congratulations on the job, happy birthday Andy, and happy anniversary to you both xx
    Now, perhaps a silly question and one you've probably posted about before, but making soup in the slow cooker, what do you do? You mention here about taking some pumpkin out before blending, so does that mean you didn't add much liquid so you could use it in the scones? I should go now and search your blog for this info....! Have a lovely weekend Annabel xx Fiona

    1. Thank you Fiona! Yes I make all soups in the crock pot and in large amounts.I would only ever put about 3 or 4 cm of water at the bottom. Then onions, your vegies and then cook all day. Lift out pumpkin or whatever if you want for something else ie scones. To this I add your flavour base... could be stock, stock cubes, SOS mix, a can of soup, a packet of soup... whatever you like. THis way you control the thickness and taste. Taste it and season until you are happy. For most vegies soups I use a chicken flavor. Then blend until smooth. For chicken soup, minestrone soup etc yes you need your water/stock maybe up to half way mark. You dont want much liquid in vegies soups or it is going to be very runny. You can actually use pumpkin soup in scones as you get a great flavor just have to add more flour until right consistency.
      Thick good soups are such a saver. So yummy and can go to work/school in a thermo and so on. They freeze well. And with making thick hearty soups in the crock pot there is no stirring trying to stop the bottom burning and all of that. It is perfect every time. I hope that helps. In this soup which was a huge amount I used a tin of cream of chicken soup plus a packet. I havent made up my SOS mix yet. Have a lovely weekend too! xx

    2. Thanks Annabel! Of course, I already knew all Going off to kitchen now...

  2. There's two of us - Fiona's that is. Do you know which one you are talking to when you reply Annabel? I think I might call myself Fi. That's what my friends/family call me and then you'll know its me.
    Hey its MAY. BABY MONTH!!!!!!!!
    Can you believe it? Can't wait to hear the good news soon.
    I have never had frozen soup, I love to make pumpkin soup in the thermomix, it's very easy. I'm not a huge soup maker but this is quick, and I'd love to freeze it, I tend to get three portions from a batch, mind you, we have a great bowl full, usually as a meal with a roll or something. After it has frozen, how do you unfreeze, just by itself or do you zap it in the microwave? I'll be interested to know.

    Well great news for Andy with the new job, that's such lovely news. And a birthday AND an anniversary, what a great week you have both had and your mum down for a visit. Does she stay over with you?
    I've started using my big A4 hardcover diary as my planning one. I came by it in March and so I'd already started my own diary but it's smaller. I am the same as you, I write out the week ahead and work out what is to be done, paid etc. It's great to have plans. I also type out a month goal list and glue it onto the first of the month page, fold it up so I can still use the diary and go back and check on it every couple of days. April was pretty good for me, got most of the goals done and have carried through a couple to may and decided one wasn't even worth it anyway and scrapped it.
    I do like the corn bread little muffins you made. I've never done those.
    Andy's cake looks good too, it's true isn't it the way to a man's heart is through his stomach lol. Your dinner set is scrumptious, I really like it.
    Have a good weekend Annabel. Fi xx (ps sent you a letter this week, hope it arrived)

    1. HI Fiona I will still call you Fiona because thats who you are and I have the two of you worked out lol
      Normally I would thaw soup to at least mostly thawed then reheat on stove top although you can microwave. It needs a good stir but it comes up fine so it is really handy.
      Maybe soups with cream would not work so well but I always add cream if I am using it at serving point so it is not in the frozen soup.
      Yes I got your mail yesterday afternoon thank you so much. This is really helpful. I dont sew much these says but I used to... I used to sell pin tucked and lace insertion heirloom nighties with hand embroidered grub roses and the whole shabam! I made over a hundred of those. But these days I do the minimal and simple sewing. These sheets however I will be making!
      Mum has her own house one street away. When Dad is interstate working she usually comes to town.
      Yes! Its baby month! Yesterday Lucy showed me her latest scan. I can tell you this... the baby has chubby cheeks and a curl on top! No kidding this is so cute! 14 days to go!
      I agree men love their food and this goes a long way to happiness!
      Have a lovely weekend xxxx

  3. Annabel what a wonderful week you have had with Andy's new job, birthday and of course your anniversary.

    I am still in my planning mode considering the huge changes that I am currently going through but getting things done that need doing. Changed the bedding over from summer to winter which meant that the doona cover had to be found and I decided to use 2 european pillows to put some colour on the bed so found the burgundy pillow cases in the linen cupboard.

    We have soup on in the slow cooker for tonight - pea and ham which considering we are in the midst of a 'weather event' we are going to enjoy as it will warm us and hopefully get rid of the damp feeling that is hanging around.

    Our daughter heads to Bali for 2 weeks tomorrow morning and after that is home for 4 days then heads overseas for 4 months so she dropped off her first load of items to be stored here on Monday. We all had tea together - the lamb, rosemary and red wine pies were cooked before we went away so I pulled them out of the freezer and did a few vegetables to go with them. She popped in on Wednesday and we now have a copy of her passport and other travel documents.

    I had a 1/2 price postage offer from an on line grocery supply store but when I checked the same items were available at another one with a fixed postage price that was lower than the 1/2 price offer so I ordered a few things for the pantry. Specials worked out to be 1/2 price so saved around $80-.

    Yesterday and todays plans didn't eventuate - got my hair cut as that is local but the road conditions yesterday were not conducive to being on the road and today they are even worse so I shopped locally for what we needed, decided to pop into the local op shop and found a cane settee for $60- but decided to think about it first then talk to my husband - went in today and it was 1/2 price. I have paid for it and my husband will go in and pick it up.

    A local shop is selling some of their shelves so I popped in and got the measurements and price - sounds good but need to have my husband measure up and then go and check them out - they are quite sturdy and should work well in the shed to store things on.

    Picked up some marked down mince at the local IGA yesterday and today picked up 18 croissants for $10-.

    I have decided that if I need to go to the local shops then I am going to check out any markdowns that IGA have.

    I also picked up a huge box from the post office - our new suitcases that we got through our road service group (RACQ) with a massive savings of $400-.

    The suitcases we have been using are quite a number of years old - were a cheap set from Franklins before it went belly up and the zips are all starting to fail, edges becoming damaged so that the corner wires are exposed etc etc.

    With my husband travelling for work as often as he does it was time to replace the suitcases.

    I have also been knitting and now have 4 children's jumpers waiting to be sewn together when the light is better and it is a nie enough day to sit on the front veranda.

    Fi I just freeze soup in a container and let it defrost in the 'fridge then heat it up either in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top.

    Have a great weekend everyone

    We are not expecting the weather to change until Sunday now


    1. First of all Lynette I hope your daughter has safe and good travels.
      The shelves for the shed sound very good I hope they might suit and fit.
      Thanks for the advice for Fiona on the soup. I find it very handy having soup in the freezer. Especially is sick.
      I am so happy you are knitting. I am the same with my work. I have day things and night things when I cant see so well I do the easy stuff!
      You had some wonderful bargains.. I note from checking all kinds of options and alternatives. It makes a big difference.
      I hope the weather isnt too extreme. You are sure getting more than your share of "weather events" as they say.
      Have a lovely weekend. Love

    2. Thankyou Annabel - the weather is glorious today so I am going to be catching up on the washing.

      Flooding happened in quite a few places, people couldn't get home, hospital closest to us was cut off and the list goes on - I am glad that I cancelled my appointment yesterday - I may not have got home as the weather pattern moved a lot quicker than was forecast.

      We still have water views in our backyard but they are disappearing.

      We need things to be dry for a month or more so that the electrician can come in and get power to the shed and then the plumber can install the rain water tank - so fingers crossed.

      Have to head out and do a few things today so will no doubt encounter a few obsticles but they will not be as bad as they would have been yesterday.


  4. Congratulations on your good news, and blessings for your special days this week.

    1. Thank you so much Sarah! Have a lovely

  5. I'm so thrilled and overjoyed at your fabulous news! Congratulations all around! Happy anniversary, happy birthday and happy new work provision for Andy! Xoxo am doing a happy dance for you both!

    I haven't spent very much at all this week. I did buy cream 300ml for 50c each and sour cream 99c at NQR. I freeze the whipping cream as it has been 6 weeks since the last special there. I love a small swirl in thick homemade soups.

    Fabulous bargains this week for you Annabel! You had such a wonderful week!
    It has truly made my day reading your wonderful news xoxoxo

    1. Thank you so much Kaye! Yes this is a relief. And it was one day after another of big things!
      You got a major bargain with the cream. Many possibilities there.
      I have been making soup and I love a dash of cream or cheese in soup, depending on the flavor, or both...
      Have a lovely weekend. Lots of love and thanks,

  6. Hi Annabel,

    Gosh, you got a lot done this week! That is great news about your husband's job.

    I am going to have a go at some of those mixes. Some great ideas!

    I went to a wholesale meat warehouse today with my mum and stocked up on a huge range of top quality meat. Very exciting! Tomorrow I'm going to divide it up and freeze a lot of it.

    Have a lovely weekend, Stephanie. Xx

    1. Thank you Stephanie!
      You will be so glad of the savings and work you put into this meat. It sounds like it will keep you going for ages. It does take a while to package it all up well (and label) but it will be worth it.
      I am writing a post about ways to stretch meat meals for maximum value, hopefully it will be ready soon. We all need this. It is expensive and a big investment. Making it last and go a long way is a good thing!
      Have a good weekend and thanks so much for commenting, Love

  7. Hello Annabel,

    CONGRATULATIONS on your wedding anniversary, those flowers are just gorgeous.

    I am so glad to hear Andy has found a better job, I hope it is something he will enjoy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Andy!

    I am learning so much from this little group of homemakers. This is such a lovely haven to come to and find friendly like minded people who are willing to help and encourage each other. Your are inspirational Annabel.

    My nest feathering this week included;

    Hubby has been busy. He fixed our noisy oven fan and installed a new kitchen tap. The fan in the toilet wasn't working so he pulled it down and got it working again. He also had a look and fixed the printer that was playing up, emptied and covered evaporative air conditioner, cleaned out the fire place ready for the cold winter. We have had it on quite a few nights. He made and fixed a couple of cages for our broody hens. And he prepared more veggie beds ready for me to use. I am so glad that hubby has so many skills. All these jobs save us heaps of money by not having to call a trades-person.

    I planted out fresh young kale plants and strawberry plants.

    I dug up my potatoes and have been enjoying them with our meals.

    I am using a hot water bottle to keep me warm at night. I crocheted a cover a while ago to go over it. I have also put fleecy sheets on our bed.

    I dried the laundry out in the fresh air.

    I have been cooking old fashioned meals and desserts. They are very cheap to make and easy to prepare. I must remember to keep things!

    I stewed peaches and had with homemade yoghurt.

    I bought meat on special at Foodland. I stocked up on chicken breasts @$7.99kg. I diced some of the breasts and also made strips and kept some whole. I placed them into 500gm lots and put in the freezer. I also purchased some stewing steak on special.

    I made a banana bread loaf using some of my sourdough starter. It turned out well, but I am yet to sample it. I have taken two cups of sourdough starter and placed in the fridge to use later.

    I made sour dough bread, one loaf in the bread maker and the other in our pizza oven. Both turned out well.

    I made pumpkin soup using a butternut pumpkin from our garden.

    I baked four dozen Anzac biscuits.

    I cleaned out my fridge and pantry and threw out all out of date products. I added these to my shopping list to replace.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.


    1. Tania that was a great week! And guess what? This afternoon I totally emptied out my fridge, pulled it apart, washed everything, wiped it out and it took ages. And that was before I got your comment. Great minds.
      I am loving the old fashioned recipes. When I make your Apple Roly Poly I will put up a photo of it.
      I agree it is a huge help and bog saver to have husbands who can make and fix things. Your husband sounds very similar to Andy. They nut things out and calling anyone in is a total last resort. Rare! The job is pretty good as it requires a few of Andys skills that he enjoys.
      Thank you for your comments, the help on every subject has been wonderful. Jar mixes turned into a big thread of recipes and ideas. Just lovely.
      Keep the old fashioned recipes coming and also the sour dough ... I dont know how you got that starter going... a few mysteries to me but I love sourdough.
      Have a good weekend and I hope more rain is coming your way. With love

  8. Hi Annabel,

    What a beautiful cake! Your cake stand is gorgeous, as are your dishes. It sounds as if you had a very productive week. So glad Andy got a better job.

    On meat cooking day this week, I cooked two round steaks, one pound of chicken breast tenders, a beef roast, and two pounds of hamburger. I chopped up the round steak and put two pints in the freezer for future use; I shredded the chicken, used one for a stir fry for dinner, then put the rest in glass pint containers in the freezer for future use; the roast I chunked and froze likewise for future stir-fry's and stews; and the hamburger made a small cheese stuffed meatloaf and twelve large cheese stuffed meatballs. I froze the meat loaf for future use.

    I surveyed the downstairs food storage pantry and saw that I had a Mori-nu organic Tofu that was close to expiring and an overabundance of evaporated milk.
    I will make some pumpkin pie pudding today with the evaporated milk, seasonings, and some organic canned pumpkin puree from the storage shelves.

    The Tofu I will use today to make some tofu bread sticks. In surveying the pantry I saw it was my last Mori Nu organic tofu, so I stopped by the Natural Grocers, while I was out one day and picked up a few more. Mori Nu is shelf stable so doesn't have to be refrigerated; it has virtually no taste like many nasty rubbery tofu's do; it picks up the flavors of whatever you cook it with; it is low cost at $1.99 here for 12 ounces; it provides 6 grams of protein a serving with less than 2 grams of carbs; it is only 50 calories a serving, which is 3 ounces; and it is a high calcium source. We only purchase organic soy products as they are not allowed to be GMO; however, Mori Nu, is certified non-GMO even for their non-organic products.

    Some of the dishes I make with the tofu are tofu burgers (which can be frozen for future use), tofu lasagna, and tofu Italian casserole. We enjoy all of these and they are easy to make with seasonings and other items on hand. Anyone allergic to soybeans should avoid tofu. Also, anyone estrogen dominant should watch their intake of soy products :).

    I went to the fabric store to purchase some patterns that I knew were on sale. Patterns are so expensive so I always wait until they range from $1.99 to $3.99. While in the store I decided to check the sale tables. Often, the sale fabric is of cheap quality; very thin and not worth the time to make anything out of it. My grandmother took me fabric shopping as a child and taught me to buy the best quality fabric if I was going to invest the time in creating from it. Grandmothers are the best :)! I found some very good quality denim in a forest green and a pleasant blue to purchase for 50% off. I, also, found a nice cotton that had both forest green and the blue to match in it for a blouse. All in all, I was blessed to pay only $56 for the 8.5 yards of fabric and the five patterns. The ticket lists the savings amount and I saw I saved $140.

    Our fruit trees and bushes will be planted today. We still have a couple more to purchase for the front yard and I have a lot of herbs to transfer from the previous yard to this new one. I have seeds stored, so will use those to plant around the property, also.

    We purchased two large stoneware planters for the front yard under some windows and, due to a few scratches, got them for 40% off. The scratches will be totally invisible once planted. Those are to be delivered today and I am excited to get them planted, but it is still a bit early here.

    Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Dear Glenda,
      You had a huge week! What great buys on the fabric and patterns. I love that you sew and make your own clothes.
      Also it is significant to be putting in your fruit trees! I hope they take off like little rockets!
      Thank you for sharing your food preparation and organization. I love the sound of the pumpkin pie pudding... I love to use evaporated milk in creme caramel recipe, bread and butter pudding and rice pudding. It makes all of these off the charts good!
      When you said about your Grandmother taking you fabric shopping I thought of the scene in Anne of Green Gables when Matthew orders the dress with the puffy sleeves! Dont ask me why I just pictured that lovely scene. What a good lesson from your Grandmother. This continually amazes me, how much we remember all our lives of what our Grandmothers taught us.
      It is wonderful you can transfer some of your herbs. In no time you will have yourself surrounded again with a wonderful productive garden!
      With love,

  9. Good morning Annabel, I mostly stayed home all week and is usually frugal in itself.

    Several nights I really didn't want to cook supper but I found easy things and it all turned out delicious. Two meals were even leftovers but we enjoyed them

    Today I am going to do yardwork. We have an electric mower and electric weed trimmer, both are easy to use and charging their batteries is much simpler than buying gasoline.

    Then I plan to do some serious organizing in my craft room. I want to put a treadmill in there that our daughter doesn't have space for. Swapping things is thrifty too!

    1. That is true... when we stay home we are not spending and we are using what we have. This helps me a lot. Plus I get on top of my work!
      I hope you got heaps of yard work done. good tools are a great help. it is good exercise too!
      This is an great time of year to eye what supplies in the craft room could be turned into Christmas presents. For us being autumn the nights are dark and long. So I get a heap of crafts done through autumn and winter... where as in spring and summer it is light at night and I am in the garden watering etc. I have been going through my craft room as I have been using up stuff, turning it into presents and making a little nursery. Big job. You should have seen it. (hangs head in shame!) But now it is almost done. I have a sweet little cot and the room is looking pretty good. Plus I have a lot of things to use for present making. So kind of a win/win.
      I hope you are having a good weekend! Love

  10. That is wonderful to hear about the new job!

    It is spring here so I have been working with the plants that I overwinter in my garage. Many years ago my husband put wheels under a 4x6 section of wood fence. I load that up with pots in the fall and then is can be wheeled out on nicer winter days for some sun and watering. I have geraniums that are ten years old! I also winter over several other plants. The plants are being cut back and fertilized and placed around my deck for the summer months. Geranium cuttings are making new pots of flowers and also being given to friends who are planting them at their homes. I love your herb gifts idea!

    1. Thank you Lana. I have never fully understood what happens when it snows as in what is still alive after it all thaws out? I cannot imagine it as Ive never lived it. Our garden goes through autumn with a lot of leaves then it is just cold damp and wet but nothing dies unless we have a bad frost then sometimes leaves are burned... thats about it. Then when spring comes it all grows like crazy. I think your trolley system is great. That would make it easier and geraniums are quick to recover and love a good cutback.
      Your Geranium pots will be wonderful gifts! I have some cuttings that I need to plant too... palest pink ones so I am hoping they go ok. I have a lot of shade which isnt so good for Geraniums.
      Have a great weekend! xxx

    2. Look up Escanaba, Michigan USA. We don't get as much snow as others around us. Our frost dates end about the end of May and start again in Sept. Snow starts in Nov and usually done in early April. I will leave a few onions in the ground over winter. They will grow larger more for cooking than eating. My 16 yr old grabs handfulls and chops and mixes them with sour cream. Used as a side dish or over potatoes. Can't really winter over much. Short growing season here obviously. My crocuses are done. Daffodils just starting. Lawn is trying to be green. Need more rain. My uncle has his large flower pots on wheels so he can enjoy them longer when the weather is warm enough. He wheels them into the garage if threat of frost or high wind.
      Enjoy you handy men. My father and brother are great like that. My husband is not and doesn't try to learn. Some things I can do. Others I must hire out.
      This is going to be an expensive week. Road trip to Montana to see son graduate with his Dr. In Chemistry. No room for cooler with 5 people and lugage in a mini van. Eating out....... Sick of it already. We do have fruit and snacks. I worked overtime to cover it all. Fortunate as a nurse to be able to do that.
      Really enjoy your blog. Interesting how my Scotland born mother in law uses many of your terms so I am familiar with most of them. When she told me she knitted my first born son a "jumper" I am sure I looked shocked. In America a jumper is a sleeveless dress that goes over a blouse - a for girls. :).
      I grew up in the country with a huge garden and a freezer of venison ( whitetailed deer.) i have never eaten lamb. It is rare to even find it.

    3. Sheila Escanaba looks like a beautiful place to be. Congratulations on your sons graduation how wonderful!
      There are so many words that are different... I think you say sweater and we say jumper.
      My parents are sheep and cattle farmers. So lamb is part of the diet since I was little. Also they have deer on the property as they have scrub (wilderness, trees...) and so I have eaten plenty of venison and am ok with cooking it. I think it is very healthy as it is so lean.
      Have a safe trip and congratulations to your son that is a great achievement. Thank you for commenting and helping me understand the gardens after the snow! xxx

  11. So glad that you've had a wonderful week! I was able to find fragrant rose bushes on clearance this week for $5.21 each (regular $12.91 each). With a little TLC I am confident that they will regain their beauty in no time at all.

    1. Dear Patsi, Yes I think the ross will be fine and that is a good price! Many years of joy in a rose bush!
      It was a good week! I hope we can repeat the performance next week and I hope so for you too! Lots of love,

  12. Annabel I am was so happy to read about Andy’s new job. Congratulations to you both, a well-deserved blessing.

    I planted out my vegie garden – tomatoes, zucchini, bush beans and strawberries, we had 120 ml of rain yesterday so I will wait to see if my seeds have been washed away!. Stephanie had a great tip on her blog this week about having a special spot in the fridge for keeping leftovers. So thanks to Stephanie I am now keeping my leftovers all together on the top shelf in the fridge so I can see them and they don’t get lost. Don cleaned the ceiling fans throughout the house this week, and I am so grateful for this. He also did some work on the side fence. I finished knitting a scarf for my niece and started on one for myself. We picked a stack of passionfruit and a few lemons last weekend from our garden. Yesterday I made passionfruit butter. Today is my baking day.

    1. Dear Sherri, I hope your seeds havent washed away. 120 ml is crazy! (almost 5 inches for the US ladies) If they are still there lets say they are well watered in!
      Thank you for pointing out Stephanie's blog post. I had not read this latest one. What a good tip. I will put up a link to this on Mondays post.
      You had a great week! Very productive. Plus I love Passionfruit butter!
      Have a wonderful baking day. I am making a big lot of pizzas... I need to get the dough started! Many thanks,

  13. That's wonderful news about Andy's new job. I'm so happy for you both. It sounds like you had a big week.

    I've had a lovely week this week. I've cooked, sewed, worked, op shopped, baked, gardened and crafted. It doesn't get any better than that !!! The bright lights of the shopping centre don't call out to me unless it's for an advertised bargain that I need. Here's what I got up to this week -

    * Mended two pairs of socks. The quality of the socks I buy has declined over the years. The price has stayed the same so I'm trying to make them last a little longer.

    * Made lots of cards with a gardening book I bought at the op shop for 99 cents

    * Baked four loaves of bread.

    * Sold thirty raspberry and white choc muffins to a friend.

    * Made chunky roast beef and veg soup with two slices of left over beef.. This pot of soup usually makes 8 - 10 serves.

    * .Bought a bag of oranges and pears together for $1 and a bags of apples for the same price.

    * Froze a few leftovers from our dinner.

    * Saved the shower warm up water for the washing machine. Also saved the washing machine water for each next load.

    * Gratefully received some English muffins, raisin bread, and about six loaves of different types of bread.

    * Made a quadruple batch of laundry powder. I have the grated soap, lectric soda and bi carb in three separate buckets ready to scoop out and make up as needed.

    * Bought some new towels from Spotlight. Although this might not seem like a frugal task, their original price was $11.99 less 40%. A bargain in my eyes. Of course I bought apple green and white towels.

    * Dried most of the washing on the line. Some was dried on clothes horses and a few things were thrown in the dryer.

    * Picked silverbeet for two meals. I shredded some to put in the honey mustard chicken and some for a bits and pieces flan. The flan had a few left over roast veggies and roast beef. Very yum.

    * Baked a couple of trays of Anzac biscuits.

    1. Wendy I love the way you say "what could be better than that?" that makes me happy too. You are right! What could be better? The week was great and so many good things. I am so glad we stop and take a minute to consider all the good things of the week and all the blessings.
      I hope you do well from the sale of muffins. In the shops many are $4 each or so. $2 each would be a bargain.. it is amazing how this adds up. I do these mental calculations ie I made 24 cornbread muffins and a loaf as well.... I wonder what that would be in the shops? All the bread you were given is amazing. So many things to do with that.
      Have a great weekend and a bit of a rest! Love

    2. I try not to dry my socks and undies in the dryer. Last about 3 years that way vs 6 months. I also get a better brand of sock that has been more durable. Even with line drying the old cheap ones barely made it a year. The inital increased cost therefore is worth it and I am often able to get them on sale.

  14. Praise the Lord for the job! Awesome!

  15. Lovely post Annabel

    I spent most of this week in looking for work, which thankfully has been rewarded and start a trial next week.
    All meals were cooked at home and we have kept the grocery spend to an average of $15-88 for four weeks
    I saved a book that was destined for the landfill to make cards.
    I planted cuttings and then saved some seeds from flowers to grow next Spring.
    I made Anzac biscuits
    Soup served us for nearly all main meals this past week.
    Op-shopped for work clothes
    Received 2 loaves of bread and half a rockmelon free
    Was gifted $160 on a gift card for groceries but I am going to try and make it last a few weeks at least.

    Looking forward to Monday's post

    1. Mel that is so fantastic! You did very well and the gift card for groceries would be such a big help. But getting a job is the best news of all! I am sure you will do well in your trail. I think trails are just a thing they do now as insurance. I think you will be fine!
      You did an incredible job on the meals and budget.
      It is such an answer to prayers and for us too with Andys job. And a relief!
      Have a great weekend! I hope to hear the job went well and is your solution! Lots of love,

    2. Mel, that's wonderful nes about the job trial. I've been praying for you xoxo. The gift card will be great for restocking your pantry, fridge and freezer with essential items. What a blessing.

    3. Mel, Just wanted to say I'm so happy for you finding a job!! I always enjoy your comments! Teri

  16. Hi Annabel wonderful news on the new job for Andy, he sure deserves fair pay for his effort! What an exciting week at your house, looking to be a great month.

    This week I was given some clothes for my boys & a piece of furniture for my sons room, which is in realiy good condition.

    I made all our meals & tried 2 new recipes which both worked well, even the one I made up.

    I rode my bike to town 2 days for small errands or shopping that wold fit in the back pack.

    I made Anzac & choc chip bickies also.

    Have another good week!


    1. Thank you Karen! A lot of relief around here.
      You did well. new recipes that suit the family are always good.
      Awesome on the clothes and furniture too. Quite a bonus as these things are all usually expensive things.
      Have a great weekend and week yourself. Many thanks,xxx

  17. Hi Annabelle! It's my blog reading day...I have to just say I love the always upbeat tone of your posts. I believe it does me as much good as reading your inspiring savings each week. I've been having fun in my home, putting together outfits with clothing I already have, trying out my new sewing machine, planning a dozen and twenty projects, lol. Here's what I did this week:

    1. Thank you Terri, I like the outfits you made up! Lovely for Spring. It is a lovely day here so I am making the most of the sunshine.
      Have a great weekend and new week! xxx

  18. Annabel, What a wonderful week for you!! Happy Anniversary!! Happy Birthday, Andy!!! And new job!! How exciting!!

    This week was busy but didn't get all my "to do" list done. lol Helped my daughter move, got to play with grandkids, and did a small amount of cooking. I did spend one day at home trying to organize my crafts and find items to use for cards, tags, etc. I use old cookie cutters for shapes of tags and finally "found" my bag, so I'm making progress! :)

    I love your pictures, Annabel!! The flowers are beautiful! And the muffins so yummy looking! I told my husband about using creamed corn in corn muffins and he thought that was a lovely idea!! Today I cut apple blossoms and lilacs for a pretty bouquet.

    Have a wonderful week! Teri

    1. Thank you Teri! Yes it was a big week! Now we are embarking on a new week and I am hoping it is a good one too.
      It is a huge job moving house. I am sure your daughter would have appreciated your help so much.
      I adore Lilacs! How beautiful. I can see and smell them just thinking about this.
      Have a wonderful week. We are on the countdown, 10 days until the baby arrives!

  19. Dear Annabel,
    I am thrilled at Andy's new work! Congratulations to him, I am so happy to hear it. Birthday, Anniversary, and New Job OH MY! Not to mention it's the month your first grandbaby is due. What a bunch of good things to enjoy and be thankful for. It's actually Sunday and here I finally am, reading everyone's week and loving it. The post is lovely, the corn muffins and soup especially, YUM. Your flowers are gorgeous and the cake looks yummy, too.

    Here's how it went this week:

    ~Had a much needed crafting day, made several cards and bookmarks :)
    ~made Curry and froze some
    ~washed floors
    ~collected three new recipes
    ~found the perfect jar for my sister's SOS Christmas gift! YAY!
    ~made our savings goals in all categories, thank you Lord
    ~built my pantry by stocking cans from a 50 cent/can sale. Petite diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, butter beans, black beans. Sidenote: I don't generally buy soda. Water is our primary drink other than tea and milk, and the rare occasion of juice. But the kid's birthdays are in July, August, Sept, with the twins in Dec. So I've been stocking 2-liter soda bottles from a sale, plus a coupon, final price 50 cents per 2-liter bottle. So the kids will be thrilled to have a few sodas this summer, and of course at their birthday parties.
    ~all my regular housecleaning, deep cleaned the master bath
    ~keeping up with garden-I have awesome zucchinis coming in and the basil really took off! Tomatoes are starting, so little green and cute I'm excited! The squash looks wonderful as well.
    ~Today we are cleaning the garage. Several boxes for the domestic violence thrift shop. They turn these items into dollars that 100% help women and children.
    ~Selling a few items on the local Craigslist, and the money will pay down debt
    ~making a batch of muffins this afternoon, fresh blackberries on sale .88 cents/6 oz, and going to sub the blackberries for raspberries to make Wendy's White Chocolate Muffin recipe
    ~made Cream of Potato soup from a 5 lb bag of russets on sale .98 cents. I had all other ingredients on hand. I have plenty in the freezer now, we have to prep for the hot summer coming. I love soup all year but do not like to cook it when it is 114 degrees outside!

    A good week. Still have a lot going on with the legal stuff but it is at a dull roar (for now) so I actually had a decent week and caught up a bit. I would just love a whole week of NOTHING but being at home, organizing, cooking, cleaning, decluttering, and being with my family in the evenings. Only a few weeks before school lets out for the summer and I'm trying to rearrange my schedule to make that goal a reality. It requires saying NO to lots of others things. I'm ready to say no because I need to feel on track here.

    By the way Annabel, Kristian would like me to ask how Chippy is doing?

    Thank you everyone for all of your posts and updates. I love to hear what everyone is doing, this is my go-to place for inspiration and camaraderie! Thank you, Annabel. Love, Colette xxx

    1. That was a great week Colette! I think knowing how busy things have been plus how stressful saying no to a few things so that you can get some days at home would be perfectly justifiable. I hope you can get this time home. I need that so badly myself. I feel so much better and on top of things if I am at home enough.
      Tell Kristian that Chippy is good. He is very chatty. In fact he seldom stops talking! Chloe has a budgie called Houdini who we baby sit often. When he is here the two of them are just nuts! Houdi sits in my chandelier and then flies down and lands in your hair! These two are mild in comparison to Ricky the parrot who has a bell that he rings when he wants attention. It is a loud bell! What a circus!
      When your zucchini come on Patsy at A Working Pantry has a free download of all kinds of things to do with zucchini which would be handy. Also if you have heaps mention it as I have a great fritter recipe!
      It is so good how your garden is growing!
      Thank you for the good wishes re all our big things last week! Lucy has only 10 days to go till due date!
      Have a wonderful week! With lots of love, xxx

  20. Hello Annabel and friends. What truly lovely and inspiring posts. I've been deliberately off-line for a few days, in order to have more 'doing' and less 'talking about doing'! I had a really productive week last week. I shopped frugally and found lots of lovely inexpensive but good produce at the fruit market. I spent enough there to get a 1 kg bag of mandarins and a dozen eggs, for free. From that produce I was able to make the equivalent of 10 bought containers of Eggplant and Roasted Pumpkin Baba Ghanoush (recipe on my blog later today), 6 jars of lemon butter, 10 prepared and portioned ziplock bags of vegetables (celery, broccoli, zucchini, capsicum, beans), several trays of roasted tomato and roasted capsicum, roasted two trays of snake beans with chilli and salt..these are a delicious snack, made ten snack bags with veges and chicken slivers, and crumbed some veal steaks with GF crumbs made from the crust ends of the loaves. This makes a small portion of meat really big and satisfying. I add grated parmesan to the crumbs for a nice robust flavour. This is where those little 'luxury' items like parmesan cheese, really make the meal. I made and froze lentil and vegetable soup with all the endy bits of veg that were on the way out, and made peanut butter cookies with Teff flour I found in the pantry (a random GF purchase), sandwiching them with cinnamon icing. They were a success, but we all agreed we weren't that fond of the flavour of the Teff flour, so I'll have to find another way to use the rest of it up. It was expensive so I don't really want to just toss it. I recall buying it to make a pastry I found in a book, so perhaps I need to unearth that book! I planted herb seedlings out, including basil, coriander, garlic chives and some shallot ends...the green things that is...they will of course grow from the end white bit with the roots dangling off it. I started crocheting fringe for my version of the Moroccan Wedding Blanket, and starting stitching sequins to the bed cover I'm using for that project, which I've had for about thirty years! I also made lentil burgers one night, baking the GF bread rolls myself...scrummy....and baked four loaves of GF bread, which is so much nicer than the awful spongy stuff you buy. So a really good week for me, and the reason not much happened with my blog all! Still...doing is better than writing about doing....Love, Mimi xxx

    1. What a huge and good week! No grass growing under your feet Mimi. Helen says this and I love that expression!
      I like the tip about crumbing the steaks to bulk them out plus they would be so tasty.
      I am nearly there on Chloe's blanket. Maybe a week to go or so... so it did not take the 25 years I predicted!
      Have another great week. It is very satisfying to get so much done and save so much. Just to get ahead.
      Many thanks and lots of love. xxx

  21. Oh and Happy Birthday to Andy, and many congratulations on the new job. Happy Anniversary to you both as well. Holding my breath for baby news. Isn't it exciting that we have a new Royal Princess? I wonder if you'll also be blessed with a Princess? Mimi xxx

    1. Thanks Mimi! I am happy about the Royal family too, i think they are lovely. And Price George is adorable! Now waiting on the name!


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