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, 20 July 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 21 July, 2017.

This was another good week!  Andy has had work each day and yesterday more came in so he will also be working all weekend.  He is very happy (so am I!) and so he is making hay while the sun shines! 😊

Some of the ways I saved this week include:

I made bubble bath. I have been loving my bath so much!  So I made luxury bubble bath from ordinary ingredients.  It is lovely! The  recipe is here Hollywood Bubble Bath.
As well,  I have a rustic "caddy" across the bath for all my bits and pieces.  I needed this!  Its a road side find that Andy cut to fit. He cut grooves into it so it can't fall or slide...

We could have a post on creating luxury for pennies!

I made lemon cakes with some of my lemons.  This cake contains yoghurt so ideal for using up yoghurt as well.

These ended up with lemon icing and I cut one up and froze the slices.  It was really fresh and lemony!

I made a lamb roast from Lamb Mum gave me. The left overs will be tomorrow nights dinner, lamb and tatziki wraps.  Mum also gave me frozen peas and beans.

To use up more lemons I filled several ice cube trays with lemon juice and froze them.

I made a curry and a mint raita to go with it.  To make the raita you just add heaps of fresh mint to a nice creamy yoghurt plus a sprinkle of Cumin.

Then just blitz it and you have a lovely mint dip/dressing which is gorgeous with anything spicy.

I also made Naan Bread.  For this I use my usual bread recipe plus three huge spoons of yoghurt. 

Here is it rising (I took the cover off to show it) with a hot pack around it! It was a cold day! 

Two chickens photo bombed this photo too I notice! 

One batch of dough gets me 16 Naan breads.  You cut roll them out thin and fry in olive oil. 

As I used to buy this I know they roll it out in random shapes so I do this too... and fry them until they are deep golden.  Also I know they are $1.75 each in the shops, meaning one batch saves almost thirty dollars. Plus they are so much better, stretch a meat meal, freeze well... 

I  made Scarlet several batches of baby food. Pureed sweet potato, pureed pumpkin and pureed carrot. I froze it in ice cube trays. 

Mum went home to the farm. She had two weeks here helping Lucy, feeding Scarlett, taking Harper for walks and adventures to the park.  She knitted the girls a ton of hats and warm things. This is one of the hats she made Harper... they come down around her eyes and over her ears and keep her warm.

They are constant buddies!  Whatever Harper is wearing she has a tutu over the top, including pyjamas. haha! 

I mended a jumper for Andy.

In the mail I received a $70 voucher for shopping at Coles!  This is the most I have ever had. We don't have coupons here but we have a kind of loyalty points system in some shops.  This one had sent out vouchers where if you handed in a particular voucher on a certain product purchase or in the right week you would get 1000 points (and other offers) I did this for the last few months until the offers ran out. Well, I got $70!  Now I will turn that into at least $140 worth of goods for my pantry by only spending it on big specials or markdowns.  I also got a whole new series of vouchers for the next few months.  You have to be organised with them so I cut them up and stick them in my diary week by week as they all have specific dates... but look how it paid off!  

I did some pruning in the garden and now it is all done!

I wrote $343 in my savings book for my Vicky Challenge.

How was your week?  What did you do to save, get ahead or build up your pantry? 

Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel ,
    Wow , you have had another great week !. The lemony goodness continues!. And how wonderful that Andy has more work , that's just excellent nest feathering.
    I had another good week, I saved a fair bit .
    The best savings for me this week was an almost $400 year saving on my insurance!, one phone call by my wonderful mum and I have been able to change insurance companies and have saved myself $33 a fortnight which is $400 or actually just under per year. I am counting it as $400 saved. I have saved $40 on subsidised cleaning , $20 on meals given to me by my parents, $25 on grocery savings, bought another $50 grocery gift card to use next week, which I won't count in savings .I also saved $30 on books, I got some more $2 books from my local newsagency which some of these will be used for gifts. And I think that might be all , well it's all I can remember this week!. So a total savings of $505 this week which is my third week In a row of over $500 in savings!. Yay!. I am glad your mum had a great visit Annabel, she seems like such a stylish and young " hip" grandma and great grandma . Harper has a unique style, I live the tutu !.
    I hope everyone has a great weekend , love Barb W

    1. Dear Barb,
      Well done to your Mum! I love how one phone call can save so much! That is very significant! I agree you should count it.
      Your week shows how it all adds up fast! Well done! I hope you have a good weekend! With lots of love,

  2. You are clever Annabel funny expression on little Harpers face....I have lemons ....cake a good idea except I would probably eat too much !!!!

    1. Dear Jan, I am ok with cake if I freeze portions. I forget I have it most of the time and it is lovely to have for a desert, visitors .... or make a lovely cake as a gift. This is always a hit. This recipe was Donna Hay Lemon Yoghurt cake which I doubled. I still have about fifty lemons! I will juice some more! With love

    2. Thanks, I was just admiring your cake wondering where I could find a good lemon yoghurt cake recipe, I'll google and see if I can find a Donna Hay one online. Looks delicious!

  3. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,

    Annabel wonderful that both Andy got work and you earned some wonderful vouchers to go towards filling your pantry up :) .

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $435.57 this week.

    Here are some ways we have saved this week in our home -

    Groceries and stockpiling spares -

    We decided to look at a few shops whilst in town for some much needed items we will need to replace shortly and some immediately as well. Pleasant surprises awaited us because most items were far cheaper at the Reject Shop than our local Woolworths supermarket and Big W as well.

    - We purchased from the reject shop 8 face washers, 2 hairbrushes, 2 bathroom sponges, 30 hair bands, 4 9V batteries, and a pizza cutter saving $24.87 over purchasing these in the supermarket.
    - In Big W we also purchased 4 much needed bed pillows saving $20 over purchasing these in our local supermarket as well.

    In the kitchen we saved by -

    - Cooking all our meals and bread from scratch.
    - Blanched and froze 33 meals worth of split and or animal nibbled sweet potatoes after trimming and washing them. Nothing goes to waste around here.

    Savings in the garden included -

    - Harvesting 700g of turnips, 29kg of sweet potatoes and 300g of cherry tomatoes from our gardens saving $294.90 over purchasing these in the supermarket.

    Electricity savings -

    - Saved $10 by using our solar lanterns instead of using mains powered lights.
    - Saved $1.26 in electricity by heating water for our cuppas on the slow combustion stove.
    - By using water heated on the slow combustion fireplace to wash up the dishes we saved another 0.54c .

    Internet hobby business -

    - Saved by listing 56 items using a free listing promotion saving $84 in listing fees.
    - Was blessed to earn $42.53 in profit from selling saved pumpkin seeds from our gardens. This money along with other money saved from sales will go into buying some groceries from our 6 weekly grocery shopping list next Tuesday.

    Have a wonderful week ahead one and all.


    1. Dear Sewicgcreations,
      Wow you had a great harvest! I love sweet potatoes. There are so many thing you can do with them, I just cant get enough of them so you are set!
      Well done on shopping around. We also have the Reject Shop here and it is really good!
      It is a god trick heating the washing up water on the fireplace!
      You are clever also to list on eBay when they have free promotions! I notice people are keen on buying organic seeds, things from farms etc.
      I am also doing a shop on Tuesday! One of my further afield shops!
      That was a really good week! Well done! With love

  4. Hi Annabel
    I'm so pleased for you and Andy that he has had some regular work this week. That must be a relief. Your bath looks just beautiful with all your treasures! It's so nice to read about your mum coming to help out with the girls, what a lovely time for your family.

    We are just finishing the school holidays here, the first week we stayed home and the second involved a trip. One of the days we lost power for 8 hours in a major storm, and I cooked corned beef on top of our fire for dinner! We were fine with candles, torches etc and in town all the shops were still open (with power), but where we are is clearly not a top priority for getting the power back on, so we thought fairly carefully about what we would like to have in place if it were to be out for longer than that.

    I had a great time away, it was short but long enough, and is picked up some books for the present stash for 50 cents each. My son had seen the same for $8.50 only a month ago. I was discussing with the person I was staying with my plans for a quilt for my son's birthday, getting advice on piecing and how to actually quilt it. She then gave me a piece of brand new batting from a roll she has! It's big enough for a quilt for a single bed. I've just checked the spotlight website and based on their cheapest option it is worth at least $60. I am so grateful. And quite excited to start now. I've over-thought it for far too long, and now I have a plan I just need to get going. His birthday is only a month away and I'm determined to have it done on time. So I will be cutting loads of squares this weekend!

    I really hope Andy continues to find consistent work, and I think you do such a good job of adapting when things change. Your shopping trips to different areas have been an eye opener, I have begun to do the same here as I'm often quite disappointed with our local supermarkets. I found a cheese shop selling rounds of brie and Camembert for $1, they are $4.49 in the supermarket. And sometimes they have 1kg of Parmesan for $7, normally more than that for 250g at the supermarket! Now to find fruit, vegetables and meat at a better price!

    Have a lovely weekend everyone
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen,
      It sounds like your school holidays have been lovely! And the batting for the quilt is a huge gift! Now you are set! I hope you're cutting out is going well!
      We are having more tomorrow on the travelling further afield and trying different shops..... you will be interested in what one of the ladies wrote to me. We seem to have been lulled into believing the supermarkets are the best bet... and like you they have been a let down lately. I am so glad you started to explore alternatives! And it is sounding very successful... the Camembert is wonderful! I make several meals just from camembert (or brie) if I find good enough prices. One is to wrap a whole one in pastry but first top it with walnuts and cranberry sauce. I bake that. You need to let it cool down for a while or it is too runny to cut. Serve with a big salad of rocket and pear slices and maybe sticky balsamic vinegar! Another is to cut a camembert in individual slices. For a family maybe you would need half per person? I did in egg and then in breadcrumbs and fry. Serve with salad, cranberry sauce and crush bread. Yum!
      I hope now you can discover fruit and veg and meat at much better prices. Even if you end up finding much cheaper prices and hour or two away... this can work out to be worth a monthly trip with AMAZING results. You just have to work it out, plan, factor in fuel.... Anyway more on this tomorrow!
      I cant wait to see your finished quilt in a month or so! With love

  5. Harper is such a little doll! Our 3 year old granddaughter, Bella, has been wearing a pink tutu and ballet slippers everywhere she goes and to bed, too. She is the exact opposite of Harper with dark hair and huge brown eyes.

    I am so glad to hear that Andy has had work and more to come. God always provides. Your lemon cakes look scrumptious!

    1. Dear Lana, Then you understand the tutti thing! Harper also just wants to wear ballet slippers. Thank you re Andys work. It is a relief that is for sure!
      Have a beautiful weekend! With love

  6. It's very hot here. I know we topped 100F today and I felt like I was drained dry when I came in from grocery shopping. The weeks' savings is posted over on my blog but I've just been out nosing the flower and compost because John mentioned a squash growing out there. I'm not familiar with what type of squash it is but it's got blooms and a squash that is growing. I've wracked my brain trying to figure out what squash we had that looked just so. Then I'd noted this morning that a half barrel I'd planted a month ago was looking rather lush and pretty. Went to the end of the flower bed to admire and coming back I found a stargazer lily hiding amongst the lantana! I've had those lilies for three years now and they've never bloomed before. I talked to all the plants while I was out there...Does anyone else talk to their gardens, lol?

    1. Dear Terri,
      The heat is tiring I always think! Yes I stalk my garden. Things that just come up themselves as surprises are often the best. If they are in a bad place I move them and they are usually ok. So Squash sounds good! Things are soggy and cold here but there are signs of early spring just starting with buds on things! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  7. Annabel, congratulations on another wonderful week! Your crafts are lovely and foods look delicious. I am so happy for you both that Andy has been able to get more jobs. I'm thankful for answered prayers!

    We are enjoying the lemon juice I froze last winter in lemonade and various recipes. I also made a big batch of chicken enchiladas, meatballs, blueberry/peach cobbler and breakfast burroes.

    I went and helped with food box distribution at our church and besides the reward of seeing some needy families get help and working with some wonderful friends, I was given a large bag of shredded cheese, some ham, a small pork loin, a big bag of rolls, frozen blueberries and 3 boxes of pasta. My daughter used some of the cheese and pasta to make a double recipe of yummy, homemade mac and cheese. I combined blueberries with a can of peach pie filling I found on clearance for 39 cents and a cake mix from my pantry for a tasty cobbler.

    A couple of grocery stores have been having some nice sales and coupons. I especially like the coupons that are $10 off $50 purchase or $2 off $10 of meat, etc., so I can choose from sale items and things I want without being tied to a specific brand, kind of like you watch for buy one, get one free.

    One store is trying having customers order online and then pull in to an area in the parking lot to pick the order up. They will bring your complete order out to you! This is one of the stores that has had some really good e-coupons and some were tied to trying the new service. I was able to get $106 of groceries for $56. The lady who brought my groceries out commented and had written "awesome savings!" on my receipt. Part of my order was cherries on sale for 97 cents a pound, with 75 cents off 2 pounds and then $2 off a $10 produce purchase. It took a little time putting the order together, but it sure was nice sitting at home on my computer making out the order. Sometimes shopping wears me out. The next time I went to the store, I only had a handful of items we needed and was able to find some really good discounted items.

    Hoping you and the other Beautiful Bluebirds have a lovely weekend!

    Love from Arizona, US

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Well done on the good deals and different ways to shop and use coupons. This all added up to a lot! Also it is wonderful you help at the church and this also helped you and your daughter as well! We have one day of sun today so I am washing like crazy! It is quite windy too so I think everything will dry before the day is out.
      I love the sound of the cobbler you made... and mixing the fruit. Have a good weekend to you too! With love

  8. Annabel I made my first lot of sourdough since coming home a few days ago and, as it was about 2C this morning, I put the dough into an esky with a hot water bottle to warm it up. The loaves are in the oven at the moment which reminds me...I need to take them out NOW!

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, The hot water bottle and a confined space is a good idea! It seems that just a bit of warmth will do the trick. Anyway I was worried about sour dough in winter and I have had no problems at all.
      Have a good new week! With love

  9. Dear Annabel,

    I was so happy to read that Andy has had work and more came in. We absolutely understand the concept of making hay while the sun shines here.
    I love your over the tub shelf and the beautiful bath mat. The lemon loaves look so delicious. Next to chocolate lemon anything is my favorite:) And Harper is so precious in her tutu.

    It has been an extremely busy week here with harvesting and putting up things from the garden, trips far afield for doctor's appointments for my husband. Despite all the out of the house activity, our nest did get feathered with some good things.

    I froze 8 pounds of cherries and 20 pounds of blueberries. Baked two loaves of bread, one plain and one raisen, made two quarts of sweet pickles that are done completely in the microwave. I also made some using a combo of stevia and erythritol instead of sugar to give to some friends who are diabetic but who love sweet pickles. Many, many, many zucchini got harvested and I made bean free hummus where zucchini is used with the sesame seed paste instead of using chickpeas. Another gluten free zucchini pizza crust got made for the freezer, and there's a huge batch of zucchini in the dehydrator now. Also made a mock apple cobbler using zucchini and making it gluten free and it turned out great.
    Some sewing and crocheting got accomplished in the evenings to add to the gift closet.

    On one of our far afield trips I went to the Amish/Mennonite store
    and used part of the grocery savings from last week to stock pantry items. And also went to Ollies and found a few things there. All in all it was a good and productive week.

    It's blistering hot here and a huge storm is supposed to come in this afternoon. Thankfully, we are prepared. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      You had a fantastic and productive week! All that produce!
      I would love to even see an Anish or Mennonite store! I keep hearing about them and we have neither here. I have a letter to share tomorrow that features an Amish store. Ive got to get someone to take photos or a video for me as I truly have no idea. But obviously there is good produce and great prices! It was really good to use your savings to get further ahead.
      I hope it has cooled down for you! With lots of love

  10. Dear Annabel, I follow the Amish Country Store on Facebook. I think our equivalent would be Farmers Markets, and Ethnic grocers. The pics of this particular store remind me of the Indian Grocers near where I live. Between those and Farmers Markets, I think we'd come close to replicating the product range, if not the prices! And of course minus the horses and We had a great week. The new kitchen is coming together slowly but surely, and I spent a lot of last week painting walls (I know you've been there, done that!). Big savings there on getting professional painters in. My Daughter and I baked, and made a very lovely passionfruit baked cheesecake (a glut of passionfruit here, much like your lemons), and priced a similar one in the posh bakery section of Coles for $38!!! Ours cost less than $5 to make and was twice the size. A baked cheesecake is just cream cheese beaten with eggs, sugar and flavouring and baked in a springform tin, so not hard at all! Sometimes we don't even bother with the crumb crust, especially if we don't have gluten free cookies on hand. It's just as nice without. My son gifted me some fresh herbs and greens from his garden, and I harvested more herbs and cumquats from my own back yard. We saved lots of money of course, probably heading up to the $700 mark if you factor in the work we've done ourselves on the new kitchen. So a good week all round. Everyone is doing so well! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, Thank you for telling me this I will go find the Amish country store on Facebook! I will be so interested in that!
      You did very well especially with the painting included. The kitchen will be amazing! Any renovations and instillations seem to come with a lot of work but truly the end result will be so good! You will have years of good cooking ahead! I love cheesecake! I also often leave off the crumb. Or sprinkle a crumb on top of a serving or on the side..
      Have a great new week Mimi! With love

  11. Dear Annabel, awesome news that Andy is getting plenty of work. Your mum is simply gorgeous making all those lovely things for the girls and helping Lucy so much. Harper looks like a little doll. You have had a great week by the sound of it. The bath tray is divine, especially when decorated in true Annabel style. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, Thank you! It was a good week! Lets have a REALLY good week this week! I am planning a shopping trip plus op shops! With lots of love

  12. So glad Andy is finding work these days! Get so inspired seeing all the things you and the other Bluebirds are doing!
    Great week for us! Harvested 19 cucumbers from our garden- canned 16 into 13 pints of sweet pickle relish using all ingredients I already had at home! A friend let us pick out her small peach tree after she had taken all the peaches she wanted. We came home with two buckets full and I canned 32 pints of peach slices! I had all ingredients and supplies here at home already!!
    With the two medium zucchini I got from our garden and some carrots I was given, I made 2 large zucchini carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting! We took one to a church BBQ and the other is individually packaged now for lunch desserts! Again- all ingredients were already in the house!
    I harvested a huge cabbage from my garden too and made Runzas for dinner (and leftovers packaged for lunches). I had extra crescent roll dough in the fridge so I used that up for this recipe just to help clear fridge!
    With the 45 pints that I used for canning this week, I am so grateful for my jars that I can rotate by using the in our meals and then reuse! The new jar lids I bought on a clearance sale for 25 cents/box of a dozen lids! I bought over 200 boxes at the time so I won't run short for a while! I gave some to a friend whose husband is out of work since she also cans but was running out of lids!
    Our side business making wood furniture/home decor is doing well- orders coming in and going out continually! This week it has brought in over $500- a kitchen storage shelf unit for an apartment, a "Murphy" computer desk, 2 planter boxes and a tv stand with storage underneath!
    Got $6 in pinecone surveys, $10 rewards from credit card and $2 OYNO for grocery store! Sold some decluttering/downsizing things and made $75. This 365 day decluttering challenge has been great for us and several friends/family members have been gifted things that we just didn't need!
    We paid off my hubby's pacemaker copayment ($6000) in just 2 years!! Down to the last $2000 of copay for my surgery and then no medical bill balances!!!
    All in all, a very good week!!

  13. Hi Annabel
    After reading your post I made a Donna Hay lemon yoghurt cake last week - wow! What a delicious, economical and easy cake, thank you!


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