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.

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 13 October, 2017.

This was a much better and more normal week!   I love Fridays when I have plenty to report.  😊

Friday night Chloe came over to dinner before flying out on Saturday morning.  It was a lovely night.
I made my super easy crockpot cheesecake.

We had leftovers for the weekend! 

During the week I made cupcakes for Harper.  I made them ballet theme!   I got these little decorations on Ebay and have a big pack of them.   

These were a hit!  She would eat a bit then put the ballerina back in what was left.

I made vegemite and cheese scrolls.  I love the sight of dough rising!  I made man sized ones and child sized ones...

We saved a lot of money!  Today we have cement being poured in an area in the back yard.  I have been waiting to get this done for so long!  It is too much for Andy to have done on his own.  We got a quote and considered it.  Then I used the local suburb newspaper and rang around for comparison quotes.   A guy came to look at the job.  Then we offered him cash.  Well, that had a magical like effect and we saved $1,100! 

I found several bargains at the store including Brie for $1.90 so I got several. 

I potted up the little succulents from the garden day.  These pots needed filling and replenishing so I started with those...

It must be succulent week as I had a road side find!   This time it was a case of having to ring Andy as there I was with two big Agave plants that I could fit into my car and one that I could not even lift! 

The big one in that tall bucket is taller than me!  I would love to know what a nursery would charge for that!  They are all for Chloe who is planting a garden that can handle times of no watering.  I showed her a picture and she is thrilled! 

I sat and packaged up Bay Leaves.   The packs in the store have five or six in them.  I make my packs about twenty each at least.  I got 21 packs.

I haven't worked out my Vicky Challenge but this will be a big one!  Bayleaves alone are worth 50c each in the supermarket.   Scrolls are $4.50 at the bakery!   So I better do my maths!

This week we have had beautiful days and soaking rain which is pretty much perfect!
By the end of today a messy area of our yard will be cemented.  This is an area Andy uses as a workshop, tools etc.  I will be so glad to have it done.

There are a lot of flowers coming out.  Things are starting to look lovely!

How did you build up your home, save money and get ahead this week?  It all counts!   I hope it was a good week for you!  xxx


  1. Dear Annabel and beautiful bluebirds,
    Thank you for another excellent post Annabel , you have had a great savings week. The cheesecake looks beautiful and how precious is Harper putting the ballerina decoration back on the uneaten part of the cake?, how gorgeous!.
    I don't think this week was as big a savings week for me as last week was but here goes.
    I saved $33 on groceries and banked $30 of that so a $30 saving.
    I bought some socks as part of a donation to a local organisation who help homeless people and others in need. I got 14 pairs of socks for $6 saving at least $20 .
    I had enough stamps to get free magazine using my magazine loyalty card I got a big word puzzle book that is put out by a magazine company so I saved $10 . I know I could borrow magazines from the library but I don't get to the library often plus I like to do the puzzles and enter the competitions so I buy them now and then.
    I was craving takeaway and after a long pain filled day I didn't feel like cooking , after a late afternoon doctors appointment my dad took me to the pizza shop on the way home and I saved $5 on my pizza compared to getting it delivered.
    I had my usual 2 hours subsidised cleaning , saving at least $36 compared to a private cleaner.
    I will have a one hour meal prep service this afternoon , saving me $25 at least as I am often tempted to go out to dinner on Friday nights.
    I gratefully received 2 meals from my parents , saving me $20 at least.
    I received a $20 refund on an item of clothing that wasn't suitable.
    I bought a craft DVD cheap , saving at least $20 .
    I bought 2 children's activity books as part of my donation to the organisation I mentioned above. The books were $2 each , saving at least $10 compared to buying them elsewhere.
    A friend made a trip to the local shops for me saving me $15 on taxi fares.
    My Dad took me to the doctors saving me $50 on taxi fares.
    My doctor bulk billed me , saving me $60 .
    I got some medication and because I reached the safety net amount months ago I am entitled to free medication for the remainder of the year. I have saved $30 this week alone.
    I bought steak for at least $3 a kg cheaper than the supermarket at a local fruit shop/ deli, at the same shop I bought cashew nuts at least $5 cheaper than the supermarket , I also bought capsicum and bananas cheap among other items at this shop. I estimate I saved $15 by shopping at that shop. My total savings for the week is at least $365!, pretty good considering I thought it was a quiet week!.
    I hope everyone has a happy weekend and Annabel I wish Chloe safe travels home.
    Love Barb W .


    1. Dear Barb,
      It looks like savings are so natural for you! Your total is valuable!
      I, too, admire the crock pot cheesecake, and the baking for various family members!! I wonder what will be on the menu for Chloe's return?! Another cheesecake? It has been such a long week that it's likely cheesecake time again!!

  2. Those ballerinas on the cupcakes are adorable! I love succulents. Don't have any in my garden yet, but will one day. I always enjoy reading about how you feather your nest, Annabelle!

    1. Thanks Tracy, Succulents are great as they thrive on neglect! Have a wonderful new week! xxx

  3. Hello Annabel and beautiful bluebirds :).

    Annabel I loved your felt craft kits and beautiful ballet cupcakes and scrolls you made this week too. Am putting together some photos to send you for the swaps over the weekend too.

    This week was all about purchasing items we needed, were low on or simply didn't have as well as some garden machinery and garden maintenance and soil amending too.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $698.75 in savings this week.

    Earnings from my internet shop -
    - Earned money from selling saved seeds and eye masks on the internet which I used to purchase 2 new garden trolley wheels, 6 tubes of lip balm and a 12 piece stainless steel manicure set off Ebay with. One of our garden trolley wheels had disintegrated and needed replacing and now I have a spare in stock too for the other garden trolleys as well.

    Purchases -
    - Bought 6 x 12g lip balms off eBay for $5.80 saving $22.92 over purchasing the same amount in the local supermarket.
    - Purchased a 12pce stainless steel manicure pedicure kit in a case for $4.38 on eBay saving $19.52 over purchasing them in the local pharmacies.
    - Bought 2 x 10" trolley wheels for $24.89 saving $45.11 over purchasing them in the local hardware store.

    In the garden -
    - Purchased 3 cubic metres of cow manure from our local livestock transport company for $20 saving $563.44 over purchasing bagged manure in our local hardware store.
    - With this we spread manure on our 10 x 5mt garden bed in the back paddock gardens, fertilised the grass on the front footpath and fertilised a small section of the back paddock lawns too.
    - DH plowed the manure into the 10 x 5mt garden bed and spot sprayed some weeds in the footpath and front lawns.
    - We soaked beetroot seeds overnight and planted a 3.5mt row of beetroot seeds in the gardens.
    - Yay the 2 x 1100lt rain water tanks are filled to the brim with beautiful rainwater and our onion, cucumber and carrot seeds planted earlier are all doing wonderfully. The lawns also got rained on and are all lusciously green and growing too :).

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a large vegetable bake with sweet potatoes, turnips, broad beans and silverbeet picked from the gardens topped with grated cheese and breadcrumbs which lasted for 2 meals with a meat.
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Water preservation -
    - Used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water in manure on the lawns.
    - Saved all household rinsing water to water the newly planted seeds and seedlings in the vegetable gardens.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on our electric hot water system for 8 hours this week and used our solar lanterns to light our home saving an estimated $10.50 in electricity.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      Your kitchen gardens and large vegetable bake paint a pleasing picture!!
      I reckon you'll be saving much more in electricity before too long, the way you are going!!

    2. Dear Sewingcreations, I love veggie bakes! Yum. Also... I am learning like you to check the price of anything I need on Ebay. This has proven to be amazing. This is saving me heaps! And we use our grey water too and it is an amazing amount of water i.e. yesterday I did six loads of washing!
      One more thing... soaking seeds before planting makes the biggest difference too! I have a much much better success rate!
      I wash thinking of you as I heard about the rain! This is so good! Also your toothpaste deal was great. I see now in the supermarket some toothpastes are around $7 each. Who would pay that!? My rule is $2 or under!
      I hope the new week will be great for you! With love,

    3. Hi Annabel yes you are right that an average household uses so much water to wash and bathe with it is incredible and I am glad you have found the wonders of eBay for getting things much cheaper too.

      For most readers if they don't do this and live in an area with water restrictions as we do then 1lt of grey water will water a square metre of lawns with. Quite incredible when you think that even water can have a second useful purpose too.

      My specialised toothpaste is $10 a tube to buy normally and we purchased mine for $4.99 and DH's normally $3.50ea and we purchased his for $2 ea . I am darn sure I won't be paying $10 a tube for toothpaste anytime soon :). The price of most things are getting totally silly.


  4. Hi Annabel I forgot to mention too that we also purchased two years supply of toothpaste for DH and myself from a local discount pharmacy for $41.95 on special reduced by 33- 55% saving us $37.26 on usual prices in our local supermarkets.


  5. Annabel I just love those cupcakes. I think Harper and I would have a wonderful time playing ballerina's.
    It must have been the week for cheesymite scrolls as I made a half dozen of these. I hadn't even got them out of the tin and two had disappeared. The poor old fur baby got the blame.
    Bluey bought home a shopping bag full of capsicums and three extra large heads of broccoli for free. The broccoli has been blanched and ten meal size bags for four people have gone into the freezer. The capsicums have become more sweet chilli jam. I swear Bluey and Katie inhale the jam.
    I finished off the two single bed crochet blankets I have been making for Mum and Dad for Christmas. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out and to be finished with them. The blankets were starting to get very hot on my lap.
    I re potted two hanging baskets on the veranda, collected coriander, bean, pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds from the garden, and harvested eggplant, lettuce, tomato, chilli and carrots. The neighbours traded tomatoes for two butternut pumpkins. I was able to pick enough asparagus spears for Bluey and I to have some steamed in butter with dinner two nights. This is the first year that the spears have been big enough to harvest.
    It has been a busy and productive week and we have made some wonderful savings with free or cheap goods and value adding to these.
    Life is good.
    A kitchen set for my SIL has been completed and a mermaid rag doll for the toy box has been completed. It was supposed to go to Tilly but it was my first and there are a number of design flaws that I want to remove from mermaid rag doll mark II. Tilly will get one for Christmas.

    1. Dear Jane, You had a very good week. I saw the capsicums and the broccoli an they looked so bright and fresh. The jam sounds beautiful. I blankets are gorgeous. I have to stop on wool as it gets too hot now too. But its lovely to keep me warm when working on rugs etc in the cold weather.
      I cant wait to see the mermaid, I thought the test run looked pretty good!
      Your harvest and trades are a lot of good stuff! Life is good! I know you are having a wet weekend and I hope it only results in a full rain water tank and good things! With love

  6. Dear Annabel,

    Those cupcakes are so cute and I love the image of Harper's half-eaten cupcake with a chocolate-smeared ballerina stuck back in. :)

    You have had a great week! I loved your felt pictures idea from Wednesday! When I was little we had rough-milled lumber on our walls, and my mother made felt shapes for my birthday one year...we would just stick them on our bedroom wall! Loved those.

    It has been a really busy week here. I have had my head down sewing like a mad fiend for an upcoming birthday...I just might make it in time! Last night we got our first frost, and it looks like it was a hard one. So there will be some garden cleanup to do in the near future.

    Looking forward to the swap party info!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, It is so cute how kids just think things are special and they get so excited. I liked the story of the felt sticking to your bedroom walls! I think your Mum was artistic and creative too... this explains a lot!
      I cant even imagine a frost like that! I think you might find some goodies you will like in the swap.... I hope so! Have a great weekend! With love

  7. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Annabel, your cheesecake and cupcakes look divine!

    Entertainment: Probably the biggest way we saved money this week was by having a "staycation" instead of traveling for our week off. We've enjoyed our area's outdoor spaces, have cooked at home on the grill, and spent a really enjoyable afternoon at the university art museum, which does not charge admission. I can't believe we could stand so close to works by Renoir, Degas, Matisse, and Gaugin! There is also an entire floor dedicated to native american art, with some astounding pottery pieces inlaid with turquoise. Amazing to behold and good for the spirit!

    Garden: My husband mowed, edged, and trimmed the front and back yards. We harvested more cucumbers and tomatoes - produce is getting expensive here. I planted some herb starts in pots and started some more rooting in water in my kitchen window. It seems like they would make good gifts! Our rainbarrel is doing its job and fills up so quickly with the new downspout. The dill is thriving, so I am thinking dill pickles this weekend!

    Crafts: I used a coupon at the fabric store combined with sales to purchase some hand-sewing needles, yarn for gifts, and a skein of embroidery floss. Working on some knitted gifts and a new cross-stitch piece for autumn.

    Cooking and pantry: Chicken and pork loin were loss leaders this week ($1.59 and $1.88 per pound) at the local store, so we purchased a bunch for our freezer. There was also a good sale on canned goods and eggs. I made a double batch of waffles for the freezer.

    Gifts: A dear friend of ours is competing at a horse show this week. My husband has been taking lots of photos; we are planning to print some of the nicest ones and have them framed for her as a gift. (The professional photos are $50 each - I am sure she will purchase one of those, but we were hoping she would like some candid shots, too.)

    I hope everyone has a great weekend,

    1. Dear kathy, I love your staycation and that you enjoyed great artworks like that! I like impressionism so I would have loved that.
      Your gardening, crafts and cooking are all fabulous but I love the framed gift so much. I think that will make a beautiful personal gift. I bet its appreciated!
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love

  8. Hi Annabel,
    Your little scrolls are so cute. Kid sized foods are always fun to make. My savings were ok this week:
    I got 2 magazines subscriptions free so I will just count the cost once and not each individual magazine so #40
    I cashed out points for $160 in gift cards
    7 dozen eggs from our chickies $14
    I made bone broth and got 2 and 1/2 gallons $20
    I got a wood crate that was set out for the trash $10
    I used a gift card from a survey to pay for a few Christmas gifts $25
    cut hubby's hair $10
    I used up leftovers for lunches and used some veggies that were kind of limpy when I made the bone broth so they didn't go to waste and the doggies got all of the bits of meat and veggies for their dinner for a few nights.
    We saved $60 using coupons and getting a few clearance items
    I saved 3 stamps paying bills over the phone. $1.25
    Saved $20 on the electric bill
    Not a bad week.
    You did excellent by the way! Cash talks and getting a better price is better for our budgets!

    1. Dear vicky, Seven dozen eggs! That is good! You did well too! It all adds up so fast! Yes cash certainly saves a fortune. A few quotes plus cash each time has saved us heaps.
      Enjoy your weekend! With love

    2. Dear Vicky!!
      You take the fear out of making do, and turn the whole project into something I admire! Really, you should join the Vicky Challenge!! Ha ha!!

    3. Thanks Rachel!

  9. Our week was more frugal than we'd planned. We meant to go to the fair on Monday during Patriot's Day when veterans and family could go in free. I got sick while there and that was the day. Ugh. So unhappy over as we'd planned out our day months ago. Recovery went on all week long but felt myself today (YAY!) and we went grocery shopping. This led us to observe that more and more often we're shopping about every 21 days now instead of every two weeks. Truth told I might have put off another day or two this time before being out of milk. This made me reconsider what I think I'm spending on groceries. Over a six week period instead of two week period it makes a difference in spending over all. We had our missed meal out at our favorite restaurant today for luncheon. It was lovely. I have one last load of clothes on the line and in about an hour we're starting our Shabat so no more heavy work for the week. I'm glad the week is ending nicer than it seemed to go midway through!

    Love the felts idea and am contemplating what I could do with my grands. Taylor is into Trolls big time just now so she'd be easy to do this for. I might do something of the sort to keep here.

    1. Dear Terri, I was you were unwell! I hope you are much better now!
      I hope you find shapes that make it easy to do Trolls and other things with the felt!
      I am also being able to stretch the shopping out. It is really handy. And lowering costs. Have a lovely weekend! With love

  10. The cupcakes are enchanting!

    We got through the departure of our kids heading for Germany. Monday night was a farewell dinner with all the parents. When we left we were to bring home the grandchildren's tricycles to keep for other grandchildren. Much crying and sadness ensued. I told them that they will be in Nana's garage with the other riding toys for when they come back. Wednesday morning we were up very early and to the airport to say goodbye. Twelve huge duffel bags and suitcases and even paintings packaged to go. All that was left of a whole houseful. So hard to say goodbye. Our grandson said, Good bye Nana. See you in five years. He has no idea how long that is and we cannot even imagine all that time before we see them again. At this point my husband cannot travel that far. It is just too much for him with his brain injury.

    1. Dear Lana, I would be very hard pressed to cope with an airport scene like that. It is tough to read or think about. I think you will need to have a week of quiet and recovery really. To find a new normal which hopefully will be including you can Skype or fb FaceTime or whatever so you can still see them all and they can talk to and see you. Thank goodness we have these things now! My parents are pretty good but they still could not do a trip to the middle of Africa now either which is why Chloe went away to this wedding and we did not. So it isn't just that easy to go visit long distance I understand.
      Big hugs to you Lana. With lots of love

  11. I think I got the deal of the week for myself. On Tuesday I went to a thrift store and for some reason I am always drawn to fabric and textiles. I found 10 yards of white flannel fabric for $4.00, not per yard but $4.00 for it all.I couldn't have found it at a better time. I'm working on a quilt for my son for Christmas with a little fabric dye it will make a great back to the quilt. I checked out prices on flannel around here and the lowest price was $5.99 a yard. My savings was $54.00.

    1. Dear tealady, That was a good find! I love thrift stores for fabric. Absolutely life changing as so much cheaper! Dye can bleed so I would say go for a light colour so it could never get washed and colour could wreck the front. It should be fine then. I thought of that as I have dyed so many things and had that happen!
      Excellent savings! with love

    2. Thank you for the tip, that might have really been a mess and made a really sad mama.

  12. Dear Annabel, Hi and apologies for being late to comment. We've been a bit frantic this end. I had a really good week last week. I found some great bargains on fruit and veg and roasted three trays of red capsicum for adding to salads (we LOVE roasted capsicum), and two trays of roasted fresh beetroot which is just delicious too. Just that saved me over $20. I made my granddaughters birthday cake for an outlay of $60 which sounds a lot but I'll re-use a lot of the ingredients for my daughters 18th birthday cake...yes, she wants the same! I baked for desserts and snacks and we ate well for very little courtesy of some think-ahead meals socked away a week or two ago. I'm glad everyone is doing so well and I adore your ballerina cupcakes and cheesecake. YUM! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Your birthday cakes are just sensational. I am kind of working towards these.... but I have a long way to go!
      The roasted red caesium sounds beautiful. I love the way onions, capsicum, sweet potato etc go actually so sweet wet roasted. Beautiful.
      That was a good week! With love


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