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, 23 October 2014

Feather your Nest Friday No. 2.

Thank you to everyone who shared their savings and ways they built up their homes last week. Kaye used Rain Checks to save at her supermarket. This made me think of the fact that until a couple of years ago I had heard of rain checks and yet didn't know exactly what they were or how they worked. But since learning they have been a great saver for us! How many times has there been a great special that is sold out or you get the last one or two when you could really do with more? This is where rain checks help us out.
Just incase anyone is in the same position (and this is in Australia as I am not sure about overseas) my simple understanding is that if there is a great price on something and you would like more than is on the shelf or they have sold out mostly you can go to the service counter and ask for a rain check. Now and then a product will have a note on it saying "no rain checks" but I don't find this very often. The person at the service counter will give you a ticket and record what it is you are wanting. Then when your item appears back in stock on the shelves you simply take it as usual to the check out and produce your rain check ticket and you will get it at that special price still. (even though the special has passed).

This stops you missing out on amazing prices! I love this. What a help. It can help you stock up on something you would really like a few of or something your family use heaps of! 

So that is how rain checks work as far as I have experienced. Thanks Kaye!

Some of the ways I feathered the nest this week include...

We had a meal from left overs from the freezer (mostly) last night. I had two cheeses, tomato paste, salami, sun dried tomatoes, pineapple and left over turkish bread... so it became pizzas (sort of!) and enough for lunches the next day also. Very yummy and a heap of containers with a little bit in them are now used up. I pack my husbands work lunch in the evening and I love having something different to send him.

Earlier in the week it was hot. Apparently no one buys flowers on hot days so roses were reduced by half TWICE and I got two bunches of roses for $3. I don't usually buy flowers but this was too good to be true. I enjoyed them so much! 

And today I have hung them to dry. By drying them now before they start to fall apart they will dry beautifully. I can keep enjoying them or use them on parcels. Dried pink roses on top of a pink parcel with soft ribbon.. imagine! And this is how they look in my kitchen for weeks now.

I washed my couch and cushion covers. My couch is about 40 years old! My parents bought it then it became mine. When Andy and I first went out we sat on this couch!  I had covers made for it years ago that I love. It is a big job. But I wonder what it would cost to get them dry cleaned? I wouldn't consider it. I soak and wash and it took 4 loads today and two tomorrow I think. I haven't used a dry cleaner in about 6 years. Then I took in a dress. It cost me more to get it dry cleaned than it cost me to buy the dress. I haven't ever gone back! There is a way to clean most things. I added eucalyptus oil to the wash to make the lounge covers smell fresh. The sun will do the rest. 

I had a geranium out the front break apart. Wind I think. So I divided it and replanted and now have three. I did the same with a huge indoor plant now it is four plants.

Also I had a couple of days of no spend and just catch up on jobs that need doing at home. Cleaned, tidied, organised and at the end of those days I just loved how the house was looking and how I was feeling. Things smelling fresh, folding linen that smells of sunshine... lovely.

Some of our lovely things that we have have enjoyed but have cost nothing are:

In the evenings we have a sit outside. Every night this little bird comes and hangs around with us. He knows I will feed him and if I don't he just stands there staring at me. He is not frightened. Twice when we have been inside watching tv he has walked inside! We have french doors open when the weather is nice and have had to tell him to go back outside. And he does he just turns around and hops back down the step. 

The birds in our garden are so lovely. They have such personalities! Any crumbs on the cutting board go outside. It is all a free form of kindness and delight.

Our neighbours fence is covered in climbing roses, a whole wall of hundreds of them...

This just shows a section... the whole street just now is glorious, almost everyone has roses. 

They are maybe the best part of this time of year!

I have some things to do today and I will feel very happy with my week! I managed another major Christmas present this week. Very happy with that.

How did you get ahead this week and what did you do to feather your nest? I always say it is amazing how things add up. A bit each week towards Christmas or something added to your pantry for emergencies... whatever it is sooner or later you will be amazed how it all added up to an achievement.

Have a lovely weekend as we head into the last week of October! xxx


  1. A friend gave me lots of cherry tomatoes and I made chutney, presenting her with a jar of chutney when I had finished. I have made a litre of yoghurt in my yoghurt maker and my sauerkraut, started two weeks ago, is ready,

    1. It is wonderful you could make chutney Jean already this season! I have my first tomatoes but they are not ripe yet. I love relishes and chutney (and jam) I am saving up my jars getting ready! I have not made sauerkraut but am tempted as they say it is very good for you. Have a lovely weekend! xxx

  2. Wow! I love all the flowers, Annabel! Be.YOU.tiful! $3?!?!?!?!?!?

    Have you ever heard of Dryel? It's an at-home "dry cleaning" you use in your electric dryer (not designed for gas dryers, I don't think). There are many things that hang in my closet that say "Dry Clean Only" that I either hand-wash or even wash in the machine and hang dry. All my clothes I hang to dry on a rack or a hanger. Sure extends the life of them.

    I got to be in my home for 3.5 days this week. (I'm back in the airport again.) It was so lovely to be home.

    I made an Annabel-inspired notecard today! I had saved the prospective notecard torn from the back page of an airline club's magazine. The card turned out so cute! I'll be sharing it on my blog soon.

    Over Labor Day when I was in the States I stocked up on 50%-off silk roses, peonies and hydrangeas (all cream) for my shabby chic pane-less "windows boxes" I hung in our bedroom (last year!). I book-paged "window boxes," put styrofoam in the bottom and arranged all the flowers-- 18 stems in each! They sure turned out full, but the result was even lovelier than I had envisioned.

    I "hid" an ugly ceiling light fixture (we're in a rental in Manila) with a lovely linen embroidered piece I thrifted in Hawai'i the other day ($2). When I bought it I had not idea really what I'd do with it, but oh! It's perfect! While all the walls in our townhouse (four floors!) are concrete, the master ceiling is sheetrock-- go figure! I used simple straight pins to secure each corner of the linen piece to the ceiling. It's so adorable and no more ugly ceiling light fixture (that is NEVER turned on).

    I prepared 20 notecards to embroider on future flights or card rides, plus three small cross stitch monogram projects that will be Christmas ornaments for three newlywed couples. I'll slip the flat ornament inside their wedding card and there will be some cold, soft cash in there, too! *wink*

    I enjoyed sweeping my floors and washing my sheets at home. At home. Ah. Until you're in your home soooooo little, man. We just take HOME for granted.

    I cooked two delicious meals. The first was a pork roast that I have more than half leftover for another meal. (I put that in the freezer and Dave will make Pork Fried Rice for us!) For the roast, I just browned it in olive oil in the iron skillet, then I put it in the slow cooker. I served it with wild rice and "baked" apples which are just peeled, chopped apples, butter and brown sugar and sprinkled with cinnamon. I served the apples in footed glass dishes and they were more a dessert than side dish. I regret not making the lovely green salad; I thought the meal would've been too heavy. We need green plants with every meal-- something PLANTS!

    The other meal was Pistachio Chicken Salads. I shelled a cup of pistachios and chopped them fine. I rolled chicken breasts cut into cutlets in a little pepper and the pistachios and browned them well in olive oil in an iron skillet. When done, I set them aside and added to the skillet more olive oil, a cup of chopped onion and the rest of the chopped pistachios; cook until onion's done. I peppered that (no need to salt because the pistachios were salty). I served a side dish of the onion-pistachio "goodies" to garnish our salads and chopped some ripe tomatoes. Make a lovely plate of greens, add the chicken cutlets on top, sprinkle with tomatoes and the "goodies" and top with your favorite salad dressing. YUMMY!

    You got more than you asked for from me!

    Hugs from the Manila airport,

  3. Kelley thank you for such an awesome comment! You have been so productive! Especially as you travel a lot and do so much.
    I love the recipe and the thought of pork fried rice... YUM! Also I adore baked apples. You have given me a series of ideas.I look forward to seeing all your cards. I love that you can use up air travel time for something nice. Now your window boxes.... I dont know if there is a picture on your blog, if there is I have missed it (I will go search) because I am loving this idea!!! oh my goodness... It reminds me that I used to walk in the evenings and pass a cottage with an outdoor window box full of lemon dahlias. It was beautiful. But it took me months to realise "hang on how come these never die?" and twig on the whole thing was fake. It looks so good! So I feel this coming on as I cant get enough flowers. Have a great trip! xxx

    1. Aloha!

      I forgot to say that I "bake" my apples on the stove in the iron skillet. This time I forgot to mix flour with the brown sugar, which make it thicker like sauce verses juice.

      No, I haven't photographed my bedroom yet. I have two wall art pieces to hang and then I should be ready! I'll certainly share everything on my blog!

      Hugs and mahalo from Hawai'i (again...),

  4. Hi Annabel, Blueday Jo here:) Your little Murray magpie is adorable. My family is from Adelaide, and I lived there for several years as a teenager and young adult. My mum often sends me emails telling me about what the cheeky Murray magpies are up to in her garden!
    I think I have the exact roses that are covering your fence - mine are called Pierre de Ronsard, and the first one has just bloomed, but hopefully my wall will look like your fence in a couple of weeks:)
    I have washed my couch covers and cushion covers for the very first time this week as well - saved so much on a professional couch cleaning! And the chemicals too. Eucalyptus oil and detergent are so much safer for us and the environment I'm sure.
    This weekend I am painting a study full of shelves instead of 'getting a man in'. I am filthy, but it will be very satisfying to do it all myself.
    I am loving your very pretty blog Annabel. It is very inspiring to see how much beautiful decorating I could be doing with what I already have:)

    1. It is so good to see you here! Thank you! It was you who inspired me to get going on my couch covers! Im so glad I did... I am wrestling them all back on today. Yes it is a huge saving. I am doing my carpets next with the vax. I think that is the rose too. They are beautiful. Well done on all you are doing. You are saving your family so much. The painting would cost a fortune to get someone in... it will be great to have it all done! Take a photo of your roses when they are at their best! Have a good rest of the weekend. Thank you so much for commenting! xxx

  5. The flowers are just gorgeous Annabel.

    I have been able to get a few good buys this week. I bought coffee (Vittoria) that my husband likes. 2 x 1kg packs (which are 4 x 250g actually packed in a block) They were half price. I also bought the last 5 packs of Tetley tea at NQR for $1.69 for 300g packs (loose tea) I am a lover of pot tea! I will drink teabag tea also, but prefer a pot! These had long use by dates. I purchased some clothing basics today for a special 20% off for Everyday rewards at Big W. I just bought a few singlet tops to layer under some sheer blouses I wear in summer. I buy far less than I once would I now notice. Layering clothes (even in summer) has been a great saver for me - thanks Annabel.

    Now, thinking more about those rain checks. I notice it (Coles) is only for 30 days from date of issue. There are also options of Price match and Out of stock - please trial another and Product deleted - please trial another on this slip I noticed. I wonder if they will price match Competitors current catalogue items?? I am going to give that a try I think and see! It could be helpful if it helps qualify the total spend and get a reward and saves going to various supermarkets. It probably has limits placed on it I guess or everyone would be going this way!

    I saved a method for cleaning micro suede fabric (which is what my lounge suite is covered in) from Pinterest. Has anyone ever used a homemade method of cleaning a suite like this? I will have to get professional cleaning for it otherwise - which I just know will be expensive.

    I have been using up bits and pieces and incorporating them into our meals this week. Apart from bulk buying some items (tea/coffee) my grocery spend was very low this week.

    How delightful having the little birds coming in for a "visit" to you and Andy xo

    1. Dear Kaye, I know you lost a reply... never think its too long as I love to hear what you have been doing!
      Re the lounge I have seen on Pinterest a cleaning method too... I would trial it on the reverse side of a cushion and see what you think. A regular light cleaning too might be less risky than a major cleaning... I would try it. Your coffee and tea were very good buys.... I like pot tea too as I always go back for more plus I like teapots. Also the left overs I pour on a plant. It is good for them. Have a wonderful week! (I love hearing about your savings!) xxx

    2. Kaye see Jacqui's reply below!xx

  6. KayeB, after Annabels inspiring post, I washed our micro fibre lounge covers in the machine with miracle cleaner, then dried in the sun on the clothes rack, they came up brilliantly, ours are a brown coffee colour, the hardest part has been putting them back on..but all done now, tomorrow I will do the 3 seater.
    Annabel I am a fan of rain checks also...Carmens Granola was 1/2 price a few weeks ago and I was able to rain check 12 boxes, also the Jarrah Vienna Latte mix, I prefer paying $2.99 as opposed to $6
    Thanks for your inspiring and uplifting posts xx

  7. Well done on the lounge covers Jacqui and helping Kaye too. Good old miracle cleaner! I love the fresh clean scent it leaves too. I have been wrestling lounge covers today too, it is a work out thats for sure. I am going to take a photo and put it up next Friday as it was a big job but it looks good. Excellent specials and a major saving over a dozen boxes! Thank you for all this. I am going to use miracle cleaner as my carpet cleaner with my vax next week to do my carpets. Have a great

  8. Thanks Jacqui for letting me know that! I'm not sure if mine has removable covers. I must investigate! The method on Pinterest is like dry cleaning with rubbing alcohol I think. Miracle spray is marvelous stuff.


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