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, 16 October 2014

Feather your Nest Friday!

I am so excited for our first Feather your Nest Friday after our "practice run" last week!

All week as I have gone along I have thought of things to write down that have made a difference in my home and saved us money. I have to say it served as an extra motivation too. I spent a lot of time in the garden this week and the flowers are beautiful! This is a lovely time of year. (Spring here) ANy time spent in the garden is good for me. Out in the sunshine amongst flowers is very uplifting and gardening is great exercise! Then I sleep well. Seeing things grow and flower is almost the same effect as the happiness of pets, both of these seem to make us happy.

These are my "Feather my Nest" tasks this week that saved us money and built up our home...

I removed a dying tree from a half wine barrel and turned this into another of my stacked pot planters. It is huge! It has 5 tiers and I planted them all. Some of the herbs I bought were out for $1 a pot. Between the wine barrel and the stack on top it makes a huge area for plants. If it is as successful as my herb stack (see last weeks post) then it will produce so much. Also it is near the back door so I will water it with left over household water. Tonight I watered it with water I drained from the pasta and run off from the hot tap in the kitchen.

I made Christmas decorations from free materials I collected. I will post pictures of them over the weekend. Here is a glimpse...

I also made heat packs. I used a dressing gown that doesn't fit as the material was so gorgeous and so soft. I cut it up to make quite a few. In stores these are between $20 and $30 and so far I've seen them in AWFUL material, not nice. To make they are costing about $3 each. These I filled with pearl barley. Wheat or rice work too. Warmed up they are so nice. Online you can find printable safety instructions to go with them for people who are unfamiliar. I couldn't live without mine they are so soothing to a headache. I guess I made half a dozen a year saving $100 or so. Lucy was wanting a new one and I took it to her, it felt so soft and nice and she was very happy!

I have been collecting jars as our apricot tree is covered in apricots... just little now but they grow quickly. When they are ready I made jam, stewed fruit, pies and we eat them fresh too of course. It is a busy week or two. This is how they are now, just babies but there are hundreds!

I rang our power company and asked for a discount and they gave me a further 5% off for the next two years. While I was at it I increased our gas discount.

Also made two meals that went into the freezer for emergencies.

I have a ring needing repairs. I asked in the city at a jeweller how much it would be and they quoted me  $325. I said I would think about it. This week I rang the original jeweller who is interstate. They will do it for $45! Of course I have had to post it by registered post and pay for the return but still it is a huge saving! I was thrilled with this one as I haven't been able to wear this ring that Andy gave me.

Things I do all the time like... trim my hair, have a conditioning pack and re do my colour (I never go to a hair dresser saving over $1000 a year given I have colour etc) and paint my nails, toe nails etc.

Use water from the bath on the front garden and water from the laundry on the back garden. in the kitchen I keep a jug on the counter. When I am waiting for hot water to run I fill that jug instead of water going down the drain. This waters my pot plants and something in the garden everyday.

Make my own presents. Anyone can do this even if you are not crafty! You just need a plan. See my ebook, it has an extensive plan to identify what you could be making and what your family and friends will LOVE.

Always cook a little extra and pack my husbands work lunch and drinks the night before. He never needs to buy food or drinks in a work day. Plus this is healthier and he loves it.

Always travel with food and a thermo of coffee!

Shop at the times my supermarket marks down meat and bakery items. To find this out I just asked the staff. They were so helpful. In my case 2 pm was one of the good times so that is when I shop. I never pay full price, meat is about half price and bakery is way less... ie turkish bread was 50c for four instead of over $4.

Combine my errands to save petrol. If you plan you can save a lot of petrol and also stop running around like a headless chicken. Planning makes you see "ohh I will be going there... on the way I could do this and this" and cleverly combine things. Big time saver!

Make my cards and gift tags.

For all of us there are probably a list of things we always do and have been doing a long time that we don't even think about or consider great savings but they are! They still may be ideas others don't know about. And some things, like me doing my own hair, I probably underestimate how much it saves me as I get a shock when I here what others have been charged for a cut or colour and blow dry. Sometimes we are talking about almost $200 for an appointment!

But it all adds up, none the less, to help our households, reduce pressure and increase security. There are so many things we can do ourselves. When stuck I go to You Tube to see if there is a "How to" on anything I am needing help with. It is amazing!

How did you go this week? Please know your work counts. It adds up to create a safe, happy, loving home for your family. This all does not happen by accident! It is your hard work. Don't let anyone tell you that you are not contributing financially if you are working at home! It is invaluable and will affect future generations as well as the health and happiness of your family now. What could be bigger than that?

Have a lovely


  1. Lovely post Annabel! Your garden is sounding really good too.

    This week we set up 3 wicking beds & planted some seed potatoes near by too. I have spent lots of time outdoors this week & it was lovely yet the hayfever is not, I do hate to be indoors when the weather is nice (or even when its not).

    Had a house guest this week & we only had coffee out once, she was happy to eat at home, which was good.

    Made a special birthday dinner, 3 courses all from scratch that were enjoyed by all.

    Thank you for the encouragement in the last paragraph!

    1. I would love to see those wicking beds Karen, this sounds fabulous to me. I really feel the outdoors is good for our overall health and wellbeing...
      Well done on the beautiful Birthday dinner. Thank you, Im glad you found some encouragement. xxx

  2. Congratulations on your first " Feathering " post. It really makes you think about all the money you can save around the house.

  3. A most enjoyable post and so much achieved.

  4. Dear Annabel, What a wonderful post! This last week I met up with a friend whom I had not seen for a number of months. She said " Helen, I have never seen your hair and make up so nice". I mentioned to her that it was thanks to you Annabel. She has a copy of the beauty book that you contributed to on Simple Savings. I told her how last August was the last time I visited the hairdresser. You had shared on a post how to do your own hair, and as you and the girls always look beautiful, I followed your advice. Instead of getting my hair done before Christmas I found a youtube video tutorial on cutting my hair, and I coloured it. You gave me the make up as a gift. I share this to inspire other ladies that they can still feel attractive and save not only money but time as well. Another dear friend at our table who has hair that is similar to mine groaned as she had been to the hairdresser and it was over $200 for a cut, colour and foils. Thanks for taking the time to invest in our lives and homes. Love Helen

    1. Dera Helen, Thank you! You saved so much money and looked lovely! I wish I had a photo of how your hair was.
      Another thing I love is there is no travel and hours at a salon, I can put something in my hair and put the timer on and go ahead with things I am doing. Such a time saver. Thank you Helen! Love

  5. Annabel, you have inspired us all yet again. It was wonderful to hear how much you have influenced others to save big dollars and also I think how empowering it is to be able to learn to do these things for ourselves - and also so uplifting. xo

    I didn't think I had much to report as I have not hardly spent any grocery money this week (even though it is pay week) I did get in to Coles and ended up getting a raincheck for white choc bits that were half price. I just need them before Christmas baking - so no real rush this week. I also bought some rolls of brown paper (15m) rolls, so I can wrap up gifts over the next year. They were $4 reduced to $2.40 a roll. I will enjoy making some brown paper and string parcels next year - and hopefully some homemade gifts. I love your ebook. I love all the ideas you give to us all the time here on your blog as well. I also thought of old fashioned handkerchiefs for putting in the envelopes as gifts. They are something our old Nan (great gran) used to give to us in our cards as children. Probably another item that could be homemade.

    1. Well done Kaye this sounds pretty good to me. You know you have made me think... until a year or two ago I did not know about rain cheques... I heard of them, but didnt know how to use them! So maybe I should cover this next Friday...incase some others dont make the most of rain cheques. They sure can be a massive saver. Also I might do some things with brown aper parcels as I LOVE them. Very versatile. Thank you for adding your list to Father your Nest Friday! xxx

  6. Love the 'Feather Your Nest' idea of posts. I've been doing something of this nature once a week for years now and it's amazing how many times someone will say, "Oh I didn't know you could do that!" I am an old pro but learn new tricks from others all of the time. Your post on mailing envelopes with small gifts is especially nice. I've been sending my girls recipes and coupons and such but shall now look for other things to tuck in that will mail flat.

    1. Thanks so much Terri. In the things that are small enough to post in an envelope post there are a lot of brilliant ideas in the comments! I gathered a heap of new ideas!
      Next week please share some of your saving ideas as you sound ahead of me in experience and I would really appreciate that. Thankyou! xx


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.