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 July 2015

Feather your Nest Friday,24 july, 2015.

We had a really cold week! The garden is soaked and the only pops of color are my climbing yellow roses. It is the weather for keeping warm inside and working on craft projects!
Yesterday the sun shone for several hours and it was windy.  I had the towels and sheets all out on the line and they dried. At about 4.30 it started to rain. I did a mad dash and got them all in just in time.
Today I am finishing off the week with a stay in and catch up day. I love these days!

Some ways I saved money this week:

By using up some of the lemons and limes my aunt gave me I made five jars of lemon butter. This is so quick and easy to make. The recipe is here.

I used a jar as a gift. Often I fill a sponge with this and whipped cream. This time I filled little tart cases and added strawberries and cream. They were beautiful! Two of theses were a gift as well.

Hilde visited and she has lemons for me in a couple of weeks so I can do this again and make a sponge next time! I love lemons, there is so much you can make and when I have them I drink the juice of a lemon in water every morning. It is so good for you and is a burst of goodness.

I completed a Christmas present and started another. So I am up to number four! Also Hilde went "oohh and ahh" over something I was working on so I know what to give her too!

We had pizza, I made dough Wednesday morning and in the evening it was ready and waiting. This made several pizzas so that was dinner, work lunch for the rest of the week, a pizza for Chloe when she gets home tomorrow from a trip... and I used up all kinds of left overs.

I found marked down turkish breads and packs of focaccia breads for 99c. Straight into the freezer for emergency easy meals.

While Hilde was here we snooped in the local florist shop. She was amazed by the little jars filled with succulents and the prices. They didn't have any of the jar terrariums left so I will show her photo's of those. We decided we both have succulents in our gardens and many are the petite flower ones that are right for this. So we are going to have an afternoon where we share and swap and pot up session. This will be so much fun! Now to save interesting containers (I have some) suitable jars, soil, pebbles etc. Plus I will make labels with string ahead of time to add to them. I bet we can make some for our own tables plus a heap of presents each. I also thought of making up a tray of small potted succulents as a gift so that the gift is a dozen different varieties all presented nicely.

At the florist these ones are $25 each... I better point out they are small, tiny little individual succulents. (picture looks bigger!)

And these are $49 each...

So this is totally doable for probably $1 each and we will have a great fun day! I will show you the results. I can think of three birthdays I have coming up that I will make these for. I LOVE ideas that can be easily "borrowed" and to have an afternoon with a friend making gifts or something for the house is just a wonderful.  Looking in lovely nurseries, florists, home ware stores can be so inspiring and give you so many ideas!

Otherwise I did all the usual things... made all meals, made all packed lunches, line dried everything, used laundry water on the garden, hunted for bargains, used up left overs, worked on Christmas presents and worked in the garden anytime it was a bit sunny!

Some ways I feathered my nest:

I made so many roses in the process of making Monday's tutorial! So they house is full of roses which I love.

Even though it is winter I cleaned windows. It makes things look a lot brighter.

I continued my freshen up and re arranging.

I hung three sets of IKEA $6 net curtains. Yes, curtains for six dollars. IKEA amazes me. These are fine net tulle. They just look heavenly! For $18 the bay windows in our bedroom look like something out of a wedding! I LOVE it.

Following what I am learning from Teri I added a tin of powdered milk to my pantry. I keep it in my emergency supplies, I just have to keep rotating it. But I am using it much more now and in all my cooking that requires milk.

Learning new things adds to our building up.
Marge posted that a website called Ripe near Me. It is a rescource for free fruit, herbs and vegies which may be on public land, private properties and the owners are giving it away for free. Thank you Marge! I went on and around me there were so many entires! I am stil exploiring this but it is amazing. Plus you can add your own produce if you have anything going to waste. I think checking this at least weekly would be well worth it. I am not sure if the US has anything similar but this is fantastic for Australia. I found some amazing things. You can also check it before heading off anywhere. I was traveling several suburbs away so I looked along the roads I was going and was amazed how many entires there were. This is going to be good!

I hope you had a great week. How did you save money or build up your nest?
Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. As always your pictures are lovely and your posts are full of such good ideas. I have a succulent garden myself so I need to also be on the look out for some nice containers to have them on hand to make little gifts, maybe for the girls at the office.

    In the US, we have to find free fruit to forage and pick. In our city we have community orchards that have just been planted in many of the city parks. Although they are too young to bear fruit, I do like to keep tabs on where the trees are planted for the future.

    I'm continuing my decluttering and cleaning as I go. A little bit every day

    1. Dear Debbie, Thank you!
      Also thank you for sharing that website.
      For the office girls a feminine version of the succulents that I have seen is to pot one exquisite little one in a pretty cup and saucer. I want to do some of these from cups and saucers from the op shop. It looks lovely and is a sweet gift! Have a wonderful weekend, Love

  2. Hi Annabel. I so look forward to your wonderful Friday posts and this one is no exception. What a gorgeous week you've had! My daughter and I appreciated the pantry and freezer this week as we were both sick with the flu. So you don't need a major financial crisis to be thankful for being prepared. I made griddle scones and pikelets as my oven isn't working, and managed several meals from scratch in the microwave....remember when microwaves were new and we all thought we'd be making meals in ten minutes flat? Not quite the case, but surprising really, what you can achieve! I made potpourri and filled 3 vintage sugar bowls and 3 organza bags with it, giving me 6 lovely Christmas gifts and so easy. All I have to do is freshen them with essential oils before gifting them. And I gold leafed a succulent, which is an idea I saw featured on a link party and which I had to try straight! Thankyou for your warm encouragement. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      Microwaves never turned out quite like that did they!? But I do love mine for custards, sauces, lemon butter,jam etc.
      I hope you are feeling better. The weather would be a fair shock.
      I am off now to PINTEREST to find this idea... however please post pics and I will direct everyone over as this is a brilliant and gorgeous idea! Imagine on Christmas table?!!! Have a lovely weekend, with thanks,

    2. Mimi, I'm going to make some potpourri following your instructions! Another great gift idea!

  3. I love the succulents you have made into beautiful gifts! I am nearly stocked up on everything and making gifts and meals out of the massive pantry stock I have accumulated etc will be my next thing! All of your ideas are welcome and wonderful xoxo

    This week I feathered my nest by visiting a few different places for different things. I had a look in a direct to the public catering wholesaler. I don’t find their prices as cheap as I can at supermarkets – except for some of their clearance specials. I bought some extremely well priced clearance items to add to my pantry. I also bought tins of soup really cheap to add to my pantry at one of the Discount stores. I will probably end up using them as a base for something in the slow cooker. They already have chickpeas and spices, or lentils and spices, so added with a little beef or lamb will make a fabulous filling meal (with less meat) They are part of my emergency food at present. Other than that I bought Dove soap for around 62c cake. These will make lovely gifts a-la-Annabel style! :-)

    I won $5 off my Woolies order this week, it was as an “earn and learn” lucky shopper. I also was blessed with some free bread loaves. Every little thing just adds up so much!

    There were lots of good bargains at NQR and I added vanilla yogurt pouches to the freezer (only 15c each) and lots of double smoked ham packs for great prices, worked out to $6kg. I am having fun going into my favorite independent fruit and veg and coming out with a massive box each week for $10! This week it was $10.10, but included 5 kg of potatoes, fruit and veg. It is amazing the things we can save on if we are able and prepared to go to a few places.

    I bought a new trench coat for $25, then my daughter one the next day for only $15! They had marked them down even more on clearance.

    It feels so good to be able to find things you want or need at fabulous prices.

    The bank I have a credit card with changed my card over the past year and charged me a $90 fee!! I had a fee-free arrangement with them before this. So, they were helpful and reversed that for me today and am again fee-free for the life of the new card. I pay the balance every month, so want something that works for me or it would have been gone!

    I have been out a lot with different appointments and have not had enough time to dedicate to cooking and adding extra this week to the freezer. It is quite choc a block as it is with the shopping I have done anyway!

    I have an offer going with Coles to spend $80 each week and at the end of 4 weeks qualify for $50 free. This was easy this week, I bought mince and meat and $50 Telstra phone credit and spent the $80 easily. I usually find enough added points at the end of the 4 weeks to get an extra $10 of points (2000 pts) or sometimes more! I use the 500 pt and triple point coupons they send you or are at the bottom of your shopping docket. Last time I cashed in the $50 with one of these offers, I had $20 extra in points to go with it, so another week of groceries was basically covered for free!

    Filled up the fuel tank and took the $8 discount off my toilet paper re-stock again. You can also use FlyBuy points at Coles express now for fuel purchases – convert them to Express credit when redeeming.

    Sorry, the info I shared won’t be very relevant to our American friends! I used to feel sad we didn’t have coupons, but I can see there are ways to combine and maximize some discounts out there for us Aussies at least!

    Ended up a bit of a novel - sorry about the long read! There were even more good things, but the comment section might have limits!! Lol. ;-)

    1. Dear Kaye,
      What an awesome week! I love hearing this! It is amazing what we can do in a week too.
      I really think now that shopping in one place is easy but we would pay for it. Shopping around saves a lot. And it doesnt all have to be at once. I try and combine going somewhere I think... oh I could pop into here or there and I get around this way...
      $99 is also a lot to save in one phone call! Imagine how many people would just have paid that? Well done. That is a lot of money and they just slug us with these fees. Checking statements properly and bills too... and shopping dockets is an important thing.
      Well done on such a good week. Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  4. Annabel, I know someone in Adelaide who sources lots of produce from Ripe Near Me. It is a great idea. I think there is a US version with a different name as I remember seeing something about it when Ripe Near Me was starting up a while ago.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, I will be checking this weekly now! Especially in summer!
      Have a lovely weekend. It is cold and luring here tonight! Lots of love,

  5. Hi Annabel, I'm so pleased you like 'ripe near me' I just had another look at the website and I think it is world-wide. I zoomed right in on USA and could see a few postings of free produce but don't think it is very popular there yet. I'm currently attempting to go from weekly to fortnightly shopping and then will try monthly. I'm already loving not having to go to the shops every week. This is just another advantage of a well stocked pantry.

    1. Dear Marge,
      Thank you so much! that bit of information was a gem. I really appreciate that.
      The more well stocked we are the more freedom we have! It is true!
      Have a wonderful weekend, with love,

  6. Annabel that lemon butter is drool worthy.

    Catching up post surgery and post builder was the order of the day at the beginning of the week - amazing where plaster dust ends up. So kitchen cleaned within an inche of it's life on Monday and Tuesday some of the bathroom got cleaned, it meant up and down my ladder to reach the spots that the plaster dust had got to. It needs a scrub but that will have to wait another week or two until the pain has completely gone.

    Wednesday we popped out to pick up DH's new glasses, he is having a problem adjusting to one pair but is not going to give up easily. While out I popped into Coles and like Mimi picked up what I needed to get to the $ spend value (for me it is $50-), also had a voucher for an extra 1,000 points so got that credited as well.

    The supermarket with the great coffee special had ham on special this week so I picked up 2 kilos - portioned it out and froze it. Ticket said $7-99 a kilo save $12-00. Haven't seen cheap ham for awhle now.

    Called into Stratco to check out the kerosine that they had advertised - we have 2 kerosine heaters and use the low odour one - usually buy a 4L container for up to $24-00 depending on where you buy it from. The 20L tin was $69-00 and is supposed to be low odour.

    Today I did some baking to take with us tomorrow - yesterday I cooked a piece of corned meat in the slow cooker - corned meat sandwiches are coming with us to Farm Fantastic tomorrow along with some date loaf. We usually go on a Friday when the crowds are not too bad, tomorrow we are expecting large crowds especially if the weather is as good as it was today.

    DH has been doing his tax, just about done and ready to be sent off to the accountant.

    Last weekend the shelves went up in the shed - took a bit of work on DH's behalf and also some thinking outside the box from me to make them work but they are done and DH is happy with them. We even have some peg board left over to be used on another project.

    Annabel I didn't get to the meeting - too cold for me to head out at night at the moment.

    Mimi hope that you and DD are back to your normal selves soon.

    I had a quick look at Ripe Near Me when first mentioned but there was nothing listed.

    I have been tired this week so no knitting done.

    Have a great weekend everyone.


    1. Dear Lynette, I hope you have a great day tomorrow. I love your packed lunch, especially the date loaf.
      The shelves in the shed will be great. I am currently putting shed things into storage tubs as I have an old metal dresser in the shed for all kinds of things. It is very handy.
      I had glasses I couldn't get used to. Then I broke my other pair and finally i "wore them in" however sometimes they might need adjusting or not be quite right.
      I also need to get onto my tax!
      I am glad you are back to normal and we able to clean etc as you would want, that always feels good.
      I hope you find lots of interesting things tomorrow! With love, Annabel.Xxxx

  7. Your lemon butter looks so good it makes you want to stick your finger in the jar and come out with a taste or two! The pictures of the succulents inspire me to get some going for gifts ... and those roses ... I want to try those asap! This beautiful post was just what I needed this morning! Thank you Annabel!

    1. Dear Patsy,
      I hope everything is ok in your house, I know you have been nursing an unwell husband. I hope he is much better. Those weeks are hard.
      Soon I will post how the succulent gifts turn out. Currently I am collecting containers, pebbles etc. But want to get them done soon. Have a restful weekend,Much love, Annabel.xxxx

  8. Great post as usual Annabel. I bought some champagne saucers earlier this year for DD's birthday party. She then decide she couldn't afford the 1920's style party she wanted so I will be filling some of the glasses with succulents, the rest will go back to the op shop(other than those in the cupboard which make deserts look more expensive). I am using the glass marbles from the $2 shop for drainage and to add a bit more "oomph".

    1. Dear Maggie,
      Glamorous glasses filled with these and little pebbles would be gorgeous!
      Now I have seen an idea if you have spare cocktail style glasses...David Jones had them a while back. You f3/4 fill the glasses with homemade chocolate fudge then top with a cherry. Wrap in cellophane and attach a little spoon to eat it with. It looks very glam and fabulous and they were really expensive! Really a nice gift!
      I would love to see how your succulents look if you want to send a photo! Lots of love,

  9. Yummy lemon butter, i've got a zillion lemons here, we tend to squeeze them directly into a glass of mineral water in the evening. Aldi sell mineral water at only 65 cents a bottle. Try to drink it in the morning too, but not 100% successful at that. Annabel, your photos and descriptions again are delightful. Have a lovely weekend. Fi xxx

    1. Dear Fiona, lemons are just wonderful. Even the smell is so clean and fresh. I just got another bucketful this afternoon!
      Thank you for your encouragement! I keep chipping away!
      I hope you have a lovely weekend. At this point we are mainly hoping the roof doesn't blow off lol that's how it is here! Lots of love,

  10. Dear Annabel,

    Your roses are beautiful and the lemon butter looks delicious. If lemons ever go on sale here I will have to try it. Lemons are quite expensive in this area of the country.

    I am encouraged to try the succulent container gardens. I know Home Depot has a wide variety of miniature succulents for sale and Hobby Lobby has some gorgeous glass vases and domes that go on sale every two weeks for 50% off. This would be a fun and interesting addition on a Baker's Rack in a sunny window :).

    Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for another uplifting and beautiful post.

    1. Dear Glenda,
      The little succulent project could be good fun with your Grand Daughter. I have several gardens of succulents so my supplies for this are practically free. I wish I was near you and could give you trays of baby succulents for this!
      I also wish we had Hobby Lobby as I keep hearing of it and it sounds fabulous!
      Have a great weekend! With love and thanks,

  11. Dear Annabel, You had a wonderful week! The lemon curd looks divine! Yum! I'm so glad you are using your powdered milk! Rotation is key.

    I was able to buy several items on special to add to my pantry. It's so nice to see my shelves filling up! I made one more batch of blueberry jam. I was able to rearrange a couple shelves to add the filled. jars.

    I gathered our garlic, it's drying in the shed right now. I will then braid it. I cut all the roots off the garlic, washed them well and dehydrated them. They are very mild in taste and I will add them to my veggie powder.

    We harvested three large heads of cabbage. They are going to be made into sauerkraut. They weighted about 15 lbs. and when I priced cabbage in the supermarket, it was $1.39/#! So, a bit of a savings!

    I also cleaned a bit, worked on my inventory and found a few good craft items at the thrift store. Mostly, I stayed home, which saves a bunch!

    Love all the comments, everyone! Have a good weekend. Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri,
      I am so glad to hear of your shelves filling up! Blueberry jam sounds beautiful and I added items on special to my shelves too.
      I also have some garlic growing in between my roses. it is only young though so far. I hope to get a harvest though eventually!
      I have never made sauerkraut. Andy would love that so I might have to learn.
      Staying home does save money and get the work done! I do much better if I limit the days I go out.
      Have a wonderful weekend! Love and thanks,

  12. Your lemon butter looks yummy and so pretty! I hope to try it when it is lemon season here. We stay inside as much as possible to stay cool in the heat :-). Hubby and I enjoyed a nice lunch out with a buy one, get one free coupon. Then, we made a quick stop so I could use a survey receipt coupon to get 6 free cans of food for our kitties. I didn't get much at the store this week as we are working on getting the freezer down a bit and are also planning a trip soon. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Elaine,
      There seems to be two types of lemons here, so that I get a heap mid winter (now) and another lot in summer. So I associate them with both seasons. And I tend to do different things with them according to which season it is too.
      It was great to get free tins of cat food. We need to think of spares of things for our pets. In my case that is a lot of bird seed!
      You have a great weekend too. Here it has been a wild night of wind and rain! With love,

  13. Annabel, your roses ( real and made ) are just beautiful. I'm sure you were in heaven making the roses and Christmas presents.

    We've had a wonderfully well rounded frugal week. The sun has been shining and we've made the most of the "free " heat for our home. We've managed to eat quite frugally, yet oh so well. Here's what we got up to this week -

    * Made a big batch of pita chips for snacks.

    * Baked six loaves of bread. Four were wholemeal bread with extra goodness and two were white with chia seeds ( for the girls ).

    * Picked some silverbeet to eat ( hide ) in a meal

    * Bought lots of beef mince and a large tray of sausages from Tasman Meats. I portioned the sausages into meal sizes of six. The mince was divided into 300g lots of 400g lots.

    * Made chicken stock using the skin from the fillets and all the bits and pieces trimmed off. I used my slow cooker to make the stock. Megan made chunky chicken noodle soup the next night with the stock and one chicken fillet. I lived on this soup for two days after more dental work. I froze two serves of the soup.

    * Kept the curtains open on the windows where the sun was shining through.

    * Stayed away from the shops for most of the week. I sent Darren out to get milk..

    * Bought a bag of cut out card sentiments from Savers for $1.90. It looks like someone had been cutting up old cards. From now on I'll be doing the same with discarded greeting cards.

    * Made a batch of blueberry and white choc muffins for Darren. I used blueberries bought last Summer for $1 a punnet and frozen. I also made a double batch of raspberry and white choc muffins.

    * Juiced some lemons and froze the juice. I also picked another bowlful to juice later.

    * Sold two dozen eggs.

    * Gratefully received two metal planter boxes from my Dad. He didn't need them any more and knew we could use them. Darren has replanted our strawberries in them.

    * Refilled the foaming hand wash pump in the girl's bathroom with diluted shower gel.

    * Refilled the dish washing liquid bottle and diluted it.

    * Redeemed an almost 12 month old rain check for Dove soap. It was for packs of 4 bars for $3.60. I got 10 boxes. I think we'll be right for soap for the next few years.

    * Froze two single serves of left over main meals.

    * Made a mince pasta bake with 300g of mince. There was so much left over it fed us for two meals.

    * Saved the washing machine water and dried most of the clothes on clothes horses.

    1. Dear Wendy,
      I am loving the metal planter boxes. They would be really useful!
      Your week was full of savings and good things. As I read this I think ohhh I had better head over and see the pictures of what you have been up to! I always enjoy that.
      Have a wonderful weekend! With love,

  14. Annabel,I made your lemon butter today ... it is delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  15. Dear Annabel and Friends, How lovely this post is! I love the IKEA curtains and use them all the time for decorating. Also the net is so lovely and soft that you can cut it into strips for wrapping gifts, or draping around the branches of a Christmas tree. I also have heaped it under a Christmas tree, and scattered silver stars from table confetti over the top.
    Thanks so much for sharing. Love to you all, Helen xxx

  16. Yum yum lemon butter! I'm going to make some of this next week with my lemons.

    Beautiful roses Annabel. I cant wait until I have all the "ingredients" to make the paper ones. Will probably get my supplies when I come to Adelaide on the 15th August to "you know what?" ;)

    My nest feathering this week included;

    *Spring cleaning has started.

    *Taxation sorted.

    *Sold four dozen eggs. We get $3 a dozen from regular customers.

    *I found some lace curtains I had stashed away and put them up in our ensuite and laundry window. Looks so much better now.

    *Stuck to my menu plan.

    *Found an nice sized empty jar at the op shop, like the ones you are collecting.

    *Baked chocolate cake and vegemite scrolls for my grandson's school lunches.

    *Still picking mandarins, oranges, grapefruit and lemons.

    *Saved leftover chicken for making stock.

    *Saved and froze leftovers to use for hubby's meals to take to work.

    *Used rainwater in a kettle on top of the fireplace and used the hot water for the dishes and laundry.

    *Counted our three full money tins and put the money into the bank.

    *Started pulling the mountain of weeds in our pathways and dead lawn areas.

    *Caught up on the ironing.

    *Mended my sons soccer skins, and put a patch on his torn work pants.

    Have a lovely week Annabel,


    1. Dear Tania,
      That mandarine tree is some kind of record breaker! What a harvest!
      Your Grandson must love your cooking. Plus I bet he is proud of the things you make for his lunches!
      You had a very good week. It must feel good to have the tax done. I am going to do mine this week.
      You should feel very proud of your efforts. With love,

  17. I bought a pot of mixed succulents yesterday at Aldi. It looked rather pitiful but it seemed too wet to me and the plants were limp. I am a plant rescuer, lol. I brought t home and poked all the broken leaves into slits in the soil hoping to root some of them. I set it on my front porch where it's bright and warm. It had really perked up this morning when I went out to feed the pets. I've got my fingers crossed that it does well.
    Here's what I did this week to save:


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