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 November 2015

Feather your Nest Friday, 13 November, 2015.

This week was a bit slower for me as I had a massive headache and the middle of the week was messed up a bit by that! Well, these things happen and I still managed some savings and apart from that it was still pretty good.

Here we are in the middle of November. That sounds so close to Christmas to me! It has me making lots of lists and trying to be organized.

These are some of the ways we saved money or got ahead this week:

Andy was offered some extra work and that will take up a few weekends. But he is very pleased. It is a great help.

I bought sugar and baking supplies on specials getting ready for christmas baking and also fruit season.

Andy's workmate offered us large rolls of plastic wrap (Gladwrap). When I saw them I was amazed, they are huge! This is them and in front I put my regular sized packet to show the difference...

Without taking into account the fact that it is so much wider and just going by the length this much from the supermarket would cost $180. Yep $180 of plastic wrap is mine. It will last a long time! That will be a saving about once a month or so. (for years!)

I earned 500 fly buy points with my voucher and a $30 shop. (towards my next free groceries)

I got some presents wrapped. I am doing a little bit most evenings so I get ahead...

I collected some post box and packs to recycle for free posting packaging of Christmas parcels.

This week I colored my hair, trimmed it and gave myself a pedicure, painted my nails.

Mum gave me some lovely foundation.

I checked the catalogues and this paid off too. Also Wendy posts the weekly specials for the Australian girls on her blog My Abundant Life so I check that each week.

Andy had built the range hood. My job is the painting. It is going to LOOK like stainless steel. I went to a local paint specialist and they wanted $140 something dollars for stainless steel paint. I would still need undercoat. Then the clincher... it was a non washable paint. The man could see by my facial expression that I couldn't get to the door fast enough by now. He said "yeh, that's kind of not very practical is it?" No it's not! So I went to the local hardware store and got undercoat, a stainless steel spray paint and the brushes I need all for under $50. So I saved at least a hundred dollars right there. Now to do it..

I made progress on my Use it up Freezer Challenge which saved money and making room for after Christmas specials and fruit.

The garden was largely watered by household water, I made all meals and lunches.

Some ways I feathered the nest and made things nice (and other stuff) ...

Mum gave me a beautiful flowering pale pink orchid plant.

The chickies have grown. They went outside and are outside full time now. Even this was entertaining. Their coop has a wooden floor. At first they didn't think they wanted to go on the grass. Grass just does not look TRUSTWORTHY. Anyone can see that. Eventually they went on the grass but only for a few seconds then they would dash back into the coop. Later they got used to it then if there was a puff of breeze that ruffled their feathers this made them all run back into the coop.
I can see these are TOUGH chickens.
Now we are good with grass and breeze and even crumbs. So the beginning of eating kitchen scraps has taken off too.  Also the are learning to come when you call them.

Some goods were added to the pantry and cellar, toilet paper, water, toothpaste and pasta.

The house is looking a bit like Christmas even though we do not put up the tree and decorate until December... but the cooking and the gifts are around and it is FEELING like Christmas which is a nice atmosphere.

I was planning to show some lovely pictures sent in of what everyone is making for Christmas presents.
It is beautiful to see and many are from materials on hand so that is wonderful too. I have decided to make that a special post on Monday. Even my very youngest reader Emma has been busy and sent in photos!
If you have been making things for gifts (or even Christmas decor or cooking) and would like to show me and/ or allow them to be on the blog would you email me at I would love to see and you might also inspire others.

I hope you had a good week! How did you save money, get ahead or build up your home? Some weeks are bigger than others but every little thing adds up! xxx


  1. We are back from our southern adventure and catch up with our boy. Had just the best time being together. Since coming home I have done a few days sub teaching. Today I sign a contract for four weeks full time work to take us to the end of the year! I have crocheted up a few bobble stitch pot holders to add to my present pantry. Hubby got some rump from the meat wholesaler on special that came with a boning knife. We already have two so this knife has also gone into the present pantry. Plans are underway for a Family Christmas at my brothers place in Toowoomba. Both hubby and I got our tax returns this week so fuel costs are taken care of for Christmas plus all council and phone bills can be paid from this for quite some time. Life is great!

    1. Dear Jane,
      That is wonderful. What a good and happy report! I am so happy for you about your time with your son. Thats the best gift of all. Now it sounds that you have a great Christmas to plan for and are well ahead on expenses.
      Have a good weekend! With love,
      Now it sounds like

  2. Hi Annabel, sorry to hear you weren't feeling too well this week. Hope you're massive headache has cleared now. You still got lots done! And your chickens look so cute! I have made extra effort this week to try and save costs on after school snacks, etc so have been baking up a storm. I made Peach upside down cake & Afghan biscuits earlier in the week, and today I made a double batch of Cath's Anzac Biscuits (from her book Eat Well, Save More). They are delicious! Its the first time I have made a double batch of biscuit dough, and frozen half to cook some other time. Its a great idea, and feels good to be ahead in something! All thanks to inspiration from ladies like you, Cath & Wendy :) Kelly

    1. Dear Kelly, Well done! After school time can be a trap and expensive. In summer I always made my own ice blocks and had those frosty cups that if you kept in the freezer and added liquid the child stirs them and they turn to ice. In summer these were great. Otherwise I often did pancakes, muffins etc. The girls were always starving after school! Biscuit dough ready to go is great. Also frozen muffins etc that you can thaw in the microwave if needed. All very handy! Yes it is great to be ahead and beat the need as it comes up!
      Have a great weekend! With love,

  3. Sorry about your headache, those can be debilitating. But, wow, that cling-wrap you received...quite a blessing! And such beautifully wrapped gifts.

    We are nearly finished with the room re-do. My son and I textured the dry-wall yesterday. Today we painted. My husband declared it looked like professionals were working here! ;) I got rewarded with a big kiss! Now its my husband's turn: he'll install the flooring. And we'll install the floor trim (baseboard).

    Thanks for sharing about your freezer challenge. I've been trying to pull out frozen meat for quick meals and to make room for holiday deals.
    Have a good weekend!

    1. Dear Leslie, As a family you are doing a great job on that room! Well done it is quite an achievement! It will be lovely when it's all done.
      I I find after Christmas a time of bargains then the fruit season. I need freezer space. Today I used some more meat for Friday night dinner. I'm getting there!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  4. I do hope your headache is gone for good. What a blessing to get all that plastic wrap! That should last your for years to come!

    1. Dear Debbie I am much better but just corrected the name of this post as I even had that wrong. Headaches!
      I don't think I will be buying plastic wrap for years. I am putting two down in the cellar for the future anyway. This same man gave us the water barrels as well.
      Have a lovely weekend, with love

  5. Dear Annabel, what a shame you were laid up with a headache. You're usually such a powerhouse, that maybe it was just the body telling you to rest. As always though you had a good week all the same, and I'm pleased to hear about Andys' extra work. I've had an odd week too with aches and pains, so I've been a bit slow, but I had a bit of a burst today and made lemon slice and apple jelly (spread not dessert) from end of week leftovers, shopped with a brutally short list and lean wallet, and we're now looking forward to pizza topped field mushrooms for dinner tonight. My fridge and pantry is clean and tidy and menu plan is done, so we're all ready to face Miss B's second last week of Year 10 at school. The following week is exams and then she's done! My baby girl only has two years of school left! So lots of brain food for her next week and I got a great buy on some salmon and barramundi for that task. I got some presents wrapped and enjoyed time in the garden planting tiny Duchesse de Brabant rose plants grown from cuttings around the perimeter of my gazebo, and I'm dying to see how they'll look by Christmas! I hope everyone else had a good week too, no matter the challenges. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi, I think the aches and pains must be Australia wide as we all have had them too. I hope you are feeling heaps better.
      I feel very sad for your beloved Paris. A horror.
      It will be nice when exams are over. Keeping things running smoothly during exam time was something I remember very well.
      I am wrapping presents too in an effort to get ahead this way as later will be busy.
      Have a lovely weekend! With love,

  6. Hello Annabel , I hope you feel a bit better now?. I don't mean to sound picky but I wondered why today's title wasn't feather your nest Friday as normal?. It was a great post , thank you Annabel. I have been trying to report my week in Wendy's frugal task post on Saturdays so will try and do that tomorrow. I can't think now otherwise I would report in now!. Oh, just an aside Annabel, I wrote down my still to do list for Christmas gifts and it is very small. I am more prepared than I thought. Take care Annabel. Thanks again Barb.

    1. Dear Barb, Oh dear thank you for pointing this out to me. This is exactly how things are when I have headaches. Oops I just went and fixed this as yes it should be Feather your nest Friday!
      I am glad your grist as preparations are going well. I did some wrapping tonight to head mine I. The right direction! Many thanks Barb, love Annabel.xxxx

  7. Annabel,
    I am sorry to hear about your headache I get them and they are no fun! That was a big score on the cling wrap! Truly amazing. I went to 2 stores and scored a lot of freebies using a promotional gift card, coupon and store rewards. It gets dark here by 5:30 so I have to hurry to get outside stuff done before that time it's crazy!

    1. Dear Vicky, You got great bargains this week!
      We are the opposite with evenings and soon it will be light until 9pm or so. But in winter we are dark by 5.30 as you are now. The summer long evenings give me heaps more time in the garden and outside generally and that's how things are now. We eat the evening meal outside. I really like it. I hope you are having a good weekend , with love,

  8. I hope you are feeling better now and the headache has gone. I am lucky and don't suffer headaches much at all. Despite not feeling well you still got heaps done as usual. The chickens are so cute and yes they are funny to watch as they grow. The cling wrap was a great gift and will last you years. The orchid is very pretty, I have two different coloured ones that were my Aunts.
    My week has been busy working as one of my co workers was off sick so I have been doing extra hours so that is why I have been a little quiet. Hopefully back to normal this week,,,fingers-crossed.
    I have crocheted around a few more teatowels and painted some baskets for hampers.
    I cooked all meals and snacks.
    We put up our Christmas lights, we don't go overboard but like a few.
    Dried all the washing on the clothesline in the sun.
    We have had a few storms in the afternoon so that watered the garden.
    I dyed my workpants as they were looking faded and had a few bleach spots on them, they look like new again now.
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend Annabel
    Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      It sounds like you have been very busy. I hope the extra hours are handy though as well.
      Even though busy you still did a lot! I love the revive effect the dye has on things. I do my black things and it is like new again!
      I saw on the news some Sydney storms, the clouds were utterly frightening! Like nothing I have ever seen!
      Have a good weekend and hopefully a restful one too! With love

  9. Well I got the kick in the rear I've been needing as my husbands pay got cut 30% with no warning. We didn't know about it until he got a much smaller check and asked what happened:(
    Being overdue I've been letting my meals and good budget slide quite a bit but don't have the choice to be lazy anymore. I'm thankful for my (small) pantry I've recently started and a full freezer as well. I've got meals made for after baby arrives and this weekend I will be having my girls help me do a bit of bakery and easy snacks for the other kids for next couple weeks. Also thankful that we are halfway done with our Christmas shopping. I spent some time brainstorming and searching for things I can make for the rest using my extensive fabric and craft supplies:)
    Money will definitely be a lot tighter but we have savings (that we will not be using except to pay off the rest of the non monthly bills we have left) but we'll be okay. That's what I'm telling myself anyways! I feel so much more prepared for having been following you and Patsy and Brandy the last several months so thank you!

    1. Dear Elizabeth,
      Maybe you have even had your baby by now! Best wishes for everything going smoothly for you. I am so sorry you had a bad shock with the pay. It is terrible you were not even warmed. Really that is terrible of a company. But I keep hearing it. Many people who post here regularly have had severe cuts this last few months.
      It is fantastic you have a great supply of fabrics. There maybe some ideas for you on Mondays post. And if you have time please join the challenge in January as we will be making gifts all year from what we have first, so you are at an advantage with great supplies. That could be a great money saver right there.
      Thank you for your kind words. I hope to hear very good news from you soon! With love,

  10. I'm sure you are having lots of fun watching your chickens. They are real characters.

    Here's what I got up to this week -

    * Made lots of jars of strawberry and apple jam.

    * Gratefully received some home maker magazines. I'll be able to use some images in my card making.

    * Gratefully received some lemon cordial from a friend.

    * Gratefully received a beautiful hand made card with a gift suprise inside. Thankyou to my friend xoxo

    * Decorated some recycled gift bags

    * Baked a batch of Anzac biscuits.

    * Picked a handful of strawberries every couple of days.

    * Bought a loganberry plant of clearance for $5. It's looking a bit sad so Darren put it in a bucket of water.

    * Sold excess eggs and two jars of jam

    * Dried the washing on clotheshorses.

    * Did lots of Christmas shopping. Most things were on sale or scanned at cheaper prices.

    * Repotted some raspberry plants that are growing a little wild. They have good roots on them so I hope they survive.

    * Bought some Village movie gift cards with 10% off from Coles. These will be Christmas presents. Combined with the discount offered by Telstra or RACV, the tickets will be quite cheap.

    * Saved the shower warm up water to use on the veggie seedlings.

    * Ate freezer meals two night this week.

    * Bought a 500 gram punnet of cherries for $1.99 and a 1 kilo container of apples also for $1.99.

    * Jessica put together four Christmas presents for some of her friends. She used recycled gift bags and tissue paper, handmade cards from our card box and regifted toiletry packs. Myself and the girls get given many toiletry packs as presents. Unfortunately we can't use them due to skin allergies. By regifting them, we save money and reduce landfill

    * Picked some hydrangeas from the garden. I've been watching the blooms form for the last couple of weeks. They make such a beautiful cut flower.

    * Darren saved $125 on our home and contents insurance by going online to our provider. The online quote was pretty good but it asked if Darren was happy with the quote. he typed in " no' an even better quote came up. He's very happy with the savings.

    1. That was a good week Wendy! My hydrangeas are just starting to flower. I loved your pictures especially the gift bags with the frill! Beautiful!
      I hope you are having a good weekend, with lots of love,

  11. I forgot to link up last week. Blame it on the nasty cold we've had in our home. Friday finds us both improved and I hope it means getting some decent sleep as well! Here's what I did this week to save money and time:

    1. Dear Terri,
      Thank you for your comments and catch up. You sound as if you have been pretty ill. Good sleep is what you need so I hope you get it too.
      A lot of people are under the weather I notice, including us!
      I hope you are feeling much better and have a good weekend, with love,

  12. Dear Annabel,

    Sorry to hear you have had one of your bad headaches this week. After my recent one I know what they feel like. Hopefully you are feeling better now.

    You still got a lot done and those chickies are looking gorgeous!

    My nest feathering this week;

    *Purchased bananas and apples at a reduced price. Chopped and froze the bananas and the apples I will slice up for the dehydrator.

    *I bought some more mushrooms on special. These will be dried also.

    *Cooked from scratch all week and tried some new recipes.

    *Made a big batch of spaghetti bolognaise, had some for tea last night and the rest will go in the freezer for a busy night.

    *I have picked up some work. As you know my daughter is pregnant, so I am now doing her cleaning jobs until she can return. Possibly will be until next June when we will be going away for six weeks. This money will come in handy for our trip.

    *Saved water in buckets from air conditioner run off to water my succulent garden.

    *Sold excess eggs.

    *Four no spend days

    *Paid extra on the mortgage.

    *I was gifted a couple of vintage vases, will put some or my flowers in one today.

    *I bought a small vintage crock pot from the 70/80's to put in our caravan for $20. It seems to work well.

    *Washed only two days this week and dried all my washing outside.

    Wishing you a blessed week Annabel,


    1. Dear Tania, that was a really good week. Also this job going up to your trip will be a great little extra. I hope that really pays off for you.
      A crockpot for the caravan will be great. I love that. So many yummy things can be made when on holidays.
      We are enjoying a cool break so hope you are too as I think it's warming up next week.. With love,

  13. [The Bluebirds are Nesting...] New comment on Feather your Nest Friday, 13 November, 2015..‏

    Dear Annabel, You are absolutely right that it's easy to forget all that we do during the week if we don't write it down! This week was long, but in a good way, as a lot happened:
    My husband bought a second-hand upright freezer (at a bargain price) that I cleaned up and filled with food from our deep freeze. This allowed me to take inventory and see what I actually had in there. I feel rich, lol! The deep freeze will be filled with venison my husband harvests this fall. That is a huge blessing.
    We helped friends clear a fenceline and were rewarded with a steak dinner.
    My father-in-law invited us over to eat and sent leftovers home with us.
    Our local grocery store had some great sales this week, and we ended up saving 50 percent on almost everything we bought.
    A friend crocheted a hat a scarf for me. I felt so special! She also brought me a bag of thrifted clothes to sort through, and I ended up with three blouses, one skirt, one scarf, and two aprons. I gave her a jar of homemade apple butter, a thrifted picture in her favorite colors, and several pounds of ground venison.
    The same friend and I went thrifting (yes, we had a fun time together!) and I bought a picture, a scarf, a candlestick, a large vintage tablecloth, a book, a wooden tray, a set of coasters, a pink glass mug, and a pillow for less than $20.
    My husband made me a shelf with hooks for me to hang my aprons on in the kitchen using scrap wood we already had, and I stained and sealed it. I couldn't be more pleased with it.
    I only had to run the AC one day out of the week.
    Looking back, this week was lots of fun and full of treasures :) Thanks for the opportunity to share. Have a great weekend, Annabel! --Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      You had a fantastic week! I have many similarities with you. We also get venison and its a big help. Also I think of it as very healthy as it is lean meat and the ultimate in free range!
      Plus I love op shopping and you can find the most amazing things, save so much money and have so much fun all at once. And you had great finds! It is also so much fun having a friend to do these things with. Also if they know what you are looking for then they can help you as two sets of eyes are better than one.
      Your hooks to hang your aprons on sounds lovely. I love aprons especially vintage ones!
      The freezer is a wonderful thing! Also knowing just what you have and being able to stock up on meat.
      I think you got ahead in many ways this week. Thank you for sharing this it was lovely to hear. Also I hope you see this! I accidentally deleted your comment then had to cut and paste it!
      Have a great weekend! With love,

  14. Dear Annabel, I'm sorry to hear you had a bad headache but glad to hear you are feeling better! The plastic wrap is wonderful to have and to add extra to your pantry!!

    I love the orchid! Just beautiful!! :) I'm excited to see your range hood! You and Andy are so talented!! And the baby chicks are so cute and entertaining!! lol

    Have a good weekend and rest! Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri, Thank you! I am hoping the range hood turns out well. We have saved a lot of money doing this one.
      I hope you are having a good weekend too. It is getting to the busy time of year when we need restful weekends! With love,

  15. Annabel, I tried to comment but something went wrong and I'm not sure if it went through. Rather than retype the whole thing I'll just tell you how much I love your roses and orchid and chooks and thank you for sharing them with us. Have a lovely week!

  16. I really like the idea of keeping a record of accomplishments; it's fun and motivating to read about other people's accomplishments. So, for inspiration and sharing purposes is my list just for the past two days:

    - made two awesome dinners
    - baked scones and a double batch of pumpkin bread (froze some of each)
    - make blueberry lemon jam
    - purchased a week's worth of food including meat for the freezer
    - wrapped 10 Christmas gifts
    - bought five items of clothing and a book at thrift stores for under $20 (woohoo!)
    - prepared a bunch of brown rice and froze some to use in future meals
    - boiled eggs for sandwiches for tomorrow's lunch
    - cleaned house and part of our large yard
    - went on walk with hubby and our dog

    Wow, that's more than I thought! Thanks for inspiring me to keep a list. I just love your blog!

    Cheers from the USA,

    1. Dear Teresa,
      That was a great week! You had some very good bargains with the clothes that is for sure and wonderful cooking.
      It does make you feel good to see you accomplished a lot! It truly adds up to getting ahead and great savings. I am wrapping gifts too and am glad about it as otherwise it is a huge job!
      Thank you so much for commenting and for your kind words. With love,


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