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, 14 January 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 15 January, 2016.

How has your week been? Mine has gone by a bit too fast. It has been busy and as it is now mid January and I have wanted to get a lot of projects going and get off to a good start.

Having a break and thinking about what I DID achieve is going to be good for me.

Some of the ways I saved money this week include:

I am sticking to my A4 envelope presents in the post rule! I also went to the post office and found out how thick they can be before they go up in price and will normally try to keep to that. I also found out if you are on a pension or concession card in Aust. You can apply for a discounted rate for stamps and get a book of five free stamps. I thought I would mention that. Just google Australia Post Concession Stamps.

The A4 envelope rule will save me a lot and I need to do it. I know I won't be able to stick to it all the time but I will try to mostly! However A4 envelopes are horrible! At Officeworks I found I can get them in plain white rather than the awful organge/brown ones AND some colours. They had no pink but they did have pale blue! Then I decided if that is as good as it gets I am going to improve them myself. I want mail to look nice and it is meant to be a lovely thing to receive! So I am decorating my envelopes. Some things you can buy are just gorgeous but many are not! I always wonder why are sewing machines white? Why can't you get pink or other colours? Same with washing machines. And the same with envelopes!
Anyway I feel better about my parcel size restriction now I have pretty envelopes.

Lucy gave me a Hydrangea to add to the garden. It is one I have never seen before. The flower heads are giant size and each individual flower is massive at least several times bigger than a normal petal...

Next I have been picking peaches! The tree in the back lane is producing and I have picked some everyday. I have about 22 kilos now. (about double and a bit is pounds). They are not quite ripe. I needed to pick them as the birds are eating them.

Over the next days I will be cutting them up to use fresh. I won't need to buy fruit at all. And I am planning to make my  use it up fruit cake plus peach crumble, peach pies... and so on! This year the peaches are small but they taste good.

I finished a couple of craft projects that have sat around. These are wash cloths and they will go nicely with my soaps once I get that made!

In the Christmas challenge I should have said lets finish any unfinished projects so we can use them as gifts.  I am glad I have these done and in the present cupboard now.

I did the usual things, made all the dinners, packed work lunches, used water from the washing machine and bath on the garden etc. 

I planted up heads of parsley seeds as a lot of my parsley has gone to seed. Last time I did this I ended up with hundreds of seedlings.  I filled pots I have sitting around and hopefully they will make nice gifts down the track.

Some of the ways I built up the home:

I have the laundry ready to paint. It is going to look much brighter and fresher than it does now. I am painting it light yellow. My plan is to start over the weekend. I can't wait to see fresh new walls. The paint is the free paint I found and I am tinting it myself. So a near free repainted laundry.

This week I started rotating my pantry stockpile. To keep everything fresh and useable and not waste anything I need to be rotating as part of normal life.

Some of the ways I got ahead:

I added some bargains to my present cupboard.

I have the next two birthdays presents wrapped and ready (we have a lot of January birthdays in our family!)

Also for dealing with the peaches I know I have pie plates, sugar, pastry, jars etc already.

I hope you had a good week! I feel I had a good week if I kept on top of things and did a few extra things or got ahead in some way and I did!

How did you save money and build up your home? All your efforts to look after your family and home are so important.  Little things add up too. Many things are little moments in time that are priceless. I had one that was rubbing Harpers tummy and feet. She goes all dreamy and droopy if you do that. Then if you tickle her she laughs and giggles. Just that made it a good week!

I need to write down some savings so I am ready for Monday and The Vicky Challenge!
Have a lovely weekend! xxx


  1. Annabel, oh what a shame you can't buy pink envelopes. LOL! I had a giggle at that ;-) You certainly love pretty things I must say. I am having a bit of a lazy week after all the sewing recently. I enrolled in a basic Craftsy knitting course to get back to basics and am nearly finished the first project which is a lacy keyhole scarf so next week I will bet back to decluttering, etc. You have achieved so much just in the first half of the month.

    1. Dear Nanna Chel,
      lol no not a necessity to life but pretty things are just nicer! Which leads me too I have now got my pigment to make my soap pearly pink! I am basically set now!
      That knitting course sounds great! Also fun. What a good idea. I have been learning new crochet patterns and I have a ridiculous amount of fun with that. I really enjoy it.
      Thanks so much! Have a good weekend! Love

    2. You can buy pretty paper and make your own pretty envelopes and the dress them up.

  2. Dear Annabel,
    Your crochet is lovely. My daughter crochets, also, as did my MIL.
    You are very fortunate to have peaches that grow close by your home. We love peaches, but usually pay about $3 or more per pound when they are in season.
    I love the beautiful way you decorated the envelopes.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      Thank you! Peaches are often about $8 a kilo here but currently they are $3.50. There are 2.2 pounds to a kilo so our prices are similar at least some of the time. These are a great opportunity to make so many good things! I hope to pick even more today but I am down to the last few high up ones!
      Have a good weekend Glenda! With love

  3. Annabel, what a beautiful touch to add to the envelopes and your wash cloths are exquisite! We received word this week that postage for mailing packages are going up substantially here as well. We don't mail many packages but will definitely have to consider the increase when we do.

    1. Thanks Patsy, I think postage prices are getting crazy! Ours went up almost 30% just the other day for a normal letter.
      So now to beat it!
      Have a lovely weekend! With much love,

  4. Annabel,

    I think your pale blue envelopes are lovely. Of course, that is my favorite color. Sounds like you had a wonderful blessed week. Parsley is on my list to plant. I also plan to put peaches up as that is a favorite in our home. But this isn't the season. Blessings.

    1. Dear Chrissy, I find parsley really useful and once you have it go to seed you just keep replanting it. I know its winter there so I am out of sync with my summer fruit! I hope lots come you way in your summer. I was really impressed with your lovely bread! Well done! Love

  5. Annabel

    I have been reading your blog for a while but haven't commented before. I just wanted to say that I will be joining in with the Vicky Challenge this year. Just this week I painted one of my four daughters bedrooms with some leftover paint we had; I know it would have cost $400 as I had it quoted!
    My youngest started school last year and I had many comments of 'what was I going to do now?... I am quite content at home but sometimes it knocks your confidence in yourself when others see what you do as negligible. I have always thought that we saved more money by having me at home so now I will be documenting it as well. All our family are overseas and my husband has a pretty full on job - with four children things get hectic pretty quickly. I trained as a Registered Nurse and volunteer one day a week at a local rehab centre which I really enjoy.
    I feel like this challenge has come at just the right moment in our lives - and I think this is why it resonates with a lot your readers. I realise I am in a position where I can choose to work outside the home or not (my husband is fully supportive of my choice) but it highlights the fact that you can save an appreciable amount by doing many things yourself.
    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you and looking forward to the coming months.
    Kind regards, Angela

    1. Dear Angela,
      Welcome! And thank you for commenting!
      Well done on the painting! I am finding out what a big saving it is and it really transforms a room.
      When the girls started school I didn't find myself less busy, just with a re arranged schedule. It was so good to be able to be home after school, home when they were sick and in so many ways. I really hope you enjoy the challenge and it shows you what a great deal you save financially which is over and above the other ways that being home helps your family. I know just what you mean about what people say. I got a lot of that!
      Thank you so much! Have a lovely weekend! with love

  6. Dear Annabel, thank you so much for another beautiful post , I had a laugh about you wanting pink envelopes. I bought my latest vacuum cleaner because it is pink, luckily it is a strong vacuum and works well ( even luckier I don't do my vacuuming) . It is a shame you can't buy pretty pink A4 envelopes , I wish you could as .I would love them as well as that I would love purple ones . I absolutely adore your decorations on your envelopes they are of my best friends commented to me that she always knew who the letter was from as soon as she saw my envelopes! I love embellishing them with stickers .

    My week has included: decluttering my bedroom and discovering all sorts of interesting treasures which will in many ways build up my home.
    Had 3 no spend days and one very small spending day
    Re purposed some packaging cardboard for card making
    My rose bush ( only one flower this time) will be blooming again soon and that saves me on purchasing flowers, I also have strawberry plants and a few veggies growing in pots on my front patio that add to the ambience when I am outside.
    I have been having morning tea and sometimes afternoon tea or just a cuppa out on my patio saving me money and makes me happy.
    My parents gave me more meals making it easier for me financially and physically.
    I am going to re cover a large cushion ( from a couch) I will ask mum if she has any appropriate fabric in her stash before I buy any .
    I Found out that my sizzix machine will take awhile to come in but ?I will get it and it will be at the sale price saving me $30
    My lovely centa care ladies- one each week have done a wonderful job cleaning my unit- I don't often count this as being a part of feathering my nest but it saves me money sort of and helps my place run well I pay a subsidised rate and if ?I didn't have this service I would need to pay full price with a cleaning company.
    I am making an art work for my lounge room wall, it will make my unit more me .
    I think that might be it this week Annabel , you have had a great week, love Barb.

    1. Dear Barb,
      I love that you add stickers to your envelopes! I totally agree it is nice when something comes in the mail and it is obviously not a bill or anything bad, it is pretty and a treat!
      You had a good list for the week. I think I would totally count the help you get on cleaning etc. That is a big blessing and enormous help.
      I totally would love a pink vacuum by the way!
      Have a really lovely weekend! With lots of love,

  7. Annabel,
    It has been a pretty slow week for me I have been getting things done, but fighting bouts of fatigue so nothing stellar by any means. I did get one tiny gift done a little snowflake. What a blessing on the peaches! I know you'll turn them into many tasty goodies! I was wondering if you could use beets to tint your soap? I don't think the little bit you would have to use would stain the skin. I can't wait to see your laundry room if you show it! Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      The fatigue must be a computer virus as I have it too today! Seriously tired and I saw chloe and she was the same!
      I am thrilled with the peaches. I have a lot planned to do with them and some of it will go into the freezer for in winter.
      A friend has given me some red pigment for the soap so I think if I use a tiny bit I will get pink. Nan used to use beets to dye wool pink as she spun her own wool. It was lovely!
      You have a good weekend too, you might need a rest! With love

  8. Love your face pretty! Tidying cupboards I've found an embarrassingly large quantity of fancy yarns...I need to start knitting throws as gifts again I see and maybe one for our parish raffle too.

    1. Dear Maria,
      Thank you! I am thrilled for you that you have lovely yarns! Next week I am talking about ideas for yarn and gifts. I love crochet. I can knit but not so well as crochet.
      Something handmade would be a beautiful raffle prize I am sure that would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks Maria, Love

  9. Dear Annabel

    Isn't the time flying away. I cannot believe we are up to the middle of January already. I have had extra work with people going away on holidays and am flat out there However we had a new pantry built in the fridge alcove. It was free to me except for a $2 sample pot of paint to colour some of the wood ends. I have finally got somewhere to store all my food. With having to move all my food to the new pantry I found food that was out of date and food that we had multiples of so in moving the food I have learnt what I need to keep an eye on.

    The two girls living at home have started looking up recipes and baking things from scratch. This is saving me money in many ways but mostly they are using things we have on hand and they are learning a valuable skill.

    The de-cluttering has started here and even though it isn't exactly saving me money removing a huge garbage bag of clothes from my wardrobe is saving my sanity.

    Bought my Granddaughter a toy for $1 from the local op shop for her first birthday it looks brand new and nobody would know it came from the op-shop.

    I am beginning work on the garden this week trying to increase it's productivity.......hoping for bumper crops

    God Bless and have a great week

    1. Dear Mel, I am really excited about your pantry! And you are right that cooking from scratch plus whats on hand are very good skills for the girls to be learning. Absolutely.
      Decluttering can also mean you find things or re use things etc sometimes I have found al kinds of things that I was glad of! Then passing things on to a charity or someone who can use them is good. I think good things always come back to you too. It also gives us space to store more important things and things look nice too.
      Sounds like you have a lot of work. Hope this is helpful to get the year off to a good start.
      I still plant now but in the heat things need loads of water... but then I seem to have tomatoes etc right up to winter which is good!
      Hope you have a lovely weekend too! Love

  10. Such a beautiful post Annabel. I love reading your posts,my hey always make my heart happy. I agree it's the simple things that bring such joy and contentment. I LOVE being at home with my son. It is the best thing ever. I love getting out of the house too, but instead of going to a coffee shop, I suggested a picnic at the park. We had a lovely time. I also used up all of my left overs and so this made for a cheaper grocery week. I bought some formula I had rain checked and was lucky because the guy let me keep the left over amount on the rain check, saving $10 a tin. I was grateful. I love having dinner ready or mostly prepared when my husband comes home, giving us time as a family. It is something that money cannot buy. I love your envelopes, they are BEAUTIFUL. I also LOVE the thought of you tickling and playing with Harper. How nice that she is surrounded by all that love. What a happy childhood in deed. Lots of love, Bridge

    1. Dear Bridge, $10 a tin is a really good saving. I really like finding ways to use up left overs. Normally once a week we have some kind of leftovers invention! I like fried rice for left over bits and pieces also pizza. Amazing what you can use!
      Bridge there is a lot to be said for the dinner ready thing you said. Not having chaos in the evenings, a quiet time to enjoy, it is really good. Many people don't have it. I love evenings and its the time you get to catch up on the events of the day etc. And for the boys to have time together!
      I love playing with Harper. She goes for whatever jewellery I am wearing and just wants to hold it! Have a lovely weekend! with love

  11. Lovely post Annabel, just gorgeous face washers, stunning!!!! Love the hydrangea too. The yellow laundry sounds like a nice place to wash. My new sewing machine is mainly white, but loads of blue in it, a nice royal blue, I might take a photo and email to you. I go awww each time I walk into the room and see it. Have a great weekend. Oh and the envelopes are lovely too. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona, You sewing machine is awesome! No wonder you are pleased with it! And it has blue!
      Thank you re the face washers. I love crochet! It adds sweetness to everything!
      Have a lovely weekend! With love

  12. Annabel your crochet cloths are amazing! I love the flowers on them. The way you write about Harper is just so lovely :)

    I must start writing down what I've been doing, because it feels like I'm disorganised and not getting much done at the moment. Which is kind of what school holidays are about I guess, but I would like to have completed some kind of project by the end of them. I did bake my sons birthday cake this week, and we made a piñata with things we already had. We had a fantastic day trip this week with a nice picnic and some treats.

    I think I will try and do a bit of rearranging in my kitchen over the weekend which will hopefully make me feel a bit more productive!

    Have a lovely weekend :)

    1. Dear Jen,
      Many people would consider making a theme cake and a piñata and school holidays a very busy week! Well I do too. You are used to being really productive! I think enjoying school holidays is the main thing. I do remember what a big clean up and re organise I did the first week school went back and routine returned. An all the get back to school school book covering and so on! It was a lot!
      I hope your kitchen re arrange goes well. I am painting the laundry! Wish me luck! With love,

  13. I am so pleased you have so much fruit around that you can gather! As you know, I am having 'issues' with my home grown fruit supplies! Your envelopes look beautiful, such a simple way to pretty up a boring plain envelope xx Fiona

    1. Dear Fiona, We have possums in big numbers here too! They drive me crazy sometimes. On our tree the sensor light works but this tree over the back has no light on it. So how it still has fruit on it I don't know! Its the birds getting it now so I am picking before its ripe. It will ripen inside!
      Have a good weekend. I am painting and hopefully picking the last few peaches! With love

  14. Hi Annabel!!

    My husband & I are tired, too. Could it really be a computer virus?!!

    It is so nice to receive your uplifting mail, especially when it helps us uplift others - even if we all get tired now & then!!

    Those first wash cloths look especially nice!

    Sleep well!!

    With warm & tired regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, I would blame a virus normally but since Vicky and I are countries apart and our only contact is the computer it is obviously a computer virus and now you have it too. Sorry!
      Thanks re the wash cloths. I send a letter every week to a lady in a nursing home. I decorate every envelope. She loves it. She thinks she gets special mail. Its a little thing...
      With love

  15. Wonderful abundance gathering Annabel :-)Im a city girl born and bred so I really admire all that you have learnt from your farm upbringing and the women in your family.Tickling Harper made me smile,it's lovely to see what each baby likes.My little grandaughter of 2&1/2 was giggling a lot when we played this week with little reindeer and I sang her the Christmas song of Riding through the snow and so on, jiggling the reindeer up her arm over and over ..soo funny .Anyway back to basics,this week I visited 2 and had lunch with another , made easy meals that DH enjoyed.Also made the Nuts and Bolts ,gave a jar for daughter to take home, and snack each day for hubbys lunch.Tidied the 2 bench areas where we put our diaries and bits and pieces,filed away papers, and set up an easy day planner as well as another on the wall.
    Made desserts 3 nights bit norti but hubby's request for first week back at work.Just made a banana cake for the morning when daughter and toddlers visit.Had them most of Wednesday here , playing simple games and bubble blowing outside which they love.
    Have a lovely weekend everyone :-)love Maria

    1. Dear Maria, That all sounds good! I think its kind of sweet that hubby requested desert for first week back to work. We do this kind of thing have something special to compensate for something else going on.
      I must remember bubble blowing as an activity a little down the track. That is gorgeous. Would be good photo opportunity too! Have a great weekend! With love

  16. I laughed about the envelopes & the white sewing machines and washers/dryers....I never thought about it but mine are white too! I would much rather have purple or pink or something similar! Its been a slow week here with my 19 year old daughter sick, so lots of sitting, cross stitch, reading and canning. Yesterday, she did go back to work so I took the time to machine embroider 3 towels. One is a gift for her hope chest which I gave her and 2 are patriotic towels for our guest bath for the red/white/blue holidays. We did take a little time one day to straighten up the pantry some. Everyone have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Donna, At last they did come up with nice colour kettles and toasters. And I see in the US you can get pretty coloured plastic wrap and bags. My friend Helen went to Japan. She messaged me to say they had pale pink or pale blue toilet paper. She was so excited. Ours is white. Sadly! Im a bit of a softie for pretty things!
      I hope your daughter is better. I just love that she has a hope chest! That is wonderful. I had one and we called it a Glory Box but it is the same thing. I think it is such a good idea and lovely to add things to. Also I love that you can sit and stitch and keep your daughter company while she doesn't feel well. Beautiful Donna. With love

  17. I have recently discovered your blog, and am really enjoying your posts. I love those washcloths - do you use a pattern? If you do, could you let me know where it is from please as they are so pretty, and would make lovely gifts x Deb from UK x

    1. Dear Deb,
      I mostly just do a granny square for the wash cloths then an edging and a flower. In my crochet section I attempted a tutorial on edgings and a tutorial on how I do flowers. Attempt is the word as I can't read a pattern just show what I do. They are really easy. Failing that learn a simple flower on you tube, simple edgings etc. Once you have made one they are quick to make. Thanks so much and I love to know you are in the UK. I imagine it is cold right now! With love

  18. I have noticed that since I started individually portioning our dinner leftovers into reuse-able lunch containers that we are not nibbling on "just a bit more" dinner during the evening plus the leftovers are an easy grab and go main course for our brown bag lunches which is a time and money saver! I've also started portioning into grab and go ziplock bags or containers any dessert or snack I make! That way: 1. I can get the baking sheet or pan washed and ready to use for something else and 2. Time and money saver again for brown bag lunches and 3. We aren't "wandering" back into the kitchen for just another "nibble" and 4. Portion sizes are uniform !

    Funny thing is, we've noticed our weight (which was more than recommended by Dr) has been inching it's way down in a slow but regular way without us feeling deprived!

    I guess it's true that " By small and simple things, great things can be accomplished!"! Works with our food leftovers and also our pantry in general, finances, and every other aspect of our lives!

    What a great week! Thanks for the motivation, Annabel! Can't wait to total up my savings this week for the Vicky challenge"!!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      I love what you are doing. This is really good! As you say it saves in more ways than one. Many times I basically hide away portions (from myself as much from Andy) and get a lunch the nest day or another meal.
      It is so true how small things really add up!
      I need to write some savings down before I lose track and before Monday! I have a few things to count that I need to figure out the approx. savings... picking lots of peaches and also painting our laundry. They will help my total! With love and thanks,

  19. Your blue envelopes are so charming, Annabel, like a bright, clear sky behind your birds and roses. And I do envy your peaches! Our most recent snow melted off here so everything is wet and gray and muddy. But that's all right, it gives me every reason to stay inside and get things done!

    We continue to make progress toward our home improvements. Jay installed a new ceiling in the powder room and we painted it. Then my parents came over and I helped my father put up a paintable textured wallpaper that I've since painted. The walls need another coat, then I’ll do trim paint for the moldings. We have lots more to do but I am looking forward to the results.

    I have managed a few things besides drywall, wallpaper, and paint. We've enjoyed turkey breast meat and lasagna I made last month and stashed in the freezer for busy days. Despite the mess I’m still cooking and we’re eating at home. Today I'll have fun making chocolate cupcakes for a party. The cake recipe is my grandmother's and I'll use my homemade vanilla extract in both the cake and the frosting. I splurged on fancy, printed cupcake papers picked out by the honoree. I have the decorating bag and tip to swirl on the frosting and even with the purchase of the papers I will save loads over buying bakery cupcakes. (Vicky Challenge!) I'll take along a two-tiered stand so we can display the cupcakes on the food table at the party.

    Thanks to everyone who is sharing successful projects and accomplishments here and on the Christmas and Vicky Challenges. I know we’re making progress on our house but it won’t be done for a bit, so it’s encouraging to see others’ lovely results. Thank you, Annabel, for providing a forum in which we may find such encouragement!

    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, You are doing awfully well to be renovating and cooking! I have been painting today and yes I cooked dinner but it was simple. Also I have discovered 100 x up and down a ladder feels "interesting" tonight!
      I love vanilla. What a good thing to make. I adore vanilla baked custard and anything with vanilla really.
      I need to see if the recipe is on your blog? Grandmothers recipes are usually wonderful! With thanks Leigh, love
      ps I hope the renovations continue to go well. Loved the fireplace.

  20. Your blue envelopes are so charming, Annabel, like a bright, clear sky behind your birds and roses. And I do envy your peaches! Our most recent snow melted off here so everything is wet and gray and muddy. But that's all right, it gives me every reason to stay inside and get things done!

    We continue to make progress toward our home improvements. Jay installed a new ceiling in the powder room and we painted it. Then my parents came over and I helped my father put up a paintable textured wallpaper that I've since painted. The walls need another coat, then I’ll do trim paint for the moldings. We have lots more to do but I am looking forward to the results.

    I have managed a few things besides drywall, wallpaper, and paint. We've enjoyed turkey breast meat and lasagna I made last month and stashed in the freezer for busy days. Despite the mess I’m still cooking and we’re eating at home. Today I'll have fun making chocolate cupcakes for a party. The cake recipe is my grandmother's and I'll use my homemade vanilla extract in both the cake and the frosting. I splurged on fancy, printed cupcake papers picked out by the honoree. I have the decorating bag and tip to swirl on the frosting and even with the purchase of the papers I will save loads over buying bakery cupcakes. (Vicky Challenge!) I'll take along a two-tiered stand so we can display the cupcakes on the food table at the party.

    Thanks to everyone who is sharing successful projects and accomplishments here and on the Christmas and Vicky Challenges. I know we’re making progress on our house but it won’t be done for a bit, so it’s encouraging to see others’ lovely results. Thank you, Annabel, for providing a forum in which we may find such encouragement!

    Blessings, Leigh

  21. You and that sweet baby have so much fun together!
    Lots of yummy fruit! I know you will make good use of it!
    I made some lemon butter using your recipe. I think I may have had too much lemon juice. It didn't really set up. Was it supposed to? I also used a container that wasn't quite big enough, so it bubbled over in the microwave. It is delicious, in spite. We have been enjoying it and have a bit tucked in the freezer
    I love the beautiful hydrangea. I don't think they grow here in our desert. We do have some roses that are blooming and pretty. I have some iris that I need to move out into an area where they get more sun so they will bloom in the spring. They are from my dad, so extra special.
    One of my daughters and I hope to get a couple things made ahead for meals this weekend using some food already in the freezer or pantry. We have a large ziploc in the freezer with individual portions in foil. It is really handy to pull out and heat when short on time or energy.
    I am thankful that I was able to work part-time for much of my career and also had quite a few holidays off to spend with my children since I was a teacher. Now that I am retired, I appreciate not having to head off on the commute to work. I had a former co-worker ask me what I did with myself all day! The Vicky Challenge helps reinforce the financial benefits and there are so many other benefits, even for those of us without children at home.
    There was another mistake on my grocery receipt this week. Since I caught it, I saved not only the $3+ that I was overcharged, but got the whole $7+ back since they guarantee price accuracy.
    Don't feel as if I have done much this week, but I keep plugging along. I do have muck for which to be thankful.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend! Love, Elaine

    1. Dear Elaine,
      It sounds like your lemon butter is cooked but not thick enough. Yes it should be like a thick custard. Also it sounds like it cooked long enough. So it could be too much lemon juice. You could still correct it by whisking in a couple more eggs to the cold mix and re microwaving it, do few minutes at a time, stir, watch and once it begins to rise up it should be thicker. It looks like custard then and sets a bit harder when cold. I hope that helps!
      It is wonderful having meals prepared ahead! Realistically we all have times when we need that. Such a help.
      Well done also on spotting the price mistake! Many people don't even check. I am so glad you notice the financial benefits of what you do. I no longer have children at home. Now I am thrilled I can drop everything and help my daughter, baby sit, help everyone with cooking and well I never seem to have spare time but it is very happy and productive. Even just the last two weeks I am shocked at how much money we save with me doing all the little things I do. It makes for a happy life anyway!
      Thanks so much Elaine, with love,

  22. Annabel I am sure that the time spent with Harper helps you both in so many ways.

    I found that Woolworths stocked white A4 envelopes at a reasonable price, packs of 20 or something like that and some times the cheap shops have things like that as well. You just have to be lucky with the cheap shops.

    This week was all about the rental bathroom, Wednesday I did over 100kms organising tiles and fittings for the bathroom. Just some taps to go which will not be needed straight away and of course something that I can carry. The savings on the bathroom fittings meant that I could get the extra bits to make the bathroom more user friendly.

    My husband also managed to find a replacement shower screen, the space is tight and we have to use the same floor plan and same design for the shower screen. Of course they are no longer made and while we thought of having the existing reused and the glass replaced the metal surrounds will not take the new glass requirements.

    Yesterday I had my appointment with the naturopath, dropped some books into the book exchange for a price on selling them and picked up a few items at Aldi. I have set aside the bags that the naturopath packed my things into for reuse at a later date. The bags are stamped on both sides so I get to decorate both sides.

    It has been a hot humid week which has knocked me around a fair bit - last night a change came through, the wind sounded like a freight train. Today the house will be opened up and let cool down and I can get on with moving things around.

    We have also had confirmation that our daughter is moving to the Gold Coast for work, she starts there Feb 1st so she needs to be packed up and find a place to stay asap. Of course she was expecting more notice than she has received so is now in a bit of a flap.

    This means that we will not see a lot of her but it is a good career move. Perhaps we will go down there for our next holiday and do some touring around as well.

    I have fiction books ready to go over to the book exchange next time I am on the Island. Must see if they will take some other things that I have boxed up here too.

    Have a great weekend everyone.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      That was a really busy week. I know what you mean about the weather. we get the heat though not the humidity. I think I would feel like dish rag lol in humidity!
      It sounds like you are getting there on the rental. What a lot of work. I feel for you as I know you have put so much work into your own home let alone the work on this too. I hope you get better tenants who look after it really well this time, as they should.
      I hope your daughter finds somewhere really good accomodation wise. That makes a big difference. Also You will feel happier.
      I am glad you got a cool change. A cool breeze blowing through is lovely. We have that just now and I love it!
      With love and thanks,

  23. Annabel, your wash clothes are so pretty! I love the combination of grey and cream. We had a busy yet somehow quiet week here. That's not a bad thing!

    1. Dear Melissa, Thank you! A bit of a quiet week would be a nice thing! With love

  24. Hi Annabel, I do love the pretty envelopes and yes A4 yellow envelopes are not the prettiest. Never thought to check out officeworks for different colour envelopes.
    That hydrangea is different and really big flowers will keep and eye out for one.
    You are doing well as usual with your homemade gifts, I have been really busy with work and home and haven't had much time to actually sit and crochet but will get there eventually.
    I had to laugh at how Harper goes all floppy ,my Granddaughter does the same when you rub her back lightly.
    This week I have
    packed work lunches and snacks that are made from
    Dried all washing in the sunshine
    Made some fig jam from dried figs my Mum gave me
    Bought some bulk meat that was discounted
    I think that is about all this week
    Have a great weekend Love Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie,
      When I was little if anyone brushed my hair I was practically hypnotised. I hope Harper likes her hair being brushed... I think so the way she is with tummy rubs. I am glad you understand such things!
      You had a good week. Fig jam is beautiful too.
      Debbie I have to say I find the cooler months I get more crochet etc done. It is so busy now with the garden etc. Mind you I will be watching the tennis this week so I might get a bit of handiwork done. Unless its too thrilling and I have to put everything down! Have a lovely weekend. Love

  25. Your wash cloths are gorgeous. Crocheting is on my list of things to learn. You will love having a beautifully painted laundry room. A year ago I painted my laundry room turquoise and I enjoy it so much.
    This week I have mostly been focused on getting my son to and from college and keeping him comfortable as his recent bout with bronchitis turned into pneumonia. So we have had numerous doctor visits. He is going to school then home to bed. Right now he is not reacting well with the medication so prayers for him would be appreciated.
    Building up my home has mostly been packaging meat and cooking out lots of lard. My pantry is stocked so I've just been cleaning and better organizing things. We got a new freezer yesterday so that was a rather large cleaning and organizing project. Daughter and I went thrift shopping today and found some lovely skirts ($1/each)to cut apart and sew into napkins. Also purchased two large wooden picture frames($2/each) to paint and add artwork for our home. So those projects are in the works along with Christmas and Valentine crafting. But as I said earlier my son is my main focus right now.
    I hope everyone has a safe and productive weekend.

    1. Dear Ginger,
      Crochet is really easy to learn. If you learn chain, single crochet and double crochet stitches and practise those they make up almost all patterns! That is it! You tube is great when you find a teacher you like and understand then stick with them.
      I will think of and pray for your son. He sounds like he has been really ill. Maybe the school will help with some work to do at home... I had glandular fever in high school and missed 12 weeks. I did a bit of work at home and I kept up. When I went back it was utterly exhausting, I still remember!
      I would love to see your napkins and other projects.
      I hope next week to hear your son is improving. That is the main thing. With love

  26. Hi Annabel, it's been hot and humid in SE Qld this past week, so what has happened, has happened slowly. In the evenings I have spent a couple of hours in the garden. Our main planting is over our very mild winters. I have spread cane hay, from a local farmer, rather than the mulch hay from Bunnings. Much cheaper and thicker so you get good coverage quickly. I have planted some egg plant into the hay. My parsley has gone to seed and I have been throwing this around the garden. The seeds are in the seed pots. These should be ready to go out in the garden in March. I collected a green shopping bag full of passionfruit off the ground around our vine. I used this in my mango passionfruit jam as well as passionfuit cordial. When I mix the cordial with soda water it tastes just like my childhood memories of passiona. I pulled my little blow up pool out of the shed and set this up in the veranda. Everytime I got too hot I sat in this to cool off. It made the heat bearable. I was also able to keep the ceiling fans turned off for longer. We don't have air con but all the neighbours had theirs going. It has just started raining and is so lovely and cool. Much love.
    PS love the face cloths and thank your or the microfibre fabic idea.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I feel for you in the hot weather. We were quite lucky this week but we have had a lot of heat. It really affects how I feel and how much I get done. Here it is a dry heat though. I try and do inside things and water etc in the evenings. As far as possible..
      You still achieved a lot! I love the paddle pool that brings back memories for me!
      I am still after a different texture of microfibre but have most of what I need. I can't wait to make the makeup remover pads!
      With love

  27. What a lovely post. It is always so encouraging to pop over to your blog. I love how you make even the envelopes pretty
    Harper sounds so wonderful. :) I am happy for you that you get to spend time with her. I did a lot of scratch cooking this week, my pantry and freezer are well stock.
    It feels really nice. We have to be a little creative with storage of our supplies. We live in a condo without
    a garage so we have been clearing out somethings to make room For others. It has been good to see what supplies we have for birthdays and Christmas. I found tons of yarn and material just waiting to be made into lovely things. Part of it was my moms so that makes me smile. She would be happy to know that I am making things from her supplies. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful site. I think I will be making cold/heat pads from some of the material. I fill them with rice or flax you can put them in the freezer to cool down or ice a sore muscle
    or in the micro for heat. I make them nice and long so you can use them on your neck or shoulders.

    1. Dear Patti, Thank you! I get requests from my daughter for the longer heat packs for that exact reason, so she can get them around her neck and shoulders. She gets migraines. They are a very helpful gift. I feel thrilled you have so many supplies and hope you find many great uses for the things that were your Mums. That would be wonderful! With love and thanks,

  28. You are amazing in finding ways to bring beauty into your world, Annabelle. I love that about you! I had one of those weeks where it feels I did little to save but boy was I shocked when I figured out the savings in packing John's lunches for work. Oh wow!

    1. Dear Terri, Thank you so much. $126 a week is a massive saving. I am so glad you worked it out. It is worth it! Like many things it is a shock! Now that I worked out Andys lunches savings I feel so good about that! And I think it is much healthier that what he might buy too. He loves it anyway. Its an eye opener!
      Thanks for your kindness Terri. Love

  29. Dear Annabel, I enjoyed your posts and then I enjoyed all the comments and your replies. You are so sweet and positive and encouraging! I love visiting your blog.
    I have been barely functioning for almost 2 weeks with a cold. I do ok through the day but I cough all night and the lack of sleep is not pleasant. But I am finally better and hope to be back to doing more homekeeping and blogging.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  30. Annabel, I just love your blog. Face washers look really beautiful, as do your pretty envelopes. Did you cut pictures out of wrapping paper and glue on the envelopes? Could you please take a couple of photos next time you do them and share here? I would love to see the process. Many thanks for sharing all the details of your money saving life- it is an inspiration and help to so many of us "fans" of you. Best wishes Lorraine

    1. Dear Lorraine, Thank you so much! I cut out flowers from wrapping paper and the bird from a card. I watch for nice images everywhere i.e. magazines, papers, cards etc and if the tv is on in the evening I sit and cut them out (or crochet!) and just use them in my card making and in this case envelopes with a little glue. I will include more details soon when I do some more card making posts. So save up any images you like so you have lots.
      Card making is great as it lends itself to decorating labels, tags, jars, parcels, envelopes etc. It is so easy to pretty something up!
      Thanks very much for commenting Lorraine. Love


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