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 22 September 2016

Feather your Nest Friday, 23 September, 2016.

After being away there is always the catching up and washing to do and so on. I also wanted to get straight back into my 100 Day Challenge!  Somehow my week flew by and I am not ready for Friday yet!

Some of the ways I saved money this week include:

I finished painting the living room!  (except for the window frame as Andy is doing a repair there, then I can do that too)

I made all the lunches and meals.

All the things from the op shop were washed up and put to use. I have gifts, new tops, a new cardigan and Andy has a new jumper and two pairs of good trousers.

Some of the ways I built up the nest include:

I planted Oregano and Capsicums.

Painting in the living room plus I re painted my dining room chairs. They look really nice!

I cleaned out the fridge top to bottom,  washed all the compartments and drawers etc. Also I added shelves to my fridge. I might be the last person to realise this but you can add useful shelves! As long as air circulates freely you can add stands and shelves!

First I added an under shelf basket. You can get these from cheap stores, IKEA etc. Mine cost $3.

This gives me so much room and less stacking of things!  The bottom line is if you can see things better you waste much less.
The shelf liners are IKEA placements, not new just washed and put back. These plastic placemats can be cut to line any size although mine fitted just right!

Next I put a wire stand on the top shelf.

In real life it has worked out really well! My jars and things go under the shelf and my little jars go on top. I don't know why I didn't think of this before but it is working!

Feeling smug with success I applied this to my cluttered kitchen island storage space where things are always stacked and ready to topple.
I just added wire stands and made myself two extra shelves...

Plate stacking shelves and all kinds of tiered shelves are available really cheaply now. IKEA has so many and the $2 and cheap stores.  As the week has gone on both the fridge and island shelves have worked really well!

I also added an under shelf basket to a laundry cupboard. No more stacking things! It is awesome!

Some ways I got ahead:

More went into my gift cupboard.

I added several things to my storage and pantry including batteries and honey.

My flannelette is torn up into super large disposable hankies plus cleaning cloths.

For my 100 Day Challenge this is what I wrote down:
(I did ok but didn't paint everyday!)

Day 27.  Saturday.
Cleaned the kitchen island shelves, added wire shelves, re arranged and sorted.

Day 28. Sunday.
Cleaned out fridge plus underneath and behind. Added shelves and re arranged.

Day 29.  Monday.
Sorted a laundry cupboard and added under shelf storage.

Day 30. Tuesday.
Cleaned skirting boards in lounge room.
Painting...  painted skirting boards and painted dining chairs.

Day 31. Wednesday.
Cleaned the dishwasher inside and out.

Day 32. Thursday.
Cleaned all the mirrors in the house to sparkle.

This brings me to today! Today is the only sunny day of the week! I have sheets on the line!  I might get some painting done this afternoon. Notice I am non committal... I am not sure yet!

How was your week? How did you build up your nest?
If you are participating in a challenge how did you do with that?
Truly, I always say it, but a little bit each day or even every week gets you there! Things just add up!
I think in terms of saving money, getting ahead, building up my pantry and gift cupboard, building up emergency supplies and back ups, doing something to make things work better, run smoother... and pre emptive strikes where you just know something is coming up and if you can get in early then it will go better!
There are good times when we can get ahead. Make hay while the sun shines!

I have a special and extra post in about a week. I just found a whole series of ways to save money, fill the pantry shelves and make gifts that are new to me. This is exciting as just when you think you are doing pretty well and you find some huge savings then it is pretty exciting!

Have a wonderful weekend! xxx


  1. Inspiring as always Annabel. Is there a reason why you dispose of the flannelette hankies rather than reusing them?
    I have been off my feet all month after surgery and all those bits and pieces in the pantry and freezer have come in handy as well as a vegetable garden and a husband who can cook.

    1. Dear Barb, Sorry to hear about you having surgery. I hope you are well and truly on the mend.
      Well originally I made the soft hankies for when really sick. I put them aside for these times. Then I was really ill a couple of years ago and I used them and threw them away. Normally I do wash and iron hankies. As they were so comforting and soft I made more. This year Lucy was quite ill and she used a great pile of them and refused to throw them away! So I washed and hemmed a whole pile. Then Andy had a bad cold and he also wouldn't throw them away! So I do hem heaps and have "good ones" but I maintain that if someone is horribly ill to throw them away like tissues. So a bit of both.
      Yesterday in Spotlight I saw the most adorable children flannelettes... I think I will make up some for Harper... I will hem those.
      I hope you are feeling heaps better and so glad you have a nice husband cooking too! With love

    2. oh ps I should have said that the whole flannelette sheet is cheaper than a box of tissues! So this makes throwing away an option sometimes. xxx

  2. Hi Annabel, what a productive week you have had. I have been busy preparing for the upcoming surgery. I have had costings from the doctors so that I can prepare. I have organised leave from work,
    I am working on Christmas gifts. I shopped the sales for the groceries we need and have been living out of the freezer to use up some meats. I needed an outfit for a dress up at work and so bought the fabric to make it from an op-shop for a song. I bought three novels from work for a gold coin donation each. I received a box of wine for free when I bought my stove so I will use that for Christmas gifts. I am starting to sort out my craft items so that I know what I have on hand and what I can make for gifts. Feeling very positive about the upcoming months.
    God Bless and I pray you have another wonderful week ahead

    1. Dear Mel,
      I am glad you feel so positive about the coming time and you have good plans. Plus isn't it good to have projects to work on when you are off your feet. Knitting and embroidery are very good for this!
      Fantastic about the fabric! Do you know about the Vinnies at Mitcham? It might be called Hawthorn, its next to the railway line near the Mitchum shopping centre... It is excellent for yardage of materials.
      I hope you are having a good weekend despite the rain! At least the garden is well watered! Much love Mel, from

  3. Annabel I love seeing what you and others are up to. When I'm feeling down I know what I see here will help me get myself together and off and doing something productive for my home.
    I haven't managed to get myself back into the challenge just yet and am not back into recording what I have done. So this is all based on memory.
    Saturday- general cleaning and getting ready for visitors
    Sunday - Baking and hosting visitors
    Monday - picked up Bluey from hospital- 600km round trip so not much else done.
    Tuesday - Visitors left their camper and headed off to Fraser Island. General clean up and vacced up lots of sand left behind by two very active young boys. Trying hard not to fuss too much over Bluey and failing badly.
    Wednesday - Sewed up a cotton dress. Two more are cut out and ready to be made up. 2 hours in the garden. Harvested two potato bags.
    Thursday - Deep cleaning the bathroom, washing sheets and towels- Katie took me out for lunch. Spent the afternoon in the food garden. Have a huge amount of weeds to deal with.
    Friday - cleaned out, re organised and culled Bluey's and my wardrobe. Cleaned out the craft room top to bottom. This took most of the day as it was in a shocking state. Needed more shelving in the wardrobe and ended up using two old milk crates. These were just perfect for the job.
    Last week I took a little 60's lamp table that I had bought last year at an op shop with the intention of painting. It had been estapoled very badly with runs all over the place. I liked the shape of the piece. It is now gloss white and is just lovely.
    I added to my home by making some more gifts. I decanted off a bottle of Bay rum aftershave and have another bottle on the brew.
    I added to my pantry by making 8 jars of strawberry conserve and water bathed them. Sadly it's more like strawberry syrup but it is still rather lovely.
    I have collected seeds from this winters plants ready for next year. I planted out two beds for summer crops using saved seeds.
    Here's to a quiet week and time to breathe.
    Life is good.


    1. Wow, Jane, you've been busy accomplishing lots of homely things, and lovely things, too!! Enjoy it all!!
      How do you grow potato bags?!! You said that you harvested two!!
      Your strawberry conserve sounds lovely, too. Never mind how it turned out. There'll be a good use for it - as I found with my unset 'citrus kitchen syrup'. It's nearly all gone!!
      Fraser Island (the little part I experienced of it) is a wonderful place. It makes you proud to be a Queenslander!!
      I like the sound of your cotton dress, and how Katie took you out for lunch (you raised her well!!) and your painting ..... and your gardening!
      I'm sure Bluey enjoys all the homely activity around him!
      Regards to you both,
      Rachel Holt

    2. what a busy week Jane. Good to hear that Bluey is home.

    3. Dear Jane,
      The trip you do to the hospital is pretty much exactly the same distance as to the farm and back for us. One way in a day is enough for me!
      You really did very well in the week even making over the lamp, jam making and gift making! I think thats impressive with everything you've had going on!
      It must be so nice having Bluey home. I can imagine how happy he is about it too! It was a long time to be away especially so unexpectedly.
      I am sure he secretly likes the fuss!
      Have a great weekend! With love

  4. Hello Annabel, what an inspiring post! Your clean fridge is just beautiful.

    1. Dear Rhonda, thank you! I think of what you say all the time... if you do stuff, stuff gets done! Every time I open the fridge I am pleased with it and it smells of vanilla! Much love

  5. Hi Annabel!

    In a way, I had a funny week. All week, I felt like it was the end of the week, and then I was so pleased to find it really wasn't - the opposite to yours!! Ah dear, ..... but the weather was cold and wet, which meant that no actual progress was achieved in my joblist challenge! We need warm weather for this.

    Some parts of the garden started to grow, and I loved checking on the new little seedlings. We rebuilt the floating wick for our oil lamp. The first setup must have lasted about eight months, burning all night, every night, with only the wick being changed as needed. It is wonderful to have a calm glow in the house again! I cooked major meals on the fire, as well as steamed cup cakes and made some preserves (which were water bathed on the gas). I am getting the feel for preserving, which is just as well, since Dad gave me some produce (a bit here and there at his place certainly adds up!) and I picked our crop of lemons! I've been grateful for the internet, with its source of recipes and data on fruit (I learnt that mulberries have a pH of 3, where I need a pH of 4.6 or less for water bath preserving). What else? Oh yes, I made egg pasta, which I enjoyed. Then, from Mum's book titled "Australian Early Settlers' Household Lore", I found and made 'pengelles', which is bread soaked in a mix of two eggs and two to three spoons of cream (we had some to use up) and then fried. It is meant to be topped with razor thin slices of citrus (quartered) and syrup (here's where my citrus kitchen syrup came in!!) I said 'meant to be' because 'razor thin' would take some practice, and I am planning a mulberry topping next time! I thought it was good. I love good old recipe books like this! I don't need to think about a waffle iron for the fire anymore. These pengelles were simply wonderful - in my book.

    A little mending, a little music, a trip to a different town, sowing a little seed in the rain, a little outdoor work, .....

    I didn't get anywhere on my joblist (except for more ideas for after the list is done!), yet it was, all up, a worthwhile week.

    Annabel, you must feel very satisfied with your week's painting and sorting ..... and capsicum and oregano! I reckon you've done well!

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel I put a photo of the potato bags on the Bluebirds Facebook page.

    2. So, Jane, you put the soil in the potato bag seed, instead of the seed in the soil. That's how you grow a potato bag! I've never come across such seed! You're clever!!

    3. Dear Rachel,
      What a good and interesting week! I admire the cooking and am glad about the seeds coming up.
      I am always happy to hear about lemons. If not too late... and if the fire is going or the weather dry please save the skins and dry them. Just trust me on this one, you will see why in about a week! Just let them dry out...
      I love the old recipe books too! Things are very economical. I always watch out for the old books like the Green and Gold, CWA etc. but they are hard to find now.
      We have had more and more rain. My seeds are up and my capsicums and oregano just took off straight away! Looking very healthy!
      Much love,

    4. Annabel, What about mandarin skins? Is there any point keeping and drying them, too? I have some to juice!!

    5. Yes rachel keep them and see if you can have them drying out without going mouldy. Near the fire maybe? You will see why soon! And you will love it! xxx

  6. I love the idea of place mats in the fridge and the shelves. So smart! Ikea is a trip for us but I love that store. We need to go now! Annabelle you make me feel so much better at shopping for used clothing etc. Sometimes it's good to have a little encouragement and that's why I come here!
    I made some little girls dresses this week for a children's home, and today we are having a garage sale. Have a great day!

    1. Dear Vickie, Yes IKEA is great. I am amazed by it. They have the under the shelf stage baskets and shelves that work so well in the fridge. I need a trip there myself.
      I am having no luck in regular clothing stores. Even a couple of shops I have really liked things have gone down... the fabrics are cheap and NASTY and feel awful! They look like rags now before washing, there is no hope! So I am finding much better quality decent things in op shops. I seriously have almost given up regular clothing stores. You need a little time but there are beautiful quality items that have been very expensive and there they are for $5 or less... yes please!
      I think it is beautiful that you made dresses for a children's home. I will come over and see if you posted pictures. Well done on that Vickie, just lovely! With much love

  7. I can't wait for the new series about saving $ and building the pantry.

    1. Thanks Cristy, I have found some new ways to save and I have plans for next year too that will suit you then! With love

  8. Lovely post as usual Annabel. I have been using that type of shelf in my cupboards for a couple of years, certainly does add more storage space, but I never thought to use them in the fridge.

    1. Dear Meg, Thank you. I am the same. In recent years I have found all kinds of shelves and organisers so good in cupboards. WHY I never thought of the fridge I don't know! Anyway its working well. I can really see what I have too. With love

  9. I think that fridge is so pretty! lol I have clear liners on my glass shelves and I have a corner plate rack (with three tiers) on the bottom shelf which is lovely for stacking casseroles and such. I also have a plate rack in my fridge freezer which allows me to have a nice basket on top and underneath. I had a lovely week. We finished it off signing contract to get new flooring in 2/3 of the house. I can't wait until we get them in!

    1. Terri, TYSM for the corner plate rack idea! I can use that for tortillas and other flat items. I hate stacking food on top of other food-looks kinda crummy and I'm an organization nut! Have a great weekend!

    2. Dear Terri,
      I love the idea of the corner plate rack. I can see plates of food and pies etc stacked up! Such a good idea.
      New flooring! That will be a big project! From things we have been doing this year straight away I know that means everything is refreshed since it is all moved, sorted and cleaned then re arranged. Like spring cleaning! A lot of work but a wonderful result!
      Have a lovely new week Terri, With love

  10. Hi! I had one or two of those shelves in our previous house. Very useful I like the way you have organized the refrigerator and those placemats make it look so pretty. Looking forward to your post on making gifts that are new to you. Enjoy the week-end! Nancy

    1. Thank you Nancy! You have a great new week too! Much love

  11. Dear Annabel
    What an amazingly productive week that you've had. Thank you for sharing your use of shelves to make more room for things. It's something that I'm definitely going to implement.

    This week was one of those busy ones with all of the annual doctor's appointments being met. We try to do everything in the same week and get it all over with at once. So far this has worked for us over the years.

    The only thing I've really done in the way of feathering is some batch cooking to get ahead and Christmas gifts. Also making lists of how I want to use some crafting supplies for gifts. Wishing everyone a blessed weekend. Cookie

    1. Cookie, that's such a great idea: getting all the annual appointments done in one week!
      Hugs, Mary

    2. Dear Cookie,
      I know you are doing well with Christmas gifts! I am not sure if you have children on your list but for those who love crafts and activities I am finding a kit or little toolbox/sewing box full of things like fabric, glue, glitter etc makes a lovely gift! Thus excess supplies become kits as gifts. I think a grown up version could be good too i.e. fat quarters for a quilter, trims and ribbons... etc. Certainly yarn for a knitter/crocheter!
      Good to get all the medical appointments done! Have a great new week! With much love

  12. Dear Annabel,
    What a wonderful week you have had! I am so encouraged by all you've accomplished. Your fridge is envious, and how resourcefully you've re-thought your cabinet storage to suit your needs, I love that. This past week saw lots of goodness for me as well. I cooked all meals at home save one planned meal out. I started a new cleaning routine and I really like it. I still do a morning and a night routine those do not change, but this replaces my "cleaning day"...i.e., now I dust the whole house one day, vacuum, sweep, & mop floors another, clean glass/mirrors another, etc. Of course this adds a little bit to my daily duties but it feels balanced so far. I'll really be feeling the joy today as it is Saturday, and this is the day I would normally spend 3 hours top to bottom and I don't do that now!!! Our home is very lived-in and I'm fine with that, but it's got to be tidy or I become frazzled. I went to a marvelous thrift store where I got excellent quality new clothes for me for a song. 4 tops and 2 skirts for $33.00. Three of the tops are all Ann Taylor, $5.00 each...yes please! Sign me up! At the mall, I did find jeans that fit me so well but not so thrifty. JCPenney, $40.00 BUT, I am more than happy to pay that for a pair of jeans that actually fit me when I'm wearing them with $5.00 tops and a $3.00 one to boot! I made a huge pot of chicken and dumplings this week, too. Well that's my fluffing and feathering for now. I love reading about everyone's week it is so encouraging. Thank you Annabel for having this meeting place.
    Love, Colette xxx

    1. Dear Colette,
      I think the bit every day cleaning routine could be very good. Also I was reading Brandy's blog and she was saying her children responsibilities and how they need frequently updating as kids become more capable of more. Thats a good point. And this is good of them as they learn to eventually take care of their own home and they need to know the skills. So mobilise the troops and get the hand maidens working as well!
      WOW on the op shopping! That is wonderful. Happy days! I feel the same. One of the tops I got was a brand name and favourite brand... and right size, right colour... and just a few dollars vs the $80 or so dollars in the store! You did really well!
      The chicken and dumplings sounds just yum. I hope you're having a good weekend and have another great week next week.
      I agree it is good to see everyones week and how we all make progress! With lots of love,

  13. Your clean fridge looks so pretty! I still want to try your brilliant idea of wiping it down with vanilla! Smarty pants: using those shelves inside the fridge! Talk about a lightbulb moment! I do use them in my kitchen cupboards and craft room, but never in there. I'm going to now!
    Everything else looks so beautiful , too. XO

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you! I was reading Brenda's blog post and I saw you mention me! Thank you!
      Im glad if this idea might be useful to you. And I am imagining your fridge is pretty and possibly pink!
      Have a wonderful week! With love

    2. Haha! I wish it were pink! But, I did take your advice, cleaned it out, wiped it down with vanilla and even used the same IKEA placemats to line the shelves! Now it smells pretty and looks pretty :). Just think, you helped me beautify my life! I love ya!

  14. Hi Annabel

    Thank you so much for the pretty pink envelope. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    Last week DD6 and I spent 2 nights in town at the motel we go to and had so much fun visiting the movies and a show we had booked for her to see, along with some shopping.

    We are heading back in for a few nights again this week as the car needs a service and I do not wish to be driving along the road home at night on our own.

    Looking forward to your special and extra post on even more savings. I just tidied up our back bedroom (which had become a dumping ground) yesterday and found some wonderful items for Christmas gifts that I had forgotten about. I found some lovely lip balms that I purchased reduced down from $14 for a 3 pack to $1 pack, so I think I will put some cellophane around them and tie with Christmas colours for the girls in DD6's class.

    Oh how I wish we had an Ikea near us. I have never visited a store but some of the items you have showed us are really great value.

    Hope you have an amazing week.

    Love Aly xxx

  15. Dear Annabel. Another great week for you. The fridge looks so sweet, and it just goes to show that even the mundane can look lovely. You got ahead with so much, it must be a good feeling. I got ahead with a few things, but I was still recovering from that awful virus so it was slow going. Nonetheless, I made three batches of Bone Broth which has really helped with my recovery, I planted some Spring colour in the garden, cleaned the house which really was in a bit of a state after me being ill for a week, and made a lovely Spring lunch for my son and his girlfriend. This week will be better I hope. Love, Mimi xxx


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