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, 29 June 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 30 June, 2017.

The first half of the year is about to be gone!  That went fast!
I had a pretty good week.  It was a bit of everything!  It is really wintery but I had one lonely rose in the garden.

This week I continued to look further afield and in different places for groceries and better deals.  I went to a few op shops (thrift stores) in the area. Mostly this only achieved eliminating them from my list as they were expensive. They have lost the plot and mostly it would be cheaper to buy new stuff!  However it wasn't a waste of time... I did find a big $2 Beatrix Potter book. The cover was beaten up but I don't care I want to make cards or bunting from the gorgeous pictures! 

I also got a couple of English magazines with images like this...

I was needing a birthday card so I got busy and made 11cards,  24 fancy gift tags and 4 really little ones! 

Around here nice cards are about $8, tags $3 or $4. So you can see how fast the savings add up with making some cards. 

Other ways I feathered the nest and saved money included:

I used up some packets of dried fruit that were past the date.  I soaked the fruit in juice and sherry overnight and the fruit came up plump and lovely...

In the end I had enough to make four large fruit cakes. These cakes keep a year so I just made it all up. I used 20 eggs!  They are big cakes and these are Andy's favourite. 

I wrapped one up to set aside for Fathers Day (our FD is in September) 

So that was a bit of getting ahead!

I made potato chips and sweet potato chips.

I potted up 16 small pots of parsley seedlings from around the yard.

We picked our first capsicums...

One was used as pizza topping when I made four pizzas over the weekend.

I shopped for meat at Aldi. One good buy was pork roasts for $4 a kilo, thats really good for around here.  Also in my travels I found a big bag of apples for $2.  
The apples went with he pork in the roasting pan. 
I also filled the crockpot and made baked apples with brown sugar and sultanas.  The brown sugar becomes caramelised. These are so nice. 

When cooked they are quite gooey but with a dollop of cream they are yum!  Humble but delicious!

Some of my Bay Leaves are dry and I started packaging them up.  There are about 50 per bag.

These are good as cooks gifts and in my kitchen themed hamper gifts.

For my Vicky Challenge I wrote $923 in my savings book. Being the last week of the month I counted doing my own hair colour, cut, nails etc for the month.  This is much better than last week!  This is how much better off we are because of work in the home. Some we save, some we build up our pantry and some is just being able to live better than we could if I watched tv all day I guess! 
My favourite way to use saved money is to "snowball" it. i.e.  you might save in one area and be able to invest in something that will save your family more.  Some I can think of are saving by packing lunches for a month and buying chickens!  Taking a thermo of coffee with you and using the savings to buy a coffee machine for at home.  Making your Christmas presents and use the savings to buy a freezer...  this kind of thing!  There areas many ways you can have the snowball effect.   The end result is your family being in a better position to live better and save more! 

Today I am heading off on my search for better prices, new shops to try and new op shops! I am meeting Hilde and we are swapping bay leaves for lemons!  She has three op shops to show me that I apparently don't know about yet!  There is a fruit and veggie shop near her that I have found to be a fraction of local prices but I haven't been there in a while. I will see!  Hilde is a champion at budgeting, cooking and looking after her family. I take a note book and write the whole time as she shares recipes and tips.  This should be a good day! 

How was your week? How did you get ahead, build up your home or save?  Little bits count, they dd up faster than you think!  
I hope you have a good weekend!  xxxx


  1. Dear Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds ,
    Thank you for another excellent blog post Annabel, I love hearing about your week and sharing what has happened in my week .
    My week included :
    Two hours subsidised cleaning , $40 savings compared to going through a private company.
    I gratefully received two meals from my parents, a $20 saving at least.
    I bought a new purse that was marked down from $50 to $15, a saving of $35 . I banked the $35 .
    I had subsidised help for someone to prepare meals for me and for someone to go shopping for me , saving me taxi fare and $$ on things I might need. I estimate I saved around $40 .
    I went out to morning tea with my mum and she paid for my hot chocolate and muffin, a $7 saving .
    I used a discount voucher when we went out to lunch on Monday, a $10 saving.
    I went to the doctors and it was bulk billed , a $60 saving .
    I got some medication which was free due to the safety net. A $25 saving.
    I saved $15 on groceries and put $10 in my slush fund a $10 saving.
    Mum brought me back some gifts from her holiday , approximately $30 savings.
    Total savings for the week = $277 .
    Annabel, your fruit cakes look lovely , I like fruitcake and my Dad absolutely loves it.
    Your cards are so pretty Annabel and such a big saving too.
    I hope everyone has a happy weekend . Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb!

      I love that you have these aspects of your life all streamlined! It has to be very satisfying to have it so!
      I am hoping that the paid people who help out make good company, also!!
      Aren't those cards beautifully refreshing?! You would know!!

    2. Dear Rachel, thank you for replying to my comment.
      I am not sure what you mean by saying I have these aspects of my life streamlined but thank you!.
      The Centacare ladies ( I have two regular ladies but one of them is here more than the other) are wonderful, they are great company and we have become friendly over the years. I would be lost without Centacare.
      Annabel makes such beautiful cards, they are just gorgeous.
      Thank you again for your lovely reply Rachel, you do such a great job helping Annabel .i enjoy reading your comments and replies. Love Barb

    3. Dear Barb!
      I think you are a good organiser! You are 'streamlined' in that you manage things to work as well as you can! This is admirable!!

  2. Annabel, my mum used to make us baked apples for dessert and I loved them! I don't think I've ever made them for my children, I'd forgotten them. What a nice reminder.

    I know what you mean about op shops and their prices, where we used to live some were really expensive, it actually made me quite picky about which ones I would donate things to. In our new area I have picked up good quality books for 50c, or $1. One week they had huge boxes of books for 10c each! I got some for making gift tags that week.

    Your bags of bay leaves look lovely, and what impressive fruit cakes!

    We've had a very busy week, I definitely haven't achieved much at home. Today I am having a major clean up so that we can enjoy our weekend. Just one more week of school before the holidays and everyone is tired. I'm looking forward to the holidays as much as the kids!

    It sounds like you have a lovely day planned, I hope you enjoy it.

    Have a great weekend everyone
    Jen in NZ

    1. Dear Jen!

      I've just been realising how many names are doubled or tripled up here!! I hope I haven't mixed things up!! Ha ha!!

      Yes, among all the daily happenings, a visit with someone like Hilde must be truly refreshing, in practical ways! So many of us are looking forward to a little visit with Laine in the new week!!

      Thanks for visiting!


  3. Hi Annabel and beautiful Bluebirds,
    We have spent this last week parked in my Brothers backyard. They have one acre with the area we are in separated from the main yard by a fence. We have access to power and water which is a huge saving. Caravan parks charge anything from $20-$40/ night for a powered site. Having access to a washing machine is another saving as most are $4/load.
    We have been sharing the cooking of the nightly meals. My SIL is a good basic cook but hates it. Bluey on the other hand can turn an old rubber boot into a delicious meal. He is currently making up a bolognaise sauce for tonight's dinner. The caravan is smelling so nice! I am getting very hungry and it is hours before dinner.
    My SIL lost her father earlier in the year. She has saved some of her Fathers clothes for Bluey. The clothes are very high quality and quite new, so Bluey is feeling very blessed.
    I have written down a $400 saving for this week.
    We head off southwards tomorrow. This time next week we want to be in Wagga Wagga for my brothers number 2 sons passing out parade. After Friday we have only adventure time in front of us for a while.
    Have a wonderful weekend. Life is quite chilly, thank goodness for heaters, but it is good.

    1. Dear Jane!!

      Thank you for the postcard!!!!! I can't help laughing at how "Wagga Wagga" must sound to our faraway friends!! I hope your feet are warm.

      It sounds like you have had a lovely place to stay for the week! How lovely that Bluey makes the cooking give extra aroma value for a good amount of time!! Ha ha!! Poor tummy! I hope there were warm clothes amongst the ones gifted to Bluey!!

      Enjoy your trip this week!!


  4. Hello Annabel and Bluebirds :) .

    I love your beautiful cards Annabel and was absolutely shocked at what they cost where you are. I am like you and make my own gift cards being fabric gift cards where I cut out pieces of remnant fabric and glue them onto standard card and decorate by drawing borders around in metallic ink and for something a little fancy put on some lace too. I didn't realise what prices they are and what a savings I have made for our budget over the years.

    Our Vicky challenge for this week adds up to $442.28 in savings :).

    Here is how we saved -
    - Saved more money into our saving for our home bank account earning interest - which I didn't calculate on here.
    - Baked a double batch of queen drop coconut butter biscuits saving $16.50 over buying equivalents in the supermarket.
    - Picked 500g of cherry tomatoes, 900g of shelling peas and 781g of green and butter beans saving $33.44 over purchasing them in the supermarket.
    - Cut 1.86 cubic metres of firewood free of charge saving us $372.40 over purchasing it. I have now worked out that ironbark hardwood firewood is $200 a cubic in our area to buy, gasp.
    - Electricity savings included boiling water for hot chocolates and steaming vegetables on the slow combustion stove and using our solar lanterns instead of using mains powered lights to light our home saved us another $14.17 this week in power costs.
    - Was given 2.1kg of potatoes for lending our trailer and helping load some furniture for our neighbour and move it to a storage shed saving us $5.77 over purchasing the same amount in the shops.

    Have a wonderful weekend one and all.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations15,

      Your card making sounds lovely! Would you be interested in showing us your handiwork?

      I know the satisfaction that comes with handling firewood and cooking with woodfires. There's nothing like it!! I love to read of these things! Thank you!

      I admire your vegetable gardening; green peas!! Lovely!!

      Continue to enjoy the richness with which such simple pleasures abound!!

    2. Hi and thinking this might be Rachel who has replied, let me know if I am wrong but I am going on your other replies :).

      From last week yes we are located in Qld country area here amongst the mountains so it does get cool. We certainly love our wood fires for both cooking and warmth too.

      Love to show everyone some of my creations both in cards and sewing but would need an email addy to send the pictures and things too.


    3. Dear Sewing Creations, Yes that was Rachel! My email is feel free to email me at any time! Love (I would love to see your creations!)

  5. I also love fruit cake, everyone else just hates it, so when we receive one I savor every slice. Hubby( Todd) has been retired now for almost a month and so far so good. The Biggest savings is that he has gotten on the band wagon. I feel the last month he has started noticing how much money and food he wastes. I really hope this continues.

    1. Dear tealady,

      What I understand from Bluebirds is that more Americans than not do not like fruit cake! Apparently, what is lacking is a wonderful Aussie fruit cake like Annabel's! The people around you should love this one!

      It's a good thing that your husband's retirement is heading in the right direction for you both! This is a huge adjustment -- getting used to working together!! Your world sounds very positive!!

      Thank you for calling in!!


  6. I did comment on your post earlier but instead of hitting publish I hit Sign Out......crazy. I am healing very slowly but instead of concentrating on what I cannot do I am doing all that I can with what I have. I have made a gift for Pamela's friend for Christmas and I have another two to make for her all with materials I have on hand.

    Today I made gift tags and tomorrow birthday and blank cards. I started a Christmas gift of a cushion for Ebony for Christmas. It might take me.longer to sew them when I am so tired but I get there eventually. I am cooking all meals at home and only topping up with a few things now and then at the shops...we are managing.

    I started a craft journal where I take a photo of finished crafts and put it in with when I made it, any costs involved, who the gift is for if it is assigned to anyone. I also make notes on whether I enjoyed making it how long it took and any other thoughts that come to mind. It is a nice way to look back on things I have accomplished and nice for family to look at and the time it takes to make gifts.

    I taught Pamela to cross stitch yesterday and she is happy making some small things with materials I have on hand here and am not using. So she is happy and I am happy to pass on a skill.

    We are plodding along here nicely

    1. Dear Mel!
      We have been thinking of you, and it is wonderful that you and your knees are handling each other so patiently! This is good to read!!

    2. Dear Mel, Thanks for trying again when you lost the first comment! I am sorry to be so slow in replying.
      I saw your gift tags and they were lovely! I love that you are focusing on what you can do with what you have and this no doubt extends to what you can do with your knee!
      I hope you are feeling heaps better and healing, having less pain and seeing progress. It would be important not to over do anything. All the sewing and card making is just perfect. Since this I have posted Laines blog post... and in it she suggests a blog and you tube channel... I think you would really enjoy this one so it might give you some enjoyment and also useful tips. I am enjoying it now myself! Have a really good new week! With love

  7. Dear Annabel,

    You are so right about some thrift shops...most of ours are just as or more expensive than buying things brand new! However, it is fun to browse, and sometimes you score a deal! Garage sales can be a better way to save on used items, when they are on. I love your cards!

    I have a weird (stupid?) question about baked apples. When you core them to stuff them, do you core all the way through, or just down past the core to leave an intact apple bottom? Just wondering about all the "stuffing" leaking out. :)

    I am drooling at the sight of your fruitcakes, as I know first hand how delicious your recipe is!

    Where do you get all your lovely packaging for your bay leaves, fruit cakes, etc? I never see such items here, except for places that charge so much that it negates having saved money making the gift!

    Is this the Hilde of the famous Hilde's beer bread?

    It has been a weird summer so far, with rain every few days, making it difficult to get the garden just gets dry enough and I get a row or two in and then it rains hard again to make it wet for days again. Oh, well. I mainly still have beans and squash to put it...if I can get them in next week, I think there'll still be time for the seeds to mature before fall! I'm trying to be a bit more relaxed about it than usual, as a person can't do anything about the weather!!

    It's Canada Day tomorrow...150 years...and we'll be doing a hike, rain or shine. We love to celebrate Canada Day each year by getting out and actually enjoying our beautiful country! And of course barbequed hamburgers and roasted marshmallows will be on the supper menu!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Yesterday I found some good op shops! I am working on finding some true, good and cheap ones and I found two with my friend. So mainly local ones to me are no good except there is just one... but further afield there are some. It is worth checking wherever you go.
      Ok with the apples.... I core them right through. Some filling does kind of leak but you gently pick them up with a spoon from underneath and they retain most of it. In the pan the juices are beautiful and you scoop this all up and drizzle over the apples so nothing is lost. Some apples hold their shape better but honestly I just use whatever apples I have. I start them off with about a cup of liquid in the crockpot (with 8 apples) so we get a lovely syrup.
      The packaging was from a cheap shop, I think 6 for a dollar. It is meant for cookies. The clear window is nice! Otherwise use clear cellophane bags. These look very good and are in cheap shops... otherwise try online as you can get bundles of them cheaply and then also use them to package cards, cooking etc as they give a professional look.
      Yes thats Hilde! There is Hildes beer bread, Hildes scones... her recipes are fabulous!
      You have to go with the weather, you're right there is nothing to do but accept it!
      Canada is a beautiful country and you live in a glorious area from what I have seen! You are right to celebrate it! Enjoy your day! With love

  8. Dear Annabel,
    All of your cooking looks delicious. We especially love baked apples for dessert or even at breakfast. And the cards are beautiful! Cards run about the same price here as they do in Australia, so making them myself saves a huge bundle.

    We ended last week with going to a wedding of the daughter of a dear friend and I made the bride and groom quilt. We worked outside weeding, mowing, deadheading, making some natural insecticides with oil and soapy water. All meals were cooked at home. Lots of chard (silverbeet) was harvested and some dehydrated for the pantry. Sanded and painted the op shop tons that I got for 5cents apiece at the last op shop haul, got to play a little bit in the sewing room.

    Wishing all the US Bluebirds a happy and safe 4th of July. We will be doubly celebrating as it's, also my husband's birthday.
    Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie,
      I also love baked apples for breakfast!
      It sounds like you had a really good week! I will look forward to seeing these paints tins!
      Enjoy the double celebration, that should be a really good day! I think of the 4th of July and think of red white and blue! With lots of love

  9. Today is my husband's 43rd birthday, so his gift, which won't cost a thing is 43 texts throughout the day while he is at work. Each one is a reason the world is a better place because he is in it. I have been attached to my phone all day! I made the list ahead of time and every 10 minutes I send a new text. Needless to say, not much getting done today except in little spurts!
    Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

    1. Dear Sarah, What a good gift! I think good men can be under appreciated. Your husband is going to feel very appreciated! Well done! I hope he has a fantastic day! Have a lovely weekend! With love

    2. Dear Sarah,
      What a lovely and thoughtful way to let your husband know how much you love and appreciate him. Your idea is wonderful!!

  10. Firstly, I must ask what a sultana is. I love baked apples & my mom made them a lot when I was a kid. It's not something I make very often, but I'm not sure why not! I'll need to put that on my fall bucket list to remind me!

    Your week sounded busy and accomplished. I was happy to have some time this week to work on an extra project. I found a two drawer file cabinet at a church rummage sale for only $3. We have most of our *keeping* paperwork in boxes and it's a pain to find anything. So, I've been separating and making files. This will be a wonderful thing! Even though the boxes are divided by years, you'd be amazed at how much you can forget when looking for something that way!! I'll be glad when it's done.

    Today is a sloooowwww day. We had booming thunderstorms all night and near-constant lightning that kept waking me up. I've spend much of the day yawning and forcing myself to stay awake! I know I'm not the only one because my sweet dog has been snoring all morning!!!

    For things done around here....
    *I made some more quilt squares for my scrappy quilt.
    *I'm taming the file monster!
    *I made 2 blanket bags to store....yup, blankets! One is for my car and one is for the guest room. I used some leftover shoelaces to gather and tie them closed with.
    *I made 3 greeting cards to mail out. I make my cards with rubber stamps & designed paper.
    *I painted my finger & toe nails a bright blue. Tonite I'm going to put red & white polka dots on them to celebrate America's birthday over the weekend. Though I don't keep a Vicky book, but should, that would cost about $65 to have done at a salon. Maybe more.
    *I made banana/coconut popsicles with vanilla yogurt & milk. yum!

    Have a good weekend!


    1. Dear Debby!

      Apart from being a sultan's wife, a sultana is a dried grape, just as a raisin is. A sultana is a smaller, golden raisin made from seedless grapes!

      You've had an interesting, worthwhile week -- hopefully rain with your storm, the comfort that comes with a snoring dog, quilting preparations, the fun of organising, making do with shoe laces for tying up blanket bags, and making tasty ice blocks to enjoy!

      You make me smile!!


  11. Your fruitcakes look so good! I love a good fruitcake and my neighbor Norma makes the most delicious White Fruitcake I have ever had. I must ask her for her recipe since she is in poor health and no longer makes them. Maybe I can make some for both of us. :)

    I'm working on my Frugal Friday Wrap UP post for my blog and it should be up later today. Be blessed!

    1. Dear Debby,
      Yes do get Norma's fruit cake recipe. My Dad also loves a light fruit cake. He just loves them and a cup of tea! I will be over to read your blog! Doing a weekly wrap up is a wonderful thing. It is so good to look at what we have done and feel happy about it! With love,

  12. Annabel,
    You had such a good week! The cakes look so good and I love the bay leaves! I also like to snowball things the savings in one area can definitely pay for another. It is good sense!
    For my week I made $250 from an order of baby tutus, I got a $4 rebate, a free 8# bag of dog food in the mail $10, I cut rick's hair $10, I used a promotional code for an online store and got $50 worth of stuff free +free shipping,Rick used the fuel rewards we had and saved $30, I used some of the tutu money and ordered a Dutch oven that was on sale and saved $30 and me and Todd picked a handful of wild berries, on nice days hung the wash out and we saved the cost of labor on installing the new floor which I will add in later. I called a cat litter company and they are sending me a coupon for a free bag and I have some other freebies coming in the mail within a week or two. So not a bad week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I think this snowball effect is a good subject! I hear a lot of people say savings aren't savings unless they are in the bank. Personally I don't think the bank hardly pays any interest what so ever on savings and they instead charge you fees and charges. Mostly I can do something to snowball the effect and turn savings into bigger savings or an investment like the way we bought the generator. I would rather have the generator than money in the bank if the power goes out. Of course savings of money are good too but there are so many ways to snowball the effect!
      The new floor DIY would be a big amount! Your week was good! Now to a good week this week! With love,

  13. Hello everyone - we are back from our short stay away. We arrived home just before lunch on Thursday, unpacked and then I had to get ready for my shift at the craft shop yesterday.

    Our trip to the op shops didn't find much - did find a good quality wool travel blanket at one, a never worn hat to wear to Red Hat meetings (we usually wear a head band but in winter as it isn't too hot some of the ladies wear hats) and in another shop I found a squat Stuart crystal water jug - perfect for our table.

    We both felt that the prices were up on our previous visit and quality was lacking.

    We were not successful in finding fruit and vegetable outlets other than the supermarkets - they must be there and only known to the locals.

    The weather was perfect while we were away. Not a lot of crowds apart from Wednesday when we went to Eumundi Markets - not a lot of walking space between vendors and parking was at a premium. We found a 2 hour parking spot but didn't stay the 2 hours because of the crush.

    We went to a big shopping centre on Tuesday and I managed to find chalkboard labels in a cheap shop for a good price - will be able to clean my containers and renew the labels.

    My kitchen is currently undergoing a makeover - my husband is painting over the blue with a light cream - the colour of the rest of the house. I asked him to do this a couple of years ago but I think the arrival of a nearly 100 year old kitchen dresser this coming Friday has got him moving.

    Annabel this dresser apparently comes from South Australia.

    Tomorrow we are heading to Farm Fantastic - a company is going to be there that has gluten free sour dough starter amongst other things.

    I can see the first week my husband is at work will be spent getting the kitchen organised. Might even be able to do some baking as there will be space in the freezer.

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend


    1. Dear Lynette,
      What you said about op shops that is how it has been locally... prices up, quality down. It made me think more people are going to op shops maybe.
      Gluten free sour dough starter would be amazing. I have read on it a bit and apparently you can convert a gluten starter to non gluten but it sounds like a long and slow process... and there still could be traces of gluten in it I think. My Mum was asking about this as she is also GF.
      The new dresser sounds amazing! I would love to see this!
      You will be proud of me as in my further afield travels on Friday I found an as new King size Sheridan quilt. It also had a beautiful cover which was Morgan and Finch. Anyway the quilt I now have washed up and it has come up beautifully. Sheridan is such a good brand... it was $15. I thought it was an investment!
      I hope the painting goes well! I am glad you had a little break away. Have a great new week! With love

    2. Dear Annabel
      I love Sheridan linen, even have meters of it to use as backing when I make curtains. I purchased the sour dough starter but I am not 100% certain that it is going to work out the way I expect. The lady concerned uses Spelt flour which is an old grain flour but it still contains gluten. I am going to have a play and see how it goes but it will have to wait until after the kitchen is finished.


  14. That is a beautiful single rose Annabel! And Im joining the fruit cake lovers here haha.Think I need to make one again.Can't believe you made x4!
    The usual week here , family , baking, meals, stock and soup making,plus made up a new jar of cleaning wipes.
    Mel S.-Nice to hear from you, look after yourself while healing continues.
    With love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, The fruit cakes are good. I have one out to use, one gift and two hidden away in tins. They will be handy I figure!
      I am thinking it must be very cold there! Soups and baking would be just the thing. I came home from my shopping on Friday with three buckets of lemons. I am making cleaning wipes too... I thought I will use lemon peels to make lemon vinegar then use this on some cloths. So that is started! It looks very colourful!
      Have a good new week Maria! With love,

  15. Dear Annabel,
    Your savings total this week was awesome!! Every one of the pictures is beautiful, also.
    I always start out the week with the intent to track what we save, but I forget because we have always saved and it just seems like the normal thing for us to do. (sigh) I am sure I can figure this tracking thing out (LOL).
    I always buy patterns when they are on sale, buy specials on food, purchase fabric on sale, and buy household items on sale. Today, John purchased an office chair that was on sale two weeks ago for $99.99 that I had sat in and found comfortable. Today, it was on a one day special for $49.99, so he went over to Staples to pick one up. We needed another office chair for the downstairs, so it worked out great.
    Thank you for another wonderful blog post.
    With love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, Thank you! Some weeks are better than others but if you think about it the things we do as a matter of habit are probably huge savings. I think credit cards, easy credit and everyone seeming is rushed over everything made it that people just spent spent spent without much thought. Now its catching up. When I started working out the yearly cost of things it really showed how lots of little things added up to shocking amounts! Now I see what my efforts are worth it is really motivating!
      It was good John got the office chair he like so much! That was the way to do it!
      If you notice the prices of fresh herbs in the stores when you start harvesting you will be amazed at the hundreds of dollars saved right there!
      Have a wonderful new week! With love

  16. Dear Annabel and Friends, this is always an interesting discussion. I find that I often have to explain on my Insourcing posts (which are similar to your nest feathering ones), that my savings relate to how much it would cost my family to replicate what I do in the home. Commenters often respond that these are things I do anyway, so how can I attach a financial value to them? Well I do. Because the fact is that many, many stay at home parents do NOT do as we do. They choose (and it is a choice and fair enough) to spend the day going to the gym, having coffee, and getting their nails done. That's fine if you can afford it, but I've seen so often, that even those simple pleasures are not ones that can be sustained forever, unless you are very comfortably off. I think what we all do, that is so very important, is to show that we live a glorious life, without spending a lot of money. It's not 'just' about the savings we make. It's about the quality of life that we generate for ourselves, our families, friends and the community at large, that really makes the difference. The lessons our children learn in the process are equally important. Being the odd one out, whether you're 5 or 55, isn't always a bad thing if you know you're doing what's right for YOU. I've had a few friends come around to my way of thinking just in the last few months. My refusal to deviate from a way of life that suits us, and sustains us physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually, wins the day. How can you continue to ignore a life that showcases a beautiful home, lush gardens, restaurant worthy meals every day, healthy and happy offspring, and a happy relationship? It's pretty hard to continue to be scornful, when the proof is staring you in the face :) I know. I'm preaching to the converted, but it was worth saying ;-) Love to all, Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      I agree... there are many who stay at home but do not work. It would be easy to watch tv all day or whatever it is they do. I have actually known ladies who just go visiting all day as Ive had them try it on me and I have had to say I have work to do. One time someone turned up at 9 am after she took the kids to school and said she was staying until she picked them up! I assume she had a magic fairy that did her days work? (this was when girls were at school) By then I was reading Laines Letters! I dint let her in! I said I am sorry but I have a full days work and will be lucky to get it all done before school is out! And I did! I never sat down and watched tv etc. Of course the days work counts. But over and above that the extra things we find count too and boy can they make a difference! I think it is totally motivating!
      I am glad you have had some friend see the light. Or a glimmer lol!
      What we invest in time wise, money wise and energy wise is a choice everyday. We can be going forwards or going backwards. For many the credit card just gets more maxed out and the mall still beckons.
      I hope you have a good week! We have some wild weather just hitting! With love,

  17. Hello annabel, I just adore those labels so cute ! Its been absolutely freezing for several days here in Sydney. I had stockpiled some soups and noodles, and made cauliflower soup for $3 for an entire one why wouldn't you ? Today is clean our fridge day so I'm sure I will find some things to make more meals with. With power skyrocketing I am blessed to have other resources to keep warm like blankets, tracksuits and carpets all things we take for granted. The increasing number of homeless persons makes me thankful to the lord for what he's provided me. Yes, life is a struggle but we have so much.
    I pick up hospitality work where I can, and have prayed over and thought for months now to do masters in nursing in 2018. This will ensure me work in the future and the lords gift to me is to nourish and care for others not only in food, but in sickness.
    Can you please create a section for recipes. ? Blessings. Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia,
      The soup sounds just right for this weather! Soup is wonderful!
      I think the big power rises will really hurt a lot of people. It is really sad. I agree we are lucky to have so much and its good to appreciate our blessings.
      Nursing should be a very secure job and also one that helps so many people. If you feel that is right for you then go for it!
      I have recipes in my index under Cooking but I need to add in a lot as very often recipes end up in Feather your nest Friday and other places! Thanks for the suggestion. Have a very good week Sonia! With love

  18. A busy week Annabel. I've found that a lot of the more expensive op shops are actually franchises, especially Salvos and Vinnies stores. I'm blessed with a very good Vinnies only a few minutes away, and there is a fantastic Vinnies 2 doors down from where Hannah works so I rarely look anywhere else. I had to smile with you venturing further afield because I've noticed the last few months I'm hardly moving more than 5 - 10 minutes from home for anything and still saving lots of money, time and energy and getting what we need. We are still just using the combustion heater and the whole house is toasty warm, and the washing dries beautifully next to it. We are trying to eat the freezer down, but it's not easy when there are such great meat specials locally (whole chickens $2.49/kg last week). My handmade Christmas is getting there, with another two dishcloths finished this week and a pretty needle case done. I've also started our family Christmas cards this week using papers and cardstock I already had. I used up some cream and a little milk to make cream scones for morning and afternoon tea and they were lovely with hot chocolate on Saturday when it was freezing cold here. I've rearranged the house and it's still chaotic, to fit in some furniture pieces from Mum's house. I'm using her dressing table (which was my great, great grandmother's and is around 180 years old) in our dining room. The small drawers will hold my two good sets of dishes and the larger drawer will hold tablecloths, serviettes, placemats, doyleys and runners. This week I have cards tomorrow, a couple of new recipes to try and some juggling to use freezer items to fit the meal plan. Have a lovely wintry week. xxx Cath

    1. Dear Cath, With following on FB I see you get amazing specials and I am often amazed (and envious) and you whirl think we are both in the same country at least that the vacation wouldnt be so great! I have not seen chickens at $2.49 anywhere! Good grief! I cant believe it!
      The dressing table sounds just gorgeous. How special. I am glad you have been able to work it onto your home and also for a good use!
      I have started more on Christmas too! Not cards yet though. I hope you enjoyed your card making day and got lots of ideas!
      Have a great new week! With love


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