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 16 November 2017

Feather your Nest Friday, 17 November, 2017.

It was a bit of a messy week!  I wouldn't say it ran smoothly!  First it was hot for a few days but thankfully now it has cooled down and we even have rain.  Andy was sick the whole time which is rare for him but he was really crook and only just getting better now.  I was seedy as well!  We all have weeks where it is more a case of survival than anything much more!
So... it will do me good to think of the good things and the things I did achieve as before looking at my list I would have said that I achieved pretty much nothing!

Luckily before the wheels fell of I had been baking.  Still on a mission to use up eggs I made six fruitcakes.   I also had bananas in the freezer and so I also made three banana cakes and 12 as mini cup cakes for Harper.

Several fruit cakes will be gifts.  Two banana cakes are already missing from this picture!  One was given to Chloe and one to Allie.  Chloe's boyfriend is working day and night harvesting. She sliced the cake up for some snacks for him that he can take on the tractor.  I donated a fruit cake to this cause also!

The little cakes went into the freezer for Harper.  They are packed full of banana.  
This all used up 28 eggs!  

But I still had eggs.  And with my grain free experiment I need things that I really like that have no flour.  So I made a crockpot full of little baked egg custards...

Debbie gave me the idea to use pretty little cups and I sit them in with water 3/4 up the sides.
So these were just lovely for me and felt like treats.

I love them and this used up six more eggs!  😊
This would be gorgeous to do for children in the small child sized tea set cups.... at the moment I only have two of those so I might try to collect more. 

The recipe for the custard is easy.... 
4 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla,
2 cups milk
300ml cream (10 ounces )
1/3 cup sugar. 
Blend well.

I use less sugar and more vanilla!   (1/4 cup sug. 2 teaspoons vanilla) 
Also the volume of milk and cream equals about three cups and I just use what I have, evaporated milk plus milk, cream or any combination.
I turn on the Crockpot and get it going with a jug of boiling water from the kettle.  I fill my little cups with the mixture and sit them in the water so that it comes up around 3/4 of the way to the top of the cup.  I sprinkle lots of cinnamon over the tops.  Once all my cups are in I top up the water a bit if needed... better to do it this way than flood your custards!  Put on the lid and let them set.  I do this when home... it is usually an hour and a half to 2 hours. I just poke one with a knife to see if it is set!  Left a bit longer won't hurt.  I like them set well.  That is it!  I pour the cold water on to a plant the next day! 
I also do this with creme caramel mix which is very similar with the addition of two extra egg yolks. This is extra rich and creamy.  I don't bother with the sugar syrup as Im trying to keep sugar down.  
Either way they are really nice and feel like a treat. 
Anything that needs a water bath i.e. cheesecake is a natural in the crockpot.  I might do crustless cheesecakes in the cups next! 

This week I had someone to visit in hospital and I made a posy myself to take...

I made yoghurt and flourless cookies.

My friend Nerilie gave me a gorgeous shopping basket.  

I love it!  
It must have been my week as Sue gave me curtains with big roses on them and lace curtains.  There are so many things I can sew with these!  Then there were surprise jars in the bag as well!

In the mail I got parcels again from our swap.  I have had beautiful fabrics, tags, cards and all kinds of craft supplies arriving.  I should have taken photos of them all but the last two were cards and tags with Bluebirds made by Holley...

You can imagine how much I love these!  Look at the little bow on the Bluebirds bonnet...

And Christmas cards by Lorraine...

She included glittery Christmas stickers which are stunning!   
As you can see my parcels are full of just gorgeous and personal things that brightened up my week so much.  Thank you both.  Thank you everyone who joined in the swap.  I am happy to report that I have heard of so many lovely parcels arriving around the world, friendships formed, even skills shared along with patterns etc.  

I heard back from Crafty Cristy and her husband is doing really well. She feels really helped by all your prayers.  Thank you all for messages of encouragement to her plus prayer and I can see she is doing so much better too.

This weekend I am planning to get everything out of my present cupboard and see what I have. It is full!  This is really good fun as by now I have always forgotten things I made in January, February and sometimes more recently!  Then I start to work out who gets what.  The ultimate is to find I have so much I can even use somethings for January Birthdays.  To me this feels like really getting ahead!  
It also gives me time to fill any gaps, wrap and post things well in time.  This is kind of like reaping the harvest of the years craft work and bargain shopping!  I think I have a good harvest this year!

How did you feather your nest, save or get ahead this week?
Have a lovely weekend! 

On Monday we have a post by Laine! xxx


  1. Dear Annabel, I am so sorry you and Andy have been unwell but as a beautiful busy bluebird you are you had it covered and that's what you and Laine and others have been teaching us this year in the pantries and preparedness posts. You are certainly practising what you teach!.
    Love this post Annabel, not the part about you and Andy being unwell of course but all the pretty items, those custards in the cups look gorgeous!, it's sad I cannot have eggs this way. I have a slow cooker I would love to use more, I need to search for ideas, am I correct in thinking that you have a slow cooker post or series here on bluebirds Annabel?. I vaguely remember it.
    My week has been mixed fortunes too, but I have more positives than negatives and found some new ways to save!.
    I have been granted approval for one of my lovely Centacare ladies to take me out for two hours a fortnight!, yay! And I can use this time however I please, saving on taxis , $15 to $50 ( depending where I go ) so I will say $35 savings on taxis. And it saves me time and energy because my lovely lady helps me (or should I say helped me as yesterday was my first outing. ) to find the best deals based on my research and this will allow me to go further afield for shopping which will give me a greater chance of finding bargains, just like you have done Annabel and like some other ladies do.
    Anyway!, back to my savings week!, I have been doing my own deep foot soak /foot baths for months and not thinking this was saving me money but it is!. I use a deep tub that was given to me for free , I use a drop or two of foot soak that cost me $5 a bottle and usually lasts me 4 maybe 5 months!. The cost of a foot treatment at a salon would be roughly $60 so I will say I am saving $75 as I do my nails too. So another $75 saved plus the foot soaks I do everyday , I will be conservative and say $20 a day x6 because I already counted one in the other total!, so another $120 saved a week!.also, I have two meals waiting for me in my mums freezer , a family sized pie , $25 savings and another meal that I cannot remember!. Saving me another $10 . What else?. Oh yes I used $20 flybuys $$ to buy myself a new address book, 5 small items for a local charity and a ceramic decoration , oh Annabel I must send you a photo , you will love it I think!.oh I also got a Christmas reminder for my niece . Total out of pocket was $3 for 8 items!. I got a nice mug , a beautiful boxed pink ceramic mug that was marked down to half price at the chemist then I used rewards points so it cost me $3.15 total , a saving of about $10 .i put off a haircut by two weeks, I am now due to get it down well and truly !. Saving me $15 . I repurposed my late partners doctors bag to use as a magazine and book rack holder , saving me up to $50 . I will add $100 to savings next week if I can to cover my savings a bit!.oh, I got given MORE free craft items , some of which I am gifting to friends but not as gifts!. Saving me about $60 . Another saving was grocery savings of about $35 . I better stop or this message will be 5 pages long!.!!!!.
    Total savings this week approximately : $345 .happy best feathering, I hope you feel better soon Annabel, oh and I am in awe of those beautiful cards and tags and stickers etc , just gorgeous.happy weekend to all.
    Love Barb W .

    1. Dear Barb, I am lucky I can have eggs for sure. I like creamy things so custard is good for me. I do have a crockpot series.... you will find them in the index on the right. I could add a lot more to that now. The crockpot to me is just so useful and helpful. I even make my cheesecake in it. Anything that needs a water bath is ideal in it too.
      Having someone to drive you and go out is going to be a big help. If you plan your errands this could save you all or most taxi fares. That would be quite a lot I think as Taxis add up pretty fast these days. Also it is just fun to get out and go somewhere nice!
      You had great savings! They add up to a lot! That was a really good week!
      We are both feeling heaps better thank you! Have a lovely weekend! with love

  2. Dearest Annabel,

    I thought I was getting pretty good at interpreting from Australian to American but now you've gone and thrown me off course!!! I'm afraid I need a little help with "crook".

    Your week of "survival" is the most beautiful survival I could ever imagine! Just looking at your pictures made me smile and warmed my heart. What lovely, beautiful things - flowers, cakes, custard and that shopping basket!!!! Oh my word, I've never seen such a beautiful "basket" in my entire life! It also made me so happy to see that you enjoyed the cards I made for you!

    My week has been one of running around trying to get things ready for our trip and healing! Our whole family (including my husband who NEVER gets sick) had a stomach virus! It was not pretty! I'm thankful that we got it this week and not next while we will be on vacation! A lot of ginger ale, crackers and soup were had this week which also saved on the grocery bill! LOL

    I also saved a lot of money by making the family some matching shirts for our trip instead of buying them. It took most of a day, but it probably saved me about $200! It will also help us to keep track of one another while in the parks! This trip has been planned almost since my grand daughter was born (January 2016). The money I've saved to go on this trip will be spent on an experience that I'm sure we will never forget! SO next week won't be frugal, but it will be cherished!

    I can't wait to read your report on what you find in your present cupboard! It really is the best feeling to find what you've made or bought for someone that you've forgotten about!!! I do it every year! I'm also looking forward to Laine's post on Monday!
    I hope you have a lovely weekend and everyone is back to their old selves soon!
    Hugs, Holley

    1. Dear Holley, haha! Well crook is unwell. So pretty crook is pretty unwell. It sounds like your household has been pretty crook! That is bad! But as you say better than when away! I hope everyone is doing better.
      The trip should be wonderful. Yes, you are making memories. In fact Im thinking photos from this made into albums could be good future gifts!
      Thank you for the cards, I really appreciated how you made Bluebirds for me! That was so special!
      I cant wait to here about your trip. When my girls were about 5 and 7 we went to Disneyland! We went to LA and Disneyland. It was amazing! We loved it! I have a beautiful album just dedicated to that!
      Have a wonderful time! With love,

  3. Hello Annabel and lovely bluebirds :).

    This week I don't have much to report in savings but we did feather our nest by organising the home into a better sense of order and to declutter and helped to feather other people's others nests too. We had heaps of Tiny Tim heirloom cherry tomato seedlings come up in the gardens which I gave to a friend along with a cutting from my rosemary that she can propagate and she will supply another family we know with half of the seedlings to help them with a supply tomato plants for both of their gardens.

    We have made some inroads with our dressing room in that we have gone through all of our packaged clothing and culled what doesn't fit us and have taken 3 garbage bags of clothing to a local op shop and donated them and have another 1 to take there next week. I found some flannelette PJs that didn't fit and have cut them and old cotton shirts up to use as rags in the home and the shed too and saved the buttons for my craft room. DH being the expert (ex military) ironer of the family has also ironed all our dresses and shirts that needed ironing in one big ironing session and they are now hung and put away. We also packaged all our winter clothing and spares into vacuum seal bags and they are now on their shelves and take up so much less room :).

    Our Vicky challenge savings added up to $140.83.

    Onto how we saved last week -

    Purchases -
    - Purchased a pair of near new cotton shorts from a local church op shop for $1 saving $19 on purchasing them new in the same shop.
    - Bought 2 new pairs of panelled jeans on special at Miller's for a total of $10 and they threw in a free handbag valued at $15 saving in total $45.

    In the kitchen -

    - Made a homemade apple pie and blueberry pie including pastry out of tinned apples and blueberries purchased on special saving $16.83 over purchasing the equivalent amount in stores.

    In the gardens -
    - Mulched the equivalent of 4 x 9 x 2mt garden beds with saved shredded leaves and composted grass clippings saving $60 in costs that we would have had to pay for buying a large bail of hay to do it.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead and I hope you all find ways to save and feather your nests.

    Sewingcreations15 .

    1. Dear Sewingcreations, A husband that is a good ironer and irons your dresses! This is pretty good! It sound like you made a lot of progress with sorting clothes and organising things.
      I loveto pot up seedlings that come up. I have good luck with cherry tomatoes and ours are looking really healthy and have lots of little green tomatoes so far...
      Your local church top shop sounds very good. So many people are saying how expensive op shops have become but the country ones can still be wonderful!
      All the mulching and composting is so good. This would help the garden so much. I would truly love to see your garden!
      Have a good new week! There tends to be a lot to do as we get closer to Christmas, the shops tend to be busier too. I am having a catching up and planning day! With lots of love,

  4. Hope you’re feeling better! Those cakes look beautiful, what work you did, and not feeling 100%. I have no excuse!
    I’ve been stocking up on all baking supplies, as they are all on sale. I will make my list of what things I’ll be making for Christmas this weekend. I freeze a lot of batter.
    A Laine letter!

    1. Dear Megs, Getting your baking supplies on sale is the way to go! I love to feel stocked up with these. I am working on my Christmas cooking too... usually I do shortbread, coconut ice, gingerbread... not sure what else this year!
      Have a great new week! With love

  5. I have had a busy week. I've dried herbs, baked banana muffins, and 3 small Christmas fruit cakes and one in a loaf tin. I have made 2 Christmas Puddings and have one more to go. One pudding was a trade for a bottle of home brewed brandy. In the sewing room I made 8 new unpaper towels. I have prettied up three sets of wooden pegs. I plan on gifting two sets and one will be used here for hanging Christmas cards. Oregano, Rosemary, parsley, Thyme and Lemon Balm have been dried and packaged up. I made up a double batch of toilet fizzies and the loo now smells so much better. A batch of Acerola Cherry cordial has been made using fruit from the garden.
    In between there have been visits to Drs, blood tests, a heart halter monitor fitting and removal 24 hours later, Physiotherapy and Nurses checks. None of this was for me but as I am the driver I have been all over town. Bluey is beginning to champ at the bit as he really wants to do more but he understands that he needs to take it easy.
    Life is good.

    1. Jane, do you have a picture you can share of your prettied up wooden pegs? I'm also interested in the toilet fizzies, can you share how you made those? So glad Bluey is doing well and that life is good!

    2. Dear Patsy,
      Jane shared her recipe for Toilet fizzies with me just before Bluey got sick. I am sure she wouldn't mind me posting it here:
      This was adapted from an email she sent me;

      Jane’s Toilet Fizzes
      Toilet fizzies are something I started using years ago. They are little cleaners of one part citric acid to two parts bicarb soda. Using your favourite essential oil blend, I use Sweet Orange, Lavender and Patchouli, one drop of each in a couple of teaspoons of water. I then carefully mix the wet in small amounts to the dry. Don't add too much at once or the whole lots starts fizzing. When crumbly but will hold together, I push into a small silicone icecube or chocolate moulds. They're $2 at Kmart or 50c at the op shop.
      I throw one of these fizzing tablets into the toilet bowl when some lovely person has left some skiddies on the bowl. The fizzing action helps to soften things up and can help the skiddies move on with a flush if you're lucky. They smell nice and are septic friendly. I also gave these to a friend when her little boys were starting to use the toilet like big boys. It gave them something to aim at. Amazing how much better the boys are when they're shooting at something. I also find these left to just fizz in the bowl help to keep the urine ring, that can develop, at bay.


    3. Dear Tanya, Thank you for sharing this for Patsy! Much Love,

  6. Dear Annabel , sorry to hear Andy has been unwell and you caught the end of it,you still achieved a lot.Love the baked egg custard cups, that Rose cup brought back memories as my mum had that pattern in a teaset, and it came out often for the many visitors to our home , as mum was so welcoming and always had lovely cakes and slices served on her best china.
    Good news about Christy's hubby, wishing you all a much better week healthwise. Have a lovely weekend Bluebirds! Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I love all things rosy as you know. I would have adored your Mums tea set oh that sounds so beautiful.
      I hope you have had a restful weekend! With lots of love,

  7. Dear Annabel,
    Sorry to hear that you and Andy have been under the weather and hope the worst of it is over.

    I loved the egg custard in tea cups. And the bag you were given is absolutely gorgeous. Holley's cards are so beautiful and thoughtful. Wonderful news about Cristy's husband and that she's feeling better as well.

    This week I finished a quilt for a shower gift. I'll send you a picture for show and tell. It's wonderful to just be able to use what's on hand to create gifts. Some grocery shopping was done to fill in gaps for next week's Thanksgiving meal. One of my friends raised 2 turkeys for us. The day after Thanksgiving baking for Christmas will begin. This is also the time of year where I re-organize the sewing room, turn all of the fabric over and everything old looks new again.

    I made a huge supply of the onion soup mix to use for ourselves and to put in gift baskets. Also ranch dressing mix got made in large amounts. I made powdered sugar and brown sugar. I found some more wonderful blogs that feature grain free recipes. I clicked on to Shabby Art Boutique and downloaded labels and a few tutorials. I one of the Christmas ornaments made with book pages and the angel face cut out and am planning to make and use that to put on some packages.

    I snagged Vicky's idea from last year of using brown paper to create "stocking" bags and have all of those cut out and ready to decorate. Thank you Vicky for sharing that with us. There's a local craft store here that had the large clothespin clips on sale for 79 cents each, plus, 25 percent off your total order, plus they give another 15 percent off with a military ID, so stacking it all up they were almost free (lol). I'm hoping to get them painted up this week. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, A quilt is a wonderful prints for a baby show! I know this was special too! How exciting. I hope we get to see it! Plus the baby things that will follow too!
      I LOVE turkey I could live on it. We get more now but it used to ba Christmas only thing. I want to get some in the freezer if I can.
      Monday is more on grain free. If you could possibly share the blogs this would be great. I am finding more and more that are helping. It is getting easier and easier too.
      Shabby art Boutique has fabulous free patterns and things to print. I love her! I saw the book pages crafts and thought music sheets would also be stunning especially old rustic ones!
      I love the stockings made this way! I really like brown paper full stop and save it all!
      We say Pegs, for clothes pins. Jane just did some too. I think they have so many uses! I have little bird ones I did and they keep my cheese packets and all sorts of things shut.
      Have a wonderful new week! With love

  8. Annabel, I'm sorry that you and Andy have been sick and hope that you both have a much better week going forward. Can you share your recipe for your egg custard? That is a great idea to do them in the crock-pot in the pretty tea cups, I would have never thought of that! Your shopping bag is beautiful and the cards are so pretty ... another beautiful post in lots of ways!

    1. Dear Patsi, I am just now adding the recipe in to the post. Little cups are so nice and make things seem a bit special. Thank you! Have a great new week! With love

  9. The tea cup custards are enchanting! Do you eat deviled eggs in Australia? That is one of my ways to use up lots of eggs. I am sure Harper will love her little cakes when she visits. Weeks of feeling bad are just awful. I had a bad headache in the night and my husband said to just think of my new to us car sitting in the driveway and it did help some.

    We had a big savings week. We canned 16 pints, 9 pint and a half jars and 7 quarts of green beans for a total of $20. Eggs were a crazy .21 a dozen, We paid cash for a new vehicle from our savings for that purpose for a savings of $6000 because we had cash. My husband got his last set of free tires from his employer since he had credit for them and we wanted to get them before he is terminated. Savings $850. They will go on the new vehicle as he only wants that expensive brand on our cars after working for them for so long. I won a coupon for free ice cream cake so that will be for our grandson's 8th birthday while he is visiting over Thanksgiving next week. Savings $25. We stocked up on large boxes of Kleenex for .60 a box saving $1.19 each. I have baked a lot of bread and cubed it for our Thanksgiving stuffing. This saves a lot of money. We bought jars of salsa verde that I use in many recipes for .39 a jar saving $2.60 each. My favorite coffee creamer was on sale BOGO and I had BOGO coupons so that means I paid the price of two and got 8.

    Cristy, I am glad your husband is doing well. I continue to pray for you both. One thing that happened with our bills was that the hospital kept sending bills and asking for large amounts of money and offering a discount if we sent it in with in a deadline. But, they had not even filed with the insurance so they were just guessing. By the time their bill actually came after the insurance had paid we did not owe them anything since all the other bills had met the out of pocket maximum. I was so glad we had not given them any money since it would have taken a long time to get it back.

    1. Dear Lana,
      Yes we do have devilled eggs! Same name even!
      Wow you had a great week! How nice to have a new car and new tyres!
      Also what great bargains you found! This has all added up to be a huge week!
      Thanks for this too fro Cristy, I am making sure she sees this. With lots of love

  10. Hope you are both feeling much better.
    I love the idea of using the pretty tea cups for custard (or even pudding). What a lovely sweet treat.

    Glad to hear Christy's hubby is doing better.
    Have a lovely weekend

    1. Dear Cheryl, I think of chocolate mousse, little breakfasts of berries and yoghurt... all kinds of nice things would be good in cups. I really love them and may times too there are odd cups where there is no longer a set anymore so this is good for those!
      I hope you are having a good weekend! With love

  11. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    Beautiful cards from the swap and those flowers and the baking are so nice to see. :) I hope you both are feeling better soon.

    This week's efforts:

    Cooking and food: I cooked ahead for the week: pot roast and vegetables, chicken and brown rice, crockpot applesauce, a double-batch of pumpkin bread. Breakfasts & dinners all eaten at home this week - we had a busy night last night and were glad to pull something tasty from the freezer for dinner. All work lunches were packed and brought from home ($150). I had extra tomato sauce from another dish so I packaged it up and froze it for later.

    Household: I re-arranged the living room furniture and moved some artwork around - it opened up the space and is a better arrangement of the new furniture - and cost nothing!

    My husband and I also spent some time planning and discussing some projects for next year, mostly cosmetic. We were shocked at the cost of having someone in to paint the interior of a house. ($17,000! We do not have a large house, or that kind of money to spend on painting!) At $30 a gallon for very nice paint, we decided to do it ourselves one room at a time, with the master bath first, and add a frame to the mirror in the master bath like this resourceful lady did: and add crown molding. My husband has the necessary tools, so the costs for that will be in lumber and caulk. Thank goodness doing one's research costs nothing.

    Shopping: Butter was on sale for $2.29/pound, so I bought several pounds to freeze for my holiday baking. Our preferred brand of turkey was on great special for the holiday next week, so we purchased an extra one for our Xmas dinner and into the freezer it went.

    Personal care: I gave myself a manicure and pedicure ($50) and dyed my hair at home ($75).

    I made progress knitting a shawl with lace sections, and organized my stitchy stash to better prepare for stitching ornaments for gifts. And, I taught a work-friend to knit! She is doing a wonderful job! I also brought her some cross-stitch supplies and she is getting excited about doing that, too. Thank you Annabel for being such a wonderful example of sharing our skills!

    It was kind of a week of food gifts. I made a big crockpot full of meatballs and sauce and brought this with some nice bread and cookies to the barn show; this was lunch for the volunteers and also part of the concession table. Everyone loved it and it was much less expensive than purchasing deli items or bringing take-out. (The leftovers are in my freezer for another day.)

    My husband took photographs for all of the children at a horse show at our friend's stable; he enjoys doing this and it costs nothing but time, as he gives them the digital images to print themselves. The parents always like having them and it is a fun and simple thing we can do to make their day brighter. He also took the photos for a friend's baby shower. Sometimes I think time can be the best gift.

    I hope everyone has a great weekend, and that the US families have a nice holiday next week.

    1. Dear Kathy,
      My quote for the home painting was around $25,000. I did it myself for under $3000. Mind you I think I wrecked my arm for life lol but still if you attack a section at a time we can totally do it! And for that money well it is good pay! I even did the front and back fences too! I love moulding so I love the idea for the mirror!
      Your lace shawl sounds beautiful. Also it is lovely you taught someone to knit! You might have started many years of happiness for her!
      I think the photography is a really good gift. What an asset to have a good photographer in the house!
      Your cooking all sounds wonderful. These things all add up so fast. I am glad you use the crockpot to help you, truly that is a helper I cant imagine life without!
      Having a re arrange plus your new furniture, things must be looking lovely. You must be so pleased. And all in time for Christmas too! Have a good weekend! With love

  12. I just love how you elevate the ordinary to extraordinary !! The dusting of powder sugar makes the breads look even better!
    The custard cups are darling !! Will you please share the recipe for making the custard cups and how to do in crockpot?
    Thanks and blessings
    So inspiring!

    1. Hi Tootles, Thank you! I am just adding this recipe to the post as Ive had several requests! It is so easy... anything in a water bath is so good in the crockpot. I will do that now... With love

  13. Like Holley, "crook" was unknown to me, as was "seedy," although I guessed their meaning from context. It's fun learning new expressions! Our daughter-in-law used to confuse me when she said our granddaughter was "I'll." I thought she meant sick, when she actually meant grumpy or I'll-tempered. She's from Alabama, US, but some of their expressions are different and new to us.
    Your baking and gifts from the swap are beautiful!
    I've started checking through the items I have on hand for Christmas gifts and stockings. Some of them were a nice surprise for me since I had forgotten them. I need to have everything pretty well set up because I am scheduled for knee replacement surgery December 19 and am not sure if I will be up to much for a bit after that.
    My husband spent most of the day yesterday working on treating our property for termites and is still working on it. Thankfully, one of our good neighbors had thoroughly researched the necessary process and helped him get things set up and started. I think we will save about $800!
    My mending finally got done--hemming and/or elastic replacement on 4 pair of sweatpants, a pair of shorts and a sleep mask for my husband.
    Our planters of flowers and vegetables are beginning to fill out. I am transplanting some of the seedlings that have come up on their own, as well as some that needed thinning. The roses are blooming and looking better after struggling through the summer. I think they are enjoying the cooler weather, too!
    Wishing you and the other Bluebirds a lovely weekend!
    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine, I love some of the expressions. One of my favourite US ones is "put up" as in put up something in the pantry. I actually use that one now.
      It sounds like you will be getting lots done before the surgery. Good idea. Keep it very easy after that! The savings are huge! What a great neighbour to help you like that!
      Your planters and roses sound lovely! I am in the middle of my present cupboard now and yes I have also found many surprises! This is the best bit! Have a lovely weekend, with love

  14. It really isn't a savings week here in my home, at least not much savings. I did some shopping, but I tried to make it count by using swagbucks or looking for promo codes or watching for sales or better prices on things. I'm putting together a Thanksgiving meal for up to 20 people next Thursday and we are meant to possibly have company stay as well. So I sorted out the guest room save one task I will attend to on Monday or Tuesday. It will take just a few moments and doesn't require a load of work. Then that is all done.
    My shopping this week included some things for Christmas, not gifts but for decorating. A few years ago I threw away every tatty bit and found I was left with pretty much nothing, so I've been rebuilding my stores of décor since then. This year's color scheme is playing out lovely with new pillow covers for the living room ($4 for 4!) and a new wreath that I found that cost 1/3 what it did another place and two cast aluminum reindeer which cost the same as a pair of resin ones at another store that were broken! I am over the moon about all the pretty things and am well pleased. Now I've everything I could have wanted to decorate with and I haven't spent hardly the cost of the one wreath I initially looked at.
    I really enjoyed the prior posts for this week as well. I said last year that I was finally at the age and stage of savings where there was 'nothing new under the sun' unless I learned new skills. So this year I made my first successful jelly and brushed up on my sewing skills to make a proper slip cover for a chair and went back to old skills of bread making and pastry making and yogurt making. I improved my yard a little and stayed fairly busy all year long. I'm looking forward to next year. I hope to learn to crochet. I have the needles just must get some yarn and now that I have unlimited data I can employ YouTube to teach me how.

    1. Dear Terri, You had a big week and it sounds like very big week next week!
      But you sound organised. When things quieten down I think you will LOVE crochet. It is quite addictive and I think knitting or crochet is very calming and satisfying. I love it. And the possibilities are endless! Next Wednesday for our bulk making post I will include some crochet projects.
      Being able to make slip covers is impressive they are not easy!
      Thanks for sharing your week Terri! With love

    2. Dear Terry
      I have a good bundle of yarn we could maybe trade on the next swap? And also Bella Coco has some great You Tube videos to teach you to crochet.

  15. Dear Annabel,
    Very pretty cups full of custard. You are very creative - always.
    Last week, I finished curtains for the laundry room and they are waiting to be hung. I did some rearranging in rooms this week and putzed around as usual. Due to some dietary changes and trying to get menu's sorted out, I didn't get much else done.
    We saved $332.10, off the regular price, this week on sale items. Natural Grocers has a good sale right now on products we normally purchase and Hobby Lobby had a good .99 pattern sale. All in all I saved around $300 off the retail cost of the clothing patterns, for 15 patterns.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda, Well done on making curtains! I like your word Putzed. I am going to sue that!
      Patterns at that price are amazing! Patterns here are very expensive. I got a shock!
      Have a wonderful new week! With love,

  16. I am always blessed by what you share, even if it's just rejoicing over your accomplishments. This custard recipe will help me use up my eggs too. Thanks for reminding us about using the crockpot for more. How elegant those custards look in the tea cups!

    My savings came mostly from several home haircuts and not attending a benefit concert (husband's job was slow). We were blessed by leftovers from a friend's church potluck. They knew the 11 of us would make short work of a green bean casserole and mashed potatoes (served with meatloaf). The leftover potatoes were turned into potato cakes the next day and served with jam. Yum! God is good! We were even blessed on Friday when we stopped in to the public library and they served us cake! It was leftover from their anniversary celebration the night before. Wow! We are blessed every week by our Provider! Sometimes it is just a reprieve from a difficult person. ;)



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