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 15 February 2018

Feather your Nest Friday, 16th February, 2018.

We were so lucky this week with mild weather and a cool breeze in the evenings.  So much easier!

Some of the ways I saved and feathered my nest included:

I made yoghurt.

I picked the very last of the peaches. This was about 7 more kilos (14 lb)  so over all I had ended up with over 100 kilos of peaches.  This kept me busy for three weeks!

These gave me (and the wider family) beautiful fresh fruit daily,  peach crumbles, pies, cobblers, stewed fruit and cakes. The freezer is full. Mums freezer is full!
All of this when I doubted I would get any free fruit this year.  It came on top of my Aunts beautiful plums.   Now I have started on the Quinces.

The first thing I did was make a big batch of Quince Paste.  This is so delicious and keeps ages.  It sells for $5.50 for 100 grams in the supermarket.  
I cut mine into 18 portions a little larger than this.  

It goes with cheese and crackers or on a cheese board.   So yum!
I will give some as gifts too as once you have had it then it is a kind of addiction!

I gave Harper the bike I found once I had it cleaned up and decorated.   Complete hit!

She has baby in the back. 😊

For Valentines Day I baked a large heart shaped dish of Chocolate Brownies.  This was desert and then I cut it into squares and froze heaps to go in lunch boxes.

I cut Andy's hair.

Lucy gave me some moisturiser which I put away to use next.

I had my car serviced and tried a mechanic that Lucy uses. He comes to your house and so this is a huge time saver.  His price was cheaper than the dealer I had been going to.  Then I offered him cash and it was half again!   And he was fantastic!   This was a big saving and now will be in the future.

Finally I got somewhere with one of my New Year plans... to learn to sell things.  Lucy had given me some children's clothes that were surplus or rejects from her online store.   I set them up on a stand and took a photo.

I offered them as a single lot as I didn't want a crowd in my house or too much drama.  I said $100 for it all.  Then I posted on a Facebook local buy, sell, swap group.  They were sold in five minutes and picked up by the end of the day.  There was a queue of reserve buyers.   I was amazed how easy this was.   Success!  Also stuff out of my craft room!
Now what to sell next!? 

I have been working on my craft cupboard and organisation.  I have along way to go!

Andy had Vicky Challenge savings this week which amounted to $550!  He is very pleased with himself. 

So that was my week!   I am pretty pleased.  

How did you save, get ahead, add to your pantry or any other good thing?  
I feel I am working on many areas all at once at the moment.  Everyday I work a bit more on my craft organisation,  a bit on general household organisation,  each week I am rotating things stored in my cellar and most days I have been working through fruit.  I figure if I keep chipping away at them all sooner or later I will get there! 

Have a lovely weekend!  xxx


  1. Annabelle, It Sounds like a wonderful week for you!
    We are in the middle or re-doing our laundry room so everything is kind of a mess around here. But I was able to clear out a couple of things in my craft room, so hard to do anything in there as it's full of laundry paraphernalia.
    I have been cooking from home mostly so that would be my only savings and making brownies for the Valentine dessert.
    It's pretty cold here still can't wait till spring so I can get some herbs planted!

    1. Dear Laurie,
      I know all about the fun of renovating! I hope it is over soon and you love the result. It does lead to a lot of sorting, cleaning, re arranging etc. which is good in the end!
      I cant wait for autumn! I can imagine you waiting on spring. Summer is my least favourite season. It is quite tough. I will be happy to see the back of it! It will be lovely to get planting soon! with love

  2. Annabel that's a great week! I've only just discovered Facebook Buy Sell Swap pages and have filled my wardrobe with new-to-me dresses for a fraction of their retail cost. Now to sell some things I no longer need! Better than eBay and less hassle! That little bike came up a real treat too, and I remember doing this for my boys. One of my brothers was an absolute whiz with bicycles and my sons had BMX bikes for far less than a new one would have cost. Well done. It looks like Harper loves it. And I bet you're almost glad to see the end of the! This week we had a mini break at home saving hundreds on an 'away' break. We did have a tiny 'away' break as well, but considering we'd discussed a trip involving flights and accommodation, and we ended up just driving to our beach shack, we were quite proud of ourselves. I saved by dosing the family up on bone broth and home made essential oil chest rub when they came down with a flu (in the middle of Summer!), bathed the dog, washed the car, and took cuttings from my French Lavender to pot up for friends for Mothers Day in May. I made yoghurt, baked, and I'm about to make a birthday cake for my granddaughters sixth birthday tomorrow, which always saves at least $100 if not significantly more. A good week here too. I also wanted to thank the Bluebirds for their prayers for my daughters friend Darina. Darina is now home, and is recovering slowly. She is back at school for a couple of hours a day, and will continue to improve. We and she, are blessed to see her restored to good health. Thankyou all, and much love. Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      These fb pages can be amazing. And more or less local which is handy. And free! I am keeping an eye on mine now. You have had some lovely finds!
      I think your mini break sounds lovely. I have come to dread really long trips, airports and so on. I need a break that involves half a day easy travel max! I think your bone broth is excellent. I posted that to FB the other day but I must link to it here.
      I cant wait to see this cake. Your cakes are out of this world. My all time favourite was the little pony cake! I cant believe your GD is 6!
      Good news on Darina. What a fright for her and her family. So glad to hear this. Thank you Mimi. With much love

  3. Not so much nest feathering as pantry building. This week I purchased 16 ounces of local unfiltered honey and it cost $16, ouch. I'm assured I will love it but your recent price of zero was a much better deal, lol. Other than that I've just been staying home. I'm one of those ladies that if I go into a store for 2-3 things I come out with 10, better for me to just stay away.

    1. Dear Jacki, I think hone is a good investment but yes you cant beat zero dollars. Vicky always says free is her favourite price! Pantry building is a very good thing! Have a great weekend! With love,

  4. I am very happy with myself Annabell. Unfortunately I had missed a payment on our house insurance, so I promptly rang up to rectify that. The man asked me whether I had thought of adding our Contents insurance to this policy as it would be cheaper. We currently pay $300 a year for $70,000 contents cover, which is $25 per month (will another company). I decided to ring the company whom we have Building insurance, to add contents to the policy also. By doing this, I have saved $150 a year and only costs $13.55 per month for contents cover. Very pleased with this outcome and saving.!!Regards Robyne S.A

    1. Dear Robyne, Well done on the savings on the insurance! That could be a good tip for someone too.
      Really an annual ring around on all these kind of bills is a good idea and we need to do that as it is a while since we did. No-one seems to reward loyalty it is often best to say can you offer a better rate and get some quotes... this has worked for us on everything from internet plan, phone plan etc.
      Also re the there comment... I think the fb pages are wonderful too! I am now watching ours closely! It is fantastic! But I better concentrate on selling not buying! Have a great weekend! With love

  5. Annabel, your industriousness and creativity is very inspiring. Thank you! Would you mind posting the recipe or link to the quince paste? It ( and everything else) looks delicous! Thanks for all you do on your blog :).


    1. Dear Marney, thank you! I will tell you the recipe since I made it up by fixing the mistakes of the last few years. We always loved Maggie Beer Quince Paste and this was the goal. Recipes I found all had water in them that you then spend hours trying to evaporate out. So this year I filled my crockpot with whole washed quinces. Don't peel, nothing. I half filled with water and cooked over night. Next day they were all soft and easy to deal with where as they were hard as rocks before! I let them cool. Then I threw away that water. I cut the quinces up throwing away some of the peel but not all and the cores. I measured what I had in a big jug... it was about two kilos... but this doesnt matter just fill a jug and then fill the same jug with sugar so you have about equal fruit to sugar. I put this all in the crockpot (no water at all) on low for a few hours and stir now and then. I added half a packet of jamsetta (Not sure I spelled that right) as you need the paste to be thick. I left the lid a jar a bit to let steam out. I cooked and stirred this for most of the day then it was all soft so I stuck in the stick blender and blended it until really smooth. By now it was a deep ruby. I let that go a bit longer and then took out a spoon and let it cool and I could see this had set. Basically like making jam. Then I lined a couple of loaf tins with glad wrap as I think if you didnt you would never get it out of the mould. Once cold I sliced it which was the next day. It sliced so nicely. This worked much easier than the recipes with water in them! So I will do this way from now on. I wrapped each bit and keep in the fridge. You could also make in nice moulds like heart shapes or in muffin trays to get nice shaped rounds. It is so delicious! With love

  6. Yes we also have a Buy/Sell Exchange in the country town where I live, and it is amazing how quick things can sell. I love it. As my children are now older, I sold their baby/toddler coat hangers in bundles, and made a tidy sum. I was so pleased. More stuff out the house! Win, win. regards Robyne S.A

  7. Dear Annabel,

    -I prepped more than a dozen cards to embroider.
    -I sold four urn vases for the same amount I gave for them 15 years ago.
    -I gave away and threw away.
    -I began quilting my first Gramps Shirts Baby Boy quilt. No baby boy yet, but when we get one, it’ll be ready. Five more baby boy quilts to go after this one’s finished.
    -I embroidered a birthday card for a Sweet Sixteen.
    -I made a darling size 2T dress from former linen townhouse curtains and a floral bedsheet.
    -We watched “Lost Valentine” on Valentine’s Day after church and I served my sweetheart his favorite homemade Raisin Bars (slice) with cream cheese frosting (his mother’s recipe). <3


    1. Dear Kelley, I love your cards! A gift in themselves.
      I love your plan ahead baby boy quilt. We are alike. I dont let no one being pregnant hold me back either! haha! (but true!)
      Your Valentines Day sounds just lovely! What a nice week! With much love

  8. Dear Annabel , everything looks good from the quince paste to Harpers trike . The brownie looks yummy !
    Well done in your first sale ! That is something I’ve shyed away from ...
    This week I’ve avoided temptations to eat out :-)
    Baked and cooked diabetic friendly meals for DH , but the baking wasn’t popular with him .
    Helping with grandkids and visiting family needing some comfort .
    Writing notes for our oils and health care .
    Mimi - so good to hear Darina is on the mend !
    And I hope you all are too .
    With love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, Yes I am terrible as selling things so this was a break through!
      I must mention... with me going grain free... basically Andy ends up grain free. This has caused his blood sugar readings to be normal. So by accident this has worked for him too. So my baking has had to adapt a lot and crustless quiches etc are big. It is awful when we go to heaps of trouble and it doesnt go down well! The Brownie was a bit of a deviation through we will say special occasion!
      I have my diffuser going today... getting the hang of something else... driven by Andy having a cold. Anyway Im liking it and the house smells good.
      Also I am working on things that help me get off to sleep. I will let you know what I think works the best! Have a good weekend! With love

    2. Hi Maria. Trim Healthy Mama, Nana’s Kitchen and Briana Thomas have some good recipes that may work for you and your husband.

  9. Your posts are always so encouraging. Thank you!

  10. Hello Annabel and everyone :) .

    Wonderful Annabel that you had your first sale you should be proud of yourself and congratulate Andy on his wonderful Vicky challenge total.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $222.33 this week.

    We had an extremely busy week of organising the inside of the home and vacuum sealed blankets, towels, quilts and clothing. We now have the spare towels and sheets now vacuum sealed in the bathroom pantry and that is all now organised and looking much better.

    Our winter clothing and spares were also vacuum sealed and put away and the blankets, quilts and sleeping bags were sealed and put up on top of the medical cupboard in our dressing room and off the second set of gorilla shelving we are using for more groceries. Our spare and winter clothing in that room is now vacuum sealed and neatly stacked in there too.

    On our back veranda we made a privacy screen from the left over shade cloth we were given and tent posts we had along with fencing wire at virtually no cost to us. We also put up our umbrella on that side of the veranda too tying it down with more fence wire so it was secure.

    Gifts -
    - Accepted with thanks the gift of 24 figs from a friends fig tree saving $24 over purchasing them.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the garden -
    - Planted a 3.5mt row of turnip seeds in the gardens.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 3 x 100pk bottles of multivitamins for $8.99ea and took advantage of a discount of 15% off the price of ear drops needed saving $47.24 on usual prices.
    - Purchased 2 months worth of DH's pain medication for $6.40 on a bulk script saving $70.40 over usual prices of buying the boxes separately.
    - Bought a new mattress for our bed and boy it is comfortable and made us realise how worn our last one truly was. We have both slept like babies since buying it.
    - Purchased a $350 Woolworths e-voucher for $300 on eBay saving us $50 or 16.66% of the usual price of our staple pantry items. With this voucher we purchased which will arrive tomorrow in addition to stocks already here 5mths worth of flour, 6mths worth of white sugar, 4mths of rolled oats, 3mths of tinned champignons, 3mths of tinned diced tomatoes, 4mths worth of tinned pears, 2mths of cocoa powder, 4mths of powdered milk and 6 months supply of freezer bags. So happy we could accomplish this :).

    eBay Listings -
    - Took advantage of a free listing promotion and listed 10 homemade items saving $16.50 in normal listing fees.

    Fuel Savings -
    - When going to a conference out of town we found really cheap fuel at a service station 22c per litre cheaper than what we can get here so filled up our tank saving $6.69.

    Electricity savings -
    - By using our solar lanterns each night and only turning on the hot water system on when necessary saved another $7.50 in electricity costs.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


    1. Dear Sewingcreations, You have been a real encouragement to me to get selling. I just had to pluck up some courage and now I think oh it is easier than I thought! So thank you!
      The vac sealing is a real space saver. I think it is great. It is also fun when you let air back in and see it come back to life!
      The mattress sounds wonderful. I think we need a new mattress. It has been a very good one but around a long time. This is a good investment I think.
      The e voucher is a big saver! This is clever!
      As usual you had a very productive week! And you got well ahead with the pantry supplies which is very good! Have a lovely weekend! With love

  11. I just love how much free fruit you have gotten lately. What an absolute windfall to the family.
    Harper is just the prettiest thing ever!!

    1. Dear Cheryl, I hope you have similar luck when it is your summer. It has been amazing. Thank you so much! With love

  12. It sounds GREAT that Andy saved on a "Vicky Challenge"! Not sure what that is, but I like the savings!
    This week:
    Made our own shampoo
    Made a foam dispenser hand soap
    Made flatbread
    Made an apple crisp
    Made banana date cookies
    Made coconut crackers
    Stayed home. Great week! Loads of fun!
    Looking for how to make a 2018 planner. I've never had one, but now I think I would like to use one...but, looked online for them...My! They are ridiculously expensive! Any thoughts? Maybe they can be MY Vicky Challenge?
    Have a great "frugal" week! Cheeryshirley

    1. Dear Cheeryshirley, I love a planner! Yes you will find one online to print for free! Kelsey made her own and added all kinds of things she wanted to include. Also... you can just find yourself a good office like diary. You can choose a week to a double page or a day to a page.... this time of year you should be able to get a bargain! Try the cheap shops. Then personalise this, cover it nicely if you want etc. Essentially it is just the same thing.
      You got a lot of great things done! Big money savers too! And I also would find this fun! Let me know how you go with your planner! With love

  13. Annabel,
    What a lovely week. The peaches look so good. Last summer at the farmers market I paid over 2 dollars a piece for peaches. It was a big treat. So you had a huge savings on those peaches. Kristi found an orange tree that no one picks behind her work. She asked and they said pick as many as you want. I have taken you're hint and am taking notice of the fruit trees in bloom. The people seem to just let the fruit fall. We are trading lemons for succulents this weekend. Kristi was given a hug area rug this weekend. She checked the price online $ 1,000 dollars. We are got a cute rod iron table with a Wood top from the buy nothing Facebook group and were able to gift some things to others this is so fun. Good for you listing the clothes and making a quick sale. We also listed something's on offer up last night. Hopeful they will sell. Harper looks she sweet on her new bike. We have continued with eating from the freezer and cupboard. This has saved so much. This week we did stop for milk,bananas and lettuce. We have the list on the side of the frig so when we think oh there is nothing we can see xy and z are made and in the freezer and we can make this,this and this. The weather has been lovely so we have not needed heat at night.
    I hope everyone has a beautiful week.
    Much love,

    1. Dear Patti, I am so excited about the oranges! Last week Tania and Jo both said how fresh citrus keeps them so well. This is a big bonus. My winter range cake is a good recipe.... it uses a whole orange.
      The area rug is also a huge bonus! Wow this is a good week.
      Also it is so good to swap fruit for other things you need.
      Truly if you watch fro fruit trees and ask you end up with an abundance. So much is wasted. But not by us!
      I am also having a use it up and rotate session from the pantry, cellar and freezer. I will save the money for if we move and I will need things and to re stock.
      Have a good weekend. What a week you had! It was a joy to hear this! With love

  14. Hi Annabel and bluebirds,
    This past week saw a return to work for me after our week away. I found it difficult to leave my favourite place. It is a small seaside town about 8 hours drive away. I saw a number of homes we could afford to buy, however that remains a future dream, as we have committments here at home for some time to come yet. Twenty years ago if you had suggested I live in a small town I'd have lauged. Now I love the peace and quiet, the sea and rivers to swim in and no traffic lights, shopping malls or congestion. Health wise I think this would support and benefit me. One day, one day.

    Here at home we have had our new bed delievered, what bliss. We purchased a King koil mattress and base for $2699 instead of $5000.
    My partner who was a little unsure at first, commented on what a good choice I made to do this. He said he is sleeping well and not as sore in the morning when he gets up. Like you and Andy, Annabell, we had our old bed for a long time and it was overdue for replacing. I had done a lot of looking and planning over the past couple of years and am rapt with our choice.

    This week will see the start of our house beeing painted. We had a painter recommended to us and after one quote being twice the cost of everyone else it is great to have been able to achieve this through a recommendation.

    Annabel the peaches you have collected are amazing. Over here they are selling for around $6.99kg. I love peaches but will not pay that price for fruit that is more often than not dry and tasteless.

    Annabell I have been gluten free for 12 years now due to an autoimmune disease. You can convert just about any baking recipe to gluten free by replacing the flour cup for cup, with gluten free flour. To stop the baking from being dry and crumbly you add a teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum per cup of gluten flour. You can get this in most supermarkets now. Or in health food shops. I have a wonderful brownie recipe that I will get out and post for you later. Every time I make it disappears fast.

    Have a wonderful week everyone.


    1. Dear Mandy, Sorry to be so slow to reply! You saved so much on that bed! I am glad it agrees so much with both of you too.
      I hope you get to live in your dream town one day... these thing just happen I think if they are meant to.
      There are a lot of GF ladies here. I truly think for autoimmune it is a good idea. I have decided I am best grain free although I am pretty sure wheat is my number one cause of pain but I know I have trouble with seeds too. I think I would tell anyone suffering pain to try going both gluten free and grain free, give each a couple of weeks just to see what happens. It is worth it as it is so completely surprising! It only took four days fro me to feel like a new person. I wouldnt have imagined this in my wildest dreams! But it is worth it! I hope the paining is going well. It will look wonderful! With love

  15. What a blessing all that free fruit was for you. I have a question about the quince paste. I don't even know if we have quince here in the states but does one store that? Do you freeze it or is it shelf stable? Looks so yummy!!

    1. Dear Denise, Sorry to take so long to reply! I keep it wrapped in the fridge but I think it would last at least a year. I did this because the one sold at the supermarket is in the fridge section so I copied. But it stayed perfect last year so I was very happy with it. In the footie season once a week we have a platter type dinner and some of this goes on. It is so nice! With love

  16. Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts aand I will be waiting forr your further write ups thanks once again.


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