Saturday, July 7, 2018 I saved money in June 2018...

Let's start with this wondrous antique wedding gown circa 1887, Cincinatti. Via Pinterest. Daughter, who is all of 18 1/2 years old and fresh in love with her Boy, declared this to be her future wedding gown. No pressure on the Boy, you understand. It might be another Boy. But boy, when daughter shows you this and says that's what she wants, well, you'd better get a start on it!

I'm thinking it's a simple boat neckline on a fitted bodice, with a semi-gathered skirt, and the under-bust waist cincher over the top. I'm not worried about that bit.

It's those beaded dangles! Hundreds, if not thousands of them!

I made an experimental one here, with what I had on hand, and that hasn't resolved the issue of the flower top bit...

I explored the local haberdashery, and found this pretties, which might do well as a substitute...

 Future (distant future perhaps, but one has to start somewhere!) savings in the thousands!
I cut Daughters hair...oh those ringlets! Saving $100.

I fizzed our own tap water with the Soda Stream and bottled it up into my fancied $2 water bottles. This saves us over $60 a week in purchased water or mineral water!

Many, many lasagnas were made. Some for immediate consumption by the family, some for later. These gluten free FODMAP friendly lasagnas would cost a minimum of $40 EACH at a specialty deli (which is the ONLY place you'd find one this size). A single serve frozen one from the supermarket is $10. So these are worth their weight in gold. Savings of at least $160.

I conjured up a pretty decent home made gluten free pizza base too. I'm not a fan of pizza, but the family is, so it became a necessity to avoid spending $40 on a pizza on lazy nights.

Here's my recipe for rustic gluten free pizzas:

1 1/2 cups GF flour combined with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum in a bowl. Then in a separate bowl, 1/2 cup blood warm water with 2 teaspoons dry active yeast whisked in till dissolved, with 1/2 teaspoon each sugar and salt and a tablespoon of olive oil added. Wet added to dry ingredients then kneaded for 2 minutes with extra flour added to the bench as required, just to smooth (kneading for elasticity is not required for gluten free dough). Let it rise in a really warm place. It will take longer than you think. GF can be challenging at times. Tear off chunks and spread them with your fingers, on well greased trays, before topping and baking in a hot oven till bubbly and golden.

Looks pizza-ish to me! Savings $160 on bought pizza as this batch yielded 4 pizzas.

I made some new napkins (serviettes to some of us).

I love that this are floral, yet bold...

And such a pretty accent with my blue dinnerware.

I'll talk about the Glampavan makeover in a minute, but lets just say that the offcuts alone of the $3 a metre fabric purchased for curtains, yielded 12 good sized napkins in a happy neutral daisy pattern...

Savings on new purchased napery, of at least $100.

I made up a new batch of Miracle cleaner, and tinted it a pretty peach colour. That stuff saves us $25 a month in cleaning products.

I also made a new batch of our favourite sensitive laundry detergent, saving $50 in laundry products.

I'm experimenting with making citrus cleaner with the Makrut Limes that would otherwise just be binned. These are not good eating. We grow them for the leaves which we use in Thai dishes. They add a fabulous depth of flavour, much like an intense lime zest, but more earthy if that makes any sense. But the fruit are inedible. They taste like soap. We'll see how successful this is as a spray cleaner in a week or two. Potential savings of $20 a month on citrus bathroom cleaner.
I made Petit Fours for a celebration for a friend. Mainly so I could remember how to do them. They're not hard. But they are a start one day, finish the next kinda thing.
Bake a slender sheet cake, any kind. Denser cakes are better though.

Cut it in half....

Sandwich with jam or marmalade. I used orange marmalade and chocolate cake.

Freeze overnight. This just makes them easier to cut and coat.

Cover in marzipan for a nice smooth finish, and cut into fingers, then into squares. Remember these should only be a mouthful or two at most...

Freeze again for an hour or so. The icing hardens more effectively if the cakes are well chilled. Also they won't crumb as much.

Line them up on a cooling rack with a baking paper lined tray underneath.

Make a simple sugar icing, by combining 4 cups of powdered (icing) sugar with 4 tablespoons of liquid (water, citrus juice etc). I used lemon juice which is a great foil for the cloying sweetness of the cake, the marmalade and the sugar in the icing. You can make yours any flavour you like. You need a good pouring consistency, much like pouring cream.
Pour the icing over the cubed cake-lets, letting the drips accumulate on the lined baking tray underneath. You can re-use that icing, but I often find it has crumbs in it so I don't bother.

As you pour the icing, use a spoon dipped in the icing, to swirl squiggles or dots on top of your petit fours.

Decorate them with bought or hand made sugar flowers. I made these ones while watching a football match with husband. They're not perfect, but they're pretty...

Note that I don't worry if my petit fours aren't completely covered too...

Position them prettily in a box with cellophane and they're a perfect Hostess or Thankyou gift...

...also Pearl dust (available from cake decorating suppliers) covers a multitude of sins...look...

Petit fours cost $6.50 each at my local posh bakery. EACH people. I made 24. That's about $150 I've saved!
And look how pretty they were. I ate one for breakfast. Sorry...

Poached chicken. Where do I start. Magical. Bring a pot of water with some aromatics added to a simmer. Throw in a chicken breast. Turn the heat source off, and put a firm fitting lid on the pot. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. The chicken is cooked when it's white all the way through, but perhaps just pinkish white. This ensures it's succulent and moist. See below. Chill the chicken breast in it's cooking liquid, then slice thinly for sandwiches. This is a single half breast here, all sliced and ready to go. Amazing.
Savings on deli meat, up to $30.

Chicken, mayo and lettuce sandwiches...yummm…

Speaking of sandwiches, my favourite filling is actually a protein like egg, chicken or meat, layered with rocket, sliced cheese, mayo and hot chilli sauce. What's yours?

 Daughter and her Boy are off to a music festival soon. It's a coming-of-age thing here. They're camping too, which will be a new experience for them both. We're glampifying a van we used to transport Mr A in his wheelchair when he still lived at home. Alas he is too tall for it now, but it's a handy little runabout.

Daisy curtains, done and dusted. Wait till you see the inside! Next week ;-)

Accomodation costs saved $2000.

Meanwhile, in the thrift shop corner, I discovered this very attractive tassel necklace. Hopelessly tangled, so a bargain at just $3. It's a classy addition to my accessories hanger. Let's call that a $30 saving.

We continue to drink our home fizzed water...even in Winter here. That's an achievement in itself...

And no roses in this garden, but I do follow VIP roses on Instagram, and am treated daily to visions like this....

That's a saving if ever there was one! Bought roses of the type I like are $75 a bunch.

Estimated insourcing savings this month around $2,930-ish dollars, and that doesn't include potential savings on a formal or bridal gown somewhere down the track. Add another $1000 or two just for fun.

That's a successful month.

How was June for you?

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  1. Goodness me, Mimi you have been productive. Your girl will probably change her mind a thousand times about the dress I would imagine. Then again she might really know what she wants at a young age,

    1. Chel, I'm sure she will. But I figure it's a peaceful pastime, and I can always sell them on Etsy ;-) Mimi xxx

  2. My goodness, Mimi, you are the queen of saving money. So many fabulous hints here. Love the dress. The beading would take forever. =)

    1. Dear Kim, thankyou my lovely. And how nice to see you! Yes that beading would take forever. So I figured I'd start making the dangles. Yes she'll probably change her mind in the coming years, but no pretty is ever wasted, right? Mimi xxx

  3. Dear Mimi, you are an inspiration! I managed to make little baked custards, choc chip cookies and start a crochet blanket this week. The blanket is a great achievement for me as even though it's a basic pattern I didn't think I'd be able to do it - it's exciting! Have a great weekend, Clare

    1. Clare that's great work! Crochet requires the sort of patience I do not have, but I have a shot at it now and again too. I find that a basic pattern often looks the most effective so well done you! I'm so proud of you. Mimi xxx

  4. Lots of pretties and good things. Those savings on the cleaning supplies I never spend that much a month on cleaning supplies. I buy mine from the Dollar store. I agree with the above poster, you daughter will change her mind a thousand times before she actually gets married, so don't make too many beads just yet! I just love your water bottles that you decorated; they look so elegant! I really enjoy these posts from you.

    1. PenPen, I swear by a particular bathroom cleaner that's a bit pricey, and we need sensitive skin laundry detergent, so that tends to rack up the dollars a bit. It really does save me that much to make my own. A good feeling. Yes, daughter will probably change her mind, but those dangles would look pretty on so many things, so I'm sure they won't be wasted. They're so gorgeous to make, and I could always make a killing on! Love, Mimi xxx

  5. Your daughter has exquisite taste! That gown is stunning, and she would look gorgeous in it. I think the top flower bit is actually embroidered on the gown, not separate like the dangles.
    Rocket (arugula) is one of my favorite lettuces--baby rocket is extra peppery. I love a good sandwich, too. If I can't have homemade bread, I do like a wrap. I would do mine up just as you do, except with sriracha mayo and pickled beets. Grilled ham & cheese with horseradish, honey mustard, and beets is a favorite!
    Your petite fours are beautiful! I've made them once (Martha Stewart's recipe with fondant). They were fiddly, fussy, and not that tasty. Never again!

    1. Sue, she does, yes. And she's fairly consistent and knows what she likes. That said, I'm sure she's going to change her mind, but no harm done to make some pretty beadlets. You may be right in saying that the flower is embroidered. It's hard to tell, isn't it! I love rocket too. My favourite as well! Love your sandwich idea. And the petit fours...arrgh! Yes fiddly, but so fun if you have the time. Have a great week. Mimi xxx

  6. I love the test bauble you made. For the flowers to attach them to, maybe you could find some organza or chiffon made with flowers.

    1. Thankyou chipmunk! Yes that's a great idea too. Half the fun is in the experimenting, I think. Mimi xxx

  7. June was big! I am now following VIP roses! Thanks for the gf pizza recipe. I am going to do pizzas this week now. I look at the prices of GF things ready made and holy cow they are ridiculous! So these are big savings. I had a find with that choc cake so my gf options keep growing.
    I thought the drink bottles were so stylish and I see very good plain glass bottles to use so nice!
    I would have to keep a few of those ringlets. Harper has similar ones but no hair cut so far but if cut I will say please keep some!
    That was a good month! Onwards and upwards now in July! xxx

    1. Lol Annabel...I thought you'd already be following them for certain! It's a feast for the eyes, isn't it? Oh my goodness, do not get me started on the price of gluten free foods. I've actually thought of complaining to the ACCC, as it's beyond a joke. But I don't think it would make any difference. Still if we ALL complained it might! Meanwhile, I'm happy to make my own. I just keep gradually expanding my repertoire, and these days, we're pretty right. The bread is the biggest expense at $8 a loaf. I've kept Daughters ringlets in the past, but she just keeps growing them, so I think we'll be able to admire them for a long while yet. They are so pretty though. Have a great week, and yes, a new month! Fun! Love, Mimi xxx

  8. Your petit fours are very pretty. Almost too pretty to eat. Oh the hair on the floor! I just can't imagine cutting that beautiful hair. Have a great week.

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    2. Hi Vickie. I just had to delete a reply to you as I called you! Monday brain! Yes the hair...gosh...I hate cutting it. But she's at the age where she wants to look more grown up so what to do? She'll drift back to having it long eventually. So much more versatile. Have a lovely week. Mimi xxx

  9. Dear Mimi,
    Great savings! I love the water bottles you decorated and your sandwiches look delicious. I also always love what you do with your cakes. You have such talent in so many areas. Thank you for sharing it with us!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey, thanks so much. They were so easy, and of course inspired by Annabel and her essential oil labels. Once you start labelling things so prettily, it's hard to stop! You always say the loveliest things. Mimi xxx

  10. What a brilliant month! These posts are always my favourite, they inspire me so much. Thank you!

    1. Thankyou so much Ree. It was a good month. I'm glad you feel inspired after visiting. Mimi xxx

  11. I love your attitude of gratitude and how you exercise good stewardship! Looks like you do a great job of nurturing those around you and enhancing their lives with a feast for the senses. Thanks for sharing :-)

    1. Thankyou. You've made my day with that comment. Mimi xxx

  12. Such a beautiful dress! Using Snipping Tool I snipped a portion of the image and enlarged it. The flowers appear to be embroidered on the fabric itself. The dangles then are attached to them on the bottom............... :)

    1. Thanks Lynda! I think you may be right! Mimi xxx


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