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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flu season...

I have had a sick boy at home with me for the last couple of days. The flu season is well and truly in full swing here in Australia and it's really hitting people hard.


Apparently we are in the grips of one of the worst flu seasons in recent years with the number of people suffering from the flu increasing by 50 per cent this year. This is hardly surprising  following our horrific summer full of natural disasters and a cooler than usual Autumn/Winter.

Big Al has had the usual aches and pains combined with a runny nose and cough. He has been a very good patient but he is really getting sick of being stuck at home. I never thought I would ever say this but I think I might be sick of Winter! Thank goodness Spring is just around the corner.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Room Reveal ~ Renovated Teenager's Retreat!

Hello dear friends! Thanks for stopping by to visit me here at Natasha inOz, in my little corner of the world Down Under! It's so nice to see you!

I am also excited to finally be sharing some pictures of our downstairs renovation. There has been a real metamorphosis in this space!  We haven't finished everything yet as we still need to re-paint the whole area but it's getting there, slowly but surely.

Our teenager's retreat!

home, Home Tour, renovation, room reveal, shutters, teenager's retreat,

New visitors to my blog might not know that our house was flooded a couple of times due to the enormous amount of rain we had here in Brisbane over the last couple of years. We were in drought for a while so even though the rain was refreshing and very much needed, it came very suddenly and it came down hard and fast! You can read about the terrible cyclone in Queensland here and you can  read about the floods here  and here. We were so lucky as we only had very minor damage and we were insured. There were thousands of people who were left homeless after the devastating floods and many were uninsured which is making their recovery even more difficult.

We lost a few things, had to replace flooring and we had to redo the plumbing and drainage for the house.

home, Home Tour, renovation, room reveal, shutters, teenager's retreat,

How about if I show you some before and after shots?


Monday, July 25, 2011

Tuesday Tune ~ To Everything There Is a Season

Thank you for stopping by and visiting Natasha In Oz today. I don't really have too much to say today....

Like many I am still in shock about the tragic events in Norway, Oslo and Utøya.

Tuesday Tune, To Everything There Is a Season, Norway, Natasha in Oz
Source
To the people of Norway, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. At this time of immense sadness, suffering and pain, I pray that hatred can be replaced with love, injury can be replaced with forgiveness and despair can be overcome by hope.

Today, I dedicate this post and my #TuesdayTune to the people of Norway.



If you would like to share a song this week please link up the url of your post to the linky tool below. Please feel free to grab a Tuesday Tune button to add to your post too.










Thanks so much for linking up and for joining in with #TuesdayTune this week.

Thanks also for taking the time to visit me in my little corner of the world-I so appreciate your bloggy friendship!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 
Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTERGOOGLE+

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Roses

For you, my friends, on this Wordless Wednesday....


Wishing you a happy Wednesday!

I'm linking to

Wordless/Wordful/Wordish Wednesdays at


I hope the rest of the week is fabulous for you. I'm doing a couple of days of substitute teaching so I'll see you at the end of the week. Thanks so much for visiting and spending time with me today; I truly appreciate your visits and your sweet comments!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays!

Hello friends! Thanks so much for dropping by today to see my Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays!

Last year I posted about the origins of Christmas in July so I won't go into that again today but if you would like to read more about Christmas in July just click here.

This year I will be making the same kinds of festive treats and I will decorating the house with just a few things to put us in the Christmas spirit. I've also decided to make mulled wine again as it was so delicious and warming last year.

Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays via Natasha in Oz


Mulled wine, variations of which are popular in Europe, is wine, usually red, combined with spices and typically served warm. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween.


Mulled wine, aka gluhwein, glögg, vin fiert or vin brulé, is drunk in many European countries around Christmas, but it is particularly associated with German and Nordic traditions where so-called “glogg” parties are a holiday season staple. It is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar. Glühwein is drunk pure or "mit Schuss" (with a shot), which means there is rum or liqueur added. The French name is vin chaud (hot wine).

Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays!


I used a recipe from Jamie Oliver and so I thought I would share the recipe today because, as he says, it's "Christmas in a glass."

Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays!

Jamie Oliver's Mulled wine recipe

Ingredients

• 2 clementines/oranges
• peel of 1 lemon
• peel of 1 lime
• 250g caster sugar
• 6 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 fresh bay leaves
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 1 whole vanilla pod, halved
• 2 star anise
• 2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine

Method

Peel large sections of peel from the citrus using a peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Add halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid transforms into a thick syrup. This creates a flavour base because the sugar and spices infuse with the wine.

When the syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

 
One song that will definitley be on my playlist for my Christmas in july party will be Ella Fitzgerald's version of Winter Wonderland with Frank DeVol's Orchestra.

Source
I hope that you enjoy today's wintery and festive tune!



What is your favourite Christmas Song? Do you have any suggestions for songs that I might like to add to my Christmas playlist? I would love to hear your suggestions!

Best wishes and I hope you have a wonderful week,

Natasha In Oz 


Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER, GOOGLE+

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Welcome sweet friends to Natasha In Oz! Thanks for stopping by and visiting me in my little corner of the world Down Under!

I'm sure many of you have already read or heard about Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness or if you are in Australia, Notes From my Kitchen Table: Delicious Recipes for Healthy, Happy Living. If you haven't I really think you should have a look at it-it's fabulous!  In the book she shares personal stories about her relationship with her father and how he inspired her to cook. She also shares stories about her own family life and tips on what to include in your pantry. I haven't been able to put it down and when I find a good cookbook I read it at every opportunity I have!

I've been reading in the lounge room....

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

I've been reading it in the den...

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz


I've also been reading it in the kitchen....

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

I've been reading it in bed....

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

And, I've even been reading it in the bath!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

The book is appealing in so many ways: the photos in it are warm and inspiring and there are lots of great healthy recipes that don't sound boring and bland, like these yummy Fish Tacos.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz
House and Home

I was particularly impressed by her mother's recipe for Blueberry Muffins. In the book Paltrow says,

The best ever! I grew up eating my mother's perfect blueberry muffins-they set an unbeatable standard-just the right balance of tart and sweet.When I was pregnant with my daughter, 
I asked my mother to make them for me all the time. 


Now, I really wanted to make these muffins as soon as I saw the recipe but I discovered that I had used all of our frozen blueberries! I did have some frozen cranberries,though, and since the flavours are meant to be a balance of tart and sweet I though it might just work...

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

And work they did!
The muffins were absolutely delicious!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

They were moist, sweet and they were eaten and enjoyed by everyone in the family within a couple of days! Lucky they are relatively healthy!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

So, if you are thinking of making some muffins this weekend, do give these a try, I'm sure you will love them!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

Blythe's Blueberry (or Cranberry!) Muffins

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup/125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs (preferably organic)
1/2 cup/125ml milk (I used 2%)
2 cups/225g unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup/175g plus 1 tsp sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups/300g fresh blueberries (or cranberries!)

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 375°F or 190°C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk butter, eggs and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; fold in berries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Best eaten warm!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Blueberry Muffin Recipe, Natasha in Oz

Thanks for dropping by today~I'm so grateful for my fabulous bloggy friends! If you have time, I'd love to hear from you so don' be shy and leave a comment!

I hope you can come back to visit on Tuesday to hear my latest favourite song at my Tuesday Tune post.

Best wishes and happy weekend,
Natasha In Oz 
Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTERGOOGLE+

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday Tune and a Picnic Down Under!

Hello dear friends and welcome to NatashaInOz.com! Thank you so much for dropping to visit me in my little corner of the world Down Under today. It's so nice to see you!

I am actually a bit sad today as it is nearly the end of the winter vacation and my kids are going back to school on Tuesday. I love having Maddy and Big Al at home with me and even though they do tend to fight sometimes they love being at home together too. We have had a good break and to end our holiday today we went on a picnic and a hike through the JC Slaughter Falls park in the Mt Coot-tha Reserve.




Friday, July 8, 2011

Malaysian food and a party for my Nan!

Welcome dear friends! I don't know about you but I can't quite believe that it is already Friday! I also can't believe that the school holidays are nearly over and my kids will be back at school next week. Their three week holiday has just flown by. We have had a really relaxing break. We went to the beach, met up with family and friends and we did lots of baking.



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ To Pick a Flower

"To pick a flower is so much more satisfying than just observing it, or photographing it ... So in later years, I have grown in my garden as many flowers as possible for children to pick." 
- Anne Scott-James

Wordless Wednesday, Natasha in Oz, Flower image
Thank you to my darling daughter Maddy for taking this picture!

Happy Wednesday!

 and 
Wordless/Wordful/Wordish Wednesdays at

Thanks for having me today!

Best wishes always,
Natasha In Oz 
Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTERGOOGLE+

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Birthday #TuesdayTune for my Nan!

Hello my friends! Thank you so much for stopping by and spending time with me today-it's so nice to see you!

Before I share my Tuesday Tune with you, I have some exciting news about my photo that I submitted to BHG for the weekly Photo fave competition...I won!



I know I wouldn't have won if it wasn't for you my sweet friends, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you so very much!

Now to my Tuesday Tune!


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