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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Tuesday Tune & 5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home!

Last week I posted about my love of fresh flowers and I was so touched by your very kind responses and comments about my post. Your words made me realise a few things about where I am heading with my blog. I loved putting that post together and I wrote it while contemplating the many emails I had recently received from advertisers, marketing companies, people who want to do guest blogging etc etc. I am in the middle of hosting a give away right now and, as much as I have enjoyed doing this, I felt so pressured to do the right thing for everyone else that I lost focus on what this blog was meant to be all about in the first place, 

I love being an amateur photographer and writing about things that make ME happy, like my family, my home, decorating, cooking and music. You have probably noticed that I have found other online passions, Pinterest and Instagram!

So, from now on I will be posting about things that I love and I won't be doing any more give-aways, unless of course they are from me alone! I will still have Google Ads on my blog, though, as they are providing me with a teeny little bit of extra pocket money which is great, especially since I am not working full time to focus on my family.  I will still be hosting my weekly Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party on the weekends because I love meeting new bloggers from all around the globe! Having my post up on Friday also means that I can have the weekend to myself and I can come and visit all of my bloggy friends during the week. That makes me happy!

So, apart from blogging, what else makes me happy?

Well, my family is, and, will always be, my number one priority and everything I do is for them. So for today's post I would like to share some of the ways that I try to make our home a happy place...

Here are 5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home!

I try my hardest to make our home a happy place and I also try to make visitors to our home feel part of the family. I know I've already touched on it but I will just re-emphasise that I love having fresh flowers in our home.  It is definitely one of the first things I do to make our home look and feel welcoming and beautiful.

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

The 2nd Way I try to make a Happy Home is to have lots of family photos everywhere. I love looking at family snaps and reminiscing about the happy times we have had together as a family. I have a photo wall in our main den, I have portraits on walls and I have frames all over the house.

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

The third thing I love to do in our home is to not to aim for total perfection! I aim instead to have a warm and welcoming environment in our home by having lots of fun accessories in every room to add happy pops of colour. I'm always faffing around the house, plumping cushions, finding new homes for things and trying to make our home personal, colourful, comfy and happy!

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home
5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

The fourth way I try to create a happy home is by making it smell nice. I don't mean that I am always spraying our home with Ambi-pur and the like. I try to have scented candles burning as often as possible and I use a variety of sprays to create fresh aromas and provide a happy mood in the house. 

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

The final way that I make our home a happy place is by playing music.

We all have ipods and we all love listening to our favourite music throughout the day. For example, this week Maddy has been constantly playing this: 

Big Al just heard this song performed at a school choral performance so he has been singing this non stop!

Mr Attorney loves tormenting us sharing with us his love of the classic song Khe Sanh by Australian band Cold Chisel.

Anyone who knows me and follows my blog would know that I love ALL kinds of music and my ipod playlist is wide and varied. This week I have been listening to Christmas music, Adele, Beethoven and this.

Why do I love music so much? Well, there are so many studies about the importance of music and Louise Miles, president of the Australian Music Therapy Association, says music works by turning on multiple areas of your brain: "It has the power to access emotion, stimulate memory, affect your physiology and change your thinking patterns if you're exposed to it over a period of time." (Australian Women's Health)

I think it is important for children in particular to enjoy listening to and playing music. Studies have shown that music assists in the cognitive development of children, inspires creativity and self-expression and it is good for memory skills. Research from Canada found that children aged four to six years old who had music lessons had better memories, as well as higher literacy and maths levels. (Body and Soul)

5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home

And the most important reason we have music playing in our home all the time is 
because it makes us Happy!

That is why I am going to try to keep posting music on my blog and I'm going to try and bring back my weekly #TuesdayTune posts soon too!

So there you have it, 5 Ways I try to make a Happy Home. I  know I could have added so many more things to my list, like cooking for my family, sharing a meal with them every night and decorating our home but I think I might save them for another post!

What kinds of things do you do at your place to make your home a happy one?

Thanks so much for visiting me in my little corner of the world today. I am so grateful for the wonderful friends I have made in my nearly two years of blogging and I look forward to catching up with you at your bloggy homes during the week.

Best wishes for 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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Say G'day Saturday Linky Party ~ Craft Ideas Galore!

Welcome friends to this weekend's Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!

This week I have found some great crafty ideas. You see, I've just discovered digital scrap-booking (more about that later!) and this has opened up a whole new world of ideas for me!

Look at this brilliant idea! Running a lunch bag through the printer! (DIY gift bags/party favors)

Shell Koala Creatures via

Ribbon storage idea from

Free goodies for Digital Scrap-booking from

Mason Jar Craft Storage idea via

Ribbon Sash

How's this for a craft area! Custom desk via

Here's a great idea for Thanksgiving. Write notes about what you're grateful for on left over scrap-booking paper and add it to a paper chain. From
Paper Chain

Halloween is coming up soon and there are so many great ideas being pinned already. Look at this!

Pumpkin and craft ideas from
Leafy Centerpiece Pumpkin

Black Pumpkin with Silver Stickers

Pumpkin with Ribbons

Recycle old Halloween cards into star ornaments
Halloween Star Ornaments

I never knew that I had it in me to be so crafty. I can cook and I can blog but it wasn't until I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbook Software that I realised that I can craft and scrap-book!
My Memories is a digital scrapbook software company that is extremely easy and fun to use. My Memories Suite helps anyone create digital scrapbooks, cards, calendars, etc. without having to buy expensive programs and then learn how to use the software.

After exploring this program and making a few projects of my own I can see I might just have found myself a new hobby!  I put together some Christmas pages as an experiment and I loved how easy it was to just click, wait and hey presto, there's a page!

Click, wait and hey presto here's another page! This was so easy! Once the layout is done, I can just print it out on my home printer or convert it to a JPEG file and have it printed at a store just as I would with regular photos.

I am also hosting a give-away of their software, 
My Memories Suite!

My Memories Suite is rated #1 by amazon and TopTen Reviews for digital scrapbooking software and the prize is $40 value! With My Memories you will be able to create digital scrapbooks, cards, calendars and more, with enhancements like music, narration, video and Internet.
(1 entry each)

1. (Mandatory) Visit My Memories and choose your favorite digital paper pack. Come back and comment on it.

2. Become a visible Follower with Google Friends Connect on my right sidebar and leave a comment letting me know you did (or let me know that you're already a Follower).

3. Like My Memories on Facebook.

4. Blog, Tweet, FB about the giveaway. Include @natashainoz and @MyMemoriesSuite in your tweet.

~Give away closed~

Now, back to the party! 
What have you been blogging about this week? 

 I would love it if you could share your favourite pins, a musical post, your favourite recipe, craft or decorating posts or a bit of everything with me at this weekend's 

Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party!

If would like to join in with my weekly Say G'day Saturday party, just link up the url of the post you would like us to visit to the linky tool each weekend.

Please also link back to me by adding a text link or adding one of these new bespoke buttons to your posts!

Natasha In Oz

If you would like to Tweet about this weekly Linky Party please add this to your tweets #SayGdayParty

Thanks for linking up!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this #TuesdayTune all about unleashing our creativity to take you into the weekend.

Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 
Note: My Memories provided me with their software free of charge, but the above-stated opinions are my own. Give away now Closed.

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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giving Thanks for....Flowers!

Hello friends! I'm so glad you stopped by to say hello today! Welcome also to my new friends who have so kindly joined up and are following! It always makes me so happy to find new friends so thank you very much!

I hope that everyone has had a great week so far. It looks like many bloggers are either busy getting kids back to school after the Summer Holidays or getting ready for Spring Break as is the case in our house!

I have started Spring cleaning at our place and as much as I hate cleaning I always feel so much happier when the house is sparkling clean. In my last post I mentioned that I am trying to be greener by using cloth shopping bags. Another way I am Greening up my life is by adding more greenery to our home d├ęcor.

 I am having trouble finding good quality fresh flowers, though, so I have been using lots of free
foliage from the garden. 

I love having fresh flowers in our house because they make our home so happy and cheerful and, according to behavioral research conducted at The State University of New Jersey, fresh flowers can actually improve our emotional well-being!

The study was partially funded by the Society of American Florists and it shows that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed. Researchers said that many flowers have pleasing scents, shapes, and colors, which may contribute to our positive reaction to them. Flowers also have long-term positive effects on moods with study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction. (Source)

Another study conducted in 2006 by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that  simply displaying fresh-cut flowers in the home can have advantages because the presence of flowers in the home increases feelings of compassion, decreases anxiety and boosts energy and enthusiasm at work.

The greatest mood-boosting effects were felt when fresh-cut flowers were placed in the kitchen, dining room, or family room. "Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room," Dr. Haviland-Jones stated. "They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere."

Now, don't despair if you are like me and you can't find any decent fresh flowers! Just do what I do and go walking around your garden (or your parent's garden!), find some foliage and plonk it artfully place it in a vase.

Gum~nuts from the Eucalyptus tree, an iconic Specimen of Australian flora.

So, don't think that you can't have fresh foliage in your home. There is always a way to make your home bright, cheerful and welcoming any time of the year!

Dracaena marginata tricolour with Variegated Ginger Alpina zerumbet `Variegata` plant leaves

For more ideas on decorating with flowers please visit Bonnie at Living with Thanksgiving and Brenda at Cozy Little House as they have also been blogging about the beauty of fresh Flowers!
Great minds think alike ladies!

Well, I'd best be off so I can finish my last few jobs for the day and visit all the lovely bloggers who have dropped to Say G'Day this week!

Thank you so much for visiting me in my little corner of the world today and thanks to the following lovely ladies for having me today:

Marty A Stroll Thru Life, Kim at Savvy Southern Style, A Beach Cottage (Good Life Wednesday) and Jenny Matlock.

Best wishes for a Super-Special day,
Natasha In Oz 

Flowers make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul. American botanist Luther Burbank.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Say G'day Saturday Linky Party ~ Going Green!

Welcome friends to this weekend's Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party @!

Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi, Natasha In Oz, Re-usable shopping bags, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party, Going Green, Environmentally friendly bags, totes, #Saygdayparty, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'Day Saturday,

This week I have been trying to find some more ideas for reusable cloth bags for my weekly shopping trips. I have been trying very hard to stop using plastic bags and have a few bags that I always use but they are starting to look a bit tired. My favourite bag is this cloth Cath Kidston bag which I use for small shopping trips. It folds up nicely and it looks pretty too!

Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi, Natasha In Oz, Re-usable shopping bags, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party, Going Green, Environmentally friendly bags, totes, #Saygdayparty, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'Day Saturday, Cath Kidston bag

Why use cloth bags for shopping in the first place?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Give Away Winner!

Thanks so very much to everyone who participated in the e-design giveaway sponsored by Anna from Ethos Design, an amazing designer from Down Under!!

Thanks also to the lovely Anna for sponsoring this amazing give away! 
You are so kind and so talented! 

If you are looking for lots of design inspiration and decorating ideas you must go and 
visit Anna's brand new blog, My Design Ethos! 

Now, back to business!

I am so pleased to finally announce the winner!

Drum roll please.....

A huge congratulations to....

It really does pay off to enter a give away using all of the options given...Queensland Girl tweeted, followed, facebooked and her hard work paid off. I'm going to have to remember to do that next time I enter a give away.

We'll be in touch with you soon to arrange the prize!

If you didn't win, don't despair. I have another give away coming up soon so stay tuned and come back soon!

There is still time to join in with this week's Pinning and Singing on the Weekend Linky Party. Just click here if you would like to link up any posts that are all about your favourite Pinterest pins or your favourite music.

Best wishes and happy Monday,


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!

Welcome friends to Natasha In Oz! I'm so happy to see you! I hope that you have all had a great week. I have had a wonderful time reading the posts that were linked up to my weekly Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!

I just want to remind you about the amazing give away that I'm hosting for Aussie Bloggers!

If you would like to win an e-design makeover kit for any room in your home from Queensland Interior Designer Anna of Ethos Designs, just click here. Give away ends Friday night so be quick!

Thanks so much for popping in and visiting me in my little corner of the world!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 
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