Saturday, January 7, 2012

Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party ~ Good Bye 2011!

Welcome friends to Natasha In Oz!  I am so thrilled that you have stopped by today, either to join in with the linky party or to just pop by and say hi!

I'm quite sure that many people would agree with me that 2011 was a year that many would rather forget but when I look back on the bad days I can also see that there were also some positive and heart-warming moments.

Let's take a trip down memory lane...

January saw many Australians facing days of flooding and tragedy. Lives were lost, homes were destroyed and thousands were left homeless. Our home was flooded just a little but it was nothing compared to the thousands of homes that were totally destroyed all over South-East Queensland. However, amidst the stories of sadness and loss were just as many stories of hope and community spirit: people helping complete strangers and thousands of volunteers got in amongst the muck, the mud and the debris in an overwhelming show of support to get the community back on its feet.

Image: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty

February saw the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Yasi, the strongest cyclone to hit Queensland since 1899. Total losses from the storm were estimated to reach A$3.5 billion.

Again, the Queensland community joined forces and helped to clean up the affected towns and raise money to help the victims of this natural disaster.

March was another bad month, this time in Japan. The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami  was a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011. The Japanese National Police Agency confirmed 15,844 deaths, 5,890 injured and 3,451 people missing across eighteen prefectures, as well as over 125,000 buildings damaged or destroyed.

By May, the weather was cooling down and all I wanted to think about was staying at home with my family and making my home all warm and welcoming for winter. It was around this time that I started becoming rather addicted to a site called Pinterest! Oh dear...what a mistake that was!!

Here were some of my favourite pins in May:

June and July were cold wintry and so all I wanted to do was bake and stay warm! In June I made these yummy Oreo cupcakes. They were very indulgent and oh so delicious!

In July I made these very delicious muffins from one of my favourite cook books for the year, Gwyneth Paltrow's Notes From my Kitchen Table: Delicious Recipes for Healthy, Happy Living.

I was really loving July and thought that the world was starting to look pretty good again and then on July 24th I heard about the  tragic events in Norway, Oslo and Utøya.

Suddenly the world started to look scary again and I needed to find a way to bring some happiness and joy into my world and the world around me. It was around this time that I heard the music of Dara McLean and her song “Suitcases.”

In this song, McLean tells us that if we want to transform our lives and make a change for good we need to shed our excess baggage, let our guard down, and open our hearts. This song gave me hope that everything will be alright.

How can you move when they’re weighing you down

What can you do when you’re tied to the ground,
You carry your burdens, heavy like gravity.
Just let them go now, there’s freedom in release.

In August I featured this song on my blog and my very first Pinning and Singing on the Weekend Party was born!

In August the beautiful Spring weather arrived and I started spending more time outdoors and trying to frshen up our home after a long and chilly winter!

By September I had met lots of other Pinning Bloggers via the Pinning Bloggers Master List 

By the time October arrived, my Linky Party numbers had grown to more than 70 at my Halloween Party!

My Birthday was a highlight in November and turning 40 didn't faze me at all!

By the time December rolled around I was ready to celebrate my favourite time of the year...Yep...Christmas!

We also celebrated three special birthdays in December! My sweet Maddy turned 15 on the same day that my sweet sister Stacey turned....well, let's just say Stacey had a birthday that day. We also celebrated the birth of the newest member of our family, sweet little Maisie!

Phew...what a year! It started on a pretty low note and there were times that I thought things couldn't get any worse for all of us around the world. But with the love of family, the support of friends and the birth of a child, the year ended on a high note and with a feeling of hope and joy for a bright and promising year ahead.

So long 2011 and welcome 2012!

So, what have you been blogging about these last few weeks? If you would like to link up one of your favourite posts to this weekend's Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party just add the url of your particular blog post that you would like us to visit to the Linky tool below. Please just link back to me @ NatashaInOz.com or if you would like to Tweet about this weekly Linky Party please add this to your tweets #SayGdayParty

Thanks so much for joining in and linking up! Don't forget to come back later and visit some of the lovely pinners who have linked up!

Why not make someone's day and say a quick G'day!

Also, as I mentioned above, I have created a central list of Pinning Bloggers so we can all find each other's Pinterest pages more easily. It is called....

The Pinning Bloggers Master List.
If you would like to add your name to the Pinning Blogger's Master List just click the button below:

Thank you so very much for stopping by today. I feel so bad that I haven't visited my sweet friends who have visited me over the last couple of weeks but I will definitley be trying to pop by and say hi this week.

Please know that your visit means so much to me-I appreciate every single one of my dear bloggy friends.

Best wishes for a beautiful week,
Natasha In Oz 


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