Monday, January 30, 2012

Giving Thanks for....A Part-time Job!

Today I am grateful for having a part-time job this school term. In these times of global economic uncertainty, high unemployment and governmental instability I am very lucky indeed to have been given this opportunity to work at a school that is literally just around the corner...I can walk to school and even pop home for lunch if I want to!

I am also very grateful for the kindness, friendship and support I have received from my Blogger friends at this very busy time. I hope you will forgive me for not visiting you as often these next few weeks but I know that I can't have it all. I will need to prioritise and make sure my family comes first, my job comes second and this little Ole Blog of mine will have to be third! I had contemplated not hosting my Pinning & Singing party during this time but I love it too much to give it up! I might not have it up at exactly the same time each week but it will definitely be happening each weekend!

So, what are you thankful for today?





Thank you so much for visiting me today and for spending 5 minutes of your busy day with me!

Take care and have a great week.

Blessings and best wishes always,
Natasha In Oz

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Say G'Day Saturday Linky party {31} ~ Back to School Ideas & a Du Puy Lentil Salad Recipe

G'day sweet friends and welcome to Natshainoz.com and welcome to this week's Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!

#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

I am so sorry I am so late in posting this but with a new school term starting for the kids and for me this last week has been chaotic! Big Al started Middle School today and Maddy starts Senior School tomorrow....my babies are getting older!

Last week I found lots of great back-to-school ideas that I would love to share! 

Here are some of Favourite Finds for the week! 




Free back-to-school printables from HowDoesShe & Chickabug
Source: chickabug.com 


Deciding to try is a great first step! #Backtoschool


Source: imom.com 


Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap
Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap Recipe


I have also been watching what I eat and I have been keeping up with counting my calories, exercising as often as possible and maintaining a healthy diet.

Last week I created a new and delicious recipe for a lentil salad that was inspired by two recipes that I had pinned last year.

Summer Lentil Salad | Kitchen Confidante | Heirloom Tomatoes





This classic bistro salad makes a fantastic first course and could also be the centre of a weeknight meal. My Du Puy lentil salad recipe is a combination of both recipes and was a hit with everyone in the family!

#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

Summery Lentil Salad

#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

Healthy Du Puy Lentil Salad

Ingredients:
2 cups Du Puy lentils or one can of lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)

Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Salt & Pepper to taste

I also added fresh flat-leaf parsley and coriander (cilantro), chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped green beans and halved cherry tomatoes.

#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,


Directions:
1. If cooking lentils from scratch then rinse lentils well and then drain. Place in a pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. They should be cooked after 20 minutes but just keep checking so you don't overcook them.
2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a bowl, jar, tupperware container etc and shake to combine.
3. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing.
4. Add the onion and craisins and any other salad ingredients in a bowl. If using canned lentils, drain and rinse and add to the bowl. Mix everything together and serve straight away!

#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

Pin It


This lentil salad is delicious on a hot summer's day and it tasted just as delicious the next day!

Don't you love salads in Summer!

#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

Now, since this weekly party is all about pinning and singing, I thought I'd share a song that is all about summer Down Under!!


So, have you been working on an exciting project this week? Have you posted any songs, craft ideas, decorating tips, recipes or tutorials on your blog lately? I would love it if you could share your favourite post at this week's

 Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party! 
#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

If you would like to link up a post, old or new, just add the url of your particular blog post that you would like us to visit to the Linky tool below.







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



Also, in case you hadn't heard, I have created a central list of Pinning Bloggers so we can all find each other's Pinterest pages more easily. It is called....

Natasha In Oz
Pinning Bloggers Master List.

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


#Saygdayparty, Back to School, Favourite Finds, Lentil Salad, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Say G'Day Linky Party, Say G'day Saturday Linky Party,

Take care and I hope you all have a fabulous, healthy and fun week! To everyone going back to school, good luck and have a great year!

Best wishes,

Natasha In Oz 


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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Favourite Photos Friday via Instagram

G'day sweet bloggy friends! Thanks so very much for stopping by today. I am so sorry I haven't been by to visit this week but I have had the busiest week and am not quite sure if I am coming or going! I am doing a term's teaching contract and have been doing lots of planning and preparation over the last 4 days. I have also been helping my kids get ready for school which starts back next week after 6 wonderful weeks of summer vacation. I can see that this term is going to be a crazy one!


Here's a snapshot of my busy week in pictures,
 thanks to Instagram!

Since life has been crazy this week I have needed to make lots of healthy and quick dinners: 

I made this yummy Cucumber Salad for our Australia day lunch.
Instagram, Natasha In Oz, Photo Friday, Favourite Photos,


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party ~ Healthy Foodie Friday!

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


Poofy Cheeks

I have had another busy and fun week with my family. I can't believe the summer holidays will be over in a week and then it's back to school time!

I have also been trying very hard to watch what I eat and to keep up with my daily swim/walk. I really am trying to not only lose weight to also become healthier and fitter. I did slip up a little on Thursday though but it was for a very good reason....It was Mr Attorney's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sweetie!


I have also been trying to find some more healthy and delicious recipes to add to my collection.

Look at these yummy recipes!

Warm Mediterranean quinoa salad

Warm Mediterranean quinoa salad

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Shoko’s Sesame Chicken Salad from Steamy Kitchen looked so delicious I had to pin it as soon as I saw it.

Red, White and Blueberry Trifle (Calories: 169.1)

Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta

The recipe below for Waldorf Salad, looked particularly delicious, healthy and low in calories so I thought I would give it a try. By just swapping the mayo for natural yoghurt the salad is so much healthier and just as delicious as a higher calorie version. Even my son, who doesn't normally like salads really enjoyed this salad.

(Healthier) Waldorf Salad 
(makes 6 servings)


Ingredients:
4 medium sized apples, cubed
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup low fat yogurt, plain or vanilla
1/3 cup raisins

I actually omitted the raisins and added some arugula/rocket leaves and spring onions instead.

Directions:
1. Combine apples, celery, raisins, and walnuts in a bowl. Stir.
2. Add yogurt and stir all ingredients together.
3. Chill to blend flavors or enjoy right away.

Pin It



This really was delicious and I even had some left-overs for lunch the next day and everything was still crunchy!

Who would have thought that finding healthy and delicious foods could be so easy!

 For this week's #TuesdayTune I thought I'd also share one of the songs that I have on my walking playlist. As we all know, eating healthily is only one of the components of losing weight successfully and permanently. Exercise is also critical. This song always gets me going and makes me want to keep moving!



So, have you been blogging about this week? Have you posted any recipes, craft ideas, decorating tips or tutorials on your blog lately? I would love it if you could share your favourite post, old or new, by just adding 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 Feel free to add one of these Say G'day buttons to your post too!



Natasha In Oz










Thanks so much for joining in and linking up! Don't forget to come back later and visit some of the lovely bloggers who have linked up! Be sure to say G'Day from me when you drop by.

Thanks also to the lovely ladies who are hosting these fabulous parties this week:

Tasty Tuesday; Tempt My Tummy; Tasty Tuesday;Totally Tasty Tuesdays; Tasty Tuesday; Wow Me; Show and Share; Whatever Goes Wednesday; This Chick Cooks;   Foodie Friday; Courtney (Feathered Nest Friday), At the Picket Fence (Inspiration Friday) , Holly (Tickled Pink), Cindy (Show and Tell Friday), Home Sweet Home with Sherry, Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense, Pink Saturday with Beverly,  Fabulous Friday; Strut your Stuff Saturday; Flaunt it Friday; Everything but the Kitchen Sink Party;  Feature Friday; Feature Yourself Friday; Free for All Friday; Weekend wander; Show & Tell Saturday; Serenity Saturday; Once upon a Weekend; Saturday show Off; Saturday Seven; Sunday Blog Love; Sunday Linky Party Sundae Scoop; More the Merrier Monday; Met Monday; Creative Bloggers party; Making The World Cuter Mondays; Market Yourself Monday;Rook no.17; Take it on Tuesday; One Project at a Time;  Wow Me Wednesday; Show & TellWhatever Wednesday; Anything Goes Linky party; Simply Link Party

Take care and I hope you have a fabulous, healthy and fun weekend!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Wish I was back at the Beach!

As I write this post it is 39°C/90°F here in Brisbane and it is very very HOT! 

The lovely mild temperatures have gone and Summer has finally arrived here in Brisbane...

Me. No. Likey!

I wish I was back at the beach!












How many days 'til Autumn???

Best wishes,

Natasha

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.



Friday, January 6, 2012

Saying G'Day after my Bloggy break and Happy New Year!

Hello my dear  friends! Welcome to to 2012 and welcome to Natasha In Oz! It seems like it has been forever since I have blogged. I sure do hope that you have enjoyed a relaxing, happy and festive holiday with your loved ones! I have really missed visiting you all and I truly appreciate your messages over the last couple of weeks! I hope you will forgive me for not visiting you but I have spent every spare minute of my day with my family!

I really enjoyed celebrating the holidays with my family this year. We had a very merry Christmas which was even more special due to the arrival of our sweet little Maisie!





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