Chocolate, flowers and the PERFECT Italian Bolognese Sauce.

Today I feel like a house-wife from the '50's....I have been spending lots of time trying to get our house back in shape after several weeks of neglect!

Chocolate, flowers and the PERFECT Italian Bolognese Sauce.

Image from here

Image from here

 Image from here

 Image from here

So much washing, cleaning, ironing and vacuuming!

On top of that we have been in the thick of back to school preparations so we have been buying and covering books and school supplies, labeling uniforms and sharpening pencils!

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All of these old-fashioned images are making me wish that life was so much simpler and gentler. Since it is a holiday tomorrow to celebrate Australia day I am going to take 5 minutes to make my life simple and fun!

I am going to take a break from cleaning and labeling and I am going to:

1. Find some pretty flowers:

Chocolate, flowers and the PERFECT Italian Bolognese Sauce.

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2. I am going to listen to listen to some classical music! An Australian study found that listening to Pachelbel’s Canon in D major prevented increases in anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure during a stressful situation.

Chocolate, flowers, food and having fun

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3.I am going to eat Spaghetti Bolognese.....

Chocolate, flowers and the PERFECT Italian Bolognese Sauce.
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Serotonin, the brain chemical that promotes feelings of peace and tranquility, gets a kick-start from Tryptophan which is found in protein-rich foods such as red meat and wouldn't you know it, Tryptophan is absorbed best with the help of insulin, which is found in carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta! Yum! I think I might try this recipe from the UK that claims to be the PERFECT Italian bolognese sauce.

Chocolate, flowers and the PERFECT Italian Bolognese Sauce, Natasha in Oz

PERFECT Italian Bolognese Sauce


2 tbsp olive oil
6 rashers of streaky 'pancetta' bacon, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, chopped
Stick of celery
1kg/2¼lb lean minced beef
2 large glasses of red wine
2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
800g-1kg/1¾-2¼lb dried tagliatelle
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the bacon until golden over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, frying until softened. Increase the heat and add the minced beef. Fry it until it has browned. Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced in volume by about a third. Reduce the temperature and stir in the tomatoes and celery.

2. Cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 1-1½ hours until it's rich and thickened, stirring occasionally.

3. Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water. Drain and divide between plates. Sprinkle a little parmesan over the pasta before adding a good ladleful of the sauce. Finish with a further scattering of cheese and a twist of black pepper.
And finally,

I am going to eat some chocolate!

Image from here

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God gave the angels wings and he gave humans chocolate. -Anonymous

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Chocolate contains phenylethylamine—a mood-regulating chemical found naturally in the brain. Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine say that it can boost the brain's production of the natural antidepressant serotonin!

Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

So here's to chocolate, flowers, food and having fun!

See you next time and Happy Australia day to all of my Aussie mates!

Best wishes,

Natasha In Oz 

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  1. I knew chocolate was good for you!! Hope you get to enjoy some time for yourself.

  2. Ahhh, a GREAT post, dear heart.
    I so need to take a complete week and really concentrate on getting MY cottage in top shape....
    *sigh....maybe NEXT week...:)
    xo bj

  3. Hi Natasha,

    Beautiful pics, lovely comments!! Puts a smile on my face ^ _^ I hope your house looks very clean again ;) If not yet, don't worry, that's absolutely not the most important thing in life!

    Have a sweet monday,


  4. I think you have found a fantastic alternative to the housework, Natasha!! Happy Australia Day!


  5. I love all of the vintage posters!
    Enjoy your break. Pasta and chocolate sound good right about now.
    Happy Australia Day!

  6. Happy to see that you are taking a break...hope you have an awesome time!


  7. For me I LOVE a mocha to relax me! It works every time! My husband even knows the trick :) When I am starting to get a little crabby...Starbucks magicaly appears :)

    I am with you though on the house cleaning! It does feel daunting today -I better get to work! Hope you get clean fast!

  8. Natasha,
    Sounds like the perfect equation--chocolate, flowers, spaghetti and that precious video that gave me a big smile.

    Thanks for brightening my day!

  9. What a cute post! I loved all of your images! I wonder how simple life really was back then without the modern conveniences of today. I do think the pace was quite a bit slower and the stress a lot lower too. Chocolate always makes everything better!

  10. Such a fun post!

    I LOVE all the nostalgic pictures.. they made me smile, and remember simpler times.

    Don't tell me there's stress in Australia too! I thought y'all were more laid back than us in America!


  11. Sounds like a good way to spend your day, Natasha! Welcome back by the way.

  12. I am so with you Natasha....sounds like agreat way to relax to me! Cute video clip!

  13. Hi Natasha, Oh I so agree, so much to do at the moment and I'd like to know why a school would schedule an outdoor adventure camp for the 2nd week back!
    Love all your images!

  14. Thanks for this - I'm in Tucson at the moment (U of A) and it reminds me I need a CD of Pachelbel's canon in D major...

  15. What a great post; love all those vintage pictures and I remember lots of them. Dark chocolate is my saviour!

  16. Enjoy Natasha - you deserve it and Happy Australia Day to you... Looks like a great recipe - I have one very similar and trust me it always works out v. well...

  17. I am right with you on this one. My husband said last night, "Me really need to clean the house." What he actually meant is, I need to get started cleaning the house. I really would rather be reading a good book, while listening to classical music and eating chocolate!!!

  18. natasha,

    you pack more fun in your posts than anyone!

    so funny and true!


  19. Totally hear what you're saying, girlie...sometimes I wish so much that life were more simple, like it used to be when I was a kid. Happy Australia Day!!! Jill

  20. Have fun on your holiday. I love all the vintage pics. The recipe looks good, too.

  21. Great post, nice new header...and i feel like you ..just had some chocolate...will sit and do some crochet! have a nice day catherine

  22. I enjoyed all of the vintage pics! Enjoy pampering yourself, esp. eating the chocolate.

  23. Bonjour Natasha,
    Don't work too hard. I love all those vintage images and I especially love your list of things you need to do.
    THanks for the recipe too, and of course, we all know that chocolat is definitely good for you!
    Happy Australia Day and enjoy!

  24. Natasha-Loved all your images! Sounds you need a good dose of relaxation! Happy Australia Day !--Now I have to google it :)

  25. I enjoy your posts, and I'm really going to try your yummy pasta dish!
    I hope you had a nice break from your housework.

    *Thanks so much for the award you passed along!:)

  26. I think you have all the ingredients for a very good life there with some great vintage images. Thanks for putting it all together!

  27. My eyebrows hurt! Some neat old looking advertisements. Yummmmm dark chocolate! Is it already time for back-to-school? Wow.

  28. I know I'm a little late but....Happy Austrailia day! Hope you had a wonderful time. Loved your post...too cute. I especially like the part about the Chocolate...said the Chocoholic :-)

    Hugs and Kisses,

  29. Ooh, sounds like a good 5 minutes to me. Instead of listening to classical music, I like to play it on the piano. I did some of that tonight and it was so relaxing.

  30. I can honestly say I've never had spaghetti bolognese, but I am definitely going to try it.(And make my boyfriend try it too!)
    Love your page



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