#SundaySong ~ Miracle Makeover Blog weekend!

Hello dear friends and welcome to this week's Sunday Song Linky party at NatashainOz.com. 

This week is a very special week as I am joining in with a very special event that is happening all over blogland....

The Miracle Makeover Blog weekend! 

 Design Gives Back provides rooms for hope, health and happiness for those in-need. Since 1992 they have facilitated life-changing workshops, community programs and inspirational makeovers. They help deserving individuals and families, as well as, the non-profit groups that sponsor them. Through inspiring video episodes and print stories you can see healing rooms for those who are sick, art therapy workshops for kids-at-risk and hope-filled homes for struggling families. Partners have included Habitat for Humanity International, Catholic Charities, The Starlight Foundation, Friends of Kids with Cancer, and many others.

Now before I tell you a little more about this special weekend, I'd like to share a little story with you. Now, I am sure that I don't need to introduce this special little guy to you but in case you didn't know, this is Piglet!

Piglet is the sweet little pig character from A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books. He is Winnie-the-Pooh's best friend and despite the fact that he is a Very Small animal with a stutter he often conquers his fears and desperately wants to be brave. He stars in his very own movie called "Piglet's Big Movie" which is all about how we should value our precious friends and our friendships. 

The story goes a bit like this....

Being the "tiny voice" in the group, Piglet's kind nature and sweet gestures are often overlooked and he is often told that he is too small to help anyone. This makes him feel alone and insignificant and he decides to wander away and leave his friends. Piglet's friends eventually realise that their friend is missing and they try to find him. They form a search party  and they use Piglets'scrapbook, in which he has drawn pictures of the adventures that he has shared with his friends, to help them figure out that their precious friend is actually a priceless treasure! 

The reason why I am sharing this little story about Piglet and his "Big Movie" is because it shows that even though many people think they are small, insignificant and have nothing to offer, they can actually become the catalyst for mighty big things! 

From Little things Big things Grow.....

Now, you might be wondering why I am telling you all of this....well may I introduce you to another special person? This is Colette Gauthier, a single mom raising two boys who is a social worker, always doing things for others. 

Colette plain

She was suffering with cancer and had to move into a tiny and dismal rental home. Just look at her bedroom!HospitalBed b:wThe Katillac Shack 2010 

She felt alone and small but she really 
wanted to be brave. She was almost out of hope until....

She met this sweet lady, Kellee Katillac.

Kellee, an artist, creative therapist, author and person behind the program "Design Gives Back", "decided to take a crew up to Michigan, in the middle of last winter, to create a healing room in which she could recover. Friends and volunteers became "Design Angels." A miracle resulted and the story is now being featured in the September issue of Guideposts Magazine." 

From Little things Big things Grow.....

What happened next is nothing short of a miracle!

People began to learn about what was going on and offered their help.  A girl from a lighting shop donated some lamps. A lumberyard supplied wood for ceiling beams. People from Masonic Pathways, the senior care center where Colette works, volunteered their time. A hotel agreed to put Colette up for three nights while Kellee tore the room apart and put it back together. And it all started with the comments, cards, thoughts, prayers, and actions of the blogging community!   To hear more about this story and to see the makeover reveal video just click here.

From Little things Big things Grow.....

Just like the gang from the Hundred acre woods built a house together for their sweet pink friend Piglet, we have witnessed a group of friends join together to not just transform a bedroom but to also build a new life.

I hope that you enjoy today's Sunday Song, With a Few Good Friends, Carly Simon's song from "Piglet's Big Movie." 

It is all about a group of friends who help each other build a house but in the process they also lay the foundations for beautiful and lasting friendships.
With a few good friends
And a stick or two

A house is built at a corner called Pooh
With a friend and a stick
Or three or four
A house is built where it wasn't before. 

If you have a song to share on this special Miracle Party day please link up here! It can be from any post, old or new. The more the merrier!

Thanks for linking up. I can't wait to come and visit you during the week to hear your song!

Today I'm linking to

Thank you for visiting today!

Blessings and best wishes to you all for a beautiful week,
Natasha In Oz 
A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.Sirach 6:14

Some Yummy Christmas Ideas!

Would like to make some of these yummy treats?

Perhaps you would like to meet the sweetest little

Or perhaps you would like to know how to make one of these?

Maybe you would like to know how to make these sweet little pine-cone elves?

If you would like to learn how to make these Elfish treats and to find out about The Elf on the Shelf, just click on the button and you will be magically transported to my Christmas blog!

See you there!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 

A Beautiful Melody for today's #TuesdayTune

Hello sweet friends-welcome to this week's #TuesdayTune post at NatashaInOz.com

I can't stop listening to Melody Gardot.

Melody Gardot is a Grammy-nominated American singer, writer and musician in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Have you heard her story? It is incredible....

While cycling in Philadelphia in November 2003 she was hit by a Jeep Cherokee whose driver had ignored a red traffic light. She suffered serious head and spinal injuries and her pelvis was broken in two places. She was confined to her hospital bed for a year where she had to remain lying on her back the whole time. Even today she can't sit for too long due to a misaligned pelvis and she uses a cane to stand and walk. She also suffers from regular neuralgic pain which is partly alleviated by a Tens device (a black box sending electrical impulses into her body to stimulate endorphins). A further consequence of her injuries was that she had to re-learn the most simple tasks like brushing her teeth and walking. The most noticeable effect of the neural injuries she suffered is that she was left hyper-sensitive to both light and sound, therefore requiring her to wear dark sunglasses at nearly all times to shield her eyes.

The accident also resulted in both long and short term memory problems and difficulty with her sense of time. Gardot has described coping with this as like "climbing Mount Everest every day" as she often wakes with no memory of what she has to do that day.

The accident had damaged the neural pathways between the brain's two cortexes which control perception and higher mental function, and made Gardot (in her own words) "a bit of a vegetable." As well as making it very hard for her to speak or communicate properly, she found it difficult to recall the right words to express her feelings. Studies of the brain have shown that listening to music and making a verbal attempt to sing or hum is thought to help the brain form new pathways. As part of Gardot's therapy, she learned to hum and was eventually able to sing into a tape recorder. Gardot then began writing music and has now become an advocate of music as therapy.

"Without any room for compromise, music is the reason why am I speaking to you," she says in a light lilting voice, which never rises above a gentle murmur. "Flatly and deeply, in the sense that if I had not been doing music I would not be speaking the way I do now." Source.

The first songs she wrote described her emotions during the long and painful rehabilitation, including one song called Some Lessons, which has the line "to think I could have fallen a centimetre to the left/I would not be here to see the sunset or have myself a time". Those early recordings were released as an EP called Some Lessons - The Bedroom Sessions, attracting enough online attention to see her signed by a major label for her full-length debut, Worrisome Heart.

After meeting her in New York City in 2008, producer Larry Klein began working with Gardot and they released her second album, My One and Only Thrill, on April 28, 2009. From this album, the song "Who Will Comfort Me?" became a top 10 hit at Smooth Jazz radio.

Please sit back, relax and listen to the beautiful #TuesdayTune "Baby I'm a Fool" from My One and Only Thrill.

I hope you enjoyed listening to this beautiful melody for today's #TuesdayTune!

I love hearing music from all around the world and learning about new artists so, if you have ever shared a song on your blog, I would love it if you could link up with me in my weekly Tuesday Tune Linky party!

Thank you so much for dropping in and visiting me in my little corner of the world today. If you have time, please let me know what you thought of today's song and please also pop back later to listen to some other fabulous songs that my blogging friends from all around the world have shared. After all, 

“Music brings people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit.”

I hope that you have a beautiful and song-filled week!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 

Giving Thanks for....Spring!

My Homage to Spring.....

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring. Bern Williams

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. Margaret Atwood

The peace and beauty of a spring day had descended upon the earth like a benediction. Kate Chopin

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. W. Earl Hall

Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again. Gustav Mahler

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland

Spring is when life's alive in everything. Christina Rossetti

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. Harriet Ann Jacobs

Nothing is so beautiful as spring - when weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush; Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring the ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing. Gerard Manley Hopkins

One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the spring come in. Henry David Thoreau

Spring is in the air at last!


No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. Proverb

All of these GREEN photos were take by me for Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer, Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday and the last picture will be my entry in this week's Raw(e) competition at Sailor and Company.

Thank you for spending time with me today as I give thanks for Spring!

Blessings and 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+

#TuesdayTune - Tina Arena

Hello dear friends and welcome! Please sit back, relax and listen to this week's #TuesdayTune!

Have you heard Tina Arena sing?

Tina began her career as a seven year old, performing live every weekend on Australia’s longest running variety television show, Young Talent Time, one of my favourite shows when I was growing up! My sisters and I would would watch this every Sunday night and we would sing and dance along with the performers. Oh how I wanted to be just like Tina Arena!

By the time she departed the show in 1983, Tina was already a household name and her songs I Need Your Body and Strong As Steel (1989) cemented her blossoming status. Her 1998 album In Deep sealed her fate as an international star and she then based herself in LA. Some of her performance highlights at this time included performances with Chaka Kahn, Stevie Wonder and Donna Summer. However, it was her collaboration with Mark Anthony on the song Spend My Lifetime loving You from the Mask of Zorro soundtrack that gave her a new kind of European success. The duet tipped the scales in France where both song and the movie were huge hits. 

Arena's sixth album titled Songs of Love & Loss was released in 2007  and was primarily made up of songs originally recorded by women in the 1960s and 70s such as Dusty Springfield and Diana Ross and the arrangements featured a full string orchestra. The album peaked at #3 on the ARIA Top Albums chart.

While Arena was promoting Songs of Love & Loss in Australia, her first French single in two years, Entends-tu le monde?, was made available to French radio. The film clip for the song  was shot in and around Sydney during the promotional tour of Australia and went on heavy rotation on French music television channels upon its release. The song was the first single from her French album 7 vies which was released on 28 January 2008 and debuted at #12 on the official French charts, her highest debut ever in the country. The single "Entends-tu le monde?" was released on 11 February 2008 and debuted at #10 on the French charts, becoming her sixth top ten single there.

The title roughly translates into English as "Do you hear the world?"

I hope you enjoy listening to one of my favourite Australian singers.

I love listening to music and I especially love hearing music from all around the world. If you have ever shared a song on your site I would love to hear it too! 

Thanks so much for visiting today. I love it when my blogging friends come and visit me in my little corner of the world Down Under!

I hope that you have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Best wishes always,
Natasha In Oz 
Music is the universal language of mankind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,Outre-Mer

Rosemary Chicken, Radish and Mascarpone Risotto Recipe

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

I have been reading a lot about Italian food lately and the latest issue of Good Taste Magazine has a feature about La nuova cucina, the new cuisine, where traditional ingredients are used with new, different and fresh combinations to create delicious and modern Italian fare.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz

One recipe that is featured in this expose is for

Rosemary chicken with mascarpone risotto.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe Natasha in Oz

To make Rosemary Chicken, Radish and Mascarpone Risotto, you will need: 

80ml/1/3 cup olive oil,
11/2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary,
4 (about 150g each) chicken breast fillets,
1.25L /about 5 cups chicken stock,
1 brown onion, finely chopped,
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped,
330g (11/2 cups) arborio rice,
125ml (1/2 cup) vermouth (I didn't have any so I used white wine),
85g (1/3 cup) mascarpone,
40g (1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan
some chopped fresh chives

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz, Parmesan Cheese 

and, the star of the show, 6 (about 150g) radishes, trimmed, cut into thin matchsticks

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz, radish image

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Radish image, Natasha in Oz

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Radish, Natasha in Oz

1. Combine 60ml (1/4 cup) oil and the rosemary with the chicken and season with salt and pepper and place in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate until ready.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz

2. Bring the stock just to the boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and hold at a gentle simmer.

3. Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based stockpot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft and transulcent.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Onions

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the grains appear slightly glassy.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz

4. Add vermouth/alcohol if using to the rice mixture and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Add a ladleful (about 125ml/1/2 cup) of simmering stock to the rice mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed. Add stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Continue for 18 minutes or until the rice is tender yet firm to the bite and the risotto is creamy.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz

Stir in the mascarpone and two-thirds of the parmesan. Cover. Set aside for 2 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Thickly slice diagonally.

6. Stir the radish and chives into the risotto.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz

Finally, divide among serving plates. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Top with the chicken.

Rosemary chicken, Radish and mascarpone risotto recipe, Natasha in Oz
You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients. Julia Child (1912 - 2004) 

Now, I have to tell you that my sweet hubby is not normally a fan of risotto but he loved this recipe and ate everything on his plate (I know Mum....can you believe it!!!) so, please do give this recipe a try as I am sure you will love it!

Thank you so much for visiting me today my dear friends and I hope that I will see you on Tuesday for another #TuesdayTune If you want here a gorgeous Italian singing a gorgeous Song just click here!

I am now off to go and eat the leftovers for lunch!

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+


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