Sunday, 14 July 2019

Summer Round-up + Inspiration

 

We're now properly into summer and it's feeling like it! I've done round-up and inspiration posts for the other seasons, so now it's time for the summer one. :)

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere you might like last year's Winter Round-up + Inspiration post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/12/winter-round-up-inspiration.html

Summer is my favourite season so I'm glad we've had some nice, hotter weather recently, especially during the end of June and in early July. As I wrote in the winter post, I struggle a bit when it's colder. So summer is a lot easier for me to feel inspired by! (But there are good things about winter too). The weather is (hopefully) good, or if not it's at least not cold! It feels like there's more possibilities in summer.

The season officially starts with Litha/the Summer Solstice around 21st June and I tend to start to feel "lighter" around then. Although the days begin getting slightly shorter from then on!) Then Lammas is on 1st August (some celebrate it on 31st July). It's my favourite sabbat apart from Samhain, I think because it was the first one I celebrated in 2010, and because it's during the height of summer. I'm planning to do a post with ideas for celebrating later this month. So for now I hope you enjoy this post. :)

Sunday, 30 June 2019

June Update

We're already halfway through the year and it's time for the June update!

Read previous updates here:

Jan: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/january-update.html

Feb: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/february-update.html

March: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/march-update.html

April (+ Beltane Inspiration): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-update-beltane-inspiration.html

May: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/05/may-update.html

This month I started a depression course with Recovery College. I've been going through a more depressive period lately, but I'm finding the course helpful so far. I also went to a meetup with an anxiety friendship group at Alcampo in Brighton a couple of weekends ago and that was fun. Yesterday was the local meetup of the Action for Happiness group I belong to as well.

I  also went to Mayberry Garden Centre with my mum (I bought my orange candle and lemonade for Litha from there; see Litha post) and had a drink in the coffee shop, a strawberry creme frappe. Here's a pic:

 

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Litha 2019

Litha aka the Summer Solstice and Midsummer) was on Friday (21st June). As I mentioned in last week's post Litha Inspiration, I normally celebrate by having salad and lemonade. I made tomato and onion salad like the past few years (the recipe is from Soraya's book The Kitchen Witch) and had some with chicken, my mum's potato salad and Doritos for lunch. I used red onion this time, like with the Kachumbari I made for Beltane. Here's a picture:


Monday, 17 June 2019

Litha Inspiration

 

Litha is coming which means it's almost summer! This year's it's on Friday 21st June. I'd say from June to August is my favourite time of year, since summer is my favourite season. So I'm looking forward to the official start!

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost Yule and winter, so you may like these posts:

Yule Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/12/yule-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Yule + Christmas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/12/celebrating-yulechristmas.html

My Winter Round-up + Inspiration post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/12/winter-round-up-inspiration.html

One Infinite Life (Australia based) post on making the most of winter (updated for 2019): https://oneinfinitelife.com/how-to-make-the-most-of-winter/


In 2017 I did a post with some Litha/Midsummer celebration ideas and last year I wrote about celebrating both Litha and summer. You can read them at the links below:

Litha/Midsummer Celebration Ideas (also a baking post): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/06/baking-no-yeast-dinner-rolls-and.html

Celebrating Litha + Summer: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/06/celebrating-litha-summer.html


For 2019 I thought I'd do another post with some Litha  inspiration. :)

Update 19/6/19: I came across this article with information about both the Summer and Winter Solstices, so it has info for both hemispheres. :) Check it out here: http://www.nataliakuna.com/solstice---spiritual-meaning.html

Litha, also known as Midsummer and the Summer Solstice, is the official start of summer. Although as I said in last year's post on getting ready for summer, the meteorological start of summer is 1st June. Litha is the proper start of summer on the Wheel of the Year, though Beltane (on 30th April/1st May) is transitional and marks the beginning of the summer season. The dates varies each year but it's always around 21st June.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

May Update

May's update! :) Read previous monthly updates here:

Jan: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/january-update.html

Feb: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/february-update.html

March: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/march-update.html

April (+ Beltane Inspiration): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-update-beltane-inspiration.html


May began with Beltane on the 1st. (Although some people celebrate it on 30th April). You can read my Beltane post here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/05/beltane-2019.html

It was also my mum's birthday this month and I made a Birdies Perch Malteser slice (one of my favourite things to "no-bake") since she like Maltesers. I didn't take a picture but you can see what it looks like here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2013/09/birdies-perch-malteser-slice.html

I  made it for Oestara 2016 (with McVitie's Disgestive Nibbles in as well. I also like similar chocolate fridge square recipes and for this year's Oestara (Spring Equinox) I made a Malteser slice.

I also did some baking this month, red velvet cupcakes. I've baked red velvet cake several times before and had trouble with it. The first time I made it, it tasted horrible! (Maybe I put too much oil in?). And it's hard to get it to actually come out red. This time I used a recipe for cupcakes which you can find here: https://insideoutsideandbeyond.com/the-perfect-red-velvet-cupcake/

I couldn't get them red again, but I realised it was because I should have used gel food colouring as well. The recipe uses both but I didn't have a lot of money at the time, so only got liquid.  I'll remember that for next time! Apparently unless you use gel colouring, baking the cake makes it go a darker brown instead of red. I also made my own buttermilk but that shouldn't make a difference since I've done it before and it usually works fine. If you can't get buttermilk or would rather make your own, here's the recipe (at the bottom of the recipe for One Bowl Chocolate Cake which I made in 2017: https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/one-bowl-chocolate-cake-made-from-scratch/

The cakes were nice though! And I liked the cream cheese buttercream. Sometimes it takes me ages to mix it right and stop it tasting too "buttery" but this time it blended easily. So I was happy with the cupcakes apart from the colour! lol. Here's a pic:


Sunday, 5 May 2019

Beltane 2019

Last Wednesday (1st May) was Beltane. (Or Tuesday 30th April if you celebrate then). As I mentioned in the April Update + Beltane Inspiration post, I normally celebrate by making food and drink. The past few years I've made guacamole using a recipe from The Kitchen Witch book by Soraya. This Beltane I thought I'd try a different recipe from Don't Waste the Crumbs. Here's the link: https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2018/03/simple-guacamole-recipe/

It was quite nice.  It's a bit different to The Kitchen Witch one which uses cream cheese and juice from a lemon. This one has no cream cheese and uses juice from a lime, cumin and garlic (I didn't add any cumin though). It's good to try new recipes and I like them both. :)

I also made Kachumbari, a Kenyan tomato and onion salad. The recipe is from the website Precious Core: https://www.preciouscore.com/kachumbari/

When I first found the site I was excited because Precious is originally from Cameroon and my dad was Cameroonian, so I thought I'd have a go at making some of the recipes. This is actually the first recipe I've made from there! lol. Never mind, I will try some Cameroonian ones in future. :)

The salad was nice too. I usually make tomato and onion salad (another Kitchen Witch recipe) for Litha, so it made a change to have some at Beltane instead. And it was cool to add an African twist to it. Precious says that Kachumbari is mainly made with tomatoes and onion but she added cucumber and avocado to hers. I did too and they went well together. The recipe contains red onion but you could use brown (also called yellow) or white if you prefer. :) I had both salads with a chicken leg and potato salad (from Tesco) for lunch. Here's a pic:


Sunday, 28 April 2019

April Update + Beltane Inspiration

This month I'll do the monthly update and a Beltane inspiration post together. This has turned into quite into a long one, so feel free to skip down to the Beltane part if that's what you'd prefer to read about! :)

April Update

Blossom tree in Hove Park.

Spring properly started this month, although the weather has been messing around a bit! It went colder again earlier this month and was around 8 degrees Celsius (about 46 Fahrenheit) during the day. Then it went up to 25C/77F (here in Sussex) which reminded me of the hot spell we had during April last year.  This weekend it's about 12C and very windy.

Easter was in mid-late April this year, the Easter weekend being from the 19th (Good Friday) to 22nd (Easter Monday). You can read my post about Easter 2019 here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/easter-2019.html