Monday, 28 December 2020

Yule 2020

Last week (Monday 21st December) it was Yule/the Winter Solstice. I usually celebrate with a chocolate Yule log. Occasionally I make my own, but most of the time I buy them because it's easier! lol. As I mentioned in the More Yule Inspiration post, this year I bought one again. 

It was from Sainsbury's and I liked it, although I do think it was better in previous years. Here's a picture: 

Monday, 14 December 2020

More Yule Inspiration


 

Yule/the Winter Solstice is coming up! This year it's on Monday 21st December.

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost time for Litha aka Midsummer/the Summer Solstice. Here are my Litha celebration ideas posts:

Litha/Midsummer Celebration Ideas (also a post about no-yeast dinner rolls): 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

Litha Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/06/litha-inspiration_17.html

 

In the past few years, I've done posts with celebration ideas for Yule, and an inspiration one too. You can see them below: 

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

Yule Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/12/yule-inspiration.html

 

For Yule 2020 I'm sharing more inspiration. As with the last Samhain post, since I've shared quite a lot of information on Yule in the past, I'll just give a brief background first and then share some celebration ideas. :)

 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

September/October Update

Time for the September/October update! There is only one more update post to go after this, since I'm covering two months at a time.

You can see the previous update posts at the links below: 

Jan/Feb: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/januaryfebruary-update.html

March/April (+ Baking Inspiration): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/05/marchapril-update-baking-inspiration.html

May/June: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/07/mayjune-update.html

July/August: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/09/julyaugust-update.html

 

In September the Rule of 6 was introduced in England, due to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, it meant my belly dance group couldn't meet up since there are loads more than 6 of us! I was able to go for a socially distanced walk with a group from my local mental health resource centre though. 

I celebrated Madron/the Autumn Equinox on 22nd Sept. You can read my post about it here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/09/madron-2020.html

I also went to the beach in the Worthing area during September. I hadn't been for ages, so that was nice. Here's a pic:

 

Goring Beach


Sunday, 8 November 2020

Hallowe'en/Samhain 2020

Last Saturday (31st October) it was Samhain/Hallowe'en. I celebrated with a pumpkin and by making some food and drink. I made my usual Demon's Blood drink and some potato salad, and also baked some gingerbread skeletons. 

Demon's Blood is ginger beer mixed with apple juice and orange juice, and dyed green. The recipe is from Kate West's book The Real Witches' Kitchen. And the potato salad is based on a recipe from The Kitchen Witch book by Soraya. I planned to use spring onion and chives, but couldn't get any chives.

Here's a picture of the pumpkin: 

 

Sunday, 25 October 2020

More Samhain/Hallowe'en Inspiration


My favourite sabbat Samhain is coming up on 31st October! (My other fave is Lammas). It's on a Saturday this year. I started celebrating the sabbats in 2010, and since Hallowe'en is the modern version of Samhain, I celebrate both these days.

 

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Beltane is almost here! Check out my Beltane Celebration posts here:

Beltane Celebrations Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html

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

More Beltane Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/04/more-beltane-inspiration.html 

 

For the past few years, I've done celebration idea posts which you can see below: 

Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/10/halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html 

More Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/10/more-halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html

And last year I wrote a series of Inspiration posts for the sabbats. Here's Samhain's: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/10/samhainhalloween-inspiration.html

 

For Samhain/Hallowe'en 2020 I'm sharing more inspiration. As I've written quite a lot on Samhain in the past, I'll just give a brief background and then share some ideas for celebrating. :)

 

Samhain is the 3rd and final harvest sabbat on the Wheel of the Year and takes place on 31st October. Although some may celebrate from sundown on 31st Oct till sundown on 1st November. It is a cross quarter sabbat, and follows Lammas at the start of August and Madron/Mabon aka the Autumn Equinox in September. This festival is also called the Witches' New Year in some circles. As mentioned before, some people end the old year and start the new year at Samhain (I tend to think of it in this way), whereas others consider Yule/the Winter Solstice to be the start of the new cycle. 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Autumn 2020 Photos + More Inspiration

Back in 2018 I wrote a post called Autumn Photos + Inspiration. You can see that here:  https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/autumn-photos-inspiration.html

Now we're in autumn once again, so here are a couple of photos I took in Hove Park recently, and I also thought I'd share some posts with inspiration for things to do during this season. :)

 

Hove Park- early Oct.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Madron 2020

Last Tuesday (22nd September) it was Madron (more commonly known as Mabon) aka the Autumn Equinox. As I mentioned in the Baking for Madron post, my main celebration was baking. I made gingerbread cookie bars with cream cheese icing and I also baked some bread the day before. 

The gingerbread cookie bars are from Handle the Heat. Here's the recipe: https://www.handletheheat.com/gingerbread-cookie-bars-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

It was quite nice but a bit of a crumbly texture. Maybe because it's more biscuit/cookie like than a cake. Here's are a couple of pictures: 

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Baking for Madron + Extra Ideas!

Madron (also known as Mabon and Autumn Equinox) is coming up which means it's almost autumn! This year it will be on Tuesday 22nd September. 

For the past few years, I've written celebration ideas and inspiration posts for this sabbat. You can see them below: 

Madron/Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Madron + Autumn: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/celebrating-madron-autumn.html

Madron Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/09/madron-inspiration.html 

  

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's nearly time for Oestara aka Ostara/the Spring Equinox. You may like these posts with ideas for celebrating:

Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Oestara + Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/celebrating-oestara-spring.html

Oestara Celebration Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/03/oestara-celebration-inspiration.html

Oestara + Spring Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/oestara-spring-inspiration.html

 

For Lammas last month I wrote a post with baking inspiration, since baking is my main activity for that sabbat. You can see that post here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/07/baking-for-lammas-extra-ideas.html

Lammas is a harvest festival, so baking fits the theme. Madron is also a harvest festival and as I mentioned in the Lammas post, Lammas to Samhain is like "baking season" for me. (I do enjoy baking year-round though!) So, this year for Madron I'm also sharing some baking ideas. With cases of the coronavirus going up again and rules changing, we're still advised to stay at home a lot, so baking is a good thing to do in the house. I will also include some alternative ideas at the end of the post. :) First here is some background on Madron.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

July/August Update

Time for the July/August update! You can read the other updates at the links below:

Jan/Feb: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/januaryfebruary-update.html

March/April (+ Baking Inspiration): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/05/marchapril-update-baking-inspiration.html

May/June: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/07/mayjune-update.html

 

In July we were still in lockdown but things were easing up. More places opened up and coronavirus cases had gone down overall. But in certain areas they had spiked, so some local lockdowns were introduced. From 24th July face coverings were made mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England. (They were already mandatory on public transport.)


Libraries in Sussex opened for "Select and Collect" which I was pleased about! It was good to be able to get some new books.

We got a new family car which made it easier to get to places, especially since public transport has been more difficult during lockdown.
 
At the end of July, I went to Lancing Beach for the first time in ages which was good. Here are a couple of photos: 

 
Lancing Beach

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Lammas 2020

It was Lammas last weekend (Saturday 1st August). I meant to post last week but didn't finish it, so I'm posting today instead. :)
 
As I said in the Baking for Lammas + Extra Ideas post, my main activity for this sabbat is baking. This year I made Cornish style pasties for lunch and also baked my usual gingerbread.

The Cornish style pasty recipe is from The Real Witches Kitchen book by Kate West. I used Jus-Rol ready-made pastry and had a beef, potato, carrot and onion filling. Here's a picture of one of them:
 
Sorry it's a bit blurred!
 
 

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Baking for Lammas + Extra Ideas!


It's nearly August which means it's almost time for Lammas, one of my favourite sabbats! This year it's on Saturday 1st August, although some people celebrate on 31st July. (Some people may celebrate from sundown to sundown). The scientific time is 8.04pm CST on 6th August/2.04am BST on 7th Aug this year, so others may have their celebrations then.

For the past few years, I've written posts with ideas for things to do for Lammas. You can see them below:




Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost Imbolg/Imbolc! Check out my Imbolg celebration ideas here:

Imbolg Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/01/imbolg-celebration-ideas.html

Imbolg Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/01/imbolg-inspiration.html

This year I thought I would do a baking post, since that's my main activity for Lammas. Lammas to Samhain is like "baking season" for me, although I do enjoy baking year-round! I'll also include a small section with extra ideas if you're not into baking. First here is some info on the sabbat. :)

 

Sunday, 5 July 2020

May/June Update

It's time for the May/June update!  You can read the other updates (each covering two months) at the links below:*




May started with Beltane on the 1st. (Although some people celebrate on 30th April). You can read my post about celebrating here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/05/beltane-2020.html

Back in March we went into lockdown in the UK due to the coronavirus and this continued into May. So, there's not really much to report, I just went out for food shopping/essentials a couple of times a week, lol. In the past when I've been really depressed, I haven't gone out much, but in recent years I've been doing more things, so I've had to adjust that. (I do realise it would be more of a big change for some people).

We had some nice weather and sunny days and beautiful flowers blooming. Here's a picture I took while out one day:

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Litha 2020

Last weekend it was Litha aka the Summer Solstice. (Sat 20th June). As I mentioned in my Litha + Summer Inspiration post I celebrated by making tomato and onion salad and lemonade. The tomato and onion salad is a recipe from The Kitchen Witch book by Soraya, and the lemonade is "Hello Kitty" lemonade (the recipe is from a Hello Kitty book!).

This year I also made some potato salad. The recipe is from Apply to Face Blog and I first made it for Eurovision last year (I like to have some food and drink while watching the contest). Here's a link to the recipe: https://applytofaceblog.com/potato-salad/

I actually forgot to check the recipe before going shopping, so missed some of the ingredients. It ended up being based on the recipe and being mainly potato and red onion! Never mind, lol. I did have some spring greens but we'd forgotten to put them away and they went off. I'm planning to make it "properly" this week. It was still nice though.

I had the tomato and onion salad and the potato salad for lunch with some chicken drumsticks, tortilla bowls and dip. Here's a pic:

Friday, 19 June 2020

Litha + Summer Inspiration


Note: I normally post on Sundays or Monday but I realised I forgot to post about Litha last weekend, so I'm doing it today instead! :)


It's almost time for Litha  and the official start of summer! This year it's on Saturday 20th June (tomorrow!). Summer is my favourite season so I'm looking forward to it, even though this year's summer may look very different to previous ones, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Yule and winter are nearly here, 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


And here is a guide to both the Midsummer and the Midwinter solstices: http://www.stellaseaspirit.co.za/solstice-ritual/


For the past few years I've done posts with ideas for celebrating Litha aka the Summer Solstice and summer. You can see them below:




This year I'm featuring more inspiration for Litha and ideas for celebrating summer. :)

Sunday, 10 May 2020

March/April Update + Baking Inspiration

Time for the March/April update! This year I decided to do updates every couple of months rather than monthly ones like last year, because I sometimes found it hard fitting them in with the sabbat posts.

I'm a bit later writing this because I did the Beltane 2020 post last weekend. This will be quite a long post because it's covering two months. Also at the end I've included a baking inspiration section because lots of people are baking right now! So if you're here for the baking, just scroll down. :)

Read Jan/Feb's update here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/januaryfebruary-update.html


These past couple of months have been hard worldwide with so many cases of the coronavirus and lots of countries introducing lockdowns/quarantines. Late Feb/early March was like the last "normal" time here in the UK (before lockdown).

March started with my birthday. I had a good day, I got some nice presents and had a red velvet cake again, like last year. Then a few days later I went to Nando's with my mum, the Brighton one this time rather than the one in Hove. I had my "usual" (although I only go about once a year! lol), chicken butterfly (plain-ish), chips and Coke. Then for a change I had frozen yoghurt for pudding (dessert) and bought some carrot cake to take home. Here's a pic of my food:



Monday, 4 May 2020

Beltane 2020

Last Friday it was Beltane and  I celebrated by making guacamole and salad. I used my favourite guacamole recipe from The Kitchen Witch by Soraya, and the salad I made was this avocado one from Precious Core: https://www.preciouscore.com/simple-healthy-avocado-salad/

Last year I made her Kachumbari (Kenyan tomato and onion salad) for Beltane. As I said in the More Beltane Inspiration post, I thought it would be nice to add an African touch since I'm part Cameroonian (English and a little bit Scottish as well), and Precious who runs the site is originally from Cameroon. The salad was really nice and simple to make. I had both that and the guacamole with some ciabatta bread, chicken, tortilla chips and dip for lunch. Here's a picture:


Sunday, 26 April 2020

More Beltane Inspiration

 

Beltane is coming up on 1st May, (a Friday this year). (Or Thursday 31st April, since some people celebrate from sundown to sundown on both days). The past few years I've written posts with celebration ideas and inspiration for Beltane. You can read them below:

Beltane Celebration Ideas:  https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html

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


Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Samhain is coming! Check out my Samhain Celebration posts here:

Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html

More Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/more-halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html

Samhain/Hallowe'en Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/10/samhainhalloween-inspiration.html


This year I'm featuring more Beltane inspiration. :)

Note: Although this year's Beltane will be different due to to lockdown/quarantines because of the coronavirus, I hope you can still can find some things to inspire you. :)

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Easter 2020

Last weekend it was Easter and I baked the frosted white chocolate cake that is one of my favourites to make. The recipe is by British chef James Martin and is a Madeira style cake with white chocolate in the sponge and cream cheese frosting. For more on the cake and the recipe link, visit this post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/frosted-white-chocolate-easter-cake.html

 I made it on Saturday and then iced it on Easter Sunday (12th April). Some years I do it all on the Saturday, just depends.  Here's a picture:


Monday, 23 March 2020

Oestara 2020

On Friday it was Oestara (more commonly known as Ostara) aka the Spring Equinox. (At least in the UK, as I mentioned in the Oestara + Spring Celebration post, by US time it was Thursday). I celebrated by baking, which I usually do for Oestara and Easter too! Well, this year I made a white chocolate tiffin, so it was technically "no bake", lol. The recipe is by Jo Wheatley and you can find it here: https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/jo-wheatley-s-white-chocolate-tiffin

I hadn't made tiffin before but I had a look for a recipe a few months ago because a cafe at my local park makes really nice ones! This recipe uses cherries but I left them out because I'm not that into cherries. It has coconut in though. I put Cadbury's Mini Eggs on top, like I normally do for Oestara, to fit the theme of spring and fertility/new beginnings. Here's a pic:


Sunday, 15 March 2020

Oestara + Spring Inspiration


Oestara (more commonly known as Ostara) is coming up and that means spring is almost (officially) here! It is on Friday 20th March this year (at least in UK time, by US time zones it will be Thursday the 19th).

Note: For those in the Southern Hemisphere it will soon be Madron/Mabon aka the Autumn Equinox! You might like these posts:

 Madron/Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Madron/Autumn:  https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/celebrating-madron-autumn.html

Madron Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/09/madron-inspiration.html


For the past few years I've written celebration posts for Oestara and spring. You can read them at the links below:

Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

 Celebrating Oestara + Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/celebrating-oestara-spring.html

Oestara Celebration Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/03/oestara-celebration-inspiration.html

This year I'm going to write about celebration ideas and inspiration for both Oestara and spring. :)

Monday, 2 March 2020

January/February Update

Last year I wrote monthly updates on the blog. I enjoyed doing that but as I said in the Christmas Gingerbread + December Update post, I still want to do updates but less often. I'd prefer to do every couple of months/quarterly updates because sometimes I found it hard fitting them in along with the usual sabbat posts. So here is the update for January and February.  It's quite long (although I write long posts anyway!) since it's covering two months. :)


I tend to find January a bit of a struggle, adjusting to the new year and with Christmas over. It's often the coldest time of year too, and I don't like the cold, so that makes it harder. I try to be more optimistic though. It's not been as cold a winter as other years and we have had some nice sunny days. Here's a pic from Jan:

Shoreham-by-sea town centre- Jan.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Imbolg 2020

Last Sunday (2nd Feb) it was Imbolg (more commonly known as Imbolc). As I mentioned in the More Imbolg Inspiration post, I normally make pancakes but this year I also baked some lemon and poppyseed cupcakes.

The pancake recipe I used was the one from BBC Good Food that I've used for the past couple of years. They are English pancakes, known as crepes in other countries. You can find the recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-pancakes

They came out quite nice. I normally have lemonade to go with them but realised I'd forgotten to get any! Never mind. Here's a picture:


Sunday, 26 January 2020

More Imbolg Inspiration


Imbolg (the first sabbat of the new calendar year since either Samhain or Yule are generally considered the start of the cycle on the Wheel of the Year) is coming up on 2nd February (Sunday this year). It's more commonly known as Imbolc and also called Candlemas (although that is a Christian festival as well) and February Eve. Last year I did a post called Imbolg Inspiration which you can read here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/01/imbolg-inspiration.html

Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost time for Lammas! Check out these posts:

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/07/lammas-celebration-ideas.html

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/07/celebrating-lammas.html


I've done a full year of inspiration posts for the sabbats now and I've also written another post called Imbolg Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/01/imbolg-celebration-ideas.html

So rather than repeat what I've written, I'm going to share some new links to inspiration for celebrating, as well as what I'm going to do this year. :)

Imbolg is celebrated on 2nd February or from sundown on the 1st to sundown on the 2nd (depending on your tradition/how you like to celebrate). Other people may celebrate from 31st Jan to 1st Feb (hence the name February Eve) but the scientific date varies. It is the first spring festival on the Wheel of the Year, although we are still in winter it marks the beginning of things shifting towards spring. This time of year is the midway point between Yule/the Winter Solstice and Oestara/the Spring Equinox, making it a cross-quarter day. I found an interesting post about how it's a new year until Imbolc. Check it out here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thezenpagan/2019/12/its-a-new-year-until-imbolc/

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Christmas Gingerbread Sheet Cake + December Update

I'm combining my usual Christmas baking post with my monthly update post. So scroll down for the December update. :)


Christmas Gingerbread Sheet Cake

For Christmas this year (or last year now!) I baked a gingerbread sheet cake using a recipe from Handle the Heat. You can find the recipe here: https://www.handletheheat.com/gingerbread-sheet-cake/

It came out quite nice, although perhaps a bit heavy on the spices! Here's a picture: