Friday, 31 July 2015

Rub-a-Dub Foot Scrub

..........and so we come to the final post of savor summer.  If you're not lucky enough to visit the beach this summer (my last beach holiday was 2009!) a lot more effort has to be made to get the most out of the season.    I am one of those people that don't mind getting covered in sand and like to use the sand as a natural exfoliator on my feet. As an alternative, this home made foot scrub is even better!  You will need three ingredients:

1 cup sea salt flakes
1/2 cup coconut oil
5 drops lavender essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together.  Gather supplies - bowl of warm water and a towel.  Make sure you are sitting comfortably inside or outside in the garden.  Rub handfuls of mixture into feet paying particular attention to heels and ball of foot or wherever there is a build up of hard skin.  Use small circular movements and don't rub too hard!  Rinse feet off in warm water and pat dry with a towel.  Your feet will be thankful for the attention and not so embarrassed to be seen in sandals!

Thank you for being part of savor summer this July and thank you to Anne from My Giant Strawberry who came up with the idea.

That's all Folks!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Joy List in July #4

Decorating the house with flowers from the garden

Spritzing body with a cooling scented body spray before bed

Having a tepid bath with Epsom salts

Making a foot soak to relax tired summer feet

Making lists of joyful things to do in summer’s to come

I was a bit pre-emptive with this post and had it prepared before the turn in weather.  It is cold and wet and not very summery here at the moment but the joy list is something to be undertaken once the hot and sticky days return!  Here is today's alternative Joy List in July!

A bowl of freshly prepared seasonal vegetable soup

Making freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam

Doing some colouring or zentangle

Planning places to go for when the good weather returns

Drawing up garden plans for next summer

For more of my savor summer posts scroll down or click here and scroll down to see Anne's previous posts. She has so many links and good ideas for savoring summer including book recommendations and recipes.

Have a lovely week


Friday, 24 July 2015

Scented Sugars

Whilst the summer herbs are at their peak it is a good time to make some scented sugars with them for use throughout the year. 

I used Rose of Attar perlagonium leaves to make my sugar but you could use any other perlagonium leaves such as apple mint (above) or other edible herb leaves such as lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint etc;

I used a small handful of washed, dried leaves and put into a blender with 250g of granulated sugar.  The sugar becomes finer as you whizz it up.  When the leaves are finely chopped and blended with the sugar, put into a clean glass jar.  I didn't sterilize mine but to be on the safe side I would advise that you do.  Once made let the sugar sit for a few weeks to allow scent and flavour to develop.  Sift before use.

Use the sugar to add a subtle and delicate flavour to herb teas, sponge cakes and puddings or sprinkle over Turkish Delight Shortbread (which is neither Turkish or contains any Turkish Delight sweetmeat!) but does taste similar due to the addition of rose tea leaves and rose water).  You can find the recipe here.
I hope that you are enjoying summer.  I have hit the ground running since I started the Savor Summer posts and am finding many ways to enjoy the lighter and longer summer days.   For more Savor Summer posts click on the pictorial link in the side bar which will take you to Anne's blog. Scroll down to discover her previous Savor Summer posts.

Just two more Savor Summer posts to go.  Check back on Monday when I will have the final joy list for July and on Friday will be sharing a home spa recipe.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Monday, 20 July 2015

Joy List in July #3

Lighting summer fragrance candles 

Eating a bowl of fresh fruit with yogurt and honey

Admiring the vibrant colour of the hydrangeas in the garden

Eating forest fruits and caramel torrone (nougat) from a visiting Italian market

 Making scented sugars from plant leaves

July is whizzing by and there are only three more Savor Summer posts to come.  On Friday I will be sharing a recipe, on Monday posting the last Joy list in July and the following Friday my final Savor Summer post which will feature something 'spa' related. 

For more Savor Summer inspiration visit Anne's blog here where you can scroll down and see all the Savor Summer posts.  Have a lovely summery week.

See you on Friday!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Books for the Summer 2015

I love books.  A proper hard copy with printed paper.  I love fact and fiction and more recently..............colouring books!  If you're looking for a creative and mindful outlet then colouring is the way to go.  I am not talking about children's books with their often crude images on cheap paper, I am talking about beautifully intricate designs on quality paper that allow you to add your personal touch in adding colour.  This latest literary craze in adult colouring books is also known as art therapy and a great stress reliever.  I think summer is an ideal time to use such a book; on holiday by the pool perhaps or in a quiet spot in the park or garden.  One problem I have had though is that they are too beautiful to 'spoil' by colouring in!  I have taken a leap of faith by starting to add colour to the 'this book belongs to' page before progressing further in the book.  I have linked some suggestions of the best ones below that can be found on Amazon.

Enchanted Forest - Inky Quest and Colouring Book

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Adult Colouring Book

The One and Only Colouring Book for Adults

Buy yourself some quality coloured pencils or gel pens to go with your book.  Add a pencil sharpener and you're ready to go!

If colouring books are not your thing then you may wish to do some light summer reading.  I have been reading The Rose Garden by Marita Conlon-Mckenna.  The main character is Molly who is finding the upkeep of  her Irish country house (Mossbawn) difficult to maintain since the death of her husband.  She starts to restore the neglected and overgrown walled rose garden whilst reluctantly putting her house up for sale.  Her niece Kim is invited to stay at Mossbawn House whilst getting over a broken relationship.  The house is set in the village of Kilfinn which is where Gina works in  Cassidy's Cafe.  The three women are each looking for a new beginning.

'Standing in the orangery, Molly couldn't believe what a wonderful place it was to have a party.  You could see out over the lawn and gardens, the high glass ceiling looking up to the starry night sky.'

The book is a chunky 458 pages but an easy read with chapters being only a few pages long.  I usually fall asleep whilst reading novels but this one caught my interest.

'Gina!'  called Norah. 'There's a hot rhubarb tart and an apple tart to go out to the front of the shop.  And you'll whip up some more cream to go with them, please!'

If you like descriptive writing of home cooked food, beautiful houses and gardens then this book is sure to tickle your senses.  It is not a complex book and is very basic and predictable when compared to trying to decipher some of Hardy's work, which is my favoured reading material, but if you want a gentle, lazy summer read - it is perfect.
My final book choice is Moominpapa's Book of Thoughts.  Originally for children and written and illustrated by Tove Jansson, this is a book for all ages filled with philosophical anecdotes and insights from Moominpapa collated by Sami Malila such as:

'There are some things in the World that cannot be disputed, such as sea currents and the seasons, and the fact that the sun will rise in the morning.  And that lights will shine in lighthouses.'

If you have not read Moomin books before (I vaguely remember them as a child) why not use this summer to get to know them?  I think I may have a new obsession coming my way with the enchanting Moomins and strange characters they meet such as the Hattifatteners, Tulippa, mermaids, sea-trolls and other weird and wonderful creatures!  I have listed some Moomin books below that link to Amazon.

The Moomins and the Great Flood 

Finn Family Moomintroll

Moominpapa at Sea

For more Savor Summer inspiration click on the link to Anne's blog here. and scroll down to see all the previous Savor Summer posts.

See you on Monday with another 'joy list'!


Monday, 13 July 2015

Joy List in July #2

Making an early start in the garden

Watching the bees in clover

Taking photos of summer plants

Staying in the garden from dawn until dusk

Sitting in a shady spot outside with a good book to read

I hope that you are making the most of the fleeting summer months getting outside and taking photos, sketching, drawing, reading, writing, observing or just taking deep breaths and drinking it all in.  Nature is abundant right now and there is so much activity, new life and new growth all around.  Soon the autumn will be upon us so it is vital to take advantage of the lighter summer days.   If you want more inspiration for ideas to 'savor summer' you can visit Anne's blog - the originator of the project here.

If you are looking for book inspiration - and not just for reading - I will be doing a book themed post on Friday.  I look forward to seeing you then!


Friday, 10 July 2015

Seashell Jewellery for Aspiring Mermaids

Summer is a great time for collecting shells.  Those that are not perfect specimens can be turned into jewellery to remind one of carefree summer days.  If you are not lucky enough to visit a beach this summer, ask a friend or relative who is going if they would bring you back a few.  Failing that shells can be bought on line.

To make the filled shells I used  a bead reamer and twisted gently in the end of the shell where I wanted to attach my findings.  I pushed a head pin up through the hole (using a bead as a stopper so that the finding wouldn't get pulled through the shell) and used round nosed pliers to gently curl the wire that was sticking up to make the bail.

To fill the shell I used Glossy Accents which is a 3D gloss medium by Ranger, a few glass pearls, silver seed beads and ultra fine glitter.  I started by putting glossy accents into the shell and dropping the beads in.  When satisfied with the arrangement I used a cotton bud to sprinkle the tiniest amount of glitter on top.   I think they look like mini rock pools!

Hang them from pendants, use them as charms or hang in the window.  Experiment with different beads and glitters.  They are great fun to make - quick and satisfying and sure to be an innovative fund raiser for a summer fete too!

If shell themed jewellery is not for you then how about making a wreath?  I had a quick go at making a seashell wreath by using a small cardboard ring.  I wound around a long strip of muslin and then stuck the shells and some grasses on with a hot glue gun.  Not the most inspiring example -more of a tester and experiment for a larger wreath maybe using a willow or foam form as the base.

Many more shell crafts can be found on the links below including candles in shells, sea shell wreaths and garlands.
To join in with Anne and her savor summer project, click here to be taken to her introductory post.  Click on the savor summer picture in my side bar if you want to be taken directly to her current blog post.

Back on Monday with another joy list in July!