June 01, 2017

Monthly News and June Calendar Free Download

Summer is around the corner, and although we are eagerly waiting for beach days and mountains hikes, the holiday season is still far away.
We are slowly changing our daily routine, adding more outdoor activities, lots of ice creams, pic nics and, much to our dismay, a later bedtime (it's difficult for the kids to go to bed when there's still light outside!).
I'm carrying on with my #100daysofwildflowers project on Instagram, even though I'm a bit behind. I'm learning a lot about wild plants, to take notes and to identify different species.
My perpetual nature journal is being filled every week, slowly transitioning from wildflowers to wild grasses as the temperatures become higher and the rain disappears.
Our balcony garden is slowly, very slowly, growing. Unfortunately we have a north facing balcony, so the plants don't get much direct sun, and are in the shade for most of the day. Nonetheless, the kids are excited to check on the plants and water them every day after school.  
I've finally made an attempt at making elderflowers syrup. I've discovered it about two years ago, somewhere on the internet, and have been obsessed ever since. This year I finally picked the right time for harvesting the flower heads. 
This is the recipe I used, which was adapted from an infinite amount of online recipes:
50 flower heads
3 lemons (sliced)
2 litres hot water
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 kg white sugar
Pour the hot water into a bowl (I used an alluminium pan with lid) with the elderflower blossoms, the lemon slices, the vinegar and 200g of sugar. Stir gently, cover and leave it for 3 days.
Strain the syrup, add the remaining sugar and bring back to a boil. Pour the hot syrup into sterilized jars or bottles, and carefully close the lid.
The syrup can be stored in a dry cool place up to a year, or in the freezer. Once opened, it can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month. 
I'm planning popsicles, aromatic cold teas and fizzy drinks!

How are you getting ready for the coming summer months?

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May 01, 2017

May Calendar Free Download

May has arrived in the blink of an eye, leaving behind April's holidays, chicken pox and the initial stage of new projects. Summer is slowly making its way with warmer temperatures, short sleeves and longer days. I don't have too many things planned for the month ahead, just keeping up with the things I've got on my table feels enough.  Enjoying the outdoors, caring for our balcony garden, carrying on with my #100daysofwildflowers, eating ice creams after school seem to be just right! 
Have you got any exciting plans for this month?
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April 01, 2017

April Calendar Free Download

    
Welcome to April! It's probably my favourite time of the year. It's the first full month of spring, the days are longer, temperatures are just about right, nature is at its best. And is also my birthday month. My new day job is not leaving me with much time to paint, as I hoped, but I'm doing my best. My perpetual nature journal is being filled in every week, my current everyday sketchbook is coming to its last few pages and I'm a bout to embark on the "100 day project" (you can read about last year's challenge here). 
 Hope April brings you lots of beautiful and happy moments!
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March 04, 2017

March Calendar Free Download


March starts the beginning of a new phase of my life. A new day job, which means lots of adjustments, lots of planning and lots of work trying to find a new balance. Our family routine hasn't been shaken up too much, but surely my daily rhythm has had a sharp turning point. Sitting at my desk to paint daily is going be a distant memory, nonetheless I'm planning to carve out time to create, anytime, anywhere I can.   

Digging out my pen and brush while out and about with the family during the weekend will be on my wish list. And I'm surely will be carrying my painting travel kit everywhere.

Bedtime doodles is another option, less viable as I'm not a night owl and I find working after the kids are asleep almost impossible. But a late afternoon coffee could be of help!
 I love sketching in the car before and after work. It's becoming my favourite quiet and creative time.
And maybe doing a bit of planning and research during my lunch break could help making the most of my free time. Life with kids and a day job is hard, but fulfilling nonetheless.

Enjoy your free monthly calendar and happy March everyone! Spring is on its way.
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