Friday, 29 December 2017

The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman

So what the title would suggest, this is a cookbook for those wanting a more minimal or simpler way through one's kitchen and making meals. Which to me is making that move for some. There is in the introduction, information about minimalism and how to bring it into your kitchen. There is a checklist of produce, with a key of images of what season they would fall under being good in season. There are images of the recipes, so you get an idea of what they should look like. There is a good secretion of categories of items you can make – from breakfast to dessert. I liked the set and presentation of this book.
With each recipe, she shows you how long it will take and how much the recipe will yield. Of course, it has the ingredients and how to make it. At the end of each recipe, it will have a note and some have an ingredient tip. At the beginning of each recipe, there is a little statement she has for the recipe and way she would have it in the book or make it for herself and family. There is a seasonal produce guide and metric equivalents. The index is divided into two different sections – one being the recipe index and the other a subject index.

The Healing Powers of Tea by Cal Orey

Nine parts with chapters within. At the beginning of each chapter is a quote relating to tea. Talks about the different forms of tea (bag, loose, etc). It is very informative and a selection of information. It has recipes whether it is something to eat along with tea or tea infused. A whole chapter of the recipes is later but there are a few randomly put in the book. Two parts are labeled as black tea and white tea. Those cover a variety of teas that would fall under that. There is talk about other varieties of teas as well. As well there is a section on tea cures – 50 remedies, quick go through. The last part is resources, and they are quick. There are not many resources (retailers, specialty shops, and tea-related organizations).
A very nice book. A bit of history and a bit of information that can be helpful if want to bring tea more into your life.

Secrets of Aromatherapy by Jennie Harding

Talks about essential oil historical background and about essential oils and carrier oils. After the chapters about what it talks about practical aromatherapy. It talks about buying and storing oils – which can help with getting the best out of the oils. Randomly it will have a small key of a 'key essential oil' that will have a line about an oil. It has charts to help with different things one being oils for skin and hair. And there is a treatment section. Then there is information about different oils – so it would be a paragraph about the oil and then a datafile – plant type, oil form, botanical name, etc.
There are pages of different blends, like perfumes and facials. Later there is a section about how to do different massages. There is a small section on self-massage. And does have information scented bathing and at home. A glossary and further reading are at the end. As well and some useful address.
Overall it is a nice book. For those who do not want a book about massages, this one may not be for you because the massages do cover what seems to almost half of the book.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobelli

I could not get into this book, I get the concepts that are being written about. But I have seen them written in a way I like and can connect to. The writing I am not huge on and how the points are stated. The connection is what I am lacking in this book. The chapters are quick and there are fifty-two chapters like the subtitle suggests. But I have to give the author credit – it is informative. It is straightforward and to the point, which can be counted as a plus for me in this book. As well, there is a connection to previous and future chapters.
This is a short review for me because I could not grasp to anything that I could not fully connect better to in other books.

“Robin Hood's Dawn Book 1,” by Olivia Longeville

This is a YA/teen read. At the beginning, there are a few pages that cover family lines and shields to cover any mentions in the story. This book takes place over a few years but any jumps are dealt with in a nice way. It may be jumpy for some readers. There is a glossary at the end of the book, which I find interesting for works of fiction. I am used to seeing maps and flow charts in books.It looks at the relationship between Robert (Robin's real name) and Guy, the book goes between them and at times other characters introduced. It does have a good connection between Robin and Marian. Within the book of meeting the Merry Men – Robin meets Little John first and shows the relationship Robin has with the kings of his time – John and Richard.
There is a telling that Robin does have a slight fall from his position, as well as Marian but ends up that they are still in their positions at the end of the book. Considering that this is book one of a series. It does have a look Marian as her own person and not just the love interest of Robin – which is nice to see.
If you like Robin Hood or any aspect of telling his story this is an interesting take on the story of him. Due to some first telling of his story is told by Disney. It has the familiar characters we are used to. It shows the rise of Robin Hood and just the Robin many of us know.

Plant-Based Nutrition 2nd Ed by Julieanna Hever

This book is part of the Idiot's Guide book series. But it can still be a stand-alone book, like the other books in the series. Like other Idiot's Guide books it is a starting resource with simple explanations and information. For example, you get some definitions of words randomly in the book. It is very informative – the information is quick, easy to understand and not fully delve into in detail information. You get information explained in lists and tables, like a table about Vitamin A food and how much is in it.
It explains different terms and foods of a plant-based diet – like sodium, oil, sugar, fruits. It does not cut out meat completely but lowers the count of it in your diet. Different steps/information like metabolism, eating, and the section's called 'the dairy dilemma' and 'no perfect diet.' There are chapters that are about shopping and exercise with both having an impact on one's nutrition/eating. She does talks about plant-based nutrition and additions to pregnancy, babies and kids, and seniors – so from birth to death, there is a brief information about each general stage of life. There are recipes involved in this book at the end of the book, also having the nutritional facts along with them.
There are a glossary and three other appendices that include sample meal plans, nutritional charts and resources

Goal Round Up

Goal roundup time. Earlier this year I posted some of my goals on this site. I am going to update you on these goals. Here we go.

Now the goal to Australia with my sister is being postponed a few years. This is because she has moved to the west coast. So the plan is to visit her there and my plan to go to Bavaria, Germany within the next two years. So there is a plan to travel with her. I have met my goal to donate blood this year. So that is a positive. I have now read over forty books this year. I am still working on my Ludwig book and have participated in all three Nanowrimos.

I have recorded a few videos outside on my channel. I have recorded an amount for my channel and have finished this year's YouTube Pagan Challenge. As of writing this (December 22), I have reached over 160 Instagram followers and 79 subscribers on YouTube – 82 as of December 28. I hope that between writing and posting this it hits the goals that I originally had. But I am so happy and glad about what I have gained this year. And in the coming year, I plan on growing more and happy with any result.

When Samhain came, I spent it alone, the way I wanted to this year to prepare more for the coming year. I had celebrated Yule this year, by spending a few minutes outside and getting myself a few items from Michaels.

I have donated and used up over fifty items, which was one of my goals this year. As well I have a list of even more books to read in the coming year to exceed what I have done this year. Next years YouTube Pagan Challenge came out and I am planning on that.


Fire is active and penetrating and considered masculine in nature. Corresponds to our conception and birth and our very life force- the "spark" of life, also of inspiration. It is a light, active element and is contrary to Water. It is associated with the qualities of brightness, thinness and motion. Fire, unlike the other elements, does not exist in a natural state. Its physical form can only take place by consuming some other element. Fire is the transformer, converting the energy of other objects into other forms: heat, light, ash, and smoke.
The Fire element is associated with the sun, the giver of life, it governs passion, intensity, desire, intuition, understanding, imagination, and possibilities. Fire cleanses and purifies it is also creative and destructive, and it can consume everything in its path, it is the only one of the four elements that cannot exist without feeding on something else. It offers warmth and cooks food, but can get out of control, it has the power to transform everything it touches.
Fire personalities are charming, charismatic and passionate, they live life to the full, and rely heavily on their instincts and intuition. Their strengths are creativity and leadership, they are daring and bold in their career, and love life, liking stimulation, and challenge, in both areas. Too much fire can be destructive because no boundaries are imposed, leaving the fire entity worn out and off balance. An overabundance of fire leads to selfishness, egocentricity, and unrealistic expectations of others. Too little fire leads to low energy and a lack of motivation.
The deities associated with Fire are Re, Sekhmet, Apollo and Lugh. Re was a creator god worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, he brought order out of chaos, and his tears formed the first human beings. He was reborn each morning, and journeyed across the sky in his solar boat, each night he entered the underworld to do battle with the cosmic serpent Apep. In Greek mythology Apollo was the god of medicine and music, he guided the sun across the sky, and represented light, truth and clarity. He was a patron of the nine Muses, the mythical embodiments of the creative imagination. Lugh the Celtic sky god, was a deity of the sun and the weather, his spear was seen as a fork of lightning.

ALCHEMICAL SYMBOL: upward pointing triangle
ANIMALS: Lion, tiger, lizards, dragon, cat, horse, snake, cricket, mantis, ladybug, bee, scorpion, Phoenix, coyote, fox, praying mantis, shark
ASSOCIATIONS: Action, the will, passion, sex, lust, anger, desire, energy, work, purification, destruction, strength, protection
BASIC NATURE: Purifying, destructive, cleansing, energetic, sexual, forceful. Heat is a manifestation of this element.
CHAKRA(S): Solar Plexus
COLORS: red (from the colour of flames), orange, gold, yellow, gold, crimson, white
DAY(S): Sunday, Tuesday
DIRECTION: South – the place of heat
GENDER: masculine, projective
GODDESSES: Brigit, Pele, Vesta, Hestia
GODS: Agni, Hepaetus, Horus, Promtheus, Vulcan
HOUR: Noon
INSTRUMENTS: Guitar, string instruments.
LIFE CYCLE: Youth and adolescence
MAGICAL TOOLS: Athame/knife, Sword, Wand, Staff, Candle, Flame, Scourge Dagger, censer, lamp, incense, herb burning, paper requests
METALS: Brass, Gold, Steel
ON PENTAGRAM: Lower right
PLACES: Deserts, hot springs, volcanoes, ovens, fireplaces, bedrooms (for sex), weight rooms, locker rooms, saunas, athletic fields
PLANETS: Sun, Mars
PLANTS: Celtic trees - Thorn, Holly, Oak. Herbs - Basil, Cinnamon, Garlic, stinging, thorny or hot, as thistles, chilli peppers and bouganvillia; desert-dwelling, as cacti; stimulating, as coffee beans; generally seeds. Other plants - allspice, angelica, basil, bay-laurel, beech, buttercup, carnation, cedar, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, deer's tongue, dill, fennel, garlic, juniper, heliotrope, lime, marigold, mustard, nettles, nutmeg, red peppers, onion, orange, peppermint, red poppy, rose geranium, rosemary, sassafras, sunflower, tangerine, tobacco, woodruff.
Dagger, Oaks, Juniper, Sunflower, Chiletepin
QABALISTIC SEPHIROT: Netzach/Victory, Geburah/Judgement, Chokmah/Wisdom
QUALITIES: hot, dry, light, active
RELATED PRODUCTS Fire oil, Fire incense – olibanum, copal
RITUAL FORMS: Burning or smouldering; heating.
RUNES: Thurisaz, Kenaz, Naudhiz, Sowilo, Ingwaz
SEASON: Summer – the time of heat
SENSE: Sight
STONES: Amber, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Citrine, Diamond, Garnet, Ruby, Tiger's Eye, fire opal, agate, Red or fiery, as in jasper; volcanic, as in lava; clear, as in quartz crystal
SYMBOLS: Flame, lightning, heated objects (stones in particular), volcano, rainbow, sun, stars, lava, heat, a heated object
TAROT SUIT: Wands, (Swords)
TAROT TRUMPS: Sun, Strength, Emperor, Judgement, the knights
TATTWA SYMBOL: upward pointing red triangle
TREES: Alder, Ash, Cashew, Cedar, Chestnut, Fig, Juniper, Mahogany, Oak, Holly, Rowan, Walnut
TYPES OF MAGIC: Banishing (negativity), Exorcism, purification, tantra, sex, empowering, protection, success, courage, energy, strength, authority, Burning objects, wood, paper, heating, preparing decoctions, cauldron work
TYPES OF MAGICK RULES: Candle, storm, time and star.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Projective
ZODIAC SIGNS: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius – the fire signs

POSITIVE CHARACTERISTICS: Energetic, enthusiastic, courageous, daring, faithful
NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTICS: Stubborn, greedy, jealous, angry, resentful
OVERBALANCE: Dominating, egotistical, violent
UNDERBALANCE: Apathy, boredom, feelings of inferiority, laziness, lack of energy

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

“Liornabella,” A.E. Outerbridge

We first meet Elle, the main character, in the town of Seraphina in the land of Liornabella. The main city is Casleton where she is determined to go to Eidden University. The book is the first book in this young adult fantasy series. This book is sixty-six chapters long. But they are not fully long. There is a steady pace of the book. And not a huge climax and resolution, but there is that within this book, do not worry. There is a good flow of the writing.
She is accepted into the university and is on the horse riding team – Eowyn her horse. She leaves her friend Martine to go, but as the story unfolds he is brought into the mix. As well her new roommate Naomi. Things take a turn for Elle and her friends when discovering documents of the princess (Sinead) who disappeared a few hundred years ago (documents, memory, dreams in italics or bold). It is within these documents she finds something darker. When she is delving into the history beyond her history report she feels she is being watched especially after getting from the abbot. She is doing this with her friends all while keeping up with school and riding.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Apps for Your Personal Library

Here are some apps to help sort/ catalog your home library, if you like to have an electronic version of what you have. Some of these are free and others you do have to pay under five dollars for. You have to have a look at each to see if you actually want to get the item – especially for those you purchase, look at the reviews to see if it will make you. It is going to be you that uses it. Have fun organizing and interacting. Happy readings!
If you know of any other apps that I missed looking up, post in the comments below. Or if there is another way for those who want to sort/ catalog online.

1. libib: This app allows you to organize your books (plus movies, music, etc.) via tags. The app is basically limitless size (up to 100,000 items). This app also includes tools for measuring how much you’ve read, as well as the options to review items in your library and to make those reviews public.
The app has scanning abilities, to make cataloging quick. You can import or export your libraries, so if you’re swapping apps or need to back up your valuable inventory, Libib is perfect for that. Libib libraries can also be made public so you can share your bookshelves to the world.
2. iBookshelf: It has a built-in borrowing status for every item, it lends itself well to tracking the current location/guardian of each book. There is a barcode scanning feature for easy use, and the fact that this app automatically calls up available info on each book by the ISBN you enter.
3. Libri: This is a very basic cataloging app, which allows you to input simple information about each item (author, title, publisher, year, ISBN, simple annotation). Its features are pretty limited, but that’s what makes it so easy to learn. I haven’t yet figured out a trick for tracking book lending in this app.
4. My Library: Can be similar to iBookshelf. You can input information via barcode scanning or ISBN, and it allows you to catalog all kinds of media (not just books). It also has built-in features for tracking borrowing/loans, allows you to rate items, features streamlined backup options, and can handle up to about 8,000 items at a time.
5. Book Crawler: This is another app that allows input via ISBN or barcode scanning, and it automatically generates associated information (including basics like title and author, but also Goodreads reviews) for each item. This app is specifically designed to export to Dropbox for easy backup.
6. Home Library: This app not only allows you to catalog and track the loan status for each item in your library, but it also allows you to send “polite reminders to friends who haven’t returned your books.” It also accommodates wishlists. It allows you to easily track the books that you’ve checked out from the library, and that it sends you reminders before they’re due (farewell, late fees).
7. iCollect Books Pro: Key features in this app include barcode scanning or manual UPC/ISBN entry, automatic cover art and bibliographic information (via Google spidering), genre sorting, tracking loans and borrowing, wishlists, and preorder cataloging.
8. Delicious Library Delicious Library allows you to catalog a large collection. It also gives you tailor-made recommendations based on your collection and items that you rate from other libraries. Another feature is the charts, which, shows you the value of your collection.
9. LibraryThing This is an app for the more casual collector. If you have a large collection, this app is not for you because there doesn’t seem to be a known limit for the number of books LibraryThing can store. However, if you have a small collection, then this simple app will work great for you! If you’re using LibraryThing, check out Tiny Cat, which is also made for small libraries and can be linked to your LibraryThing account.
10. Shelves This app stands out among the others in that your digital book collection is actually displayed on shelves! The app was developed by one man, and is now an open source project, so if coding is your thing you can really personalize this app and tailor-make it to fit your collections.
11. Book Crawler iTunes Book Crawler is the app for aesthetic lovers. Across reviews, users comment that this app has the most pleasing interface, so if that’s something that’s important to you and you’re a Mac or IOS user, then this app could be your perfect personal library match.
12. Goodreads A personal library app list would hardly be complete without the classic Goodreads. The app is highly rated, easy to use, and full of all the best features, like barcode scanning. Plus, Goodreads is the largest social network for bookworms!
13. Readerware: “The easiest, fastest way to catalog your library, nothing else comes close. Have a large collection? Readerware auto-catalog lets you feed in a list of ISBNs or barcode scans. Readerware then does the rest, building your database for you.”

“Brigid of Kildare”

This book at moments, I had to push my way through to the end. But overall it was a pretty neat read. If you are looking for a book that is focused on Brigid, whether it be goddess or saint, it is not fully.

In the book, it looks at three main characters in two different time periods. One being Brigid and her movement from being a pagan girl to a bishop/abyss (the church not like this). So if you want a Goddess Brigid book, this is not one. In the same time period is Decius – going there to be a scribe, who's part is pretty well written in the frame of him writing letters to his brother and the later interactions Brigid has with him – in her point of view. The third person in the book is Alex who is doing some work for the church and looking at manuscripts to see if there is any value to them/research them.

Eventually, Brigid and Decius's story merge and later Alex finds Decius's writings. It is Alex finding these documents that there would be a his name on them. If she finds his name on the documents there can be that connection to Brigid then other manuscripts that the monastery that employed her can have.
This book is more of a book relating to Brigid as a Christian woman and not a Pagan woman. It is not full of Christian fiction reading, one can find this in the fiction/historical fiction section of a bookstore. Overall it is a neat book to have a read through. It does go in between the three characters, if you are a fan or not of different perspective view books. If you have read any Jodi Picoult books, this one does move along like those. Through the different perspectives, the story does move forward and not in one place until all voices are heard.

“365 Days of Crystal Magic,” Sandra Kynes

Each month is a chapter (chapter two to thirteen, chapter one about preparing and using crystals). The introduction has some history and good information. Does talk about cleaning/cleansing crystals – for those who do not do this or believe it is necessary, it is talked about. Same goes when she talks about charging crystals.

Within each month, the set up is the same. There is a small section of the month. It has a list of birthstone – American, British, Others and European 15th - 20th c. It has the months full moon as well. Within the chapters, there are different topics for each day – each that can be categorized into different categories. Like other 365 day books, these categorize would be at the back of the index.
The categories include runic half months, Celtic tree months, sabbats and so on. Some days have quotes/information in italics, or a figure – a rune for the days about runic half months. At the end of each month, there is a page for notes. In the book, there are a number of crystals used, and some used on different days.
This book is for those like to incorporate crystals into their life or for those who like 365 days books. There are a few books out there that have the same set up where there is something to do on each day of the year, including February 29. Which means you can use this book in any year you want to use it and for any day you want to use the book. There are different things in this book that are useful. It is a really nice book to have a look at.