Naff off Nits! Natural head lice repellent

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Here in the UK the kids have just started back at school, and no doubt it won’t be long before word of “an outbreak” is given. Head lice, or nits, have always grossed me out and I’m scratching my head just thinking about them. As the old adage says, “prevention is better than cure” and with that in mind I’ve concocted a balm which can be dabbed behind little ears which should repel those itchy little critters. The rationale behind this is that the lice hate the smells of certain essential oils.

I made a huge batch, but to make your own manageable amount I suggest using the following:

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon shea butter
1/2 tablespoon beeswax
Tea tree, lavender, camphor and eucalyptus essential oils to your liking.

Put the wax and oil ‘s in a ban marie and heat gently. Remember, I did a huge batch, you’ll only have a tiny amount so it won’t take long!

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While the mixture is melting prepare your container/s. I chose lip balm tubes which are pretty hard to fill, so to make life easier, I covered a shallow baking tray with foil, made little slits with a knife and pushed a tube into each slit to stop them toppling over.

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Once the oils have melted they’ll be a rich amber colour.

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Now add your essential oils a drop at a time until you’re happy with the fragrance. I added more tea tree and lavender than the others, but it’s personal choice really.

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Once you’re happy with the aroma, fill the tubes or pots… I ended up using a piping bag to do this but it was messy (and rather hot)! Think I need to rethink my method!

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Let them set, then put the lids on and label.

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Dab behind your child’s ears each day to help keep the lice away.

If you liked this post, check out my Frankincense and Cinnamon Winter Balm post for another homemade, natural idea.

Frugal February week 4

Where has this month gone? I can’t believe it has flown by so fast and we’re in our last week of Frugal February. This week is going to be slightly different, as the hubby and I are going away for a couple of nights by ourselves, the first time since before our daughter was born. In fact it’s going to be the first time in her (almost) four years of life that we’ve ever left her overnight with anyone! Some friends of ours from church very kindly bought us a couple of nights away as a Christmas present. We’re so blessed! We’re all very excited, as are my parents who are driving five and a half hours to babysit for us! Anyhow, I only need to plan two meals this week as a result:

Monday: Throw it all in veggie mac & cheese. Using up veggies left in the fridge, a simple homemade cheese sauce and crispy breadcrumb topping.
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Tuesday: Roasted veg and salmon tray bake. Using half a side of salmon we have in the freezer and veggies already in the fridge.
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Wednesday & Thursday we’re away.

Friday: Kubbah hammute. I made extra and froze them last time I made them, so mum is going to make the soup and poach them for when we arrive home.

You might notice I haven’t put any prices on, the reason being I haven’t actually had to buy anything, so actually in one sense this is an extra frugal week, although no doubt hubby and I will enjoy a couple of meals out while we’re away.

What will you be eating this week?

A new toy…

A friend upgraded his camera at Christmas, and very kindly passed his old one on to me.  It’s the first time I’ve had a half decent camera and I’ve had fun experimenting with it over the last couple of days.  Here are a few of my favourite snaps. 

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We had a walk along a local canal yesterday.

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Hubby and daughter through a metal loop on one of the locks.

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Under a railway bridge as the sun was getting lower.

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Dessert time after our walk. Yum.

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My other favourite girls this morning. Vanessa, Jemimah and Sarah (Pepper pig fans will understand the names!).

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What a pretty chook.

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Sarah was very intrigued by the camera.

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Here I am. Very happy with my new gift.
Happy New Year readers. Thanks for all your support over the last year. Here’s to more yummy recipes in 2015.

Tough questions: Is our eternal destiny already decided?

Sometimes there are aspects of the Christian faith which we struggle to comprehend or accept. The temptation is to skim over them and assume that they can’t really be teaching what they appear to be plainly stating.

However, 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is God-breathed and useful for our teaching, reproof, correcting and training, so we cannot ignore sections of the Bible simply because they challenge our perceptions.

In the latest sermon series at Full Life Church we confront some aspects of scripture which can be difficult to understand and yet are, in many ways, fundamental to our faith. We will encounter some tough questions but we will also strive to find true, biblically based answers. This week we look at whether our eternal destiny is already decided.  Click here to listen.

The Babilla culinary archives

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Before Christmas we enjoyed a few days visiting family on the south coast, and whilst there my Granny presented me with a ziplock bag full of old recipes. Some handwritten, some printed, some cut out of magazines. I’m quite a sentimental person, but even I was surprised at just how endearing these yellowing pieces of culinary history are to me.

Moving from Baghdad to the Shetland Isles in the 1950`s, my Assyrian granny was a whizz in the kitchen, and her fingers were always busy rolling rice into vine leaves, stuffing kubbah or putting little morsels of deliciousness in my mouth as she was cooking. Over the years of moving around (Cornwall after Shetland, Cyprus, Turlock in California, and finally back to the UK as they grew older) she inevitably picked up various regional recipes and I still maintain that she makes the best Cornish pasties I have tasted!

What charmed me most about these precious scraps of paper with the almost illegible handwriting, is the fact that half of them don’t even say what the recipe is at the top. They’re just lists of random ingredients… I’m going to love trying them just to figure out what they’re actually meant to be! Here are a few snaps to whet your appetites.

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I have no idea how old some of these are.

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I love how this says 'introducing' oregano! Introducing! Seriously?

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Yum! A jello salad!

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Post it note recipes!

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I even found a couple my mum had sent Granny in 1996

Your favourite posts of 2013.

I posted my first blog article in February 2013, and have had just under 7500 hits to date.  I just wanted to say a big thank you to all my readers, for the kind comments, encouraging words and inspiration you give me; and I thought I’d take a moment to look back at some of the more popular posts from 2013. Click the links below and Enjoy! 

Cinnamon and Frankincense Winter Balm

Judged for being a Stay at Home Mum

Being the Bible

Cinnamon Swirl Scones

Pearly Gates

Wow Factor Chocolate Slab

Happy New Year to you all!

Tinsel or no Tinsel? That is the question.

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Now I know I’m likely to unleash a whole bucket of worms with this post, but I like a good old fashioned debate.

I for one would definitely not class myself as a tree purist. I don’t do colour coordination when it comes to my Christmas tree. I just don’t get why people do it. Nothing on our tree matches.  Every ornament has a story behind it and they work together in juxtaposed harmony to create a vision as gaudy as Blackpool Illuminations, but equally as mesmerising.
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There is definitely no tinsel snobbery in this household. We use it loud and proud. There’s absolutely no other time during the year you can get away with using fake gold metallic anything, so make the most of it I say! None of those beaded string alternatives here.  Anyway, here are a few of my favourite decorations.

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I love this angel. It came as part of a set and was given to me by a Consultant Psychiatrist I used to work for.

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Phoebe made this one only yesterday. Love her creativity and the fact she piled as much stuff on it as she could!

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I adore this tiny glass nativity scene. He is the reason for the season afterall!

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Ah, my princess's first Christmas back in 2011.

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I believe...

Christmas traditions

Growing up, Christmas was all about the traditions… My dad being made to stand in the same spot each year by mum, with his arms outstretched towards the ceiling to measure how tall the tree should be (like the ceilings might have magically heightened, or he’d had a later in life growth spurt!). Having the same (mock) argument with my sister every year about who the fuzzy reindeer with the missing spots actually belonged to. Going to the same garden centre each year to get the tree and choose one new tree ornament each. Drinking a thimble full of Harvey’s Bristol Creme and prancing around to ‘Cliff Richard’s Christmas Classics’ whilst we decorated the tree. Opening a present on Christmas Eve. Enjoying smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on Christmas morning with the family before church. I could go on!

It’s these little things that make Christmas truly magical for me. These things are the glue that cements our family together. The things other people might look in on and think are silly or mundane. Not for us. This is the stuff of life for us.

Coming from such a tight knit family, it was really important to me to harbour traditions in my own little family unit when I got married a decade ago, and now Phoebe is here I want her to be able to look back on her childhood Christmases and remember all the fun little things we did that make our Christmas unique to us.

The first in our little box of Christmas rituals is chopping our tree down (which is somewhat of a novelty here in the uk), then going to ‘Hot Choc Choc Point’, a little spot on Beacon Fell we’ve aptly named because we always take a flask of hot chocolate up there. Phoebe loves it! Enjoy the pictures. More to follow when we’ve dressed our tree…

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Just arrived to start our tree hunt

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It's a family affair

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The stuff of life

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The chosen one!

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Good job Daddy!

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At Hot Choc Choc Point!

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Treasure

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Silly fun

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Ready to be adorned!