Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Holidays

Posts are really getting few and far between now!

We've been super busy over the holidays with contractors for the boarding house, but also doing loads in our garden and getting ready for our new chickens!

This month I learned how to 'key in' fence posts (so that you don't need concrete to support them), dig in a pond and a bog garden (you should check out my pinterest board for edible planting ideas), fox proof a chicken run and that you can't fight bluebells.

I might post more about these if I find time in the future, but right now I have an incubator full of eggs that will soon become our chicken babies and I might be distracted a bit.

In the meantime, for those interested, here is what we got up to over the Easter weekend.


Sunday, 29 December 2013


Here's our video from this Christmas, hope you had a great one too and wishing you a happy new year!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Stuff we did 2013

Here's a little bit of what we got up to in the autumn term this year.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Did you miss me...?

I haven't been posting much recently. In case you missed it, I have a job now - as in one that I am paid for.

It's kind of great, because it is working from home and means I'm around for my kids and we can still homeschool etc... but also kind of the worst of both worlds, because I don't get to disappear to an office have coffee breaks etc... I'm still a stay at home mum with two kids and a dog, but now I do other stuff on top of that!

I'm really enjoying it, but it's totally exhausting, and basically that's why my posts are becoming more and more sporadic.

But it's Christmas holidays now, I've slept for nearly three days and I feel almost human, so I figure it's time to post a recipe. I don't actually have anything new, more of a Christmassy adaptation. It started with the fact that everyone around me is going on about gingerbread lattes that Starbucks only do at Christmas.

I don't care.

That doesn't even sound one bit nice.
HOWEVER, I will admit to missing steamed milk with various syrups added. My favourite Christmas one being peppermint. Then I thought, why miss out? Go to your favourite coffee shop (if you live in Bedford, that should be Groundfloor) and sneak in a small bottle of peppermint essential oil (make sure it's food grade!)

One drop in your hot steaming milk and you have the most deliciously yummy Christmas treat you can enjoy whilst out shopping with friends.

This is something I've been doing for a while, but here's where it gets interesting. Tonight I was making peanut butter cups (well, cashew butter really) which are super easy. You can make GAPS legal 'chocolate' by melting coconut oil with honey and cocoa powder (if you add a dash of cream it's even more delish) which I layer with cashew butter and freeze in little cupcake trays, then store in the fridge.

When I had about half the recipe left, I remembered another blogger saying that you could melt creamed coconut with peppermint oil and put that in the middle to make chunky 'after eight' style bites.

I'm too lazy to get out another pan, so I just stirred the oil into the ganache and it was flipping good.

I made another cupcake tray full of them, but I still had some left...

So I stirred in some raw milk and made the most delicious mint chocolate milk shake I think I've ever had. Too much to drink now though, so I've put some in the fridge. Just hoping Matt and the kids don't spot it before me tomorrow morning...

Easy GAPSy treats just in time for the holidays, and you can whip them all up in one pan in less than 10 minutes.


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Today I was blessed...

Today I was so blessed by a truly wonderful woman.

She offered to give me a facial, for free, and I tried to turn it down because I felt guilty about not having the money to buy the products she sells (which incidentally are amazing!) but she didn't back down.

She told me she felt like God had prompted her to give me a free facial and she really wanted to do it - even knowing that I wouldn't buy anything from her.

I've been a little stressed recently, and my skin is certainly showing it, so I tearfully and gratefully accepted.

Whilst she massaged my skin she prayed for me. 

I cannot tell you how much better I felt. Not just because my skin felt amazing, but because I really needed that little touch and care.

And I remembered why I studied complimentary medicine. I remembered how healing massage is to emotional needs as well as the topical skin care. I remembered how I wanted to pray for my clients whilst I worked. And I remembered how important meaningful touch is. 

So tonight when I put my kids eczema cream on I spent a little extra time rubbing it in.

So many of us forget the power of touch, and there's so much research to say that it's damaging our mental health as a nation. 

Make the effort to touch someone (not in a dodgy way!!!) just a hand on the arm when you say thank you, and pay on the back when you congratulate them... It doesn't need to be huge. Ask God to give you opportunities to encourage someone with a loving hand. 

Some people go through their whole lives deprived of the kind of physical connection that others take for granted. 

In the meantime, if you are interested, it's the tropic skin care range that my friend Christine is selling. It's totally vegan and natural (hooray for those of us on GAPS) and honestly works as well (if not better) than many if the chemical laden professional products that I trained with. 

I don't get a commission for this. I just genuinely like it, so if you're interested drop me an email and I'll get Christine I contact with you. 

She is an awesome lady, and you'll be glad to know her. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Herbal hair dye

I'm not a big fan of chemicals in my food,  but part of the GAPS protocol is cutting them out of your life wherever possible. 

Regular readers will know that I've dabbled in making my own toothpastes, deodorant and even shampoos, but one thing I've continued to do is bleach my hair. 

Actually I've been trying to phase it out, and fortunately ombré was a fashion in the last two years, so that has been my plan for growing it out. I can't quite bring myself to cut it all off like I did when I was younger, for fear of my age making me look less 'cute pixie' and more 'low maintenance mum'. 
When I was young and short hair was cute circa 1997
I've also been looking into herbal hair dyes to cover the bleach, there's a lot. You can use coffee grounds, indigo, henna, cassia, chamomile and a whole host of other things to colour your hair. 

The best part is, like eating real food, this stuff is actually good for you. 
infographic credit
After using herbal hair dyes, I don't have chemical burns on my scalp, or dry brittle hair. In fact, my hair is thicker and shinier than ever. 

The first time I used a herbal hair dye I played it safe with cassia and chamomile (blonde) which evened out my hair a little, and covered some grey, but didn't have a huge effect. 

This time I wanted something more dramatic.

It's no secret that I've wanted red hair for a long time. My husband has not been keen though. I finally managed to convince him (I think he just cares less than he used to) so my lovely sister came over and helped me do it. 

I brewed up some herbal tea that had hibiscus in it (which makes the henna more red and less orange apparently) added the juice of two limes (you're supposed to use a lemon, but I didn't have any) and stirred in about 150g of Henna powder and 25g of ground cloves (they smell good and help with adding a 'warm brown' to the henna). 
hibiscus flower tea
Leave all of that to cure in a bowl for a few hours. Rub it through your hair for a few hours, then rinse and dry. 

I didn't use any shampoo or conditioner, but in fairness I never use conditioner anyway, and my hair was still super easy to brush and soft. 

What was most obvious was the difference between my virgin hair (super shiny) and the bleached hair (much less shiny). 
'virgin' shiny hair around the crown, then drier coloured hair

Overall I'm really happy with the results and I plan to keep using it. 

The colour changes quite dramatically over the first four days as the pigment fully oxidises, so here is my photo diary: 
day one: definitely ginger, but fairly low key

day two: flaming orange. I loved it, but sadly it couldn't stay...
day three: plenty darker but still with a fiery glow
day four: and we've settled down to an even auburn tone.
As a side note, this type of hair dye is permanent (you have to grow it out) and more importantly, you can't really dye over it.

You can use indigo or coffee to make it darker, or cassia and chamomile to (very) gradually lighten, but you can't use a commercial dye on top of it. If your hair doesn't fall out it will be burned worse than any bleaching disaster you have ever had.

Make sure you want to commit to healthy hair colouring for life if you go for it!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Pear Pie

photo credit

If you are lucky enough to have an orchard with pears this recipe is perfectly frugal for this time of year. If you don't, well, pears aren't too expensive...

Like most of my recipes, this bears little resemblance to it's title, but it was named by a five year old, so.... It's more like a pear omlette, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.

It was inspired by an apple omlette I saw on pinterest, but my daughter is allergic to apple, so a few tweaks later and we have something the whole family can enjoy.

You will need:

4 large eggs
2-3 ripe pears
2 bananas
2 vanilla pods

Slice or chop the pears (I've tried both and they are equally delicious) and fry in some butter with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Whilst that is cooking, throw the eggs, vanilla seeds and bananas into a blender and blend until they are fluffy and foamy. Throw your left over vanilla pods in some vodka.

Add a little more butter and then pour your mixture over the pears.

Cook on low until it's just beginning to set and then flip it (if you are a culinary genius) or grill it (I do the second) to get a nice golden top.

You can slice it like a pie to serve.
My kids like it with honey, I'm all about ice cream.
Enjoy it how you like.

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