Ready Set Herbs!

Isn’t it a good feeling to get outside in the glorious sunshine, breathe in some fresh air and feel the earth… between your fingers?
I did just that! I planted some Herbs! Mint, parsley, chives and oregano. These were the ones I felt sure I’d use often.
I recorded the process to share with you, not because it’s hard to plant a plant! But because sometimes, seeing a process inspires me. So for what it’s worth, I thought, well why not! If it inspires someone else to spend some quality time amongst the foliage in the garden, soaking up some vitamin D, I’ve done my part! There’s really nothing quite like taking some time to tend to something, to look after or create something!

I had four lovely terracotta pots to start with, three of which my thoughtful boyfriend gave to me. (Thank you Jono. You know you are quite extraordinary! x). And I am blessed because I believe he didn’t even know I wanted to start a herb garden of my very own, yet he helped me on my way and brought along the inspiration I needed to get started!

Here’s my planting process:

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1. Drainage- I checked to make sure all my pots had holes in the bottom so that they are able to drain well when watered. The pebbles go in as the first layer so the hole in the bottom of the pot doesn’t get too clogged up with dirt and allows the water to drain. We don’t want the water to collect in the bottom and cause the roots to rot from excess moisture. I sourced my pebbles from… my driveway!

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2. Sand- This was my next layer, it’s not necessary, but it does help save on cost of compost if you don’t have your own compost bin at home. Unfortunately, the soil around my house isn’t stocked full of nutrients! Well.. maybe for a cactus!

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3. Compost- Ah, plant food! Some good potting compost makes up my third layer.

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4. Water- I found it best to dampen the soil enough to permeate all the way through before hollowing out a hole to plant in. This is a good starting point for the roots to settle in their new home and grow quickly, getting the drink they need with out getting completely waterlogged by their next watering.

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5. Hollow- Time to get your hands earthy! Poke a hole in the soil about 2.5cm/1 inch deep (depth may differ depending on the size/stage of plant growth). If you make a hollow too deep, it may cause the stem base of your herb to rot as it would be covered in damp soil. Depending on how big your chosen herb grows and spreads, you may want to plant a few seedlings next to each other in the same pot.

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6. Transplant- I’ve carefully separated this section of mint from dad’s mint plant, keeping the majority of the roots intact! Don’t worry too much if you break a few, as mint is very hardy and will still take off well when transplanted.

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7. Trim- To give a boost to the smaller plant I’ve just transplanted, I cut off the larger stem. This helps the plants energy and nutrients go into growing the lower and smaller leaves so it can spread and grow bigger.
I get to use the leaves now! Bonus! Mmm don’t you just love the smell of fresh mint?! I do!

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8. Grow! And here are the four pots I planted! I’m very happy to have started my very own herb garden! I’m looking forward to watching them grow! And of course being able to use their delicious and beneficial flavours!

So there we have 8 steps to transplanting! Is this a coincidence as 8 is the number of new beginnings?! Happy new beginning my little herbs!

I hope you’re inspired to drink in some of your own fresh air and sunshine! Don’t pass up a chance to get your hands earthy!

Enjoy your week,

and stay quirky!

This is where it starts

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Self PortraitĀ 

‘Embrace the Quirks’ has now become a life motto…

Hello! I’m excited to write to you in my very first blog post! I’ve been making mental notes over the last week now, trying to think of a good way to kick off my blog! I came to the conclusion that starting from the start is a good place to start! Am I right?!

To begin with I’ll tell you, my life in the past has been a series of ups and downs. I mean, there was never anything particularly major that happened to me, good or bad, but I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, mostly welling up from within my own mind!
I think we significantly underestimate the power of the mind. I mean we think every waking hour right? (I know, I know, men have a ‘nothing box’ where apparently they can think of.. that’s right, NOTHING! Beats me how that’s possible, but men, if it’s true, you are blessed!) It seems there’s never a passing moment where theres not one thought or another breezing through my mind and demanding my attention. If you’re like me and we think this much, how does it affect the way we live? The way we interact? Whilst I don’t propose to have in depth knowledge about this, I can share my perspective with you. And that is what I plan to do, so please forgive me if you disagree.

I know that it’s a struggle to think positively sometimes, even a lot of the time or all the time! I know this quite as well as anyone! But just realise, if negative thoughts are going through our minds about our selves, our lives and our situations, it’s no wonder that we see so many cases of mental illness! Or even struggle with it ourselves. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon.
Again I don’t profess to know in detail the specifics about mental illnesses and depression, but I do know my own battlefield and thinking negatively is not an easy habit to break!
Our thoughts are like pathways in our brain. If we travel one often enough, wearing it down, it becomes the easiest route to take. To change this requires commitment and hard work to divert and start digging out a new and improved path to take. One which leads to a more joyful and peaceful outcome!

Self-control: The ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behaviour, especially in difficult situations.
Self-control is a word people seem to cower away from. It’s almost a dirty word. Yuck, who want’s to have to control themselves when it comes to chocolate, or spending money, or sex, or thinking what we want to think. Right? We seem to want what we want, when we want it. Instant gratification. But what if that isn’t good for us?
In lacking self-control, I think we don’t learn how to love ourselves and the people around us well. With out self-control, we become selfish or greedy. We take take take and forget that it’s actually a good feeling to give a little. A little time. A little gift. A little word of encouragement. With out self-control we become open to temptation and giving into something which although we might want it, might actually be unhelpful to us. If we eat too much, we feel sick right? If we buy too much, we run out of money. If we don’t rest, we burn out. It’s the same in our minds. If we think negatively too much, there are consequences and it’s not helpful to us.

So how do we practise self-control? Well here’s a few tips I’ve tried and proved helpful. 1. Don’t let your mood or feelings dictate your decisions. 2. If a negative thought pops into your head, push it out again, replacing it with a positive truth. 3. If negative thoughts keep entering your mind, check what might be influencing you. 4. Let negative comments towards you roll off your back, like a duck! Choose carefully who’s advice you listen to. 5. Think before you act. 6. Choose not to dwell on your flaws. What you focus on you magnify. 7. Start your day in a positive way! Set the foundation for your day. Tell yourself you are successful, watch an encouraging TED talk, tell someone else something you appreciate about them. These all help in making that new pathway accessible in your brain, to a more joyful thought life. And who doesn’t want to have a truthful appearance of Joy? It’s attractive right?!

So for me, this process started one day when my artistically talented and inspiring friend Chelsea and I visited the Robert Hannaford portrait exhibition at the Adelaide Art Gallery. This was where I had an epiphany… 24 weeks ago I posted this on Instagram:

“Embracing the quirks in life, this is a very helpful reminder for me, that nothing is perfect, yet we as people are wonderful just the way we are. You are Loved just the way YOU are. Forget comparison! Each person is unique and we can embrace the things that make us different! That make us who we are! Imagine you’re a portrait painting of which a famous and brilliant artist has painted. The artist spent time and energy making sure you were just right. Just think; the artist painted you that way because the artist liked the details that make you you! You looked right to theĀ artist. You were inspiring to the artist. The idea of you made the artist want to paint you! Tuck this picture away in your mind, in your heart and pull it out to look at when ever you begin to compare yourself to something or someone else.”

I encourage you to do just that, tuck away that unique picture of yourself which has immeasurable value, for safe keeping! Remember it when you start to think destructive thoughts. You are made beautifully how you are because the artist loves every quirk about you. Your picture was worth painting!

Stay positive!
And stay Quirky!