26
Aug

Tips on Creating An Indoor Herb Garden and Its Benefits

by Tiffany in Gardening

Are you planning to build your indoor herb garden? Did you know that having your indoor garden has a lot of advantages? Get to know how you can create your indoor herb garden and the benefits that you can get from them by reading the information below.

People who are a big fan of homemade meals with fresh herbs will love the comfort of having an indoor herb garden. Just a few leaves can bring out the rich flavor of the meal. If you have a window in your home that can get enough sunlight of at least 4 hours, there is every likelihood you can have the indoor garden.

There are a lot of herbs growing indoors which can improve the taste of many foods. Some of these are thyme, basil, chervil, oregano, savory, bay leaf, rosemary, chives and as well as mint.

Get to know how you can create your indoor herb garden by reading the steps below.

Choose an Area with Enough Light

You need to make sure that the planting area is receiving light. It would be best if the area can get 8 hours of artificial or direct sunlight. Some herbs that need more light, including coriander and basil, wherein they need 8 hours of sunlight each day. Otherwise, you can provide them with artificial lights by using 2 to 3 fluorescent lights to help increase yield and growth.

If you are planning to grow a wide variety of herbs, you can use a small halide light as this can  cover a larger space. It will also help the herbs to grow abundantly, which can assist you with your aromatic and culinary delights.

Choosing the Right Kind of Soil

There are herbs which can grow better when they are planting in poor soil, wherein they can even develop a stronger flavor. The reason behind this is because the herbs’ oil are what makes them unique. Herbs growing rapidly are often producing leaves and stems that are plain. Therefore, it would be better using poor soil when planting herbs so they can take their time to grow and produce flavorful leaves.

Setting Up Your Containers Correctly

Create Indoor Herb Garden

Always put in mind that growing plants in a container is somewhat different. You need to ensure that you are providing adequate food for the plants. To keep the growth rates in perfect control, using soil mix which are enhanced with fertilizers or water-retention crystals.

You can do this by combining a couple of part of fiber to a part of perlite, and starting adding 20% of worm casting. You also need to check the pH of the mix, if it is too acidic then adding a gram of hydrated lime to the soil would be best. When you are finished, you can add a tablespoon of a kelp meal for every gallon of soil as this will add some plant hormones which is necessary for the micro-organism.

Water Only When Necessary

Do not overwater your herbs because they prefer soil that can drain fast. You can only water them if you think that the soil is already getting dry. The containers should have holes at the bottom. You also need to add in some layers of broken tiles or any other flat stones. Some people prefer using gravel or perlite for each of their containers. Always remember that it is better to water the herbs thoroughly but not too often. You will realize the sign of overwatering once there is water coming out of the container’s bottom part.

Feed Your Herbs Right

After 10 days of planting your herbs, it is strongly advisable to start feeding them. Typically, the roots of the herbs are stuck in just one space; this means that the feed will be able to reach the roots almost immediately.

Providing Your Herbs with Extra Boost  

You can provide your herbs with extra help by using liquid seaweed and a gallon of B1 plant solution. B1 is consists of root hormones and vitamins, while the seafood has growth hormones and traces of nutrients. Adding these mixtures will help in the production of the herbs’ oil.

Harvesting the Herbs

Now, once the herbs are ready, you need to collect them as soon as possible. Typically, it will take 4 to 6 weeks for the herbs to be available, but this will, of course, depend on the type of herb you are growing. If you have planted basil, then you can start harvesting it even before the flowers start to open.

Additional Tips on How to Keep Your Herbs Healthy

  • When planting your herbs, do not overcrowd them. They need space so that their roots can spread out freely. It will also help them get adequate sunlight.
  • The container should be big enough for the roots to avoid from struggling once they start growing.
  • Lastly, you need to regularly trim your herbs to give the plants time to continue growing. You can use the herbs daily to ensure that you are cutting them the right way.

These are tips on how you can create your indoor herb garden easily. But what are the benefits that you can get from having your indoor herb garden? Let’s find out below:

Easy Access to Fresh Herbs

One of the noticeable benefits is having fresh herbs all year round. You no longer need to hurry to the store just to get a few leaves for your meal.Just wait for them to be ready so you can snap a few leaves to make your dish mouth-watering.

Be Healthy

Adding herbs to your daily diet is also ideal because it will help boost the value of vitamins in your meals. Also, since you are planting the herbs in your indoor garden, this can become excellent exercise. You have to bend, dig, and stretch. You will effortlessly kill two birds with one arrow.

Have Great Experience

You, as well as your family, can experience this planting thing together. When it comes to gardening, there will always be something new worth learning. From different techniques in gardening to new recipes with herbs; everything will surely be a great experience for the entire family.

Save Money

It can be expensive to purchase herbs in the grocery each time you want to play with the textures and flavors. There are also some herbs that are hard to find, wherein you need to go to a specialty store just to locate the herb that you need. But if you have your indoor herb garden, all you have to purchase are the seeds that you can grow and the feeds that will help maintain the plants’ health.

Relieve Stresses

Tending your herb garden indoors contribute to reducing stresses from daily life. The scent and the sight of your herbs can certainly be a great delight.

After knowing the benefits of having a indoor garden, it would be better to know more about the variety of herbs which can be grown.

Wide Variety of Herbs to Plant

There are different types of herbs, in fact, basil has more than 30 varieties. Typically some of the most exotic varieties can be expensive when purchased at the grocery or the specialty store. But if you have them in your garden you no longer have to spend any penny.

Ideal Herb Plants to Grow

Chives

One of the best types of herbs to grow are chives, which are small types of onion that can be incorporated in most dishes. This kind of herb is also known to have medicinal properties and can help repel different species of insects, such as mosquitoes, fleas, and cabbage moths. This makes chives ideal for herb gardens because it will help protect the other herbs.

Parsley

Another great herb to plant is parsley. In fact, most gardeners have this kind of herb. Parsley is a part of most dishes today, including steak, chicken, stews, and as well as potatoes. This herb does not only help your food taste good, but it can also help improve your immune system because of its antioxidant content.

Basil

If you are into Italian cuisine, then basil is a must in your garden. Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which give the herb its distinct smell and taste . Another good reason for planting basil is that it can be used to manage diabetes or treat asthma because of the antiviral properties.

Rosemary

Rosemary comes from the region of Mediterranean and is used for a lot of dishes today, including pork and chicken. This drought tolerant plant grows best in somewhat dry soil so you don’t need to make much effort to water it. Rosemary also has an excellent reputation for oily skin/acne, scalp and hair care.

Thyme

No matter what recipe you have, you can easily incorporate thyme, especially the freshly picked ones. The good thing about thymes is that it can be stored for an extended period of time, which means that you can store some of the leaves for future use. You also don’t need to worry about this plant because it can tolerate drought and different climates. Lastly, it is an excellent antiseptic and can also be used as tea to help with bronchitis.

Always remember that growing your indoor herbs can be a challenge, wherein you will be experiencing some trial and error. You may sometimes over water the herbs, or you may forget to water it. But you should not get discouraged because you will eventually get the hang of it.

Everything that you need on how to create an indoor herb garden, to the benefits and the best herbs to plant are written above. All you have to do now is to put them into reality, but starting your indoor herb garden at home. Don’t forget to do the tips above for you ensure that your herb garden will become successful.

Start your indoor herb garden now for you to be able to reap the benefits that these herbs have.

Source

4
Aug

How Parents Can Protect Their Children When They Are Online

by Tiffany in Children

The World Wide Web is endless, providing people from all walks of life entertainment and information at will. Children are especially curious, so they are more than likely going to spend more time surfing the web than adults. For this reason, parents need to find effective ways to keep them safe, when they are online. If you are not familiar with the dangers lurking on every corner of the Internet, you may want to start your quest with thorough research. Below, you will discover several tips that will help you keep your child safe, when they are online.

Know Who Your Child Is Talking To

It is not unusual for a young child to have an account on every social media platform, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These are wonderful and safe places to meet and communicate with others, but it can also pose some dangers for young children. Just because someone presents to your child as a 9 year old, will not always make it so. In fact, many predators will utilize social media platforms to access small children. Get to know the people your child is communicating with, by contacting them directly. If they post photos do a quick reverse image search to see if those photos have been stolen from someone else. That is a sure sign they are not who they claim to be.

If your child utilizes a cellphone, you can always take advantage of parental control apps, which offer an array of benefits. You can block mysterious calls from strangers to reduce the risk of them coming into contact with a predator.

Restrict Downloads

Children are continuously downloading and uploading files. There is just something about these processes that children find exciting. While most children will stick with video game apps for downloading, others will go beyond the norm and download apps just because they look interesting. When your child is downloading files and apps, you honestly do not know what type of content is housed in them. In fact, they could be downloading an app that appears to be educational related, but in fact it is contains adult material.

When a parental control app, like Kidgy it is possible to determine what applications and programs your child has downloaded on their smartphone. You can even do this without the child ever finding out that you are checking up on them. Even though your child is young, they still take their privacy very seriously.

Monitor Websites Accessed By Your Child

Back in the day, parents could access cookies on their child’s computer to see which websites they visited. Today, children will erase the cookies, just so their parents cannot find out this information. What your child does not know is you have parental control apps at your disposal. These apps are designed to allow parents to access the websites their children visit on their cellphone. This software is worth millions to parents, who are concerned about their children’s safety, when they are browsing the Internet.

By accessing the current website history, you will be able to find out what type of content your child is viewing. No parent wants to think of their child gaining access to adult or provocative content that is inappropriate for young children. With the parental control app, you will be able to utilize discretion, when monitoring your child’s online activities.

Block Inappropriate Websites

While some parental control apps provide parents access to websites frequented by their children, others will allow them to block the inappropriate websites. This is definitely a great feature that will prove to be valuable for parents that are concerned about their child’s safety online. By blocking the website, your child will no longer be able to access it. This will not only offer convenience, but also give you peace of mind, since you cannot monitor your children every minute of the day.

Locate Your Child Outside The Home

Most cellphones are embedded with a GPS, which allows others to pinpoint their exact location. When children are outside alone, parents can never be assured of their safety. It is not unusual for a parent to become concerned, when they cannot contact their child on their cellphone. If your child’s phone is embedded with a GPS, you will be able to pinpoint their exact location in a matter of seconds. Some parental control apps offer GPS location with a very detailed map, which will help you find the child with ease.

Ways to Protect Children Online

1
Aug

Spruce Naturals Deodorant

by Tiffany in Beauty

I have written about deodorant many times here over the years and reviewed my fair share of products to find the best ones. It is actually a tall order to find a good, natural deodorant. You may find many that are made of safe and natural ingredients, that part is not hard. But finding one actually works like their conventional, toxic counterparts is quite a bit harder.

The ingredients list may be impressive but the ability to actually control odors for more than an hour is usually what is lacking. It smells mice, it feels nice going on, and then an hour or two later you reek and you walk around wondering if all your coworkers can smell you. Needless to say that deodorant goes in the garbage can.

Other options may rely heavily on ingredients that are natural but also irritating to the skin…such as baking soda. Many natural deodorant seekers have likely run across the baking soda burn that can be associated with these products. Red, inflamed pits mean another deodorant bites the dust. My own journey to finding the right deodorant has been fraught with misadventure (and burned pits).

So yes, finding a good deodorant is freakin hard! And yet you cannot give up on the search because conventional deodorants are bad news. They often times work well at controlling bad odors but they can have lots of nasty ingredients and more than one report coming from the scientific community has hinted at a possible link between the nasties in deodorant and beast cancer. Just a quick gander at breast cancer rates and you may soon find yourself freaking out about what kind of deodorant you are using. It is said that it only takes 26 seconds for a body care product to be absorbed into our bloodstream. That should make us very aware of what we use on our skin, no?

We don’t want to be slathering our pits with carcinogenic products or ones that will mess with our hormones (think parabens). We also don’t want chemical nasties from deodorant to show up in our breastmilk! The search must go on…

I have been lucky to find a few good ones over the years and I write about the ones I find here on this blog. I have another to add in Spruce Naturals.

Last month I rocked their 100% natural Herbal English Lavender. It is certified organic and made with bacteria fighting coconut oil and a deodorizing blend of essential oils. It is also vegan and cruelty free. Other ingredients include Carnauba wax, arrowroot powder, shea butter, and baking soda.

The baking soda is a side star and not the main star because I am prone to the pit burn caused when too much is used. I noticed no sensitivity at all while using Spruce Naturals. The coconut oil base made it go on very easy, especially since it is summer. I am curious to see how it fairs in the cold winter months. I think it would probably last a bit longer. That is really my only complaint, that is went too fast and I think it may be because it is so soft in summer it is hard to avoid using a bit too much.

But did it pass the smell test? Yes! It lasted my whole work day…which was recently about 9+ hours and I was not the least bit self conscious about smells. I did feel the desire on some days to shower before bed because it was wearing off but I can’t expect miracles here…it did the job for the majority of the day, including some days spent in the hot sun gardening after work.

The verdict is in and this deodorant passes the smell test. I would definitely buy again.

30
Jul

Best Foods to Beat Stress

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

Best Foods to Beat Stress

Did you know that making a few changes to your diet can help you beat the stress you experience at home and at work? When you eat junk foods, you don’t feel as great about yourself. Foods that are high in sugar and junk carbs can leave you feeling bloated and tired, which will make stress even worse. Choosing the right foods can improve your general health and leave you smiling when you encounter stress. You can even toss in a supplement like Redicalm to battle stress in two different ways as you eat and snack. Whole foods are the best ways to get what you need for health but supplementation can cover nutritional gaps.

Avocado

Filled with healthy fats, natural vitamins, and minerals that can help reduce stress, avocado can help you feel better about yourself as a meal. A hot trend among foodies today is avocado toast, which is really just mashed avocado and some spices served on a piece of toast. You can peel and slice avocados before adding to a salad or a sandwich too, or you can mix mashed avocado with some spices, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos for a quick guacamole. There are even some great recipes for making desserts from avocado like a chocolate pudding that is healthier for you.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an incredibly versatile vegetable that you can use in dozens of different ways to naturally deal with stress. Try dicing the veggies into chunks, mixing with some salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil and then roasting in the oven until tender. Many authentic Indian curries call for sweet potatoes that are perfect for a meatless Monday. You can also bake your potatoes in the microwave. Poke a few holes in the sweet potato after washing it and cook in the microwave for 10 to 15 minutes. Top with a little butter and brown sugar for a delicious side dish.

Cashews

Another ingredient that can help you cope with stress is the simple cashew. Cashews are great for those tired of filling up on empty calories too. You can make these nuts sweeter or more savory for using as a quick snack in the middle of the day or as a lower calorie dessert that features healthy fats. Roasting the nuts brings out the natural flavor, and you can choose which spices and seasonings to use on the nuts. Keep a bag filled with cashews at the office to get a boost of energy in the middle of the day and to reduce stress.

Turkey

One of the best meats for those suffering from stress is turkey. While you don’t need to roast a whole turkey every week, you should make smart decisions when buying turkey from the store. Stick to the deli counter and packaged meats that are free of sodium and artificial ingredients. Make a quick turkey salad from some thick chunks of turkey, a little low fat mayonnaise, celery and your favorite veggies. You can top a green salad with some thick slices of the turkey or make a sandwich from turkey and fresh vegetables.

Taking a supplement like Redicalm will help you battle any stressful situation without feeling anxious or upset. If you frequently experience stress, you also need to look at which foods will help you beat that stress. Eating more turkey, avocados, sweet potatoes and cashews can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed every day.

Best Foods for Stress

27
Jul

Geology Lab for Kids

by Tiffany in Homeschool

Want some activity ideas for your kiddos that will provide fun and education. Always! As a big fan of unschooling, even though my children are in public school, I am big on games, crafts, field trips, and activities that involve learning without really trying.

Enter Geology Lab for Kids – 52 Projects to explore rocks, gems, geodes, crystals, fossils, and other wonders of the earth’s surface. The book breaks up into 12 fun unit studies so this is really kind of perfect for homeschoolers and unschoolers who want to use it for some science learning and fun. It is a year’s worth of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities.

Here are a few of the fun things you will discover…

The first lab is on crystals and one of the first projects is how to make sugar crystals…we just happen to love to do. Learn about the science behind crystals and make rock candy. What kid will object to this unit study?

Lab five has a nifty unit for learning about crystal structure and you and your kids get to make a nest of needles.

Lab seven shows you how to make a cluster of geodes from common kitchen chemicals, like borax. This project also gives you a clever re-use idea for those leftover plastic easter eggs.

Lab 15 mimics what happens to lava flow when it cools and the project is super yummy…lava cakes!

Lab 39 encases a gummy bug or worm just like the way amber encases fossilized insects. Make a batch and watch Jurassic Park.

Lab 45 puts you on the hunt for micrometeorites.

Lab 48 includes a recipe for magnetic slime. Cool!

This book is quite literally a gem for curious mind. It provides many, many hours of educational and fun activities. Your kids might just be begging you to read this with them and try every single activity. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

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