A few weeks ago I was so excited to have come across the beautiful instagram account of Harmony, where she shares her passion for whole food cooking, waste management, gardening, composting, motherhood, and of course – almond milk making! Without sounding like a total creeper, I instantly fell in love with Harmony! It was like B1 had just met B2. She is everything I am all about!
Then it came to me – if I am loving her so much – I know you ladies will too! So Harmony and I have come together to touch base on some topics we are passion about sharing more in depth and raising awareness for in this back to back interview.
Grab a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy reading some questions we both had for each other, when Connie met Harmony – virtually!
The Connie Diaries interview with Finding Harmony
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi my name is Harmony. I’m 26yrs old; I’m married with a tribe of three babes. I’m currently studying Yoga as a lifestyle medicine and an Advanced Diploma in Meditation. I’m on a journey to lowering my household waste and adopting more harmonious habits that help protect the planet. This journey is also a health & happiness journey too because creating lifestyle habits that slow daily life down has created pockets of awareness that allow me to reconnect and become present and able to to enjoy the little things that make life truly meaningful.
Your vegetable garden is amazing! What inspired you to create such a space?
Thank you! My inspiration came from my imagination and my childhood obsession with the movie ‘A Secret Garden’! Do you know the one? I loved that movie growing up!! The idea of creating a magical, hidden garden beside my house that I could escape to and fill with flowers and vegetables was just too exciting! I had to make my childhood fantasy a reality.
Your composting knowledge is admirable. When did you start learning about composting?
I started getting really nerdy and learning alot about composting when I was pregnant with my daughter back in 2017. I went to my local library to borrow all the books they had on composting and spent many pregnancy insomnia nights watching horticulture YouTube videos were I literally fell in love with the process of composting.
What interests you most about composting?
As much as the science is interesting and learning about the chemical processes is a lot of fun to me, what means more is the understanding that composting is completing a cycle. Everything in the world runs on cycles and by collecting your food scraps, putting them into a compost pile and returning finished compost to the earth to nourish the soil you’re working directly with nature to complete that cycle. When we work outside of nature’s cycles are when we are out of flow with the laws of nature and that’s when we create all the environmental problems we have today.
How important is getting the layers of composting right in order to successfully be composting without spoiling it?
Very important but don’t be afraid to try! You have to create the right conditions for everything to break down. In saying that, don’t be scared to give it a go! It’s literally a natural process and organic matter is always going to decompose even if you don’t get the balance perfect. But if you do get the layers right your compost pile won’t have a bad odor and will decompose quicker so you can use your compost to nourish soil and feed your plants sooner!
Waste management is very important to you. What is your motivation behind creating awareness for this?
Yes it is. I create awareness because I’ve always wanted to live low waste but no one online was just starting their journey so it seemed impossible to me. One day I shared that I was going to stop buying my fruit and vegetables from Coles and Woolies, instead opting to shop from local farmers markets. I shared a little about wanting to reduce waste and wanting to strive to support local businesses and I was shocked at how many people were interested in doing the same! So I thought I’d share my experiences to help encourage anyone else who wants to make the same changes but doesn’t think they can or thinks they have to get it perfect from the start. It’s not about doing ‘eco friendly or low waste’ perfectly its about making small, meaningful changes over time for the better.
There is a push in society these days to be more mindful of our environment. What was your first step as part of your eco conscious journey?
I started by making a promise to never use a takeaway coffee cup again. I bought reusable coffee cups and I always tried to remember my cup because if I didn’t have my reusable cup or if I wasn’t willing to by one from the coffee shop then I wasn’t allowing myself to have a coffee.
I remember going through drive thru Star bucks one day and I’d forgotten my reusable cup, I desperately wanted a coffee so I forced myself to buy the $19 Starbucks reusable mug and I swear since that day I’ve never forgotten my reusable coffee cup. Haha
What are your tips/hacks on becoming more eco conscious?
Set your self some goals like always using a reusable cup, making your own bread, always pack a water bottle to avoid plastic bottles, say no to plastic straws when out etc and be proud of yourself when you reach them! Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re doing enough or making an impact but if you have some goals you can reflect on you can see just how far you’ve come and be proud of your contribution.
What would you tell someone who wants to start composting but doesn’t know where or how to start?
Watch lots YouTube videos and just give it a go! You don’t need a big expensive composting system either. Try and up cycle where you can or frame up a simple box with chicken wire, grab a shovel and the rest of the materials you need can be found around the garden or out at local parks and beaches!
Wanting to be inspired more by Harmony? Be sure to follow her over on instagram @findingharmony_ where she shares daily snippets of what she’s up to at home, in the kitchen, in the garden or with her family!
Finding Harmony’s interview with The Connie Diaries
Tell us about yourself and something your followers would be surprised to
know about you?
I’m Connie and (gulp), I’m 30 years young! I’m a boy Mumma with two step kids as well who visit us regularly. My husband is my best friend and we always tell each other we’re the lucky ones. After all these years, thirteen to be specific, he’s still the one who gives me butterflies. My passions are whole food cooking, pie making, growing thriving vegetables and raising our kids in the most basic way in the modern world. I’m a true Pisces soul, with a sensitive big beautiful heart. Love, understanding and forgiveness with a side of dropping it low dance moves is my language. Karaoke in the car is my favourite thing about traveling and I’m a crazy cat lady. I would love nothing more than to be in a confined space of just myself and cats surrounding me wanting to play and cuddle.
Something you may not know about me – My career to date has been one of an entrepreneur’s, owning three businesses that I’ve built myself from the ground up with no qualifications under my belt. I was told when I left high school after completing my year 10 certificate by a girl in my year “good luck being a drop out”. That comment has stayed with me forever and I guess you could say that really gave me the motivation to be and do more on my own back and own terms. It still gives me a real kick when I think back to that day and look at what I’ve done up until now – plus everything I have planned for the future. One day I would love to see myself be the woman in the business running a team and an office so fab – just like Anne Hathaway in The Intern. That’ my dream.
Your lifestyle & van adventures inspire so many! What motivated you to
create the life you live and share that with us?
This makes me so chuffed that so many adore our way of life, because when I think back to when we started to make our life what it is today, that was literally us making a dream come true for ourselves. Dreams don’t just have to be dreams, they can very well become your reality if you put in the work for it.
Our motivation to buy a caravan, get back to basics and live a more outdoors life came to us after starting our own home business. We found ourselves in a rut of always being at home, day in, day out and we had a pull to escape. We had a dream of buying a vintage caravan and one night, Mann came into me while I was showering saying he had found one (I didn’t even know he was looking!) and we both looked at each other and said lets do it! The timing was right. We renovated it and continue to make the effort to ensure we are travelling often and instilling this lifestyle into our children. It’s made us more happier content people by doing life this way.
Have you always been a nature lover / When do you think that start interest
To be honest, no. It took me some hard life lessons and heartbreak to find my way to where I am today. I was in a dark place when my mother walked out on our family to the point I knew within myself I needed anti depressants and a councillor, but I’m one who loves to fix things on my own back. I guess I seen myself as a project I could work on and could be proud of myself for making something so dark, be so bright. I started meditating which was incredible for my mental health. Doing this made me notice the little things, the little noises from nature and gave me the want and the need to be outdoors more. Nature is my medicine and I look at our world with different eyes now. There really is no beauty like Mother Earth. She was created in ways I only wish everyone could see and feel for themselves.
Your veggie patch is so abundant! What are your top 3 gardening tips?
Tip 1: Use good quality organic vegetable soil! The soil is what feeds your vegetables and helps them grow. Good soil is just as important as the water they need. Ensure you fertilise your soil with things like worm wee or Seasol is my recommendation as it contains no nasties!
Tip 2: Opt for natural pest preventives. Use things like coffee grounds, homemade chilli and garlic sprays, and companion planting. Using pesticides with chemicals in them is only going to feed into your soil and your own bellies which is a big no no for your own health, and the care of our environment!
Tip 3: Start a compost! I too watched many youtube videos and read articles and books about starting a compost before I actually did one! It’s a good way to reduce your waste and give back to your garden – which in return is only going to give back to you with an abundant thriving garden!
What does being environmentally conscious mean to you?
For me, it’s about asking myself the question – is this good for me, my family, the environment? If no, what can I do better to make this better for us all.
A big area I am conscious on, is the chemicals used in plastics and cleaning products and ensuring our family don’t consume these in our bodies which has been proven to be a cancer risk. I’ve also swapped all of our chemicals in our household now for natural products that are gentle on our bodies and the environment, because the thought of us eating from plates and forks that have had chemicals clean them makes me so uncomfortable.
What made you start composting at home?
I wanted to reduce our waste at home instead of putting things from Mother Nature into land fill. By having a compost it’s allowed us to reduce our waste immensely, the kids also get involved and enjoy learning about the process plus I’ve now seen the benefits in my own vegetable garden from composting which have been incredible! This season I’ve used my homemade compost mixture in the gardens and I’ve never seen my plant so happy, strong and giving!
What are your top tips/must knows for anyone wanting to start composting?
Do some research before you jump in the deep end. As easy as composting is, there are some important key points to know about composting to ensure you get the best out of your compost mixture! It’s all about getting a good healthy balance of nitrogen (green materials) and carbon (brown materials) working together. Don’t let big scientific words scare you off though – it’s much simpler than it sounds. Also grab your compost some compost worms – they are going to be what brings your compost to life and give you rich beautiful lush soil.
How important is it to you to be mindful of the environment and share your
I don’t like to force it down anybodies throats, but rather simply raise awareness gently through my own conscious decisions I’m making at home. By sharing what we are swapping at home with my instagram community, that gives me the opportunity to get people thinking. And that’s where it all starts. If I can get just one person thinking about that plastic straw and saying no, or get one person to take their own coffee cup to the coffee shop, that’s a win for the environment. That’s what starts the habit. That’s what starts people asking questions. That’s what opens up peoples minds. That’s what starts change.
What are some ways people can start making environmentally friendly
The easiest way to start an eco conscious journey is with the simple things. Invest in a keep cup (with zero plastic of course – we don’t want those plastics getting heated and leaking chemicals into your liquids and you drinking it now!), invest in steel reusable straws, invest in reusable shopping bags and produce bags, invest in silicon food covers so you can say no to cling wrap, invest a nut milk bag and make your own nut milk!
One thing leads to another! Before you know it, you’re on your way to an environmentally mindful lifestyle. And I must stress – don’t expect to be perfect at it from the get go, I’m still learning as I go. It’s a journey, and on this journey is where we learn and grow!
Has your life become richer or harder since starting your eco journey? Can you
explain your answer?
It has become a much richer and fuller life since making the switch. In the beginning it is overwhelming and you want so much to be perfect at it, but I found by eliminating that pressure from myself that I was enjoying it more. I was noticing how good it felt on the inside to be making these changes in our home for the benefit of the ones I love, myself and our planet. It’s a feeling like no other. You’ve really got to try it to feel it for yourself.
Looking to follow along on Connie’s journey and be inspired by her way of life? Follow along on instagram @theconniediaries for daily cooking inspiration, motherhood and travel adventures!