Mid-winter Night's Hike

Hello, I am Amy's guest blogger, often referred to as G around this blog. On Friday night our family went on a wonderful mid-winter night's hike in the Goderich Woods. This was a special hike in celebration of the weekend's annual Winterfest, and featured lots of LIGHTS, LANTERNS and COLD. Here are some highlights of our hike. 

It was a nice mid-winter hike in the Goderich Woods.
Nate admires this fish lantern.
Even Gene Simmons was there!
The trail glowed with creativity! 


One Small Change update

Well January came and went in the blink of an eye - which is okay by me since it means we are one month closer to spring and it means I survived one whole month without any frivolous shopping. Yes, I survived the first month of the One Small Change challenge in which I pledged to buy nothing that was not absolutely necessary for the entire month of January. There were no random mid-winter-blues shopping sprees at the mall, no blowing the Christmas money on gadgets or gizmos just for the sake of spending extra money, and no, when our television broke down mid-month, we did not run out to the store to replace it. That may have been the most difficult challenge - wanting to curl up under a warm blankie to watch a good movie was something we were going to have to live without for the time being. We actually started to take family walks around the neighbourhood instead which has started to become a really nice habit! My sister-in-law must have felt sorry for us though, because she showed up at our house last week with an old TV she dug out of her basement - but it worked out great because we are reusing something instead of buying something newer, and bigger, and flatter. And now that February is here and last month's challenge is over, I did not run out to the mall to make up for that lost shopping time. I have continued to question the things I do buy - Do I really need this, or do I just want it? One small change towards making a difference in the amount of 'stuff' our family consumes.

So, February is now upon us and time to take on a new challenge. Our family has decided to make our Mondays meat-free. This was inspired by a campaign launched by Paul McCartney and his family to raise awareness of the impacts livestock production have on our environment. According to the campaign's website, "Meat Free Monday is an environmental campaign to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption. Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector." We've never been huge meat eaters - it's not a nightly requirement at our dinner table - but I'm not going to lie, I do enjoy a few slices of greasy bacon alongside my Sunday morning pancakes (especially if it's been a late Saturday night!). And it's so easy to throw a roast in the slow cooker before heading off to work without giving a second thought to the environmental cost of eating that roast. I'm pleased to report our first Monday was a success! Finn actually scarfed down 4 of these vegetarian tacos! No slow cooker needed for this recipe - it is a super quick dinner to throw together at the end of a busy day, and SO yummy!! I look forward to sharing more of our Meatless Monday meals!