100th Post and a Giveaway!

This, my dear friends, is our 100th post since we started this blog in 2009. We wanted to do something special to celebrate, so we decided to do a giveaway. I (Kathryn) personally love giveaways and always enter them, even though I never win. My sister won one once so that’s my motivation!

But first, let me tell you about our wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We went to Nova Scotia to celebrate this lovely holiday with the Jamieson family, since it was going to be our last Thanksgiving together for a while.  The weather was warm and sunny, there were pumpkin and apple baked goods galore and we were all together, which doesn’t happen very often since our family is so large. We went to see some of Kentville’s finest Pumpkin People.

Smurfs!

Eden wasn't too into it...

We took a family picture on a very large chair.

I was a little squished...

We went to the Wolfville Farmer’s Market, which was awesome except for the fact that we wanted to buy a whole bunch of produce but it would have been pointless, since we were being fed by my parents. Being accustomed to the crowds at the Fredericton Market, it was such a surprise to actually be able to walk around at a leisurely pace, and not have to worry about running people over with the stroller.  The market had a great assortment of items for sale and we did end up getting a few of our favourites: cheese curds from Fox Hill Cheese House and Samosas.  When we lived in Wolfville we used to go to the market all the time and it was really nice to be back.

We also stopped by JustUs, my favourite cafe, and bought our giveaway prize for this post…but more on that later! I love their motto – People and the Planet before Profits – and I love their products.

Mom and Dad made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, which was absolutely delicious. Especially the homemade, from scratch, apple and pumpkin pies! They even went all out and got a free range organic turkey which was huge and scrumptious!  Tim played a lot of Mario on the Wii, since we don’t have a video game system any more.  At times it was quite amusing, especially when some of us less experienced gamers joined in!

My parents also wanted a nice family picture of us, so we did a little photo shoot:

Holding Eden's hand away from her mouth made for a cute picture

We stopped in Moncton on our way back to Fredericton for a meal with Tim’s family and got a great family photo there too:

The extended family minus Amy

It was nice to break up the drive and visit with Nana and Grampy Cross before heading home.  Of course, the delicious food – including another pumpkin from scratch! – was a bonus too:)

Over all it was a fantastic weekend and we’re so happy we decided to make the trip. Now we’re back to facing the daunting task of moving, packing, sorting…etc.  It will be all done by next Tuesday, thankfully!

In the mean time, and since you probably won’t hear from us for a while with all the traveling and moving we’re going to be doing over the next few weeks (we leave Fredericton on Tuesday, October 18 and board the plane from Halifax on Saturday, October 29) we’re going to give one lucky winner an awesome, cool-weather prize package!

We know that there are a lot of you who read our blog but never comment (we see the site stats), so if you’re one of those people, here’s your chance to come out of the woodwork! You will want to enter this giveaway, believe me. I personally would like to keep the prize for myself, but that wouldn’t be very generous would it?

To entice you more, here is what’s up for grabs:

You know you want to win it!

1 bag of JustUs Peppermint Stick Dark hot chocolate

1 canister of JustUs looseleaf Rooibos tea

1 looseleaf tea diffuser

2 JustUs chocolate bars – one white and one dark chocolate

This is a great prize for anyone needing some comfort and warmth on these cool October nights.  To be eligible to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What is the best “green”/natural/alternative product or lifestyle change you’ve incorporated into your life over the last few years, and why?

The responses to this question will help us find out about some cool new stuff we can investigate/blog about, and help us get to know you better.  We’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner. You have until Sunday, October 16 at 8pm ADT to comment, after which point we will do the draw and announce the winner in our 101st blog post (after e-mailing the lucky person). If the winner is someone we are going to see before we fly across the world, we will deliver the prize personally; if not, we will mail it out.

We look forward to reading all your answers and finding out more about who is really following our blog!  Happy 100th post and thanks for being part of K&T – Life Adventures!

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26 thoughts on “100th Post and a Giveaway!

  1. I love giveaways too! And I also love Just Us. So of course, I need to enter this one! :p The biggest lifestyle change I’ve made in the last little while is working very hard to send litterless school lunches with my boys. It takes a bit of planning and it’s a bit more work, but the school really encourages it and they are proud to be able to do their part to help the environment. 🙂

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best in your grand adventure… can’t wait to hear your stories from down under! 🙂

  2. I guess the best lifestyle change I’ve made over the past couple of years has been to get back playing my music for fun, not just for school…and not just flute, I’ve been singing, playing piano, drumming, and I even got back into playing guitar

  3. Oooooh, well, since Just Us is one of my favorite places/products in the entire world, I will have to enter this draw! What a great give away!! You know, we don’t know each other well, but I feel like we would be good friends if we had a bit more free time! I think of you two often, you remind me of Byron and myself when we were a wee bit younger! 😉

    Down to your question….. I would say our best lifestyle change that we’ve incorporated over the past few years has been a focus on local eating. We did this primarily to have more connection with our food, more knowledge of how it’s grown and what is in it. We also wanted to know how to grow/produce more of our own food, and decided the best way to do this was to get to know our local farmers and glean from them. In doing so we have become passionate about the benefits of local eating and it has become our norm. There is so much to be said on the topic, but I’ll say just this, nothing feels more right than going to the market, knowing the first names of those who grow/produce your food and showing them through your purchase that you appreciate and support them. Enough said!

    Will be praying for you on your adventures, very very happy for you.

  4. Hello!
    You’re right, I’ve read your blog tons and have never commented. The tea defuser is enough for me to enter this giveaway!
    Not sure if this counts entirely, but one way we’ve been prompted to incorporate “green living” in our house is to buy our produce (and as much meat as we can) from the farmers at the market in Dartmouth. We’ll be getting a CSA box this coming year, which we’re excited about. We love the idea of supporting local farmers and paying more attention to seasonal foods rather than picking up anything we want at a store. It helps us feel more connected to our community and is a great way to help the boys understand where our food comes from.
    So yeah, that’s it. I hope I win!!
    XO

  5. Love this prize!! Yummm!!

    The best eco-choice we made was going as car-free as possible during the summer. We would plan all of our errands that 100% COULD NOT be done on the plat for all one ‘run’ on one day. You don’t realize how much you just ‘pop over’ to places you don’t really need to go.

    Love you guys – appreciate you both so much and what you bring to the body! Praying that you find a church family as soon as your plane lands xo!

  6. I’m so excited for your Australian adventure! How long do you think you’ll be there?
    I’d have to say the best change for us (well, me really, Mitch doesn’t really notice) is using natural house cleaners, like Mrs. Meyers. It really gives a great shine and I feel much better knowing it’s safe and natural and I’m not going to die from bleach and chemicals like I used to worry when taking a bath after cleaning my bathtub!

  7. Ok you’ve bribed me!

    Lifestyle change! Sold our house, gave up a 10 + year teaching career, passed on a business started from scratch, left friends and family and moved to Canada with three children and a dog!

    We now have a house with 2 acres, 25 rabbits, 11 chickens, 6 turkeys, 4 pigs (arriving soon) and a new dog! Along with a couple of good jobs and an ambition to have a more sustainable lifestyle.

  8. Aww, it’s sad to see you go, even though we rarely got to see each other – but it’s super exciting and we’re looking forward to reading your blog from afar! Eco changes we’ve made include cooking at home more often and actually bringing lunches to work vs the quick and easy run to the restaurant. ALSO, we now only use compostable “poop bags” for the dogs – when it’s full, it can go in our green eco garbage. Although we hardly used it this summer due to poor weather, Tyler bought a new, gas friendly-er motorcycle so we can pass on the guzzle car on nice days. OH and Tide Cold Water Green! Is what we use for laundry now – I haven’t done a hot water wash in years…

  9. You guys never cease to amaze me!!!!

    I’ve actually been a slacker this fall with my ‘walk to work’ routine. Lots going on here at home so I’ve fallen back in my determination to do my little bit. Will get back at it though. And you know, I mostly do my own home cooking, try to use in season stuff and use wild meat, fish, etc when we can. Rabbit stew for supper tomorrow. I’m passing on that; I’ll stick with the leftover homemade soup.

    Love to al of you.

    All three of you look wonderful!

  10. The best lifestyle change? Well I switched to a complete vegan lifestyle at the age of 15 and never looked back. It really changed my life and helped me to find my real self. I also stopped using regular cosmetics and use only natural stuff and it proves how the easiest (and often the cheapest) things works the best!

  11. I don’t know if I could pick just one thing! Love my cloth diapers, love my soapnuts, I like using baking soda and vinegar to clean pretty much everything, and I reeeally love my Just Us coffee every morning 🙂

  12. How cute! Kathryn, you are very creative. We are very excited for you and your family as you start this new adventure. We’ve always wanted to visit Australia, maybe now is our chance. It probably doesn’t cost any more than going to NS from here.
    As for your question, for our new build, we have chosen all energy efficient, triple glaze, low E with gas windows, plus many more upgrades.
    Again, best of luck and may God richly bless your new home.

  13. Oh I love giveaways!

    One natural change that I have made is in the body products that I use. I now make my own deodorant with coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder and an essential oil for a yummy smell. I love this homemade product! I’ve also started washing my hair with baking soda a few months ago and after a period of my scalp adjusting to the change I am very happy with the results I get now. And finally, I have been using Olivier Soap (all natural, olive oil based soaps made in Bouctouche NB) to wash my face (no more chemical products on my sensitive skin!). Oh and when my skin gets dry especially in the winter time, I’ve started to use coconut oil on my skin instead of lotions.
    These are inexpensive changes and they are all better for my skin and health and if you think of all the packaging put into beauty products, plus the chemicals put into them, this choice is also better for the environment 🙂

    Love you guys!

  14. Your family photos turned out awesome. What a treasure to have these taken before you leave. I love the valley in the fall. I think I could live there, and go to the farmer’s market every week. I love going back for all the reminders of when we were in university and first together.

    As for your question about lifestyle changes, we’ve made a few since moving to Fredericton. One major one is being part of a CSA. I love love love getting fresh produce every week that comes from a local farm, farmer, and is organic. We’ve been making a much more conscious effort to think about where our food comes from, not just how far it’s travelled, but how it’s grown and who is reaping the benefit of us buying it. That is one reason I am so glad there are companies like Just Us around. I’m a huge proponent of fair trade purchasing and have thought more and more this last year about the lives of the farmers producing our food than I ever did before. I no longer just think about the bottom line, but think about the lives that are affected by my food choices. We’re also much more conscientious of how much waste we produce, what we recycle/reuse, and how we affect the environment. We’ve started buying a lot more organic for the reason that the pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals or hormones or antibiotics used in our food system are not only detrimental to us as consumers, but to the environment and the workers. We love being outdoors and taking in God’s grand creation, and if we want to keep enjoying that and have our kids see and enjoy it than we have to choose to make a difference. My sister reminds me that every dollar I spend says something.

    I love your giveaway for so many reasons, but what would really make Tyler happy is having that tea ball. He gets annoyed at having to clean out the crafe. 😉

  15. I’m so sad you are going but really excited for you too! We have made a lot of smaller changes over the last year. We started eating a lot more locally and paying attention to where food is coming from, we are trying to cut down on the number of chemicals in both our house and food by going more organic with food and using natural cleansers in the house. We have also started using a greener kitty litter, the clay stuff is really bad for the environment. And lastly we replaced all the plug in air fresheners in the house with essential oil versions. The ones you buy of the shelf are full of chemicals so we emptied out the glass “bottles” and then added in essential oils. Now we get to choose our own scents and be chemical free!

  16. Well, I love JustUs, but typically wouldn’t comment on blogs because I tend to be too opinionated about too many things which fuels some not-so-great reactions in others! But since I love you Cross’s so much I’ll give it a go! I can’t believe your leaving because it feels like you just got here. I remember the evening we prayed for you two (Eden was only a thought at that time, at least as far as we knew) in our living room and being deeply impacted that we would only have you for a short time, but that stopping here was a point of growth and rest for you all. Now look where you are! Eden-born, growing and active and another on the way who will be born down-under! Wow!! I feel so blessed to be a part of the journey God has you on, thankful to your individual families who raised you and for God who chose to share you with us! There will be a tremendous gap in our life group and in our church body, bless God for Skype so we can continue the journey with you! Love you! Cannot wait to have you for dinner Saturday!

  17. All it takes is chocolate and I am convinced!
    We use all eco friendly house cleaning products produced by companies like Down East. I also use natural deodorant, wash my hair with baking soda, and rinse with cider vinegar. It makes me feel good to know I am exposing my body to fewer chemicals.
    I also try to avoid buying meat at the store, yet my budget doesn’t allow for a lot of market meat, so we rely a lot on meat that comes straight from nature – like deer, geese, partridge, etc. Wild game is fun to cook, easy on the wallet, organic, and hormone and antibiotic free.

  18. I enjoy our soapnuts! Now that we make the soak and I’m not frustrated all the time I have to do laundry, which is all the time! Just searching for the little bags, trying to open them while they were wet, not being able to find the little bag, trying to figure out whether the nuts were fully used up…… probably straightforward for most, but not for me! So now I just soak, fill up my mason jar, dump in the liquid and I don’t have to be frustrated about a thing.

    Okay, also one of the biggest mind set shifts for the company was Tim attending the Passive House Conference in Toronto and learning about Passive house. He has done a lot of research this year and it is all coming to real life as they are starting to build the company’s first Passive house. This is a common energy standard in Europe, just coming to Canada. We live in these huge North American houses (in comparison to the rest of the world) and they are not energy efficient. It has a huge impact on the environment (approximately 40% of green house gasses emitted in North America are housing related). We often think about the little things but not the energy we burn heating a house that is not insulated, without good windows and doors. He has worked on Advanced Framing techniques (see the blog: http://www.seconstruction.ca/blog.html). I think that for our family, this is a big shift and hopefully the company will contribute a decrease in need to burn fuel and use electricity in heating a house!

    Thanks for the chance to win!! Everything looks so yummy 🙂

  19. Sounds like you had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend Kathryn! Loved the pictures! It’s so cool to see your whole family together. I love big families.

    The biggest lifestyle change I’ve made recently is trying to eat more natural, un-processed foods, and also using natural sweeteners and making “healthy-ish” desserts! I’ve learned a lot about it, have a lot more to learn but am really interested in it.

    Also I quit a job that I hated and now I enjoy life more 🙂

    Oh, and we got a dog. That was (and is) pretty awesome.

    Love you guys, I hope you have a wonderful down-under experience and I can’t wait to hear all about it and see your pictures!

  20. It was awesome to have you here with us on Thanksgiving Monday…and can’t wait to see you again on Tuesday!! My contribution to a greener earth has been the opportunity to expand a small recycling project at work (bottles & cans in my own work area) to now include collection areas around the entire building. Proceeds support several charities, both local & international. I am getting quite a reputation as a great drinker,as I am seen carrying home large bags of bottles :). Great to read of all the everyday choices people are making to bring about a difference! Luv you! XOXO to Eden!

  21. I have had some great housemates over the past few years who have converted me to recycling and using reusable grocery bags. Beyond just being a good thing to do, choosing to recycle has also been a huge lifesaver when it comes to needing last minute kids craft supplies like cardboard and tp rolls. Lifestyle (and sometimes “green” in colour!) change has been significantly reducing meat and opting for more vegetables, lentils, nuts, and beans instead… and finding some great recipe blogs along the way! Finally, while just a little thing, I’ve tried to reduce a little bit of energy consumption by almost always towel drying my hair instead of blow drying it and using a good ol’ spoon for stirring instead of an electric mixer.

    Happy adventures in Australia! I can’t wait for to read your stories =)

  22. Pingback: Winner of the Giveaway! « K & T

  23. We have been gardening more and hanging out clothes out to dry. I can’t belive the difference in our power bill in the warmer months.

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