Monday, March 14, 2011

Starting Small To Make Big Changes (A Hummingbird Speaks)

This is our first-ever guest post from Jen who blogs over at The Misadventures of Mrs. B which includes cooking, fabulous writing and some irresistible food photography!

Hi, everyone! I’m so glad Nicole offered the opportunity for me to be here today so I can share my Hummingbird ideas with you and hopefully pick up a few tips as well.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been the type of person to say “Oh, I’d love to do that” or “I really need to make a change in my life” or “I wish I had the discipline to keep up with a plan for change”.  It’s the story of my life, truly.

That’s why I was so pleased to read about Nicole’s Hummingbird Project.  What better time to start than right now? And thinking of it as a project, and as a way to effect lasting change in my little family and (ideally) throughout the world, makes it that much easier to not only stick to it but to make it fun!

Most of the changes I’m working on deal with nutrition and stretching our food dollars.  The fact is, it may take a little more time to make something from scratch but the result is something I can eat with confidence – after all, I know exactly what went into it.  There are no hidden additives or fake colors or “natural flavors”.  It’s all real.  Besides, there’s a sense of pride in knowing that the bread we’re eating came from my hands.  Same with any baked goods (why grab a muffin at the coffee shop when I can bake my own over the weekend to eat all week long?) and even pasta.  There is just nothing like homemade pasta.  The fewer steps a product takes between production and my mouth, the better.

I’m already working on my herb garden! Last year I planted flat parsley and sweet basil.  This year I’m expanding to include dill, thyme, chives and oregano, too.  My husband is sweet enough to be building boxes for me to start my own vegetable garden as well – I can’t wait to plant! I’ll definitely be starting small – tomatoes are on the list but I’m looking for any ideas on something a beginner like me can grow with ease! Thoughts, anyone?

Other changes I’m working to implement:                                                                                             
  • Carrying a large insulated cup to work – if I feel like stopping off for coffee on the way in, I just present my cup rather than using one of theirs.  I hope that it catches on amongst the people I see waiting in line every day!
  • Drinking from a reusable water bottle rather than constantly buying and discarding plastic bottles.  This is something I see people doing around the office all day long – not to mention using a paper cup for a single drink of water and tossing it out immediately.  Wasteful!
  • Being more diligent with my recycling – now that recycling rules have loosened a bit in my area and everything can be included in the same bin, it’s easier to remember.  I admit that I haven’t always been a smart recycler in the past.
  • Learning about green cleaning products.  It’s fascinating what you can do to lessen the amount of potentially harmful chemicals in your home! It’s an education for sure.

I know that there are so many other changes to be made, and this is merely the tip of the iceberg.  But it’s easier to start small, isn’t it, rather than getting overwhelmed.  At least that’s what I tell myself! I hope to document my progress on my blog – at least when it comes to cooking and gardening.

I’d love to hear any tips or suggestions from those of you who read this for ways to improve (and tips on gardening, since I’m a newbie)!

Thanks, Nicole, for having me here.  You’re an inspiration.

About Jen:
Jen blogs over at The Misadventures of Mrs. B, where she shares recipes, ideas and stories from her life while trying to maintain a sense of humor about the whole thing.  You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or email her if you would like to be a part of the misadventures or just to pick up a sinful new recipe.

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