Wicked Big Storm Coming! Park Ya Cah!

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This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. Since getting 2′ of snow is totally unheard of up here in the Seattle area, I asked if she wouldn’t mind sharing her “snow day”  with us. 

unnamed (1)

Someone at the MA Deptartment of Transportation has a sense of humor! Either that or they just moved to MA and think the accents are hilarious. :)

Monday night the HH and I went grocery shopping. Make no mistake, the store was PACKED – in fact we got one of the last two shopping carts. But it wasn’t crazy, it was calm. New Englanders are not a bunch of newbs when it comes to tons-of-snow. We’ve got this.

Yes, blizzard’s can be dangerous. But if you prepare properly, play smart with Mother Nature, and have a back-up plan… well then, it’s basically an adult snow day. :) :) :)

I ignored email, baked and crockpotted, shoveled the coop, walked the dogs, helped the hubbahubba shovel (fine, only a little, but I’m still counting it), played with the girl in the snow, and got my week’s worth of exercise climbing a (HUGE) hill for sledding!

We got around 2’ of snow, but the strange thing was – it’s really no big deal. We shopped early, prepped, and enjoyed. Plus, this is New England, not Texas, so the state is beyond prepared

garden under 2 feet of snow

My garden is in there somewhere…

snow blower in driveway

Notice the snow-blowed paths? The HH makes a path for the greyhounds around the house, a path to the coop, and a path to the shed. Plus he amused the girl with a little snow shower. A quality snow-blower is worth it’s weight in gold! This storm only ate one sheer-pin, probably because the snow was so fluffy.

removing snow from the roof

And then there’s the roof – yep, ya godda rake the roof. If you don’t you’ll risk too much weight on the roof, dangerous snow overhangs, and worst-of-all, ICE DAMS.

snow in mail box

When I took the dogs for a walk today, I saw this mailbox fail. ;) I scooped it out and shut the door, luckily there wasn’t any mail in there.

blizzard

This is what the early morning blizzard looks like with a hot chocolate in your hand. It started in the early hours of Tuesday and snowed continuously all day. Luckily it was super light and fluffy, for shoveling. But not good snowman material.

chicken coop in snow

The coop was a bit difficult to shovel – cause really, where do you put it all? It was two feet in a confined place. I basically decided to shovel half of it and lay down some leaves so the little princesses can stop on the snow (commence eye rolls now).

placing leaves in chicken coop snow

My stash of leaves have come in handy again and again covering mud and snow. Plus they decompose, mix with chix poo, and turn into awesome garden box material.

leaves on snow for chickens in winter

See that water heater under the waterer? Worth.it’s.weight.in.gold. This is the one I have. I buried the extension cord back in the fall and happily it’s working like a charm. As soon as I knocked off the snow that had built up over it, and scooped out the thin ring of ice, the water flowed again. I couldn’t believe it!

The best part about an adult snow day with no work and no email?

starting seedlings indoors

I get to do whatever I want! And today, I had my eye on the bucket of potting soil I made up in the fall for seed starting. There was a blizzard outside but I still managed to get my fingers in the dirt! So I got to work making my winter sowing buckets. Last year was a HUGE success. My winter sowing buckets produced an entire lavender hedge, a ton of perennials including Echinacea, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile. This year I’ve got plans on growing Ginseng in my winter sowing buckets. I’ve never grown ginseng so we’ll see how it goes.

monkey bread

We also made monkey bread!!

I don’t have a bunt pan, and this is the only recipe I would use for a bunt pan – so I cheat and fashion a bunt pan with a deep glass bowl and a glass cup. I let it rise overnight a little and again in the morning before baking.

monkey bread with icing

Hmmmm, it’s like love on a plate.

Do you have snow on the ground? How are you passing the time? And what is your favorite snow day food to make?

~Heather from Massachusetts

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Free Tea, Martha Stewart Living, V-8 Deal, DIY Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe and More

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obsequious

Word of the Day:  The obsequious Definition: Fawning, servilely attentive Used in a sentence: The obsequious waiter got on his nerves after a short time.

lucy the puggle dog

Lucy the puggle princess and I stayed inside yesterday and putted around the house. We made 2 delicious soups, baked cookies and took a 3 hour nap. It was divine. I’m thinking today we’ll go for a long walk, and get some more work in the garden. After all, those new garden beds are not going to build themselves.

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, wherever you are.

Mavis and Lucy

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Recipe: How to Make Snow Cone Syrup

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how to make snow cone syrup

With all the snow falling on the east coast lately I thought I would go ahead and re publish my kid’s favorite recipe for homemade snow cone syrup. It’s super simple to make and a whole lot of fun to eat.

Ingredients

1 packet Kool-Aid
1 cup water
1 cups sugar

Combine the Kool-Aid, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Stir until sugar and Kool-Aid is dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool.  Once cool, place the funnel into a squeezy bottle and fill.  Squirt flavoring onto fresh clean snow and eat.

Yum!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

See the Country in Exchange for Your Time on an Organic Garden – Become a WWOOFer

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wooffing

I recently found out about a program called WWOOF {Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms}.  It is basically a collaboration of organic farms/gardens all around the country that have agreed to open their mini-farms up to visitors interested in visiting {and putting in a 1/2 day of manual labor} in exchange for education, room and board.  I literally LOVE the idea, and thought it might be a really cool way for The Girl and I to travel the country this summer.

The whole idea started in England {wouldn’t you know it, those clever Brits}, and has spread worldwide.  The USA chapter is thriving, with over 1900 participating farms/garden.

wwoofing

To become a WWOOFer {which I will do, just so I can call myself a WWOOFER}, you have to sign up.  It costs between $40-$50, depending on which option you choose.  Once you sign up, you receive a directory of all of the farms participating in the program.  Then you make a plan and contact the garden to arrange a visit.  Oh, and P.S., it’s not just gardens, you can choose from homesteads, ranches, orchards, etc.  You can also become a host, if practice organic growing techniques, and you would like to open up your farm/garden and house to visitors.  I’ll admit, if I had a bigger operation, I wouldn’t mind somebody popping by to help me with the weeding for 1/2 a day in exchange for dinner and a bed.

Holy buckets, people, if this is not the most Utopian idea I’ve heard in a long time, I don’t know what is.  How cool would it be to meet other people, learn different gardening tricks, and then get the rest of the day to explore the place you’ve landed?  It would be awesome, I tell ya.

Has anyone tried this before?  If not, would you be interested in trying it?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Safety Tips for Surviving a Blizzard or a Snow Storm

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Safety Tips for Surviving a Blizzard or a Snow Storm

So, maybe I’m a little off my rocker, but I feel like I’m missing out because I’ve never been through an epic snow storm or a blizzard.  All we have up here in Seattle is rain and gloom.

Mark my words, one day, I will live on the east coast full time.  I’ll have a red wood stove, a huge supply of wool socks, and a pantry stocked to the brim.  I’ll ride it out a blizzard in style, I tell ya.  For now, though, I’ll just have to settle for prepping mentally.

winter storm warning

If you are facing the reality of a potential snow storm or blizzard now, though, here are some tips to keep you toasty warm and safe during a major snow storm or blizzard:

  1. Create a survival kit for your house and office…in case you stuck at either place.  It should include flashlight {with batteries}, candles, matches, battery powered radio, extra food, water {and medication, diapers, formula, etc. if applicable}, first aid kit, an emergency heat source {mine will be the lovely big red wood burning stove}.
  2. If you have animals, make sure to bring them in or shut them into their shelter.  Bring their food closer to the house, so that you can still access it.  Think about stocking extra water for them too.
  3. During the winter, never let your car fuel level get below 1/2-3/4 tank.  That way, if you are stuck in the car, you will hopefully have enough fuel to provide heat.  In the event that you do get stuck in the car, run the heater for 10 minutes every hour to conserve gas. Before running the car engine for heat, make sure that the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked with snow or something else. Carbon monoxide is not healthy.
  4. Create an emergency winter bag for the car.  Have extra food and water.  A metal coffee can, matches, sticks and newspaper is always a good idea so that you can build a mini fire.  Keep you cell phone charger handy, so that you can charge your phone if necessary–that way calling for help is totally an option.  Keep a stash of blankets in the car during the winter months.
  5. If you have to travel during a snow storm or blizzard, make sure to let someone else know when you are leaving, where you are going, and when you plan to arrive.  That way, if something goes wrong, people know where to start looking for you.
  6. Place snow shovels near the front door so that you can access them and dig your way out if necessary.
  7. Have an alternative cooking method, in case the power goes out.  Think a little propane powered grill, or the like. Just make sure you use your “alternate cooking source” in a properly ventilated area.
  8. Have you kids keep snacks in their backpacks, just in case the storm hits while they are at school.
  9. Don’t leave the house unless you are dressed for the weather.  Resist the urge to pop out for some milk in your shorts and t-shirt.  You never know when the weather can turn, and it’s best to be dress accordingly should you get stuck in your car or any other building beside home.
  10. Have a family plan.  Talk to kids about what to do if they get stuck at school, or on the bus.  Know how you will contact each other to check in.

Okay, so after that list, I have to admit, if you were to get stuck somewhere besides home in a blizzard/snow storm, it would not be fun.  BUT, if you have plenty of food, water and heat in the comfort of  your own home, it might be kind of fun to have a “forced shutdown” of life’s activities. Maybe I’ll sing a different tune after I’ve actually experienced a blizzard?

Stay safe,

Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Rock Borders, Moving Daylilies and Digging up Dirt

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moving rock path

Would you believe it was 60 degrees at my house yesterday? In January? The daffodils are popping up all around the neighborhood and the street in front of my house was packed with walkers in short sleeved tee-shirts. How can that be? What happened to the rain, wind and crappy weather?
privacy hedge

Well who cares, right ? I have a garden to plant! :) :) :)

Yesterday, I started to re-work the rock path alongside our house. When we first moved here I had all these grand plans of yanking out the river rocks and installing a mulched walkway with a brick border. And then I realized it would cost me about $500 to do that {not to mention all the blood, sweat, and tears}.

And with last Sundays impromptu planting of the arborvitae hedge, I decided I didn’t really need to go all out and install a totally new border… the old one would just fine with a little tweaking and a fresh load of pea gravel {which I’ll lay once I finish the border}.

And for those of you who are worried I planted the arborvitae hedge too close to the house… it’s hard to tell from the pictures but the hedge actually sits about 3 1/2 feet away from the house. My goal is to have the hedge grow 6 feet tall to conceal the utility boxes from the road. and still have a 18 inch path between the hedge and the house for any access needed for repairs.

Several other people in the neighborhood have well trimmed hedges like this and they look fantastic. Not to mention the lush, green backdrop.

transplanting Daylilies

I also dug up a boatload of yellow daylilies that were in the front of the house and transplanted them to the side of the house. privacy hedge alongside house

I’m not a huge fan of daylilies, but hey, they were free.

digging up front garden bed

Digging up the daylilies of course left me with a bunch of giant holes in the front garden bed. Over the next few weeks I plan on leveling the area, removing the lamp post that’s not really a lamp post {because it has not a lamp nor any electrical wiring} and transferring the soil to the new vegetable garden area. It will take some time, but it really needs to be done if I want a nice, cohesive look from the road.

creating new garden beds

Now, if I could just get those garden beds built soon. :)

Keep calm and garden on, right?

~Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Enter to Win a Trip to England, Kate Spade, Maybelline Deals, Garden Boots, Bedding Deals and More

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estuary

Word of the Day: Estuary  Definition:  Used in a sentence: The boat race was held on the estuary.

I think Lucy’s sweet little pink lamb has had just about all the love it can handle, wouldn’t you agree? Does your dog {or cat} and have a favorite toy too? I’m finding the ones with the terry cloth fabric seem to be her favorite.

winter wonderland house with snow

Check out this picture my friend Heather in Massachusetts sent me this morning. I am totally jealous! Is this the scene at your house today? Can I come over? Pretty please? I’ll bring the hot coco and homemade cookies. LOL.

Have a great Tuesday everyone,

Mavis

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If you are itching for spring and ready to get back in your garden, making these DIY Plant Marker from Broken Pots for when your ground thaws might help! Find more cool projects on my Arts and Crafts Pinterest Board.

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6pm has a boatload of hip Western Chief Rain Boots on sale starting at $26.62 shipped! Walking in the garden has never looked so cool baby!

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Cooking From Your Pantry | Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 4 of 52

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Cooking From Your Pantry  Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 4 of 52

I used to pop into the grocery store several times a week to pick up what we needed,  but now that I’ve reduced my grocery shopping to just one store, I’m starting to get the hang of planning ahead. I feel less stressed, I’m cooking more from scratch and better yet, I seem have more time to do the things I want to do. Why didn’t I think to do this years ago?

Here are my menu plan picks for this week:
Sour Cream Scones

3 Breakfast Ideas

Pineapple Orange Banana Smoothie – Don’t be afraid to use brown bananas and frozen pineapple in this tasty smoothie.  The frozen pineapple will make it creamier and the ripe banana will make it sweeter.  {Pin it for Later}

Homemade Poppy Seed Muffins – I love muffins.  You make a ton all at once and then can grab and go all week.  If you like lemon, exchange the almond extract for lemon extract.  {Pin it for Later}

Homemade Scones - You probably have everything you need to whip a batch of these up, plus you can pull down any flavor of your favorite jam to sweeten them up.  {Pin it for Later}

Beef and Barley Stew

4 Lunch Ideas and Dinner Ideas

Beef and Barley Stew - This pressure cooker meal is ready in a snap, and it is soooo hearty and delicious.  {Pin it for Later}

Chicken Casserole w/Mashed Potato Topping – This is the meal and the sides all wrapped up into one neat little plate of deliciousness.  {Pin it for Later}

Spinach Salad w/Bacon Dijon Dressing – If you are looking for a lighter meal that is still packed with flavor, this spinach salad is awesome.  {Pin it for Later}

Feta Cheese and Cucumber Mediterranean Tuna Wrap – Wraps make it feel like you are lunching at a deli somewhere, but without the hairnets and soda fountain.  {Pin it for Later}

Chewy Reeses Stuffed Monster Cookies

3 Sweet Treats 

Chewy Reese’s Stuffed Monster Cookie - These things are like cookies on crack.  They are like dessert inside a dessert, which is personally my favorite kind of dessert. {Pin it for Later}

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp - Apple crisp makes the house smell like love.  Seriously, your family will be like, “Aw, smells like mom really loves us.”  So make some love…ahem, keep your minds clean, people.  {Pin it for Later}

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – Eat it plain, eat it on the apple crisp, or even better, go for the dessert trifecta and dollop a scoop on top of the warm Reese’s Monster Cookie.  Go on, live a little.  {Pin it for Later}

Preventing Food Waste - Freeze Extra Juice and Make SmoothiesFeatured Freezer Meal Recipe

Freeze Juice for Smoothies - Okay, so this isn’t really a meal, so much as freezing the ingredients to make a meal when you need it.  It’s a great way to get single serving juice for smoothies, without having a 1/2 carton going to waste in the fridge.  {Pin it for Later}

crock-pot-recipe-apple-butter

Featured Canning Recipe 

Homemade Apple Butter - This would taste amazing spread thickly all over one of those breakfast scones.  Just sayin’. {Pin it for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Find more recipes on One Hundred Dollars a Month as well as on my Pinterest Recipe Boards.

Also, be sure to check out:

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Penny Pinching Tip – Using Butter Wrappers to Grease Pans

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using butter wrappers to grease pans

When it comes to saving money, it’s not just one thing that adds to huge savings, it’s tons of little tiny actions/methods that add up over time.  I learned this tip from my grandmother, and while I know some of you already use it, I thought I would share, in the off chance it might be life changing for one of you. :)

Next time you finish a stick of butter, instead of tossing the wrapper in the bin or compost pile, place it in a ziploc bag in the fridge.  Then, the next time  you need to grease a pan, take the butter wrapper out of the bag and smear the leftover butter remnants all over the pan.  You don’t have to use any additional butter, AND you get one more use out of the wrapper.  Doesn’t that just make you feel all warm inside?  I thought so.

Now go forth and save, fellow penny pinchers.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Storing Bulk Foods | Flour, Sugar Rice, and Beans

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Storing Bulk Foods Flour, Sugar Rice, and Beans

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a some people ask how I store my bulk food items like beans, rice and sugar. The truth is, I feel kind of silly even posting these pictures because my method is so stinkin’ simple. ;)

Storing Bulk Foods  Flour, Sugar Rice, and Beans

A few years ago I picked up a few 12-Gallon Storage Bins with Locking Lids at Costco for around $5.99 each {I spotted some recently for $6.99} and fell in love with them.

locking storage bins

Previously I stored our bulk items in 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Lids, and it’s a great option. Emptying a 25 bags of beans and popping the lid on was easy, but I really like being able to stuff several bags of flour or beans in the clear bins just a wee bit better. Plus, I feel like the rectangular bins can be used for other stuff when I’m not using them for food storage.

storage bins

They also stack really well!

locking storage bins food storage

So where do I store them? In the awkward room under the stairs next to the Christmas decorations. See, I told you how I store bulk foods wasn’t that exciting. ;) And for your next question, NO, I’m not worried about bugs or mice getting into my bins. Not one bit. I have never had a problem.

How about YOU? Where do you store your bulk foods?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel