10 Winter Activity Ideas for Families

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

10 Winter Activity Ideas for Families

Since it is one of my goals this year to spend every Sunday doing a family activity, I’ve had to come up with some creative ways to make it fun {rather than “painful” as others sometimes find it}.  Some of these we’ve tried, some don’t really fit my age of kids–but in the interest of providing some cool ideas for my peeps, here you go:

  1. Game night.  I know, this is kind of a no-brainer go to activity, but seriously, if you pick the right game, you can totally learn a lot about your kids {the way they think, the funny things they say, etc.}
  2. Movie night.  This gets particularly fun when your kids get a little older.  Alternate who gets to pick the movie {you can rent or go to the movies, your call}.  That way, you can pick some classics that they would never even know to pick on their own, and they will go along with it, because they know that they’ll get to pick the next week.
  3. Visit a museum.  We tried out the LeMay Car Museum and it made the boys giddy.  Be a tourist in your own city–I bet if you look, there are a couple of museums you didn’t even know existed.
  4. Go out to dinner.  Try something new–choose a different theme:  Mexican, Italian, Japanese.  It’s a chance to expose the kids to different foods without having to prepare them yourself.  Wahoo.
  5. Kids cook.  If your kids are old enough, let them pick a recipe out of one of your cookbooks.  Get all of the ingredients and let them make the dinner.  Then, enjoy it together as a family.  It might change their perspective to be on the other side of the table after preparing the meal.
  6. “Date night.”  If you have more than one kid, try dividing and conquering.  It will allow each kid some one on one time.  Take them to dinner or even just ice cream–but make it just about that one child.  Your spouse can take one of the kids too.  {It may require a sitter for the other kids, but they’ll get their turn eventually too.}
  7. Volunteer.  Choose a cause as a family that you can volunteer all together.  Maybe one night a month you all serve dinner at a soup kitchen, walk the dogs at the humane society, or stock the shelves of a food pantry?  It will teach them the importance of charity and give you valuable time together.
  8. Go to a concert.  Depending on your city, there could be a ton of cheap/free concerts going on.  It may not be a headliner, but it might give them an appreciation for live, unaltered music.
  9. Teaching night.  Pick a skill that you have that you have never really focused on teaching them before, maybe it’s baking bread from scratch or changing the oil in the car.  Either way, you spend time and you impart you finite wisdom.
  10. Look at photo albums or watch home videos.  I mean, seriously, unless you schedule a time to sit down and look at them, they just collect dust.  Looking at or watching them together will bring up some pretty funny commentary.

Now go make some memories,

~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.



One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure – Old Chair

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

old chair with seat cushion

I stopped by the Goodwill on my way home from running errands the other day and spotted this rather nice dinning room chair for $3.99 + tax. The fabric seat was a bit stained and the chair really was not my style, but it was in good shape, so I snatched it up.

removing seat cushion from chair

I had been on the lookout for a good, sturdy chair for my daughter’s desk {which I bartered with Girly Girl for earlier this summer} and I knew with a little paint and fabric, I could make this thrift store find work. After all the chair was in great shape and about 10 times better than the folding chair she had in her room. ;)

rust-oleum ultra cover

I knew we had a can of black spray paint in the garage, so after I removed the seat cushion from the chair,  I sprayed 2 coats of paint on to the chair and left it outside to dry.
removing old fabric from seat cushion

The bedding and drapes in my daughter’s room are grey and white, so when I popped into the Joann’s fabric store I was hoping to find something on sale that would work so this $3.99 chair didn’t turn into some huge and crazy expensive project. ;)  Luckily their home decor was on sale for 60% off and I was able to snag the 5/8 of a yard that I needed for $9.99 + tax.

reupholstered chair grey white black

When all was said and done I spent about an hour working on this project and $15.33 for the fabric and chair. I think it fits perfectly in her room, don’t you? Finding good furniture at thrift stores can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, but if you hang in there, eventually you’ll find what you’re looking for.

~Mavis

thrift store prom dresses goodwill

Do you have an eye for trash or treasure? Send a picture of your awesome find and the story behind how you came upon it and if we post them, you’ll earn a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The greatest store in the world. Go HERE for complete details.

See More Trash to Treasure Posts:

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.

ACT FAST: Amazon Prime on Sale for $72 TODAY ONLY

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Amazon is offering a HUGE discount on their Amazon Prime memberships TODAY ONLY. Pay only $72 for an entire year of Prime. That’s over 25% off!  Today from 12:01 a.m., ET, through 11:59 p.m., PT, new members can join Amazon Prime for just $72 for the first year and enjoy member-only benefits and content.  Head on over HERE for your $72 Prime Membership.prime

You can read all about the ins and outs of Why Amazon Prime is so Awesome HERE, but here are just a few reasons:

Enjoy Amazon Prime

  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items
  • Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs
  • Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
  • Free unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive
  • Read free books each month through Kindle First and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

After your first year, your Prime membership will renew for $99/year, but you can also cancel anytime.

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.

Chipotle Pulls Pulled Pork From the Menu

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

baby pigs

Are you a Chipotle fan?  If so, I am sure you have heard by now that they recently put up signs in about 1/3 of their stores saying that carnitas would not be available.  No carnitas stems directly from a suspension of one of the Chipotle pork suppliers.  The suppliers were apparently in violation of the Chipotle’s animal welfare standards.  According to an article on NPR, the exact violation is unknown–though, it could have something to do with the farrowing crates {confining the pigs} or slatted floors {rather than deeply bedded floors the pigs can dig around in}.  Either way, until they are up to compliance, Chipotle will be looking for a new supplier, and not serving pork in the meantime.

I personally LOVE Chipotle, and support a business who stands up for and by what they believe in.  {If you are new to the Chipotle philosophy, there is a quick 20 minute documentary about their business standards that is free to stream on Netflix, called Inside Chipotle.}

What do YOU think, do you like knowing where your food comes from?  Will you be more inclined to eat at Chipotle now that you know they put their money where their mouth is…literally?

~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.

A Little Bit of Humor to Cure a Mid-Week Slump

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Have you ever listened to Jim Gaffigan?  If not, you are totally in for a treat.  He’s hilarious…and usually pretty darn clean.  So, if the close quarters of winter and the kids are getting to you, consider this free therapy.

~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.

Dig for Your Dinner – Growing Lettuce from Seed

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Growing Lettuce from Seed

Lettuce is pretty much the easiest thing to grow on the planet.  It has pretty high yields and, unlike other veggies, can make up the bulk of an entire meal.  Because, I know, deep down you can’t get enough veggie trivia {it’s probably so deep down you’ve never even considered the term “veggie trivia”} I thought I would throw this awesome little nugget out:  The term salad comes from the latin world salata, which literally means salted things.  Salads originally consisted of veggies that were salted, and drizzled with oil and vinegar.  Salads date back to ancient Rome and Greece {probably because they were so easy to grow} and have been a staple in nearly every culture since.

Nowadays, salads are pretty much synonymous with dieting, and occasionally get the bad rap of being rabbit food, instead of the awesome goodness that it is.  Still, dieter or not, it must be popular because the average person consumes about 17 lbs. of iceberg lettuce alone each year in the U.S.  I don’t know if you have ever weighed lettuce, so let me tell you, 17 lbs is A LOT of lettuce…and not even the tastiest variety at that.

How to Grow Lettuce:

growing lettuce in winter

Like I said, lettuce is crazy easy to grow.  You can sow it directly outside 2-4 weeks BEFORE the average last frost.  Then, you can continue to sow it every 3-4 weeks for a successive crop.  If you live in a mild-wintered climate, you can grow it all year {it will just grow a little slower}.  Sow seeds every 1/2″, about 1/8″ deep–or according to seed packet.  Water seeds by lightly sprinkling with water–lettuce seeds are so small, they will drift out of their rows if you introduce too much water.  Thin to 1 plant every 6″ when seedlings are about 1/2″ tall.

When is Lettuce Ready to Harvest?

red leaf lettuce

Lettuce can be harvested as a “head” or you can snap off leaves as needed.  If you decide to harvest an entire head of lettuce, cut the head off at the base, being careful to leave the base–it will give you a second crop of lettuce that way.  Each variety matures at a slightly different rate, and has different flavors at every point of maturity, so make sure to sample them all.

Which Lettuce Varieties to grow?

This year, I am growing these kinds of lettuce:

My Favorite Recipe with Lettuce:

Roasted Chicken Salad with Cranberries

Roasted Chicken Salad with Cranberries

If you live in the Pacific Northwest Region and are unsure what seeds you should be starting right now, or when your transplants should be set out in the garden, this regional planting guide should help you out.

Don’t live in the Pacific Northwest? Find your regional planting guide HERE.

how-to-grow-lettuce

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.

How Often Do You Wash Your Bed Sheets?

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

how often should I wash my bed sheets

I’ve always washed my sheets once a week…in hot water.  One, because it feels so amazing {even if it’s only in my mind} to crawl into freshly washed sheets on a regular basis.  And two, because it turns out you are not the only one in there {I’m not talking the HH here}.  Think I am about to dish something juicy?  Think again, peeps {seriously, what kind of girl do you think I am?!}  You’re also sharing your bed with dust mites–and well, how do I put this?  Their poop.  Yeppers, anywhere dust can settle, so do dust mites.  Washing sheets in warm or hot water kills most of the critters that take up residence in between the sheets–washing them weekly will give them very little time to build up.

If bugs weren’t enough, consider this:  we shed about 1 million dead skin cells per day.  If you get your 8 hours of sleep in, you could reasonably be sluffing off 1/3 of your skin shedding quota in bed. Grody, I know.  Here’s the other thing, we are oily.  We secrete oil and sweat as we sleep, and then our sheets courteously shimmy it off of us.

Bottom line:  Humans are gross.  Bugs are gross.  Wash your sheets weekly.

Friendly tip from me to you,

~ 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.

A New Year and Thoughtful Spending With the 3/50 Project

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

3 50 project

Have you heard of the 3/50 Project?  It’s basically a grass roots attempt to save local businesses from getting pushed into extinction by national chain stores.  You are supposed to ask yourself, “what THREE independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?”  Then, it gives the statistic that if just 1/2 of the employed population would spend $50 each month at a locally owned business, it would “generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.”

The general idea is that if you spent $50 a month at 3 separate local businesses, you would create a pretty significant impact.  Here’s the statistics they throw out:  ”For every $100 spent in independent stores, $68 of it returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.”  Compare that to only $43 at a national chain store.

So, if the new year has got you thinking about how to have a more meaningful impact with your spending, you may want to give the 3/50 project a try.

Here’s to a year of more mindful living,

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.

Cooking From Your Pantry | Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 3 of 52

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Cooking From Your Pantry  Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 3 of 52

Another week, another list of menu ideas. :) I don’t know about you, but all this cold and rainy weather we’ve been having has me craving soup lately. And warm cookies. Let’s not forget about those…

Here are my menu plan picks for this week:

The Best Banana Walnut Bread3 Breakfast Ideas

Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Quiche – I love quiche because you can make them ahead of time, and then reheat them.  We eat them a lot for dinner, but it’s also pretty awesome to wake up to a slice in the morning.  {Pin it for Later}

The Best Banana Walnut Quick Bread – Quick breads are the perfect cooking from your pantry breakfast, especially banana.  I mean, who doesn’t have bananas browning on their counter pretty much constantly?  {Pin it for Later}

Raisin Bran Muffins – This time of year puts me in a baking mood.  I get all warm and cozy in my kitchen by whipping up breakfast for the week one batch of muffins at a time.  {Pin it for Later}

tuna cassarole

4 Lunch Ideas and Dinner Ideas

Cranberry Chicken Salad – This is my favorite way to use up leftover chicken.  If you are in a rush for a weeknight meal, you can always pick up a rotisserie chicken and use that, though.{Pin it for Later}

Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Winter screams soup to me.  Plus, I like this meatless option because it’s easy on the budget.  {Pin it for Later}

The Best Tuna Casserole - This is one of those recipes that can come almost entirely from your pantry/freezer.  It’s delicious comfort food at its best.  {Pin it for Later}

Slow Cooker Savory Chicken with Tomatoes – No week is complete without a crock pot recipe.  This chicken is perfect for days where you don’t have time to gather special ingredients.  Between your freezer and your pantry, you’re probably all set.  {Pin it for Later}

German Chocolate Brownie Bars

3 Sweet Treats 

German Chocolate Brownie Bars – I am a sucker for anything coconut, and these brownie bars are to die for.  {Pin it for Later}

Homemade Creme Brule – My favorite thing about these scrumptious desserts is that you get to use single serve ramekins.  There is something about knowing that you get to eat the “entire dish” yourself.  {Pin it for Later}

Homemade Magic Shell - If you have ice cream in the freezer, you should totally consider making some chocolate shell to top it with.  It’s ridiculously simple to make and delightful to eat. What more could you possibly ask for in life?  {Pin it for Later}

Freezer-Meal-Taco-Casserole

Featured Freezer Meal Recipe

Taco Casserole – This is one of those meals the whole family can get behind.  {Pin it for Later}

Fast and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Featured Canning Recipe 

Fast and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam – The first round of California strawberries are starting to hit the stores, if you are low on jam, you can make a quick batch now to get you through to strawberry season.  {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.

2015 Fee-Free National Parks Admission Days

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Mt.-Rainier-National-Park-waterfallI have some big plans to explore the US this year. Some of our national parks top my list of awesome places to vacation to. I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I’m kind of anti camping, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the outdoors, cause I totally do! I’ll hike all day, as long as I get to curl up in soft, warm hotel bed at night. Our National Parks have some of the most incredible scenery I’ve ever seen.

Some of the best National Parks charge admission fees {133 parks out of 400}, so you’ll want to pay attention to the list of 2015 fee-free days below if you’re planning on visiting one of the fee-based national parks anytime soon:

Free National Park Admission Dates:

  • January 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 14-16: Presidents Day weekend
  • April 18-19: Opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

If you’re planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands-more than 2,000 in all. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents.

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Mt. Rainier National Park vacations

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