Monthly Garden Chores for August – East Coast Edition

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This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. I thought it would be fun this year to post Monthly Garden Chores from both the West Coast and East Coast. You can see my August garden plans for my Seattle, Washington garden HERE.

east coast 3Well you guys are gonna laugh yourselves right off your chairs! And not one good laugh but TWO!

Giggle #1: Earlier in the season I was rather proud of myself because I have an unfenced garden and was CONVINCED that the hair I sprinkled around the outside of my garden prevented unwanted critters from eating from my garden like the proverbial salad bar. Well yesterday the HH was watering the garden for me and there was a great scurrying inside the jalapeno box. Upon further inspection we found SIX BABY BUNNIES. Not only did momma bunny get into my 12″ high garden box, but gave birth in there, and then raised her babies. Good grief.

east coast 2Smirk #2: Remember my massive plot to conquer the chipmunk invasion I had last year? Those little buggers would take one bite, out of every tomato ruining them, and then move on to another tomato – it drove me mad! So this year I stuffed hair in the rock wall, encircled my garden in marigolds and planted a marigold in the corner of each box. I was determined to thwart the chipmunks once and for all. And I thought I had succeeded because I have not seen one.single.chipmunk. Then my neighbor came over to pay me for some eggs and pick-up another dozen and she had mentioned that she loved watching the new neighbors cat because it would perch itself on her garden bench and pick off the chipmunks day in and day out. Huh.

Soooo basically, a good ol’ fashioned hungry cat or two can remedy your garden of unwanted critters. Who knew? Oh, yeah, every single non-suburbian gardener ever.

east coastSeeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Back in March my daughter and I made some {read: 29} winter sowing greenhouses. I had winter sown a lot of perennial bloom, lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, and marigolds and it worked really well.
east coast 4

Check it out – I was able to create a wildflower garden next to the garden and the beginning of a lavender hedge for the front yard!

east coast 5What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

Don’t you just love a bonus? Turns out mother nature is a waaaay better gardener than I am because although I purposely planted 8 tomato plants – I’ve ended up with 30! Volunteers are the name of the game that’s for sure!

7 Volunteer Tomatoes seen staked here and 2 more in the compost pile seen in the background. east coast 64 more volunteer tomato plants in the “hot mess” photo above, 3 more in another “hot mess” box, 2 in barrels, plus 4 in front of the chickens – in addition to the 8 I caged and staked in a garden box = 30!

And not only tomatoes – cucumbers volunteered too! I’m not sure if the cucumbers will have time to produce fruit still this season, but I’m AMAZED how well they’re growing!

east coast 7And look at this hot mess! One tomato I planted, 5 that volunteered, carrots and onions. They’re messy and they like it!east coast 8
Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month

Well I never plan to buy anything, but then, well I walk into HD and there’s a plant sale! What’s a girl to do?

What I plan to Harvest This Month

In August so far I’ve harvested jalapenos, lettuce, Swiss chard {the HH picked some and tried to eat it but it didn’t pass the test ;) }, cherry tomatoes, celery, chamomile, lemon balm, basil, chocolate mint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and I think the potatoes are done.

east coast 9
Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

I moved a lot of house plants outside this summer, which is good for them I think, but it also makes my deck look all Better-Home-and-Gardens-ish.

east coast 10

Trees and Shrubs

Lemon is alive and well, the blueberry bushes are thriving, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a firm “no” from the HH on the addition of apple trees :) so I’ll start that plotting that plan in the fall when the nurseries have sales.

Weed and Pest Control

I found a recipe floating around the internet of a mixture of 1 gallon vinegar, 2 cups Epson salt and a 1/2 cup of dish soap – shake and spray after weeding and re-applying every three weeks it seems to be working. The key is to re-apply, which is a little tedious but it’s way better than using round up!

Lawn Care

Remember that blank weird looking island in the middle of my front yard? After cutting down some rotten trees I was at a loss of what to do with it for a while. Pinterest to the rescue :) Check out my little flower garden!
east coast 11

My secret pumpkin patch, plopped in a flower bed in the front yard. It’s tinny-tiny but already has two pumpkins.

Don’t you just love this time of year?

**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.

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.



Renting vs. Buying Textbooks for College

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Renting vs. Buying Textbooks for College

I was talking to my neighbor Hulda the other day about the crazy high prices colleges are charging for textbooks, when she told me her daughter RENTED her books last year and saved some serious cash doing so.  I thought that sounded genius–I actually didn’t even know renting books was a thing.  I started looking around so we would know all of our options when The Girl heads off, and here’s the breakdown:

Buying textbooks new is basically like throwing good money away.  There is no reason unless it is the first year of the requested edition or it is a book you will need to reference for several semesters.  Buy used if possible.  Amazon has an entire section devoted to new, used, and rentable textbooks.  {Go HERE for more information}.  The beauty of finding books online is that it connects you with college students all over the country–and odds are, you will be able to find used options.

rent buy sell textbooks

Basically everything I found said to avoid the actual school bookstore at all costs.  They jack the prices up {new or used} to offensive levels and most larger college towns will have privately owned “used textbook” stores that will swing you much deeper discounts.  The only time you may have to actually grace the school’s bookstore with  your presence is if the professor has put together a printed package required for the course.

If you go with the buy option, make sure to do some research on the buy back price.  Some buy back prices make the book worth buying instead of renting.  For example, if the book is $50, but the store will buy it back at the end of the semester for $25, then buying it, instead of renting it for $30 is the better option.  See how I just did crazy math there?  A little research up front is totally the way to get the most from your money.

If your student decides to rent books, make sure they know exactly what they are getting into.  How long is the rental period {i.e. will they get to keep the book until the end of the semester}?  What is the policy on highlighting?  What constitutes a “damaged” book?  Make sure you factor in shipping when it comes to rentals too.  Most of the time you can get free shipping to you, but you have to pay for shipping back.  Some of those textbooks weigh a ton, so shipping might not be worth it.  Once all of those questions are satisfied, compare the cost vs. buying.  It is still very possible you will come out ahead with a book rental situation.

Finally, for literature classes with several novel requirements, consider the library {you won’t be the only one to come up with the idea, so the public library might be your best bet versus the school library}.  That way, you can check out the book, read it, write about it, and then turn it in and move on.  Zero financial liability means more money in your  pocket.

College is expensive, I say, save where ever you can!

~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.

Healthy Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

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Healthy Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

You’ve got whole wheat. You’ve got blueberries. You’ve got a delicious tasting pancake. What more can you ask for first thing in the morning? Perhaps a pancake so easy a child could whip it up? Done. This pancake has it all. And I can’t think of a better way to use some of those blueberries we just picked.

blueberries

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda {15 Cool Uses for Baking Soda}
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk {How to Make Buttermilk}
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
12 oz blueberries

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, stir and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture and stir just until combined. Add melted butter and fold in blueberries.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray or butter {everything is better with butter}. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with maple syrup, butter and a few blueberries on top for a garnish.

Dig in!

Healthy Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

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.

And the Battle Wages On: Organic vs. Nonorganic

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container-gardeningIt’s been a fun 4 month experiment testing the theory that organic is better than non-organic. In my latest eHow article, The Battle of the Veggies: Organic vs. Nonorganic Soil Part 4, I bring you the final installment and the results.

Even though I’ve been gardening for 20 years, I’m still pleasantly surprised from time to time when I perform garden experiments.

Last month when I harvested lettuce greens from my container gardens, I was shocked to find out I was able to grow more lettuce with the organic potting soil as compared to the regular potting soil. I harvested 3 pounds, 12 ounces of lettuce from the regular potting soil and 4 pounds, 3 ounces from the organic potting soil.

Go HERE to read the full article…

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.

Friday Night at the Movies – Dancing Nana

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Tell me this video doesn’t just make you happy. It’s pure awesomeness. Go grandma, go! I totally hope that when I’m 88, I’m loving life like this little dancing nana is. What a spit fire!

Have you have already seen it? Don’t you agree that she’s the coolest grandma ever?

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~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.

We Now Interrupt This Blog… To Pick Fruits and Vegetables

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picking blueberries

Last night The Girl and I picked a whopping 3 quarts of blueberries. Talk about a bumper crop.gathering blueberries

We planted 12 blueberry bushes the second spring after we moved in and this is the first year we’ve been able to pick this many berries. When I planted the blueberry bushes I choose 6 different varieties so they would ripen over several months.

In hindsight, I should have just planted all of the same variety because having a large garden is a lot of work and having to come back every couple of days to check on the berries gets a little tedious. Oh well. Live and learn I guess.

picking pears

Pears. We’ve got them. I thought for sure after last years giant crop we wouldn’t get any this year. mavis butterfield

But I was wrong. We might not have as many pears as last year… but holy cow man, they’re huge. green pumpkin

How are your pumpkins doing? At this rate ours might be decorating our porch by early September. purple cherokee tomato

And heirloom tomatoes? We’re swimming in them.

italian kale plant

Kale? Yep, we’ve got that too.
green cabbage

Would you believe I picked 3 heads of cabbage this morning? Is it just me, or does picking cabbage in the middle of August just seem weird? Cabbage is a cool weather plant after all, I don’t know, it just seems odd.

Oh well, I’m not complaining. Gardening is RAD. Now matter what you’ve harvesting.

Wouldn’t you agree?

~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 Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 8/9/14

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mavis butterfield instagram

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I try and share a picture a day in 2014.

harvesting zucchini

Garden Updates

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Recipes

lucy the puggle dog

Mornings with Mavis 

DIY First Aid Kit for College Students

Tips and Tricks

What Makes Us Fat

Weekly Shopping Trips and Stories

Videos

Friday Night at the Movies – Dancing Nana

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

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.

Is Happiness Directly Related to Expectations?

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mavis butterfiled Lucy the Puggle Dog

Happiness is such a funny concept.  It is kind of one of those privileges afforded to our culture because {for the most part} most of our basic needs are met, and we can focus on achieving the ever-allusive “happiness.”  With that thought in mind, I ran across an article about happiness the other day that blew my mind.  I repeat:  Blew. My. Mind.  It suggested that happiness is directly related to our expectations.  It’s such a simple idea, but I guess I had never really thought about it in those terms.

Researchers on happiness {how can I get that job?} have found that happiness directly relates to our immediate expectations of the situation. If our expectations “aren’t bigger than the size of the payoff” we seem to pretty happy.  If we are disappointed by the outcome because it didn’t meet our expectations, then we are unhappy.  It’s basic happiness math.

It made me start thinking about all of the events, situations, etc. that I have been disappointed in during my life.  And yep, when I really think about it, they were disappointing because they did not live up to my expectations.  Had I not had such high expectations of them, I might’ve been able to enjoy them for what they were.  I wonder, does that mean that somewhere in our expectations lies the key to happiness.  I think so.  In my opinion, having realistic expectations of life and all of its events, relationships and situations would contribute to overall satisfaction in a major way.  Easier said than done, of course, but mind blowing, right?

What do you think, have your expectations affected your happiness?  Do you think consciously re-adjusting your expectations would lead to immediate improvements?

~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.

Free Kindle Books, Sluggo, Derma Roller, Leather Baby Moccasins, Coupons, Recipes and More

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puggle dog napping mornings with mavis

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s been a doozy of a week around here and boy am I looking forward to a little R&R this weekend that’s for sure. Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe!

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Full House: Complete Series Collection

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy!

shopping sluggo

If slugs are attacking your garden Sluggo is currently on sale for just $12.88 for a 2.5 pound jug {Home Depot sells this for around $17 a bottle} quantities are limited so now is the time to grab it if you need some.

Derma roller

Amazon has the Nylea® Derma Roller Titanium Professional Micro Needle Roller on sale for only $10.99 and has crazy good reviews!!

- Super easy to use
- Stimulates Collagen production
- No bruising, infection, discoloration, ‘healing time’ or other complications
- Cost effective
- Almost all skin types can be treated
- Extremely high absorption of any active ingredients from appropriate skin care products

watering can

I have been reading a lot lately about drought-stricken areas. These water-saving tips might not solve all the problems, but they certainly won’t hurt! Check out 10 Water Saving Tips for Your Lawn and Garden HERE or Pin it for later. Find more cool tips on my Gardening Tips and Tricks Pinterest Board.

Patagonia R3 Fleece Jacket

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Men’s Patagonia R3 Fleece Jacket

cute baby shoes

Jane.com has BABY/TODDLER 100% LEATHER MOCCASINS- 28 COLORS for $13.99. These would make a cute baby shower gift!

DailyBurn
DailyBurn is offering a FREE 30-day trial of Beautiful Belly, which features daily Pre and Post-Natal Yoga from DailyBurn. Here’s where it gets cool though: if you sign up for the 30-day trial, you have access to ALL their daily workouts! They include dance workouts, kettlebell workouts, cardio sculpt and more.

Plus, no matter where you are, you can get access to your DailyBurn workouts – all you need is an internet connection. You can watch your workouts on your computer, iPad®, iPhone®, Android®, Roku®, TV, and more. It’s easy to get access at your house, at the gym, or on the road. How cool is that? Start your FREE 30-day trial of DailyBurn HERE.

chalkboard peelies

Amazon has the Wallies Peel and Stick Chalkboard Sheet, Slate Gray, Set of 4 on sale for $11.20. My daughter ordered these for her dorm room since she cannot nail a dry erase or corkboard to her wall.

conde nast traveler magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Conde Nast Traveler Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 8/8/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

carrot-cake-jam

If you have a crazy amount of carrots growing right now, trust me when I say you won’t regret making this Carrot Cake Jam.  I have been known to eat it with a spoon.  Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for later.

Step2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen

Amazon has the Step2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen II on sale for $87.98 shipped. Great for play time.

angel soft

Get 48 Rolls of Angel Soft, Double Rolls, [4 Rolls*12 Pack] for just $18.92 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

glass nesting bowls with lids

Groupon has a set of 5-Piece Glass Nesting Bowls on sale for just $9.99. These are great for stuffing full of fresh fruits and veggies so your kids can see them in the fridge.

hormel chili coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

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.

Bento Box Ideas – Ham Rolls, Carrot Sticks, Crackers and Cheddar Shapes

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bento box ideas

My friend Jen loves putting together bento boxes for her kids lunches.  She makes the food look so fun, I kind of wanted her to come make lunch for me everyday.  ;)  I think these are perfect for back to school, and really, only a bit more time consuming than throwing a lunch together in plastic sandwich bags.

bento box ideas

Ingredients

  • Cheese
  • Carrots
  • Deli Ham
  • Crackers
  • Grapes

fun way top cut carrots bento

Directions

Start by cutting the carrots.  Using a crinkle cutter makes carrots more exciting.  It makes them look like fries…it’s sheer trickery, and I can totally get behind that kind of visual deception.  Then, cut the cheese {heehee, insert juvenile giggle here} using fun little cookie cutters.

I don’t know why but crackers, carrots, grapes, and cheese get gobbled up when they’re in silicone baking cups {which I love because they are reusable, so they will totally pay for themselves}.  And last but not least, roll the ham because, don’t you know, presentation is everything :) .  Place it all into a container {my friend Jen swears by the snapware containers, she says they hold up better, but they also make compartmentalized containers, if that sort of thing floats your boat}.

What kid {let’s be honest, or adult} wouldn’t love to open up one of these babies at lunch time?

~Mavis

bento box ideas

 

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