10 Clever Tips to Avoid Cabin Fever

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10 Clever Tips to Avoid Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term, first recorded in 1838, for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period.  {Wikipedia}

It’s about this time of year people start to feel a little closed in–and by closed in, I mean they start to fear that their life will become a scene from The Shining.  So, if you are seeing a strange resemblance to Jack Nicholson when you look in the mirror, it might be time to take some preventative steps for cabin fever {unless you ARE Jack Nicholson, in which case, carry on}.

  1.  Adopt a healthy lifestyle.  This is the go-to for all of life’s problems.  Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, exercise.  Those three things will really equip you to deal with all of life’s annoyances.
  2. Find an indoor hobby.  Gardening, hiking, sitting on a beach, etc. are all awesome.  They are not options right now for most, so embrace an indoor something.  Take up an instrument, knit, scrapbook, bake.  Just keep yourself busy, so you don’t have time to think about how the walls are closing in.
  3. Embrace cold weather hobbies.  I know people who HATE to be cold.  I get it, it’s no fun, but it’s a lot better than idly waiting for spring to come.  Snowshoe, cross-country ski, downhill ski, become an ice-sculptor and hit the brunch circuit…just get out there and embrace the cold.
  4. Use the time to read those books you always promised yourself you would get to.  It’s a when you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em solution.  Crawl into your jammies by the fire and read about the adventures fictional people are having.
  5. If you are stuck in the house with little ones, try breaking up the day with independent time and structured activities.  I know it’s extra work, but they will be a little less unruly if you provide them a project once or twice a day.  P.S. projects don’t have to be a Pinterest worthy endeavor–it can just be rounding them up with a stack of paper and paints/markers.
  6. Find ways to keep kids active.  Set up a small obstacle course in the living room.  It can be simple.  They have to jump over couch pillows, or roll from one side of the room to the other.  Time how long it takes them to run up the stairs 5 times.  However you do it, they are always a little better behaved with they have burned off some steam.
  7.  Join a gym.  I know I already said to exercise, but sometimes in the winter months, just getting out of the same four walls to a different four walls is motivation in and of itself.
  8. Take a class.  It will get you out of the house, and who knows, maybe give you a new hobby.  Take an art, photography, cooking, etc. class.  That way, you will emerge from winter new and improved.
  9. Throw a party/gathering.  Sometimes, just bringing in fresh blood goes a long way.  It puts a whole new light on your four walls.  It will give you a distraction at the very least.
  10. Go to a coffee shop, museum or bookstore and spend the afternoon/evening.  For the price of a cup of coffee, you get a change of scenery, some conversation, reading, see something new, or just peruse the internet on your laptop.

Here’s to making it ’til spring with our sanity still intact {I am just going to pretend mine was intact in the first place :) }

~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, Chocolate Man Candy, Cabela’s Trail Pants, and More

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feasible

Word of the Day: Feasible Definition: Capable of being done Used in a sentence: The most feasible plan was adopted at once.

giant sunflower

Our friend Lisa from Tasmania sent this in:

Just couldn’t resist sending you a photo of my thug of a sunflower!! It self seeded in the herb garden and just gets bigger and bigger!! I love having brekkie in the sunroom and over look these in the morning!
BTW Am loving your posts and comments on things like the HOA! All quite foreign concepts to me  – quite an amazing insight into home ownership in the States!
Cheers from the one who brought you “snoopervising” Smile
Lisa
Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!!

Mavis, Lucy and Lisa

Invicta watches

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Invicta Watches Starting at $54.99

Remington razor

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - Up to 50% off Remington Hair Tools and Shaving Products for Men & Women

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! :)

the perfect chocolate man

Amazon is selling the so called “Perfect Man” for $14.99. Okay, who buys these things? I don’t know about you, but my perfect man wouldn’t melt. He’d stick around and pay the bills. But what do I know, right? To each his own I guess.

Easy-Kitchen-Tip-Shred-Chicken-in-a-Stand-Mixer1

Tell me this is how you shred your chicken. If you don’t Shred Your Chicken in a Stand Mixer {hand mixer will work, too!}, you should be! Find more helpful hints on my Easy Kitchen Tips Pinterest Board.

reusable lunch containers

Get the 10- Pack of Reusable ChefLand 2 Compartment Microwavable Food Container with Lid Divided Plates for $13.99. These are great for packing leftovers to the office. I pack the HH’s lunch everyday and these containers make it so much easier!

apple peeler

Amazon has the Apple Peel Slicer on sale for just $12.99 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. This is the one I have!

Cinnamon Apple Chips Recipe

I use mine to make Cinnamon Apple Chips.

time magazine

Get a 1 year subscription to Time Magazine {52 issues!} for just $24.

Chocolate-Hazelnut-Orange-Biscotti

If you’ve never made biscotti, let this Chocolate Hazelnut Orange Biscotti be the one you make.  Dip it in tea.  Shove it in your mouth shamelessly.  It’s easy as 1-2-3.  Get the recipe HERE or Pin for Later.

marmot zip up

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Marmot Caldus Fleece Jacket $42.72 {was $95}

luggage set

Amazon has the US Traveler Rio Two Piece Expandable Carry-On Luggage Set in Royal Blue on sale for $29.99. Other colors are available for a few dollars more.

black new balance sneakers mens

Joe’s New Balance Outlet has the Men’s New Balance 510 Running Shoe on sale for $34.99 {was $84.95}

mens trail pants

Cabela’s has their Cabela’s Men’s Lookout Peak Trail Pants on sale for just $15.88 {was $54.99}. There are 4 colors to choose from. Lightweight, flexible and packed with versatility.

always 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.

Cooking From Your Pantry | Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 6 of 52

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cooking for your pantry

With all the rain we’ve been having up here in the Seattle area all I want to do lately is hunker down and stay in my pj’s and catch up on movies all day. Throwing freezer meals in the crock-pot {or oven} every single night hasn’t been this appealing since I don’t know when. Luckily, things are supposed to clear up around Tuesday. Maybe then I’ll feel like trying some new recipes.

But until then, here are a few of my favorite made from scratch recipes:

Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal

3 Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes – Pancakes are one of the quickest, cheapest things to whip up from scratch.  If you can get a deal on blueberries, go with fresh, if not, I think thawed frozen blueberries are delicious and gooey on pancakes.  {Pin it for Later}

Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal - Baked oatmeal is an awesome twist on a pantry staple.  It has a less gooey texture, and you can easily bake any frozen fruit into it.  The possibilities are endless.  {Pin it for Later}

Baked French Toast - This is a Sunday favorite at our house.  {Pin it for Later}

bbq chicken and bacon wrap

4 Lunch Ideas and Dinner Ideas

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas – Homemade tortillas are like crack cocaine.  You will combing the streets for them once you run out.  Best of all, you don’t even need a dealer, you can just make them yourself. :) {Pin it for Later}

BBQ Chicken and Bacon Wrap – this wrap is like going to an upscale deli without the upscale price.  Make it out of the homemade tortilla recipe above, and I promise, your mind will be blown.  {Pin it for Later}

Toasted Orzo with Spinach and Pine Nuts – This makes a great side, or if you are practicing a weekly meatless meal, I think a big plate of this will satisfy.  {Pin it for Later}

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup – This warm and delicious comfort food will fix all of the problems in the world–in fact, I believe it’s considering running for President in 2016.  {Pin it for Later}

Meyer Lemon Cardamom  Crinkle Cookies

3 Sweet Treats 

Blackberry Pie – I typically use frozen berries–I mean, you’re cooking them anyway.  {Pin it for Later}

Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies – As soon as my Costco gets Meyer lemons in, you can bet that I’ll be making this immediately.  {Pin it for Later}

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies - No baking means 1/2 the time.  I can pretty much get behind any recipe that lets me eat cookies in 1/2 the time.  {Pin it for Later}

Freezer Meals - Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

Featured Freezer Meal Recipe

Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken - This is two of my favorite things in one:  a freezer and crock pot meal.  {Pin it for Later}

Blood Orange Marmalade recipe

Featured Canning Recipe 

Blood Orange Marmalade - The color and taste of this stuff is unbelievable.  It’s totally worth putting up a few jars.  {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.

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 – Get the Most Out of Your Pasta Jars

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Penny Pinching TipAs I’m sure you know by now, one of my biggest pet peeves is food waste. I don’t care if it is on a large scale or on a teeny tiny scale like I’m about to talk about, I can’t stand it. So I’m here to let you in on an easy peasy way to get rid of a food waste culprit: the remnants of the pasta jar!

When I’ve dumped out the contents of a jar of pasta {or even a can of chili or soup}, I can’t stand to throw the jar away with all that sauce still stuck to the sides. It might not be much, but that’s food I’d be tossing! So I use a simple trick my mom taught me years ago: swirl some water in the jar, close the lid, give it a good shake,  dump it back in with the rest of the sauce and BOOM, no more remnants.

Please tell me there’s someone else out there that uses this little trick?

~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.

Primitive Rug Hooking – Basic Supplies and How I Draw Patterns

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primitive hooked star rug

Last year I rekindled my love for rug hooking and as a result of posting pictures of the primitive style rugs I have been making, a few of you have asked for a tutorial on the subject. But the thing is, rug hooking is a little complicated. Well, actually it’s not, rug hooking is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but finding the supplies, the inspiration, and all the little tips and tricks, that’s the hard part for a newbie.

primitive hooked rugs

So I’ve decided to break down the ins and outs of rug hooking a bit and do 3 or 4 posts over the next few weeks. This week I am going to focus on the basics. Mainly where to find the supplies you’ll need to get started and once you have those supplies, how to draw out your patterns.

Rug hooking is sort of a unique hobby in that most of what you need to get started, cannot be found in your local craft store. {I LOVE THAT!!!} You want to know why? Because it ‘s one of those hobbies like woodworking, or leather-craft that is not for the faint of heart. Rug hooking is one of those hobbies you have to invest a lot of time into if you want good results. It takes time to find you’re groove, learn from your mistakes, and to realize the absolute beauty of a finished piece is it’s uniqueness and imperfection.

Oh, and it’s expensive too.

Have I scared you off yet? ;)

Scottish rug hooking linen

Okay, let’s get started. 

I prefer to use ivory linen backing for my hooked rugs. For the last 10 years I’ve bought my linen from mmrugwool on Ebay. She’s a great seller and ships quick, and well, you can’t beat the quality. Some people use monk’s cloth because it costs less, but I prefer to use linen because it is nice and sturdy and doesn’t stretch. When I was first starting out I tried using burlap {it’s crap, and it breaks, don’t try it} and then monk’s cloth because it was cheap{er}. I quickly learned starting with a quality product made all the difference ant it was worth every penny.

maggie bonanomi books

Rug Hooking Patterns.

My favorite primitive patterns come from Lori at Notforgotten Farm. She is a total artist. She lives in Virginia with her husband Peter in an old farmhouse and I am in awe of not only her lifestyle, but her dedication to her work. She sells booklets of her drawings {which you can then enlarge to suit your needs} as well as single patterns on her Etsy page. You can also find inspiration from the several rug hooking books available for sale online. You can find the Primitive Rug Hooking Books I am currently selling on Amazon HERE if you are interested.

drawing rug hooking patterns

Drawing Rug Hooking Patterns

A lot of the time I’ll see a design online I like, but that I want to adapt to suit my taste. Buying the pattern doesn’t make sense because I’ll only be incorporating a few of the original elements into my rug design. So when that happens, I draw the pattern free hand or use things from around the house {like bottles and cookie cutters} for the shapes I need.
tracing rug hooking pattern

When I buy paper patterns I will typically enlarge the pattern to the size I need then copy it onto a piece of Tru-Grid interfacing before then transferring the pattern to my rug hooking linen. rug hooking bunny pattern

Buying Ready Made Kits

If this all seems like too much work, Spruce Ridge Studios {the site is slow to load so be patient} is a great source for rug hooking patterns that come hand drawn on your choice of linen or monks cloth. They even sell kits {with hand dyed wool} as well. Buying a kit is probably the most expensive way to get started, but if you are only wanting to hook one rug, it may be the cheapest in the long run because you won’t have to invest in things like books, linen, wool and dyes.

That being said, I personally LOVE hand dying my own wool. It’s cheaper {about $20 a yard vs $45 a yard} and you get to create the colors you really want instead of having to buy what someone else is selling.

primitive hooked rug design

Size Matters

Before I started blogging full time, I sold my primitive hooked rugs on Ebay. Back then I could whip out 2 mini hooked rugs a day {5″ by 8″} and maybe one or two larger ones a month. It was a nice side income and I enjoyed staying up late hooking rugs at night and watching movies by myself when the kids were younger. In all that time, I NEVER made a rug for myself. Although I LOVED the creative process, the rugs never really fit with the Pottery Barn type look of the inside of my home.

In the olden days people would make rugs out of necessity {to use or to sell}, not for pleasure. And it was only last year that I finally made a rug for myself {the one in the top photo}. Finally, after all these years of living/breathing in high maintenance suburbia, my dream home on the East Coast is in sight. As a result of that, I’ve started making larger rugs. Rugs I plan to use at my front and back doors, in the kitchen and in the bedrooms.

primitive turkey rug

I’m getting old, and I’m finally realizing that it’s okay to make something {and keep} it for myself. And that anyone can order something from Pottery Barn, but not everyone is going to invest 200 hours into making a one of a kind rug.

brother serger

Use a Serger to Prevent the Ends of Your Rug Hooking Fabric from Unraveling.

Before I had my serger, I ran over the ends of my rug hooking fabric with the zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to prevent the ends of the fabric from unraveling while I worked on my rugs.

rug hooking frame

Rug Hooking Frames

I’m fairly certain if you were to take a poll of rug hookers, 95% of them use a rug hooking frame. After 10+ years of rug hooking without a frame, last summer I bought Lori Brechlin’s Rug Hooking frame and quickly decided using a frame just wasn’t for me. Her husband makes a great frame, and if I was just learning to rug hook, I would want to learn how to use one. But old habits die hard, LOL and I just can’t get into it.

rug hooking linen on frame

The basic idea behind using a rug hooking frame is that the grips {or teeth} hold your fabric in place while you hook. Lori has a great video HERE of how to use hers.primitive rug hook

Rug Hooking Tool

When I first started rug hooking, I learned how to using a Cushing HookThe Dorr Mill Store currently sells them for around $7. You can spend upwards of $50 for a handmade one, but even after all these years, I’m still use the basic one.

rug hooking wool stash

Where to Buy Wool

All you need to do is google “Rug Hooking Wool” to find a boatload of sites selling both regular, and hand dyed wool.
the wool studio Rebecca erb swatches

But I have a favorite. :)

For the last 10 years or so I’ve been ordering my wool from Rebecca Erb’s Wool Studio. She offers such an amazing assortment of colors and textures {the selection is always changing} that it has become my one shop for buying wool.

New customers can order a 30 swatch New Customer Mailer for $5.00. If you become an active customer by ordering 2 yards {or $42.00}, you will be added to her quarterly swatch mailing list.

The Dorr Mill Store  is also a great source for solid wool. {Their oatmeal wool is one of my favorites}.
hand dyed rug hooking wool

Hand Dyed Wool 

I LOVE hand dying wool. And it deserves a post of its own so I will save that tutorial for next time.

cushing perfection dyes

Cushing’s Perfection Dyes

You’ll need these to dye your own wool. They cost around $2.85 each and it typically takes tiny amounts of several different colors to create the warm, primitive colors I like to use in my rugs. By themselves, most of the colors are too bright for dying in my opinion.

dye spoons for rug hooking
Mini Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set 
I use the set above instead of shelling out big bucks for fancy dye spoons.

dying wool with black walnutsOkay, so that’s it for this week. I hope I have not overwhelmed you with too much information.

Next week, I will post a tutorial on how to dye wool and after that, I’ll show you how to use everything mentioned above to hook your own rug.

~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.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 6 of 52

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Costco shopping trip

So, this may be a no brainer…. but even though I’m not buying all that much at Costco each week, I feel like I am spending too much. So far this year I have spent a whopping $193.20 on groceries. See the 5 pound sack of clementines? Those were $5.99. Which really isn’t a bad price, but if I was going to buy clementines at the grocery store my price point would have more like $3.99 for a 3 lb pound bag {which incidentally costs more per pound than Costco}.

The little things {like portion size} are starting to really add up. costco chocolate doughnuts

And well, there are those once a week splurge items for my son that are adding to my bill too.

breakfast

On the plus side though, shopping at Costco each week has made our meals a little more exciting this year. Fresh breakfast weenies and Dave’s Killer bread are things I wouldn’t have normally purchased if I was shopping at Albertsons because their everyday prices seem too high on those particular items. But buying them in bulk at Costco and being able to pop the extra portions in the freezer, does save me money in the long run. It’s weird. It almost makes me believe my freezer and pantry will be full at the end of the year because I’m buying larger portions.

Am I crazy? Have I been brainwashed into the Costco way of thinking? Does buying in bulk really save money? What if you are buying items you normally wouldn’t buy {but taste delicious}? Homemade Chocolate Chip Brownies

Technically, I didn’t need to buy those chocolate doughnuts because I made a batch of homemade chocolate chip brownies this week and froze the extras for the HH and Money Boy’s lunches. They were an impulse item. Which is what Costco is all about if you ask me.

freezer pancakes

I also made a month’s supply of freezer pancakes.
freezing fried rice

And tried freezing fried rice for the first time as well. {It worked! The rice was not mushy at all}chicken stir fry

In addition to serving freezer meals and Zaycon Cod and breaded chicken for dinner this past week, I also made stir fry chicken as well. I used some green beans I froze last summer and some sweet peppers I had in the freezer to stretch the meal.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I still think Costco is going to save us money in the long run this year.

Am I delusional?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $38.54
Total Spent Year to Date $193.20

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

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, Free Tea, Valentines, Amazon Deals, Recipes and More

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obdurate

Word of the Day: Obdurate  Definition: Hard, unyielding, stubbornly wicked Used in a sentence: He remained obdurate despite all the help given him.

Happy Monday everyone, how was your weekend? I was planning on staying inside all day yesterday to work on blog posts be then the sun came out and well, I ended up in the garden. Hey, I’ll take the sun shinning all day in February when I can get it. ;)

I planted 2 more trees {shhhhh} and worked a little more on the garden path. While I was out there my 85 year old neighbor lady came through the back of the garden and down my hill to chat a little… it was so CUTE!!! She even offered me some of her chive plants. :)

Well, have a great day everyone, enjoy the sun if you’ve got it.

Mavis

valentines jewelry

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 70% Off Jewelry Gifts + Free One-Day Shipping

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - 50-70% off Lingerie, Robes + More

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! :)

scotch brite sponges

Here are a few subscribe and save deals I spotted:

*Keep in mind you can cancel your Subscribe and Save membership at anytime. To cancel or change your items, simply click on “My Account” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can easy peasy modify or cancel any of your Subscribe and Save items at anytime, no obligation at all.*

kraft-mild-shredded-cheddar-cheese-coupon

2 New Kraft Cheese Coupons are available:

How-To-Make-A-Boxed-Cake-Mix-Taste-Homemade

If all you’ve got is boxed cake mix to work with, try these tips on How to Make a Boxed Cake Taste Homemade and I promise people will be asking for your recipe!! Find more helpful hints on my Easy Kitchen Tips Pinterest Board.

Type Z Alpha Beta Hooded Jacket

6pm has the Type Z Alpha Beta Hooded Jacket on sale for $19.99 shipped. Perfect for everyday errands or for working out.

kuhl shirt

6pm also has the Kuhl Grace Minimizing Long Sleeve Shirt on sale for $26.99. I love tops like this because they are great at hiding the kangapouch most of us moms have. :)

junie b jones valentime

Amazon has Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime Paperback book on sale for just $1.04 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. My kids LOVED Junie B when they were younger.

leap frog bus

Amazon also has the LeapFrog Learning Friends Adventure Bus on sale for $6.87 {was $19.99} and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime as well.

popular photography

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Popular Photography Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 2/9/15 at midnight EST.

good pocket camera sony

If you are looking for a good pocket camera Amazon has the Sony W800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera on sale for $68 shipped and it is available in black or silver.

No-Bake-Chocolate-Oatmeal-Cookies-recipe2

I’m on a chocolate kick lately, so get ready for a week of chocolate recipes. These No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are a great way to kick that off and are so stinkin simple. Get the recipe HERE or Pin for Later.

free twinings tea samples

Did you order your Free Twinings Tea Samples yet? Mine came in the mail this weekend and they were delicious! Go HERE to select 3 FREE tea samples. :)

seeds of change free product coupon

Pop on over HERE to take a quick survey and get a Free Seeds of Change® Certified Organic Rice or Sauce Product.

stack of books

Congratulations to Carrie who left the comment “Yes, Please! I love Amy Poheler so much, I’m sure her book is terrific.” A big thank you to everyone who entered. More giveaways are planned so stay tuned.

crest pro health rinse 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.

Freezer Pancakes: Making Pancakes in Bulk

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freezer pancakes

Once in awhile I’ll realize that things I’ve been doing for years could have been done just a tiny bit differently and saved me tons of time and money. Let’s take freezer pancakes for instance. The gist is this: you make pancakes, lots of pancakes, and you freeze them. I make pancakes all. the. time. So why haven’t I routinely made an extra batch since I’m spending the time to cook and dirty up my kitchen, make a bunch of extras and throw them in the freezer.

freezing pancakes

So that’s what I’ve been doing and let me tell you Bob, I’m in love. All we have to do now is pull a few out of the freezer, pop them in the microwave or toaster and breakfast is served. I freeze so many other things, I’m not sure why I haven’t done this forever.

Here’s what you need:

A pancake recipe {check out my favorites below}Freezer storage bags
A freezer

Here’s how you do it:

Make 2 or 3 times the regular recipe {or more if that suits your fancy}. Let the pancakes cool a bit, bag them up and throw them in the freezer. Seriously. Your life just got easier.

Healthy Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

If you need some inspiration, here are a few pancake recipes I LOVE:

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.

Mavis vs the HOA Part 2

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hoa letter

Last week I received a letter from the HOA informing me I was in violation for the CC&R’s for cutting down a few rhododendrons and was asked to submit a “garden plan.”

garden plan

So I did. Basically I wanted to install a laurel hedge in the front of the house, a viburnum hedge on the side and four cedar garden boxes alongside the house right outside my kitchen door for easy access. But because the garden boxes would be visible from the front of my house, I decided to go ahead and add a “plan b” just in case the idea of seeing vegetables growing from the road would FREAK SOMEONE OUT.

upper garden photos

When we were first thinking about purchasing our house, my initial thought was to install a small vegetable garden in the upper lawn because the ground was nice and level and it would be secluded.

garden plot before pictures

And then after moving in and walking around the property a bit more I realized hauling a wheelbarrow up a hill was going to be a bit of a challenge, and quickly decided having the garden on the side yard would be much easier.

Well, guess what? I received my answer from the HOA yesterday.

hoa letter

It looks like I’ll be planting my vegetable garden in the upper lawn after all. Which really, won’t be a big deal once I get the garden soil hauled up there. At least I get to grow some vegetables, right?

Who knows, maybe I’ll start a trend here. ;)

Keep Calm and Garden On,

~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.

The $20/$20 Challenge: Cari From Washington Shares Her Pantry and Canning Stockpile

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cari2Another great submission for the $20/$20 Challenge. I’m loving all these canning stockpiles. Makes me super motivated to get on the ball and can more! You guys are inspiring. Here’s Cari’s story:

Hi Mavis,

I thought I would send you some pictures of my pantry as part of your $20/$20 pantry challenge. As far as background: I’m mostly stay-at-home-mom to twin 6 1/2-year-old boys, and I work part time as a dental hygienist. My husband and I have lived in western Washington for the past 13 1/2 years. I spent a lot of time growing up with my grandmothers who both lived through the depression. I was taught to use every ounce, crumb and drop of things. It does drive some of my family bonkers! {What can I say, raspberry freezer jam in re-purposed margarine tubs always makes me think of my grandma!}

Cari1The first picture is of my garden. This was the first year we had a garden and decided to go with some raised beds. It was really eye-opening to see how much produce could come from such a small garden! Most of the seeds I used this year were free! I found them in a roadside free donation box. Some of the plants were purchased this year. We purchased corn, jalepenos, onion starts, tomatoes and strawberries. We planted carrots, green beans, lettuce, basil, and oregano from seeds. My fails this year included lettuce, beats and kale.

I learned to can with my mom and grandma. So, every year I can jams, pickled green beans, relish, apple sauce and whatever I can get my hands on! I also ended up at the dehydrator this year and I’ve been playing with dehydrating different fruits and vegetables.

cari2The second picture is from a major canning project done with my extended family. The past two years we have gone tuna fishing out of Westport, Washington. This year 10 people went which was a full boat. They came back with a literal pick up truck bed full of fresh tuna loins. So, we spent the rest of the weekend canning together. We had six pressure cookers going and canned over 800 pints & 1/2 pints of tuna in two days!

cari3The third picture is of my “main” pantry. It is located in the detached garage at our property. So yes, I do have to walk outside to go to my pantry. But, it works for now. My dream is to add on & have a pantry inside my house.  You’ll find sugars, different flours, dried goods like beans & rice, lots of canned tuna, homemade wine from my brother-in-law and anything that I happened to can over the years time.

cari4Also in our pantry, you will our meat packaging material. My husband is a hunter and we fished together as a family. About three years ago we decided to start packaging all own meats. We couldn’t find butcher we were happy with. So, we bought the equipment and started doing ourselves. We haven’t looked back. In fact, most of our family has started to do the same. Either smoking, canning or freezing their own meats. The next challenge I would like to take is to make my own sausage in coming years.

cari5My final picture shows what our freezer looks like. It’s generally stuffed to the gills at the end of fall with our hunting & fishing activities. I actually challenged myself in August 2013 to stop buying meat at Costco. Needless to say, I crave chicken! A splurge for me is a bag of frozen chicken breasts at Costco.

I do have to admit that I’m not the best meal planner. I have a tendency to have 5 to 6 general ideas of what I’m going to cook for dinner on any given week. I have a list that I keep on my phone and check them off as I complete them. Then, when it comes around time to meal plan I pushed the “show completed” button and up pops everything I’ve cooked over the past several months.

I generally select from that list what I have on hand in my freezer or pantry. I do try to account for specific cravings that my family members may have. Like my kids infatuation with boxed mac & cheese! I also like to play a game with myself to see how long I can go without making a trip to the store.

As far shopping goes, I have a tendency to shop at Fred Meyer’s and Costco as my mainstays. I do also like to go to Winco on occasion to stock up on bulk spices and other sundries. And I also like to hit Trader Joe’s several times a year for a few items. I shop once every two weeks and sometimes I have to go every week depending on how much my children, the neighbor kid, their cousins and friends are eating at any given point in time.

I’m always curious to see how other people live and how they run their lives. I think that’s why I love the blogging world so much. I get to see a good picture of what other people do in their day-to-day. I hope this email is giving you a good little glimpse into our life and our habits.

Have a great day!
Cari

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Are you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

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