Friday Night at the Movies – Everybody’s Fine

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In light of the all of the crazy family dynamic drama that usually comes along with the holidays, I thought it would be appropriate to watch Everybody’s Fine tonight.  It’s about a widowed father who decided to travel to his adult children after they all call and cancel coming home for the holidays.  It’s a feel-good tear-jerker…you’ve been warned.  The best part, though, is this is a freebie for Amazon Prime members.

everybodys fine

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

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!

 

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.



Heather’s Winter Chicken Coop Tour

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I’ve been missing my backyard chickens terribly so I asked my friend Heather in Massachusetts to share some photos of her chicken coop for all of us to see. Here’s what she has to say:

rustic chicken coop

Since Mavis’ move she is chicken-less and has asked me to give a chicken-coop tour.

It all started when I built my coop from pallets. Did you know pallets are not even, straight, or any other sort of plum that some type A person would adore? I didn’t.  In case you missed it, you can read the whole story here.

Coops designs vary {a lot!} depending on your climate. Here is MA the summer can be 95* and plunge to 5* in the winter. That 90* swing requires a few adjustments. I built my coop around the idea that I wanted a lot of natural light, especially since my coop was tucked back on the edge of the woods. I used two storm doors I got for free from a friend.

chicken coop filled with hay

Second, I stuff my coop with hay {which stays nicely in between the pallets}. I also added lighting to increase egg production through our VERY dark winter. I plug it in at 5am and unplug it when we all get home..

old banister

We keep the food inside in a self feeder I created from a dog bowl and PVC pipe.

feeding tube for chickens

This keeps critters out of it and I can fill it without going in the coop. As aside benefit – it’s spill proof!

Water stays outside on a heated base. I buried the cord with big rocks. We all know chickens like to dig and I didn’t want them to peck at the cord, dig it up or generally damage the heater. It’s not cheap but lugging frozen poop-covered water containers into your kitchen sink is no fun either *blech*!

backyard chickens

A regular bird feeder holds their oyster shells and egg shells, keeps water and dirt out of it, and holds enough grit for a week or two.  This is Agnus posturing- she is such a beast and rules the pen.

storing chicken feed in garbage cans

We have many, many tenacious raccoons. They’ve scratched 1/4″ into our town rubber garbage cans, scratched 1/4″ into the pvc pipe feeder and attacked our dogs… So it was a no-brainer to staple fencing to the bottom of the coop, all openings {vents or windows}, and all the way around the border of the pen.

Although we consider our chickens “working chickens” and not “pet chickens” I just couldn’t resist the curtains. They were bargain basement place mats that I cut and stapled to the roost :)

small galvanized trash cans

The back of our pen is all business. Three tins filled with food (with the strap), shavings, and diatrematreous earth. The rake is pinned up off the ground and snow and the extension cords are weaved through the garden and under the coop.

That stump is new, the entire 100′ tree snapped off and landed 2′ on the other side of the tins.

netting over chicken coop

This is where I store my homemade chicken tractor. Storing it up on the blocks keeps it dry and easy to use when needed.

bags of fall leaves

GOLD! Sure they look like giant bags of leaves – but come rain and snow the leaves will keep the mud under control and entertain the chickens.

How are YOUR chickens doing this winter? Do you do anything special to your coop during the winter months?

~Heather

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.

I like Big Bucks and I Cannot Lie…

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white tailed deer

Apparently, Washington D.C. is suffering from an over-population of deer.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has teamed with wildlife experts with a plan to decrease the population from 55 deer per square mile, down to 15-20 per square mile.  According to an article I read, the deer pose a threat to native vegetation {not to mention the threat of car accidents as they spring across the busy roads}.

In an effort not to waste the meat resulting in killing off the deer, Rock Creek Park {where the deer are most densely populated} will salvage it and donate it to shelters and schools.  The meat is lean, free-range high quality protein that will actually serve a much needed purpose for the hungry.  While 55 deer per square mile doesn’t sound like a lot to me {but what do I know} I do like the fact that the meat goes to feeding hungry families–and not junk, but quality protein.  I happen to like venison {which I was first introduced to by Chino the Handyman who hunts}.

To date, about 3300 lbs of meat have been ground and donated.  I thought this was a unique way to make the most of the problem…and wanted to share it, you know, as “food” for thought.

~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, Luggage Sets, 2015 Daily Calendars, Row Covers for Your Garden, Free Sierra Mist and More

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Mornings-with-Mavis1

Oh Friday, I LOVE you. :)

Yesterday The Girl and I ran errands for 5 hours and somehow managed to get everything checked off our “to do” list and let me tell you Bob, it feels great. Today we are going to tackle some indoor projects like painting the trim and walls in her bathroom and I’m hoping to get outside for a few hours to continue working on planting trees and weeding the backyard and then settle in later on for a movie.

I hope your Friday is AWESOME!

Mavis

*This deal post will be updated throughout the day so be sure and check back for deals. 

sony headphones

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Save up to 60% on Select Sony Headphones. We own the Sony MDRZX110 ZX Series Stereo Headphones and right now they are on sale for just $7.99 and are available in white or black.

Samsonite luggage sets

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - 70% Off Samsonite Two-Piece Spinner Luggage Sets

travel bag

Get the Travel Makeup Organizer Bag in Black for $3.15 shipped. Perfect for traveling!

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! :)

Fleece Grow Tunnel

Zulily has some garden deals this morning and my absolute favorite is the Fleece Grow Tunnel for $16.99. These will come in handy for protecting your vegetables from frost! New to Zulily? Go HERE to sign up then HERE to get check out the Gardener in You Sale.

botanical interests seeds

My favorite seed company Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on all seed orders over $50 and a free desktop calendar on orders placed by December 23rd. See the seeds I’ll be sowing in my 2015 garden HERE and check out their 52 New Varieties for 2015 HERE.

Easy-Christmas-Crafts-for-Kids-Handprint-Christmas-Wreath2

This Kids Hand Print Christmas Wreath turns out so cute and makes such a perfect grandparent gift! Find more cool holiday projects and tips on my Christmas Pinterest Board.

2015 daily calendar

Here are a few Daily Calendars for 2015 I thought you might like.

New Balance 573

Joe’s New Balance Outlet has the Woman’s New Balance 573 Running Shoe on sale for $29.99 today!!

rockabye rockers

Oh my word! Are these the cutest rockers ever? Today only, save up to 60% on Rockabye rockers from Amazon.

the gilmore girls

Today on Amazon has the 42 Disc Set of Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series Collection on sale for $52.99 shipped!

cranberry-apple-pie-recipe

This pie is now on our Christmas dinner menu every year. Cranberry Apple Pie just pairs perfectly with a big ham dinner! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for later.

free siera mist fred meyer ecoupon

Attention Fred Meyer Shoppers … Today only you can download an ecoupon for 1 Free 2 Liter Bottle of Siera Mist! Simply load the ecoupon to you Fred Meyer card and claim your freebie by 1/4/15. It’s that easy!

ispy books

I Spy Books are wonderful to have on hand for rainy days and car rides! Here are a few of my favorites:

Untitled

If you have Amazon Prime then head over HERE to get all sorts of FREE HOLIDAY Music from Amazon.com. The Piano Guys, Enya, Andy Williams and more.

Chex cereal coupons

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.

Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

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Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

I feel like the very name of pound cake is mean; like you are already prepared to pack on the pounds when you eat it. You can feel it settling on your thighs permanently with each bite. That’s why I opt to gift the pound cake I make. Better on my neighbor’s thighs than mine! {Shhhhh. This has made for perfect Christmas gifts for many friends, so let’s just keep my ulterior motives between us!}

fresh eggsIngredients

4 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup brandy {you can sub apple juice but it changes the flavor a bit}

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large stand mixer {can use a hand mixer instead}, cream the butter until fluffy. Slowly pour the sugar in, beating constantly. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next one.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour and then combine with the nutmeg. Gradually add the flour mix to the butter mixture, mixing constantly and thoroughly after each addition. Pour in the lemon zest and brandy, and mix until fully combined.

Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely on a wire rack. Serve with fruit or jam and whipped cream.Traditional Pound Cake Recipe

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 History of Christmas Crackers

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Christmas crackers

For as long as I can remember my Mother has always set out Christmas Crackers. My kids love it. There is always a paper crown. We all put paper crowns on our head, for the rest of the night, with pretty zero regard of our personal appearance.  The best part is that neither of my kids have ever acted “too cool” for it.  It’s one of those traditions that will always bring up great memories—it’s like 3 generations of silliness.

I’ve always wondered where Christmas Crackers even started.  This year, I decided to do a little learnin’ and spread the love to you.  First, in case you have no idea what I am talking about, Christmas Crackers are little cardboard tubes, cinched on each end, so that they resemble a candy.  When you pull the ends, the make a little crack or popping sound, and inside there are little trinkets.  Like I said, we always get paper crowns, but I have heard that there are sometimes other little toys, jokes, etc.  The tradition of the cracker dates back to the 1840’s.  It was primarily practiced in England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.  They all started when an English candy maker named Tom Smith wanted to replicate French almonds wrapped in paper.  He combined the look of wrapped sweets with the sound of the crackling logs on his fire—and Christmas Crackers were born.   The crowns inside them are thought to come from a Roman tradition where people decorated their heads to celebrate Saturnalia.  Who would have guessed, right?

Do you have any family Christmas traditions like the Christmas Cracker?  Something you’ve never thought of the meaning, but always done?

~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.

DIY Homemade Mulling Spice

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DIY Homemade Mulling SpiceNeed an awesome, inexpensive gift for teachers/neighbors/friends etc.?  Have you ever tried making your own mulling spice?  Mulling spices are basically a medley {I’m really proud of the use of the word medley there—makes me seem very gourmet, if I do say so myself} of spices that you can use to turn apple cider into mulled cider.

Your recipients’ houses will smell amazing, their bellies will be full of warm cider, and you, my friends, will be remembered for giving the best gifts ever.

spice muslin tea bags

You’ll need:

  • Bags to put the mulling spices in {THESE are cool, because they are empty tea bags, which seems fitting}
  • Twine, ribbon, yarn, or something of your choosing to tie the bags {I’m going to use cooking twine, so that all my friends have to do is throw them into the crock pot with the cider}
  • Assorted Spices {see below}

DIY Homemade Mulling SpiceIngredients

  • 6 oz of whole cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole nutmegs
  • 2/3 cup dried orange peel
  • 2/3 cup dried lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup allspice berries

*I recommend buying these in bulk from your local grocery store or Amazon.

DIY Homemade Mulling Spice

Instructions

Put the cinnamon sticks and nutmegs into a food processor {or a plastic bag and use a rolling pin} and pulse a couple of times to break up into smaller pieces.  Place them in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Stir to mix ingredients well.  Now put 2-3 tbsp. of the spice mixture in each bag.  Tie the bag at the top, giving it enough head room that the liquid get in around the spices.

To make the mulled cider, add ½ gallon apple cider and 1 spice bag to your crockpot and allow it to simmer on low for a couple of hours.  {You can do this on the stove too.  It will take about 40 minutes or so, but I like the crockpot because I can throw it all in and walk away—plus the house smells awesome for way longer.}

DIY Homemade Mulling Spice

*If you plan to give these as gifts, make sure to include instructions on how to make the cider.  I think these would be soooo cute placed inside a fun coffee mug or tea cup and then wrapped in cellophane.

Mull it over and give it a try {pun intended},

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.

Mavis’ Winter Garden Blog – Pulling Weeds, Chopping Rhodies and Planting More Trees

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cutting rhododendrons

With phase one of the remodel behind us and all the big projects out of the way for 2014, I finally feel like I can start working on my garden now. It’s funny, for someone who loves gardening as much as I do, I really haven’t stepped foot outside too much in the last 90 days. And to be honest, I was starting to go a little crazy.

backyard garden in need of weeding

Mostly because every time I would pull into the driveway or look out our back windows all I could see was a HUGE UGLY MESS of a yard. Dead leaves everywhere, weeds, a mossy {and in some places non existent} lawn.

weeds

I honestly hate my yard right now. I LOVE the layout, and the potential I see in it, but there are only so many hours of daylight in December to work with, and by the time I log off the computer for the day, it doesn’t leave me with much time left to get out there and get stuff done.

shoveling dirt

Or so I thought.

planting a living hedge

Yesterday I made a game plan. A schedule of sorts… and you know what? I’m going to stick with it.

Let’s get this garden started…

~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, Green Toys, Weather Alert Radio with Cellphone Charger, Carharrt, American Girl and More

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elf on the shelf mornings with mavis

Happy Thursday everyone. I hope you have a wonderful day! Here are a few deals I spotted this morning for you.

Mavis

*This deal post will be updated throughout the day so be sure and check back for deals. 

green toys

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Save 50% on select Green Toys. Here are a few of my favorites:

American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AMFM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger $33 {reg $79.99}.

the body shop gift sets

The Body Shop has all their Gifts Sets on sale today for 40% off PLUS FREE SHIPPING when you place your order by tonight!

carharrt jacket

Carharrt has the Men’s MEN’S SANDSTONE RIDGE COAT/SHERPA-LINED for $71.49 shipped today!! This is a great deal on a great coat.

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! :)

american girl craft kits

Amazon has a great collection of American Girl Craft Sets on sale today:

Barbie Advent Calendar

Amazon has the Barbie Advent Calendar on sale right now for just $10.76.  Grab one and tuck it away for next year!

Hershey’s-Kiss-Candy-Mice-Ornament

Oh my cuteness. These Hershey’s Kiss Candy Mice Ornaments are almost too cute to handle. Find more cool holiday projects and tips on my Christmas Pinterest Board.

garden gloves

Get the 6 Pack of G & F Women’s Garden Gloves from Amazon for $9.75 when you clip the $1.00 off coupon. I use these gloves all the time in my garden and highly recommend them.

born shoes

Zulily has Born Shoes on sale today up to 60% off. There are some crazy good deals available, especially on tall boots! Yee-Haw! New to Zulily? Go HERE to sign up then HERE to get check out the BORN Shoe Sales.

cabelas sweatshirt hoodie

Cabela’s has the Woolrich Women’s First Forks Hoodie on sale for $21 shipped when you use code 4FREESHIP at checkout. This hoodie retails for $59 and comes in 4 different colors.

bon appetit magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Bon Appetit Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 12/18/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

eggnog-pound-cake-recipe

Calling all eggnog fans! This Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe is a must-make! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

panera

Any Panera Bread fans out there {ME!!!} Buy $100 in Panera Gift Cards and get a FREE $20 eGift Card to Panera. Wahooo!

30 day flashlight

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Ultimate Survival Technologies 30 Day Flashlight $19.73 shipped!

microbrite mini microscope

Great for curious kids!!! Amazon has the Carson MicroBrite 20x-40x Zoom LED Lighted Pocket Microscope on sale for $11.99 and the reviews rock! Have you ever accidently left your flashlight on overnight only to find the batteries are completely dead the next morning? Not with this flashlight, it will keep shining up to 30 days straight!

Euro-Cuisine-YM80-Yogurt-Maker

Amazon has the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker on sale for $22.99.

loving family doll house

Amazon has reduced the price on the Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse to just $53.97 shipped!

donut-birdseed-tweets

 

Congratulations to Beth who said “I’ve never heard of Bird Donuts, but what a great idea!!!! I turned my kids swingset(of course they are much older now hehe) into a bird sanctuary per say…lots of feeders for them so they would love this treat hanging from there as well.” and won the birdseed donut giveaway

Untitled

If you have Amazon Prime then head over HERE to get all sorts of FREE HOLIDAY Music from Amazon.com. The Piano Guys, Enya, Andy Williams and more.

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.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

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Cranberry Apple Crisp

If there’s one thing we love around here, it’s a fruit crisp. I made this kind last Christmas, and I’ll be making it again this year as well because it was so good. Plus cranberries just put me in a Christmasy mood for some reason.

I served it with some homemade vanilla bean ice cream and it was the perfect combination. The heat from the crisp melted the ice cream into a creamy puddle around the cranberries that was so good I wanted to slurp up every last drop. I didn’t because that’s so not ladylike. But I won’t judge you if you try it. Promise.

cranberries

Ingredients

1 {12 oz} bag of cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
5 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and cut into slices
1 stick of butter, cut into tiny cubes
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In large pot bring cranberries, orange juice, and sugar to a boil. Cook on medium-high until the mixture turns into a thick sauce, about 15 minutes. Add sliced apples and stir until fully coated. Remove from heat and pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

crumb topping

In a small mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients. Fork the mixture until all the butter is cut in. The mixture will be the consistency of corn meal. Sprinkle flour mixture over cranberry mixture in baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

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.

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