Can Experiences Buy Happiness?

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Everyone has heard money can’t buy happiness, but according to research, using money to buy experiences does seem to have a lasting effect on happiness.

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Researchers cited several reasons they believed experiences provided longer lasting happiness than purchases in an article I recently read.  One, when people buy experiences, they often spend a lot of time planning the experience {i.e. trips}.  They spend time being happy “anticipating” the event, not just enjoying the event itself.  Secondly, there isn’t really a barometer for the amount of money you should spend on an experience, so the whole keeping up with the Jones’s doesn’t really drag the experience down {where when you purchase a thing, it is easy to compare features, cost, etc.}.  Finally, experiences typically provide a way for us to connect socially–which we already know makes us happier in the long run.

#nycwff new york city wine food festival

It’s no secret that I love to travel–so for me, using my money to buy that experience does make me happy.  I know a lot of people who LOVE live music, and use their money to buy that experience–some love the outdoors, so a pair of hiking boots is the only real investment they make to “buy” their experience.  Either way, I totally agree that experiences are where it is at.

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What do you think?  Has the money you’ve spent on experiences been worth it?  Have experiences outweighed physical purchases, in terms of your happiness?  What is the BEST experience you’ve ever spent money on?  Can you remember how much it cost?

~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, Scarves, Mr. Heater Buddy, Costco Deal, Coupons, Recipes and More

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mornings with mavis pumpkins october

It’s starting to smell like fall in my neck of the woods… Target has footed pj’s in stock, the grocery stores are stocked with pumpkins and gourds… and THE CANDY… it’s everywhere!!!

Oh the temptations!!! I can hardly stand it.

Have a great Wednesday everyone,

Mavis

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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!

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Need a little help relaxing? These should help:

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Party season is right around the corner and the Crock-Pot 16-Ounce Little Triple Dipper is perfect for transporting dips and warm appetizers. Amazon has it on sale right now for just $19.19!

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The HH is practically obsessed with Craigslist. I’m not the biggest fan, but I know so many people take my husband’s side on this one. Here are some Tips for Selling Your Stuff on Craigslist! Find more cool tips and money savings ideas on my Money Saving Tips Pinterest Boards.

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Amazon has this leopard print scarf on sale for only $3.55 shipped! I purchased a few of these last year for  gifts and they were great!

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Wowza! I can’t tell you how many of these Mr. Heater Buddy Portable Heaters I see at soccer matches and football games.  Amazon has the Mr. Heater Buddy Portable Heater on sale right now for $89.27 shipped!

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Grab a subscription to Rachel Ray Everyday for only $7.99 a year and never go hungry again because there are so many AWESOME recipes inside!

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I made this Butternut Squash with Spinach and Pasta around Thanksgiving last year, and we’ve quickly become obsessed with it. It’s so good! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

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If you’ve been thinking about getting a Costco Membership, Living Social is offering a One-year Gold Star Costco Membership + bonuses for just $55. Here’s what you get:

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

Cashew Almond Bars

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Cashew Almond Bars

These perfect little lunch snacks totally remind me of those Kind Bars you find in the grocery store, but these are way cheaper and way better! The HH loves these packed in his lunch so much! But he has to fight me for them because they’re so awesome. Sometimes I suspect he has a secret stash of them hidden somewhere he’s not telling me about. But once you try them, you’ll probably start hoarding them too!

Cashew Almond Bars

Ingredients

1 cup cashews, lightly toasted
1 cup almonds, lightly toasted
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt

Cashew Almond Bars

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring honey, salt, water and vanilla to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until a candy thermometer reads 255 F. This will take about 15- 20 minutes so watch the mixture carefully.

While heating honey mix, toast nuts and coconut on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes {be careful not to burn}.

When honey has reached 255 F, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts and coconuts until evenly coated. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and pour mixture into pan. Using a well greased spatula, evenly spread into pan and firmly press into bottom.

Cashew Almond Bars

Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into bars {I flipped my whole pan out onto a cutting board and that was easier than cutting it in the pan!}. Do not let mix cool completely or it will harden and make cutting impossible.

Cashew Almond Bars

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.

So…How Was Your Day?

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talking to teens

If you have teens, you know how much they LOVE answering your questions. ;) Ha!  Maybe you waffle between bribery and the more aggressive approach of threats and a crowbar to get that once tiny bundle you held in your arms to open up and tell you one tiny little detail about their day?  On top of the teenage years, I think boys add a whole new dimension to the problem because they typically aren’t that chatty to begin with.

You practically have to be an intellectual ninja sometimes to stay connected with your kids.  So, here’s what I propose, it’s real secret agent type stuff, so read carefully:  First, greet them, but don’t ask a single question about their day.  Be still, like a statue, so as not to spook them.  If you are lucky enough to have them trapped inside a moving vehicle, the silence might actually motivate them to speak on their own.  If not, you can eventually try very specific questions, like, “Who did you sit with at lunch today?”  Don’t give them the opportunity to say, “fine” or “nothing.”  Questions that can be answered with those words are like a death sentence.   If all else fails, talk about your day.  Be real.  They may actually pick up on the whole tit for tat mentality and say a thing or two.

If your first encounter with your child is when they walk through the front door after school, follow the same protocol.  Greet them, but don’t bombard them with questions.  If you feel like the prey {your child} might be getting away by walking toward their room, offer a snack.  Lure them to the kitchen.  After you’ve greased them up with cookies, you can ask them to show you some of their work from the day…or their homework.  This mere act of observing the contents of their backpack could lead to further questions, like, “Well, do  you like your math teacher?”  and if they answer that question, you might say, “Well, what do think your math teacher thinks about you?”  This is the part where your only real job is to be a listener.  Let them talk.  Don’t offer much else.  One wrong word and they clam up.

Finally, lower your expectations a bit.  Some days, you will get more than others, but establishing yourself as an interested listener goes a long way when the proverbial poo hits the fan in your child’s life.  They will be more apt to come to you if they know you are there to listen and are interested in engaging them without pressure {that’s just my very unprofessional opinion}.

How do you get your teenagers to talk to you about their day?

~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.

How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

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How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

It seems like everyone has a front loader these days.  I’ve heard total horror stores of them stinking and then ruining your clothes. While front loaders are more efficient, they definitely are a little higher maintenance than their top loading parents.  They need regular maintenance to avoid the dreaded smell–and by regular, I mean at least once a month, if not every two weeks.

heinz vinegarYou’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Rags/Cloths

How to Clean a Front Load Washing MachineDirections:

Start by running an empty load on the hottest setting with vinegar instead of detergent.  After the load is complete, repeat the process using bleach.  Then, open the doors {it’s really best to always keep the doors open when the machine isn’t in use anyway} and using the rag or cloth, wipe the rubber door seal down with vinegar and warm water. Dry completely.  Pull out the detergent drawer and rinse it under hot water.  Allow it to soak in vinegar for a bit if it still has detergent build-up.

Overall, the whole process is pretty quick and painless.

How do you clean your front loader?

~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.

Square Watermelons

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My friend Heather from Massachusetts sent me this video about Japan’s production of square watermelon.  What a waste.  Growing the watermelon takes up water, nutrients, etc. that could otherwise go to growing actual consumable food.   As much as 1/3 of the food produced in the world each year goes to waste.  They grow these watermelon knowing full well they are not going to be eatable, so they instantly become part of that statistic.  I get that they look cool, but do we really need to spend $100 to have a square inedible fruit conversation piece.  I don’t get it.

Anyway, you all know how I feel about food waste.  The average American family throws away nearly $1500 worth of groceries each year.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather have that $1500 to, I don’t know, fly someplace new.

What do you think?  Cool or wasteful?

~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, TOMS Shoe Sale, Pet Treats, Recipes, Coupons, and More

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lucy the puggle dog

This little snuggle puggle didn’t want to get out of bed this morning… in fact she’s still laying in her little pink egg bed. What a  life she has.  I wish I could lay in bed all day too. ;)

Have a great Tuesday everyone,

Mavis and Lucy

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Available  eBooks 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! :)

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I just ordered Lucy the Puggle Dog another bag of her favorite Paragon Whimzees Alligator Dental Treats and found a few more deals for our furry friends:

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Oh Amazon, how I love thee! I especially love saving money on Amazon. Check out my 10 Secrets to Saving Big on Amazon. Find more cool tips and money savings ideas on my Money Saving Tips Pinterest Boards.

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Pinecone Research has by far the best reputation among survey companies. You evaluate new product ideas in the comfort of your own home and earn points for each survey, which can then be exchanged for cash!

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Need a new set of pillowcases? Amazon has the Utopia Bedding 2 Standard Size Pillow Cases 20″ x 32″ on sale for $7.99 and they ship FREE with Amazon Prime.

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Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 9/9/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

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This Butternut Squash Salad recipe was the first time I ever tried butternut squash in an actual green salad. It certainly wasn’t the last! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

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Amazon has the Bohemian Palace Vintage Style Leather Bracelet on sale for $3.43 shipped. This would make a fun inexpensive gift for a teen girl.

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

Ground Beef Freezer Meal – Taco Casserole

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Freezer Meal  Taco Casserole

This recipe is awesome. You should go make it. But not if you have a Monkey Boy who will then beg you for endless amounts of Doritos so he can dip them in this meaty, cheesy casserole of awesomeness. Although secretly, even though I’m not a Doritos lover, there’s part of me that can see how a Dorito dipped in this would be amazing. But let that be our little secret.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

Ingredients

2 cups cooked rice
1 lb ground beef {I used Zaycon ground beef}
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1 can {15 oz} black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can {8 oz} tomato sauce
1 cup corn {I used frozen}
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 cup cheese, shredded {cheddar or Monterey jack work best, but use whatever you have on hand}

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

Preparation

Brown the beef with the onion until beef is cooked through. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in rice and all remaining ingredients except cheese together in a large roasting pan. Let mixture cool completely and then transfer to a gallon freezer bag. Place cheese in a small sandwich bag and then place in the gallon freezer bag with meat mixture. Freeze flat.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

When ready to prepare, thaw in fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside.Pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cheese. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy.

Ground Beef Freezer Meal - Taco Casserole

*This recipe makes 1 9×13 pan. When I make this I will typically triple the batch. :)

You can skip all the spice ingredients above and make your own taco seasoning! Here’s my Taco Seasoning Recipe.

Looking for more make ahead meals? Check out the complete list of Freezer Meal Recipes.

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 to Prevent Freezer Burn

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How to Prevent Freezer BurnThere is nothing worse than going to all of the trouble to prepare and freeze food, only to pull it out with freezer burn, though.  Here are a couple of really simple ways to prevent freezer burn and get your through the winter:

  1. Don’t skimp on the freezer bags/containers.  Make sure, at the very least, the bags are labeled “freezer bags”.  I personally like Ziploc and have no problem spending the extra money for them.
  2. Make sure your food is completely cooled before you put it in the freezer.  The cooling process can cause condensation on your food, if you throw it straight into the freezer still warm, it will lead to faster freezer burn.
  3. Consider buying a separate freezer, if you don’t have one already.  The freezer on your fridge really is designed for items that will be used up faster, because you open it and close it more frequently.  All of that opening and closing causes temperature fluctuations, which lead to…yep, you guessed it:  freezer burn.
  4. Consider double wrapping  items that are more prone to freezer burn {think:  meat and bread}.  Wrap the item with freezer paper  and then put it into a ziploc bag.  It’s double the protection.
  5. Make individually sized freezer bags portions.  If you freeze all of your items in one large bag, everytime you get it out of the freezer, use some, and then return it to the freezer, you create a fluctuation in temperature.
  6. When you load your freezer, make sure to put the newly added items toward the back, so you can use the items that have been frozen the longest first.

How about you, how do keep your frozen food fresh?

~Mavis

How to Freeze Soup, Sauce, and PureeYou might also be interested in How to Freeze Soup, Sauce, and Puree.

 

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.

Gear Up for Fall Giveaway – $100+ in WomansWork Garden Gear

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WomansWork Garden Gear Giveaway

The air is crisp and you’ve dragged all your sweaters out of the back of the closet. Gone are the flip flops and beach towels. Bring on crunchy leaves, pumpkin pie and fall gardening cleanup!

Okay so maybe you’re not exactly looking forward to prepping those big summer gardens for fall, but WomansWork is here to help!

The peeps at WomansWork are hosting an AWESOME Gear Up for Fall Giveaway that includes some great gear to get that garden fall/winter ready! I’ve talked about how I love so many WomansWork products before: their Digger Gloves and Nitrile Weeding Gloves are my favorite!

kidsworkbasketTheir products are high quality and last, unlike some of the cheap stuff you’ll find at a big box store. The neighbor kids love their Kidswork Gloves.  And I’m newly obsessed with their spa products. They are geniuses for adding those, because as gardeners, we work our fingers to the bone sometimes. A little pampering after never hurt!

paisley-farmersmarketbag_imAnd guess what? The totally awesome Gear Up for Fall Giveaway includes all of my favorites! {I mean seriously, how adorable is the Farmer’s Market Bag ?!}

digger-gloves

WHAT YOU WIN:

A Garden Gear prize pack worth over $100 that includes:

One pair of Digger Gloves
3-pack of Nitrile Weeding Gloves
One pair of Kidswork Gloves
Eco Watering Spout
Bulb Garden Wheel
Lavender Mint Hand Cream
Farmer’s Market Bag

HOW YOU WIN IT:

Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here. You have FIVE ways to enter: 1 required and 4 bonus entries. That means you can leave a total of FIVE comments below for FIVE awesome chances to win.

1. *REQUIRED ENTRY* What item in the prize pack would you be most excited about winning? The gloves? The hand cream? The Farmer’s Market Bag? Leave a comment below letting us know your answer.

2. *BONUS ENTRY*  Do you like/friend/follow me yet? Pick one or all and like me/follow me/subscribe to me via one of these forms of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PinterestYouTube and/or Google+! Leave a comment below with the name of the site you followed, ie. “liked you on Facebook and Instagram.” Only 1 comment/entry regardless of if you follow me on all 6 sites. Which you totally should anyway.

3. *BONUS ENTRY*  Start spreading the news. Share this giveaway with your peeps via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Google+! If you don’t do the social media thing, just send out an old fashioned email about this awesome giveaway. Leave a comment below letting me know how you shared it.

4. *BONUS ENTRY*  Head on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on one of the posts or pictures there. Come back here and leave a comment below letting me know which post or picture you commented on.

5. *BONUS ENTRY*  Subscribe to my daily emailed newsletter. It’s an easy peasy way to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Plus, I’m way too busy gardening to spam you, so your email address is safe with me. Leave a comment below letting me know you subscribed.

THE FINE PRINT:

5 entries per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This giveaway is only available to US residents.

This giveaway ends Sunday, September 14th at 6pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Monday, September  15th edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. If  you do not claim your prize within 48 hours the prize will be forfeited..

Good Luck! I hope you win.

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.

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