Easy Gardening Tips – Use Coffee Filters in Flower Pots

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Easy Gardening Tips – Use Coffee Filters in Flower Pots

Calling all neat freaks.

If you are worried about soil falling out of your flower pots when you water your plants, there is an easy solution. Simply line your flower pot with a coffee filter before you fill it with soil to stop it from falling through the drainage hole.

Yee-Haw! Gardening is fun.

~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 Grow Your Own Food – 4/10/2013 Garden Tally

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pea plant in terra cotta pot

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

*******

Francisco stopped by last night with his son to deliver some gnomes. What a sweetie!  I sent his little man home with some sugar snap pea plants for their new garden.

But I think I may have a problem on my hands. Francisco has become OBSESSED with our chickens. He loves holding Baby Fat {our small black australorp chicken} and I’m pretty sure by the end of summer he will have a flock of his own.

Can vegans have chickens as pets? Hmmm.

Anyway, I didn’t harvest much this week, just some chives, sprouts {I tried a new variety and I’ll share a little later} and another boatload of eggs. And in case you didn’t know, eggs are like gold on the bartering market. Yep, they sure are. Chino the Handyman and I have been trading back and forth recently and it is awesome.

Meat for eggs? Heck yeah!

Are you harvesting anything form your garden yet, or are you still planting seeds?

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:


beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

chives

Chives – 3 ounces


francisco man with chicken{Francisco and Baby Fat}

Egg Count – 614

Last week we collected 81 eggs. That is almost 1 dozen eggs a day!

microgreens
Lettuce
– 6 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -11 ounces

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 6 pounds 5 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 614

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

Urban Homesteading Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

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.

Mornings with Mavis – Kindle Books, Kraft and Butcher Paper, Kashi Bars, KidKraft, Paddy Coyne’s and More

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puggle dog mornings with mavis

Is this what they mean by puppy dog eyes?

 ~Mavis

kindle books gardening

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle $1.99
Gardening Basics For Dummies®, Mini Edition $0.99
Homesteading (Back to Basics Guides) $3.39
Simpler Living $3.03

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

deals on kashi bars

Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bar, Dark Mocha Almond, 6-Count Bars (Pack of 6) $12.16/ $2.02 per box shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.
Kashi TLC Cereal Bar, Ripe Strawberry, 6-Count Bars (Pack of 6) $12.16/ $2.02 per box shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

amazon local deals

Amazon Local is offering:

Amazon Fresh – Free Delivery through May
$30 to Spend on Mariners, Sounders, New Kids on the Block Tickets, and More $7

Be sure and Sign up HERE so you’ll know what the daily deal is each day.

kraft butcher paper

Keep the kids busy for YEARS with a roll of kraft or butcher paper. Not to mention you can let the kiddos create their own wrapping paper for birthdays and holidays.

Brown Kraft Paper 765 Foot Length x 18 Inch Width $22.57
White Butcher Paper 900′ Length x 18″ Width $28.15
Paper Cutter with Rubber Feet, 18″ $25.46

Norpro Mandoline Slicer Grater with Guard

Amazon currently has the Norpro Mandoline Slicer Grater with Guard on sale for $15.34. What a steal! The reviews are awesome too!

dish cloth

Amazon has the 4 Pack Oversized Dish Cloth sets in Spice by Cotton Craft for $5.99

KidKraft toys

Zulily is having a KidKraft sale with deals on train sets, tables chair and playhouses.

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

baseball gnome

Looking for a garden gnome?  Amazon has MLB Gnomes in stock and I they would sure be fun to bring along on a summer road trip to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee.

canvas people

Living Social has a sweet deal on photo canvas today

  • $19 ($67 value) for an 11″ x 14″ photo-to-canvas print
  • $28 ($91 value) for a 16″ x 20″ photo-to-canvas print
  • $32 ($102 value) for an 18″ x 24″ photo-to-canvas print

paddy coyne's

If you are local, Groupon has a $20 certificate to Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub for only $20!

Betula & Birkenstock

6pm has Betula & Birkenstock shoes and sandals on sale for up to 60% off + free shipping!

snapfish photos stack

Snapfish is offering new customers 150 FREE 4″x6″ prints! You still have to pay for shipping, but it works out to be about $8.34. That’s only 5¢ per print. Sweet!

elle magazine

DiscountMags has a 1 year subscription to Elle Magazine on sale today for only $4.49 a year when you use discount code 5104 at checkout.  This deal expires at midnight tonight 4/10/13 EST.

Find 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.

Giveaway – 2 Thy Hand Hath Provided eBooks + 2 Spiral Bound Books

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Mavis, Jane, MamaJJ

My friend Jane wrote a cookbook last fall Thy Hand Hath Provided Recipes and Preserving and her cookbook has just been released on Amazon as an eBook. Wahooo way to go Jane! In case you don’t already know, a few months before I started my own blog in January of 2009, I discovered 2 blogs and fell in love with them: Thy Hand Hath Provided and Mama’s Minutia.

Thy Hand Hath Provided Recipe Book

In the fall of 2011, I hopped on an airplane to flew to a pie party in Virginia to meet the people behind the computer screens. It was awesome!

Thy Hand Hath Provided ebook

Tonight I’m happy to announce Jane is offering 2 of her Thy Hand Hath Provided eBooks  AND 2 of her spiral bound books for a giveaway. I have the spiral bound version of her cookbook and use it about once a week. Seriously, it’s that good! If you like real food and cooking from scratch, you’ll love this book.

To enter this giveaway simply tell me your favorite home cooked meal and let us know if you would like the eBook version or the spiral bound.

Rules

1 entry per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This giveaway ends Sunday, April 14th, 2013 @9 pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Monday, April 15th, 2013 edition of Mornings with Mavis.  Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize.

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.

How to Grow Alyssum {Start to Finish}

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alyssum
{photo credit}

I don’t know when I first fell in love with alyssum, but I absolutely love using purple and white alyssum in my window box and hanging flower baskets every year. It’s delicate, yet very hearty.

Brief description:  Alyssum is a delicate mounding or trailing flower {depending on variety} that blooms throughout the summer.

Where to Plant Alyssum:  Alyssum can be planted nearly anywhere, but make great border flowers, thrive in rock beds, and in containers where they can trail over the sides.  They do best in sun to light shade.

alyssum

Planting Seeds:  To plant seeds, just press them into the surface of the soil.  Put a pinch of seeds in every pot, approximately 6″ apart.  There is not need to thin these clumping flowers.

Growing Tips:  Alyssum can stand quite a bit of abuse.  They are drought tolerant and deer resistant.  For best results, though, water 2 times per week during hotter months.

regional planting guides

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~Mavis

Fun Fact:  While Alyssum is typically an annual, they will overwinter in some climates, popping up sporadically year after year.

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 – How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

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DIY DIY - How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Recently, I started making my own laundry soap. How crazy is that? It’s actually super satisfying.  One, a batch lasts forever.  Two, it is ridiculously cost effective.  And three {and probably my favorite reason}, it’s another step towards knowing all of the ingredients I bring into my home and being more self-sufficient with just the basics.

How to make your own laundry detergent

Ingredients 

  • 3 Bars Ivory/Zote/Fels Naptha Soap
  • 1 Box Borax
  • 1 Box Washing Soda {55 oz}
  • 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 Cups Baking Soda {more if you have hard water, less if you don’t}
  • 1 {3 lb} Container Oxy Clean
  • 1-2 Bottles Purex Laundry Crystals or Essential Oil {optional, if you want your laundry to have a pleasant scent}
  • 5 Gallon Bucket {to store the bulk of your detergent}
  • Smaller Container {you can refill detergent from your 5 gallon bucket, but it is way easier to have a smaller container for your daily laundry–the empty Oxy Clean container would work great}

Directions

First, grate the soap.  This is honestly the most tedious part.  I took a chance and used my friends food processor.  It did the job just fine, without doing any damage to the blade, but do it at your own risk.  I sent it through the grater first, then I turned it into a fine powder with the chopping blade.  If you hand grate your soap {let me start by sending my condolences}, make sure to grate it finely enough to make sure it will dissolve and do its job in the water.

Now dump the grated soap into the 5 gallon bucket {you can get these in the bakery department of practically any grocery store for free}.  Add remaining ingredients to the bucket.  If your bucket has a lid that is secure, you can mix it by rolling the bucket around on the floor.  If you don’t feel confident that your bucket lid will hold, you’ll need something to mix your detergent thoroughly.

Once it is mixed, you can fill up your smaller container.  I use 2 tbsp. per load, and I’ve been very happy with the results.  {This recipe is fine for a front-loader or a top-loading washer.}

How about YOU, do you make your own laundry soap?  Does it make you feel like a pilgrim?

~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.

Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse – Spinach, Lettuce, Basil and More

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Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse , gardening, mavis, magnum glass greenhouse,  Spinach, Lettuce, Basil

I thought I would give you a peek and show you what’s growing in the greenhouse right now. Typically I crack the doors open a bit in the late morning to get a little air flow going. In the summer months I pop the vents and leave those open 24/7 but it’s still a bit too chilly for that right now.

daffodils and gnomes

I think this may be the last week for daffodils and grape hyacinth flowers in front of the greenhouse. I do believe I planted some tulips in those planters so they should be popping up soon.

garden grow in gutters

Growing vegetables in gutters is awesome. We have spinach on the top followed by Swiss chard, lettuce and romaine lettuce in the bottom gutter.

spinach seedlings garden in gutters

The first set of true leaves on the spinach are starting to form.

grow garden in gutters lettuce

The lettuce is bite size. Note to self: keep Lucy out of the greenhouse or she will have enough for a small buffet.

greenhouse gardening

The make folding tables are filled with seedlings. I still have not gotten around to transplanting the basil or zinnias, hopefully I can get my act together soon. I think it still might be too cold to set out the geraniums, so I’ll I think I’ll wait another week on those. Everything seems to be thriving.

cabbage seedlings

Round 3 of cabbage.
slugs eating cabbage

The slugs are back in town. I spotted this little guy munching on a cabbage leaf this morning and promptly tossed him in my salt bucket. Now I have to go on a slug hunt and see if I can find anymore in the greenhouse. How do they get in there anyway?

greenhouse gardening

For the most part, I think everything is coming along pretty nicely for this time of year. I do think I will invest in a greenhouse fan this year, so if you have any ideas on what brand or type I should buy please let me know in the comments below.

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to warmer weather.

Stay Green,

Mavis

Flower House Pop-Up Plant House 3 footLooking for a mini greenhouse? Amazon has the 3 foot Flower House Pop-Up Plant House on sale right now. I used the 4 foot version before I invested in my glass greenhouse and it worked great.

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.

Reclaimed Food Show and Tell – Free Strawberries and Grapes

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feed-your-family-for-free

I just about fell over when I first saw the 30 boxes of strawberries. My immediate thought was strawberry jam. Then strawberry smoothies, then what the heck am I going to do with all these berries?

puggle puppy brown

The chickens have some pretty fierce competition these days for the free produce scraps.

puggle puppy tan

At this point I still don’t know what I’m going to do this summer when all the veggies start growing. Keeping her out of the garden beds is going to be a challenge for sure. I will admit though, vegetables are a wee bit tastier than shoes. Lets just hope she doesn’t turn in to a total food snob. Ha!

California strawberries

Does anyone know what the shelf life of the typical grocery store strawberry that has been trucked in from California or Mexico is?  My backyard strawberries only last about 24 hours on the kitchen counter before they start to go bad.

But then again, I don’t use chemicals and my berries are about 1/3 of the size.

fresh strawberries

From the 30+ pounds of strawberries Mr. Produce Guy gave me this week, this was all we were able to reclaim. Sadly, the chickens don’t care for strawberries, so on to the compost heap the bad ones go. As for the good ones, I think I’ll make some jam today.

Something is always better than nothing.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great day.

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

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.

Mornings with Mavis – Vanilla Beans, Plum Organics, Cheese Kits, Rock Salt, Birkenstocks + More

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mornings with mavis

Good morning! I have a lot of garden projects on my list today so I’m hoping the weather stays nice long enough for me to get them all done {Ha!!}. Things are growing like mad in the greenhouse and I’ll take you on a tour and show you around in a little bit, but first, I need another cup of tea!

Here are a few deals I spotted this morning in between taking Lucy out for a walk, packing the HH’s lunch and starting laundry.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, be awesome today!

~Mavis

vanilla beans
Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans – 7 beans $6.95
Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans – 16 beans $11.50
Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans – Approx. 27 beans $15.95

Use the beans to make your own vanilla extract, vanilla bean ice cream and more.  I have purchased these beans from this company before and they are awesome!

apple peeler
Amazon has the Apple And Potato Peeler, Corer, and Slicer on sale for $12.99. I love using mine to make dehydrated apple slices.

amazon local deals

Amazon Local is offering the following deals:

Jetpack/Flyboard Lesson or Jetski Rental $37 & up {Seattle}
Kirkland Waterfront Getaway with Resort Credit $179 {Kirkland}
Custom Canvas Prints or Collage with Free Shipping $35 {National}
Customized 8.5×11 Hardcover Photo Book $10 {National}

Be sure and Sign up HERE so you’ll know what the daily deal is each day.

plum organics

Zulily has cases of Plum Organics on sale starting at $8.99!!!!

shutterfly deal

Zulily also has some sweet Shutterfly deals as well.

New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

living social deals

Living Social has some cool deals, here are my favorites:

Standing Stone Farms Cheese Making Kit $19
Freshwater Pearl Set $29
Himalayan Rock Salt Block $49 {This looks cool!}
Zoobooks 1 year Subscription $15

The REI Outlet Deal of the Day is the Patagonia Chacabuco 32L Backpack.

If you have been looking for a kitchen scale the Cuisaid ProDigital Digital Kitchen Scale  in silver or black is currently on sale on Amazon for only $9.99.  The reviews on this scale are great too!

Betula & Birkenstock

6pm has Betula & Birkenstock shoes and sandals on sale for up to 60% off + free shipping!

weight-watchers-magazine-

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Weight Watchers Magazinefor only $4.49 a year when you use code 4975 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 4/10/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

ebates double cash back

If you do any shopping online you’ll want to make sure you are signed up for Ebates first.

Ebates offers cash back from any of 1,500 stores any time you start your shopping trip at Ebates.com. There are no points to redeem, no forms to mail in, and no fees. Stores pay Ebates a sales commission for sending shoppers their way, and Ebates uses the commission to pay you cash back.

If you are new to Ebates, you will also score a FREE $10 gift card to Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Kohls, or Ebates.  How cool is that?  Simply sign up HERE and you will receive the gift card of your choice in the mail after your first $25 purchase.  We use Ebates ALL THE TIME in our house, even our kids use it. Go HERE to sign up.

ben and jerrys free cone day

Today is FREE Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s! Wahooooo! They start scooping free cones at noon!

Cathay Home Fashions Soft Brushed Microfiber Queen Sheet Set $22.50

Enter to win a trip to South Africa, a $500 TEA gift card and a $1,000 American Express Gift card. Wahooo!

$2.00 off ONE Pampers Easy Ups Trainers $1.50 off ONE Pampers Swaddlers Diapers$1.50 off ONE Pampers Cruisers Diapers $0.50 off ONE Pampers Wipes 60 ct. or larger$1.50 off ONE Pampers Baby Dry Diapers

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.

Mavis Asks Readers to Send in Gnomes – Oh Gnome You Didn’t!

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mavis gnomes st. jude one hundred dollars a month

Guess what came in the mail today?

gnome t-shirt mavis one hundred dollars a month{Oh Gnome You Didn’t T-shirt}

Oh just a few gnomes for our  Send in the Gnomes Fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. We have officially hit the 10% mark. Yep, over 100 gnomes have been sent in so far. Yee- Haw!

Some of the gnomes were sent in without messages. They are “gnome-less.” {Oh man I crack myself up sometimes. So many gnome jokes, so little time.} So please take a look if you sent one in so we can give you credit and let everyone know where they came from. You can see all of the gnomes that were sent in HERE.

mavis gnomes st. jude one hundred dollars a month

In case you were worried about security, Mr. Pants-half-down has been doing a great job of keeping all the gnomes in line.

mavis gnomes st. jude one hundred dollars a month

Which has been great because we have a lot of super jocks in the hood these days.

However there have been a few shenanigans going on though.

travelocity gnome

For instance, Travelocity Gnome {who incidentally believes he’s Santa} totally has the corner market on the fairy garden.

mavis gnomes st. jude one hundred dollars a month

I’m not sure wher First Time Away From Home Gnome was headed, but by the look on his face, Mavisland wasn’t it.

mavis gnomes st. jude one hundred dollars a month

I think these guys are holding out for higher wages. We pay in produce around these parts. They’ll learn soon enough.

mavis gnomes st. jude one hundred dollars a month

And these 3 were caught trying to escape. Note to self: research gnome traps.

Thanks everyone for your support! I am having a blast.

~Mavis

Mavis butterfield gnome St. Jude's wish list

To read more about this totally cool fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, head on over HERE.

I have also set up a  Send in the Gnome Wish list on Amazon.com as some of you had suggested. Thanks for all your suggestions!

And last but not least, as gnomes arrive they will be cataloged, photographed and placed on the Send in the Gnomes – Where Did They All Come From page.

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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