One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 2/15/14

mavis butterfield instagram

mavis butterfield instagramMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share a picture a day in 2014.

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Tips for First Time Gardeners

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botanical interests seed packets curtis mavis ryanHave you entered our Botanical Interests Giveaway yet? Go HERE to Enter.

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How Pre-Packaged Shredded Cheese Is MadeTips and Tricks

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Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

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Valentine’s Day Trivia

Valentine's Day Trivia

Valentine's Day Trivia

Want to impress the family at dinner tonight and teach the kids a thing or two?  Here’s a few facts about Valentine’s Day to wow them with. :)

  1. Which Country did Valentine’s Day begin? {England}
  2. Do you know how many roses are sold over the 3 day period around Valentine’s Day? {100 million}
  3. Ancient Celtics used to give these with hearts carved on them as Valentine’s gifts…{wooden spoons}
  4. What percentage of women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s day?  {15%}
  5. What does the word Valentine mean?  {Valor}
  6. What profession receives the most Valentine’s Day cards?  {Teachers}
  7. Who was Cupid’s Mother?  {Venus}
  8. Which state grows 60% of America’s roses?  {California}
  9. Who purchases more Valentine’s Day Cards, women or men?  {Women, about 85% of cards sold are purchased by women}
  10. Giving Valentines started in what century?  {17th}

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~Mavis

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Top 10 Movies for Valentine’s Day

sleepless in seattle

Top 10 Movies for Valentine's DayI know some of you hate Valentine’s Day and some of you love it. It really is an odd love/hate relationship with a holiday that’s supposed to be all about love. It’s often referred to as a Hallmark holiday created for commercial purposes. I can see that point, but I don’t want to become a cynic when it comes to love. So you know what I do to combat that? The Girl and I watch all sorts of feel-good, romantic movies that restore my faith in happily-ever-after.

I mean how can you watch any of the following movies and not walk away feeling happy. Works for us, so I’ve compiled our favorites that we pick from around Valentine’s Day. We watch, we cry, we love love all over again. It’s awesome. Here are our top 10 Valentine’s Day movies in no particular order:

the notebookThe Notebook: Sigh. That “It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over,” scene in the rain on the dock? Oh man I could re-watch that a million times over and never get sick of it. Not only is this one of the sweetest love stories ever told, but the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams is the best ever.

when harry met sallyWhen Harry Met Sally: It’s funny, it’s smart and it’s incredibly well acted. All rolled together, it’s one of the most-loved romantic comedies of all time. I’m going to go out on a limb (because this could probably be disputed for days) and say it’s my favorite Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal roles ever.

the english patientThe English Patient: I’m trying not to pick a favorite favorite from this list because there are some really awesome ones, but if I had to, this might be the one. It’s no surprise to me that this movie won the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s one of the few movies I’ve seen that I would call beautiful. I’ll just sit there for awhile after the credits roll just taking it all in. Love it!

sleepless in seattleSleepless in Seattle: This list would not be complete without a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com. And this one is their best in my opinion. It’s such a classic cheesy love story and they don’t try to hide that fact or pretend it’s anything but. It’s not really complex or heavy, and that’s what I love about it. The Hanks and Ryan combo is genius because they have such great chemistry, too.  The Girl and I have watched this one more times than I have fingers to count on.

an affair to rememberAn Affair to Remember: Long before Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks magical meeting on top of the Empire State Building, the iconic landmark was the setting for this Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr love story. It’s like a deeper, less cheesy version of Sleepless in Seattle, and I cry every. single. time.

pride and prejudicePride and Prejudice: Of course my list would include a little Jane Austin. Every Valentine’s Day needs a Mr. Darcy. There’s a reason this Jane Austin novel is a classic, but I still can’t decide which movie version is my favorite. This one is great, but Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is too perfect. It’s a tough call. Maybe we’ll just watch them both!

breakfast at Tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany’s: This is Aubrey Hepburn at her finest. One of the first romantic comedies I ever watched and it still continues to be one of my favorites. There might have even been a time there when I wanted to change my name to Holly Golightly!

crazy stupid loveCrazy Stupid Love: Sure the fact that this movie has Ryan Gosling in it and he’s looking hotter than ever might be one of the reasons I love this movie so much. But really, it’s just one of the reasons. There are a million more. The acting is awesome, the writing is perfect and the entire story line is so real that is makes me want to cheer when it’s over. This also might be my favorite Steve Carrel performance too. And that’s saying a lot. And don’t even get me started on the Dirty Dancing lift scene. Awesome.

say anythingSay Anything: I’ll watch this movie over and over again just in anticipation of the “In Your Eyes” stereo scene. Not to mention it has some of the most classic one liners ever.  It’s for sure one of the great 80’s movies, and it just so happens to fit perfectly with the Valentine’s Day love theme.

notting hillNotting Hill: “After all… I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Probably the best line Julia Roberts has ever delivered in a movie. This movie is just as clever and funny as it is romantic. And if you’ve seen this movie, I bet it will come as no surprise that I want that bench, engraved exactly like it is in the movie, overlooking my garden. Then I could die happy.

So there are my {our} Valentine’s Day favorites. Did we miss any of the great ones?

What are your favorites?

~Mavis and the Girl

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How to Start Seeds Using Grow Lights

How to Start Seeds Using Grow Lights

How to Start Seeds Using Grow LightsYesterday I planted my tomato seeds {11 different varieties} and thought I would share some pictures today of how I use grow lights to help my plants along. Even though I’ve done some winter gardening this year, starting my tomato seeds is like the kick-off to the gardening season.  Even when it’s nasty outside, the little seedlings are hope that spring is right around the corner–the 3 month corner.

miracle Gro potting mixI plant my seeds in plastic pots filled with  miracle grow seed starting mix and sometimes Jiffy Peat Pellets.  Typically it’s whatever I have on hand at the time. Don’t be tempted to use potting soil or garden soil.  Seeds need a really light airy environment to germinate, so a seed starting mix is essential.  I have three 4ft grow light systems, so I can have up to 6 flats going at any time.  I’ve tried using natural light to get them started with really unpredictable levels of success, so for me, the grow lights were totally worth the purchase.

grow-lightsWhen I use trays of starting mix, as opposed to individual pods, I usually start by putting the mix in the trays {leaving the mixture about 1/4-1/2″ from the top of the tray} and watering it in.  Once the dirt is evenly moist {which you will need to keep it that way for the duration of the planting–not soggy, not dry, just evenly moist.  It’s a delicate balance that really isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it}, I start placing my seeds.

seedlings grow lightsI usually put a couple of seeds in each spot, just to ensure germination, and then thin them out later.  Plant each seed per the instructions on the packet {depth and spacing for indoor starting is usually provided on the seed packet}.

Tomatoes actually like a bit of heat {soil temperature between 65-70 degrees is ideal}, so covering them with either the plastic dome that comes with the flats or plastic wrap for the first little bit can help provide humidity and traps a little heat, but make sure to provide some ventilation.   Once the seeds have germinated, remove the covering completely, or they will become susceptible to mildew and all sort of seedling killers.

grow-lightsKeep the grow light about 6″ from the top of the seedlings {or the potting mix until they germinate} at all times.  The plants need a light and dark cycle, though, just as they would have in nature, so turn the lights off before you go to bed and then flip them back on in the morning {or get yourself a fancy dancy timer}.  As the seedlings grow, lift the light accordingly.  Once the seedlings have germinated, you can use a VERY weak and diluted mixture of fertilizer and water, if you want, but I don’t really think it is necessary, and typically just continue with water.

grow lights seedlingsOnce your plants have set their first two sets of true leaves it’s time to transplant them into bigger pots{the first leaves the seedling get aren’t real and will kind of wilt away before the seedling gets its first real bonafide leaves}.  You can use leftover pots that you have from your annuals from the nursery {just wash them with a diluted bleach mixture first}, or newspaper pots, or peet pots.  Whichever you prefer.  This time, you can pot them with a transplant mix or potting soil.  When you scoop them out and place them into their new home, take special care with the root system.  If anything is going to tick off the plant, it is damaging the roots.

Then, place the repotted plants back under the grow lights, with the standard 6″ of space between the top of the leaves and the grow light until you are ready to plant them outside.  Remember to harden off your plants before you move them outdoors permanently, though.

Here’s to kicking off the 2014 gardening season.  Wahoo!

~Mavis

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Free Kindle Books, $15 Bra Sale, Amazon Grocery Deals, StonyField Yogurt Coupon, Office Supplies and More

numi organic tea set

Walton Mountain Museum Earl Hamner Jr. HouseI know today is Valentine’s Day and everyone is suppose to be all love struck and über happy but last night I learned Ralph Waite {John Boy’s Dad} from the Walton’s died. He was 85.

Last fall I visited “Walton’s Mountain” and the Walton Mountain Museum I was struck by how much I loved that show, the characters and just the overall sense of family values the Walton’s portrayed. :( :( :(

RIP John Walton.

Mavis

free kindle booksAvailable Kindle Books I think are cool…

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

cranberry shortbread cookies recipeIn honor of Valentine’s Day today I think I’ll make a batch of The HH’s favorite Cranberry Shortbread Hearts. Not only are they simple to make, but they taste great dunked in tea. 😉 Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

traverse-bay-fruit-co-dried-cranberries-4-pound-boxAmazon has my favorite Traverse Bay Dried Cranberries on sale! Get the 4 pound box for only $17.99 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

deals on office suppliesDon’t miss these deals on home office supplies:

maidenform bra saleIf you are in need of some new bras Maidenform is having a $15 Bra Sale. I’ve ordered from Maidenform in the past and they’ve got a great selection and fast shipping!

diy bunting for bannersBuild your own Bunting or Banners for only $3.99 with a DIY Kit from Jane.

amazon grocery dealsAmazon Grocery Deals

eye glass repair kitI just ordered this Eyeglass Repair Kit for $2.61 to fix my sunglasses! If you wear glasses it might be a good idea to have one of these on hand.

american flagAmazon has this 3’x5′ Made in the USA American Flag on sale for $10!

fun ear budsHave you seen these über cool ear buds? They are sooo cute! And, there are 18 different styles to choose from {I have the gnomes of course}.

coffee coupons

Drink coffee? Here are a few coupons:

backpacker magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Backpacker Magazine for only $4.50 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 2/14/14 at midnight EST.

numi organic tea setKnow someone who likes tea? Groupon has the Numi Organic Artisan’s Tea Blending Kit on sale for $27.99 shipped. This would make a great gift.

Great Wolf LodgeAmazon Local has some great deals on Great Wolf Lodge right now.

stonyfield yogurt coupons

 

Print a coupon good for $0.80 off (1) Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Quart

Find More Printable Coupons

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Cilantro Lime Rice

cilantro lime rice recipe

cilantro lime rice recipe
A few simple ingredients and your rice just went from blah to awesome. And if you’re a fan of Chipotle or Cafe Rio, you’re going to want to go gather those ingredients and put this on your menu tonight. I love it when a recipe this easy turns out this good. You can pair it with pretty much any Mexican dish on the planet. It just gives the rice a little extra kick of flavor. I’m never going back to just plain rice now.

cilantro lime rice

Ingredients

2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

Toss ingredients in a rice cooker and hit the white rice button. See I told you it was easy!

If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can bring the water to a boil, and then stir the butter and rice into the water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Then stir the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro into the cooked rice just before serving.

What does this recipe tell you? That a rice cooker is way awesome and saves you so much time!

Check out my favorite rice cooker:

Aroma Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

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12 Goals for the New Year – Week 7 of 52

passport

I came up with 12 goals I’d like to accomplish this year with the hopes of being able to cross one off my list per month to make them more manageable. I thought a great way to hold myself accountable to the things I want to accomplish this year would be to do a weekly update.

After all, we all need a little help staying motivated sometimes. Here’s how I am doing so far:

mavis butterfield1. Clean, de-clutter and organize my entire home in 30 days or less. Done!

I cleaned my closet, decluttered my bathroom, organized my office, gutted the garage, and tackled the laundry room. And now, because I am a freak and cannot sit still, my next project is painting the trim on our house. Giddy up! Can we get three cheers for ADHD please?

old jeans2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house. Well, I tried them on yesterday. Should I end it there? Okay, so yes I tried the pants on, and yes I can button them. However, it’s not a pretty sight {think major muffin top}.So my goal this week is to walk 100,000 steps {HOLY COW MAN} recording them on my handy dandy pedometer along the way. That’s 14K + steps a day. We’ll see if I can do it.

passport3. Travel. – I pulled out my passport the other day for my upcoming trip with The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and noticed I only have 2 blank pages left!!!! How freakin’ cool is that? My passport expires in 2015 and I think I may have to order a few additional pages before renewing it. Wahoooooo! Sandra Bullock would be so proud!

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing. It’s not going to happen, is it? I might as well cave in right now and find some cool jammies and stock up on Kleenex and Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream.

bad teeth5. Get 3 new teeth. 😉 – Looks like everything will be healed up by May. Gee I can’t wait to shell out the price of a used car for some teeth. Dreams really do come true.

6. Pay off my car. – Workin’ on it. Here’s a dorky video from our trip through Europe when we picked it up.

rug hooking wool

7. Finish a primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Instead of doing any actual rug hooking last week, I instead ordered a bunch of wool. It seems the rug hooking bug has bitten me again and I know have 4 projects going all at once.

fail8. Family Day. Do one thing together as a family every Sunday. – Major fail last week. I have no excuse.

9.  Secret Plan #1 – Still working on it.

10. Secret Plan #2

11. Secret Plan #3

basket weaving Colonial Williamsburg, Va12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. The more I look into actually living in Colonial Williamsburg the more I am thinking it might not be such a good idea after all. I had no idea there were so mnay rules!

mavis butterfield13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. Now that the snow has all melted I can get a few projects finished. Next on the list, clear out the garden beds alongside the greenhouse.

So there you have it, my goals for the new year.

How about YOU? How are your 2014 goals coming along?

~Mavis

P.S. YES, I know I wrote down 13 goals. I’m fairly certain I won’t be able to attain one of them. {gee, I wonder which one?} :) But I wanted to add it in there anyway because I believe in miracles. 

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What’s In My Food – How Pre-Packaged Shredded Cheese Is Made

How Pre-Packaged Shredded Cheese Is Made

How Pre-Packaged Shredded Cheese Is Made

You know those little packages of pre-shredded cheese?  Did you know that in order to keep the cheese from clumping, food manufacturers have to add cellulose?  No biggie, right?  Except what exactly is cellulose?  It’s basically broken down plant fibers {including sawdust}. I guess that explains why that cheese has such a drastically different and non-sticky texture from a brick of freshly shredded cheese.

How Pre-Packaged Shredded Cheese Is Made

Cellulose is actually in quite a few different foods, like ice cream to improve creaminess, and in baked goods as a calorie-reducing filler.   The FDA considers is naturally derived, so it’s even allowed in organic food.

Isn’t it crazy what we will do to food to make it more convenient?  Aw well, I guess a little extra fiber in the diet never hurt anyone, right?

~Mavis

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