It’s Officially Flu Season – How to Kill Cooties and Beat the Flu

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How to Kill Cooties and Beat the Flu

Flu season has hit our area with a vengeance, and quite frankly, I am not in the mood to lay in bed with the spins and aches {though, just laying in bed all day is not off the table :) }.  I’m officially kicking off Project Stop the Flu {working title} around here…which short of stopping all human contact, usually insulates us pretty well.  If you are looking to de-cootie your house and hopefully your life, here are a couple of easy tips to keep the flu at bay:

  1. De-germify your house.  Get a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol {yes, your house will temporarily smell like a hospital} and a clean rag.  Go for the things that get touched the most–doorknobs, television remotes, etc.  Spray the clean towel and then wipe down the offender {that way, if it is electronic, you don’t douse it with liquid}.
  2. Wash sheets and bedding more regularly.  If your bedding allows, go for a hot setting.
  3. Remember to replace toothbrushes if someone in the house does come down with the flu.  Also, I like to get everyone their OWN tube of toothpaste this time of year.  It seems a little excessive, but seriously, you put the brush in your mouth everyday, then you rub it up against a community toothpaste…not good.
  4. Again, if someone does get sick in the house, empty garbage regularly.  Those used tissues are like little ticking time bombs every time  you add to the garbage.
  5. This probably goes without saying, but wash hands more frequently.  It’s actually shocking how much our hands get near our faces.  Keeping them germ-free might leave you chaffed, but at least you will have your ability to breathe and stand upright intact.
  6. Avoid being in confined spaces with sickies.  You are most likely to get the flu from human to human contact.  Sneezes, touches, etc.  So, courteously decline invites from friends who have been sick within the past 24-48 hours.  It’s war against cooties, here people, it’s not personal.
  7.  When you are in public or at the office, think about all of those touchy sorts of places–elevator buttons, keyboards, etc.  Try not to touch your face after you’ve been touching communal supplies.
  8. Insulate yourself from the inside out.  Up your nutrition game, get plenty of sleep, and if possible, de-stress often.  The flu can sense a weakened body…like a lion smells fear :) .

That’s about the best you can hope to do, I think, unless you are going to go into a strict quarantine scenario.  How do you keep flu cooties away?

~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 Mail – Melissa From Southern California Sends in Her Garden Photos

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden next summer. Keep them coming!

~Mavis

This week we get a peek at Melissa’s amazing garden in Southern California.

growing squash in southern california

Hi Mavis, I love your blog.My husband and I have been married for 41 years and we have always gardened, even when we lived in a trailer in TX while going to college.

growing pole beans with lattice

We have lived in Southern California {right by Disneyland} since 1978 and a year later we bought a house and started a garden. We have a HUGE compost pile that has been really helpful in amending our sandy river bed soil.

bunny eating cabbage leaves

We had indoor bunnies for pets for 12 years and the litter box contents were great for the compost and also to spread directly on the garden.

braided onions

We keep meaning to get chickens but have decided that traveling is more important to us than chickens. :)

squash spreading over the patioThe birds and bees love our backyard because of the garden and our fruit trees and because we are organic (except when the basil is still young – we would never have basil if we didn’t apply Sevin once or twice).

Every year I plant a basil plantation, from seed or pony packs from Lowe’s, and make pesto to eat, share, and freeze.

All the Best,
Melissa

purple flowering bush

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com. Go  HERE for the official rules.

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, KitchenAid Artisan Mixer $259.99, Hot Wheels, Idina Menzel, Recipes and More

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Mornings-with-Mavis1

Well hello there…

Tile guy comes today to place the kitchen tile and to grout The Girl’s Bathroom… I’m so excited! I’ll post a picture on my Instagram page later today when it’s finished so you can see. Wahooo it’s the weekend. Do you have any cool plans?

Happy Friday everyone,

Mavis

laptop deals

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 20% or More Off Select Laptops

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! :)

triple slow cooker

Amazon has the MaxiMatic Triple Slow Cooker on sale for just $35.99 shipped! Wowza that is a great deal. *Supplies are limited.

KitchenAid KSM150PSER 5-Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield

Amazon also has the KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Series Mixer with Pouring Shield on sale for $259.99 shipped {Red}. That is a HUGE savings!!!

LeapFrog LeapBand

Amazon has the LeapFrog LeapBand on sale right now for $24.99 and is available in pink, green and blue.

  • Experience the first activity tracker made for kids – LeapBand is fit made fun!
  • Preload LeapBand with 50 active challenges that get kids moving, like “Pounce like a lion!”
  • Parent controls on LeapFrog Connect make it easy to set play times, challenges and more.
  • Encourages active play, nurturing and healthy choices.
  • Ages 4-7 years

Check out the LeapFrog LeapBand HERE.

DIY-Dishwasher-Tablets-RecipeLooking to save a pretty penny? Make your own dishwasher tabs! These are easy to make, work great and cost a fraction of what you’d pay for name brand at the store. Find out How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Tablets. Find more homemade cleaner recipes and cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board.

mega bloks hot wheels

These Mega Blocks Hot Wheels Kits would make a great gift:

printable coupon

Print a coupon good for 50% off One regular priced Ace item under $30!

Omron 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

If you are trying to monitor your blood pressure or know someone who is, the Omron 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor has excellent reviews {over 4,000!}.

idina-menzel-holiday-wishes- cd

Indina Menzel’s new Holiday Wishes Album is out and it.is.awesome. Pair this with a bottle of wine or a pointsetta and you’ve got the perfect hostess gift in town. $10.99 for the CD of $8.99 for the MP3. Take a listen HERE.

sweat scarf

Get a 1 Year subscription to Glamour Magazine & Knit Scarf for just $12.95 Plus FREE  SHIPPING from Cents of Style. This will make for the perfect gift! The scarf comes in 5 colors and can actually be worn two ways, either oblong or as an infinity. The subscription is for 12 issues, 1 year, of Glamour Magazine, a great resource for style tips and tricks. Go HERE to get this deal.

beer making kit

Make you own Beer, Root Beer or Cheese at home with these DIY kits:

apple and eve juice

Learn About Amazon Subscribe and Save

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Walnuts

If you’ve never cooked sweet potatoes before, let this be the way you do it. These Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Walnuts compliment turkey so well. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

mountain hardware rain jacket

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Women’s Mountain Hardwear Pisco Rain Jacket $109.73 shipped {was $225}

target bedding sales

Target.com has all Bedding on sale today with savings at 40% off and there is a ton of cute stuff to choose from! Including the Biddeford Heated Microplush Leopard Throw.

natural health magazineFreebie Alert!!!

Enjoy a Free 1 year digital Natural Health subscription sponsored by JudysHealthySnacks. No strings attached. You’ll never receive a bill. Powered by Zinio. Read it on your computer, iPad or any Zinio enabled device.

striker-magnetic-light

 

This Striker Magnetic Light Mine Hands-Free Task Light  would make a great stocking stuffer.

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Would you like to know your credit score?

Credit Sesame is a free online personal finance tool that gives consumers an easy way to monitor and manage their credit and loans all in one place and save money on debt. Free credit monitoring AND $50K identify theft insurance in addition to a free monthly credit score. Credit Sesame provides consumers with free access to their credit score every month, analysis, advice and tools to take control of their finances, unlock their credit potential and borrow smarter. The greatest perk of Credit Sesame, it’s 100% Free! They don’t require a credit card, and there are no trial periods.

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Also right now Credit Sesame is offering a FREE $150 Gift Card if you refer 6 people to sign up with Credit Sesame with your referral link. {Find your referral link by simply clicking on your name in the top right corner of your account then select “Invite a Friend”.

Credit Sesame has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on The Today Show and CNNMoney.com.

Go HERE to find out your Credit Score for FREE!

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Check out these New Printable Coupons:

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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.

Food: The Largest Single Source of Food Waste in the U.S.

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Food The Largest Single Source of Food Waste in the U.S.

Did you know food is the largest single source of waste in the U.S.?  It’s no secret that I HATE food waste–it bugs me on so many levels, but I really had no idea that food was America’s largest single source of waste.  According to an NPR article I found, food makes up 20% of the waste that ends up in our landfills.  That’s more than paper or plastic.  If 20% doesn’t seem too bad to you, the article puts it in a more tangible number–that’s over 35 million tons a year.  35 million tons of largely unnecessary waste.  And, it all gets thrown into the same bins {unless you live in an area that provides compost bins, which very few places do}, so sorting through it to convert it into usable energy is a pretty monumental task.

leftovers

I thought I had a pretty good handle on food waste around here, but have you ever stopped to measure how much of your weekly waste comes from food?  One family in Iowa decided to do just that, by scraping the uneaten portions of their meals into a compost bin and then weighing it.  In just a couple of days, they had 4 lbs. of waste–not even real waste, like “oooh, we didn’t get to the lettuce before it went bad waste,” but rather, excess food that was prepared and then not eaten.  I’ve never really considered this kind of food waste adding up like that.  I certainly have never been one of those moms that made my kids “clean their plate,” because I don’t really think we should eat past when we are full, but it did make me think that I could totally tweak how much I dish up on my plate in the first place in an effort to further reduce waste.

Compost

Composting has always been such a huge part of my garden.  So, I kind of thought that if for some reason we didn’t get to the food in time, I could always feed the garden with it.  And, we are really good about eating leftovers here at the Butterfield Casa, so no worries there.  Still, from here on out, I am going to pay closer attention to how much food gets scraped off of our plates and into the trash.  We will call it my space for improvement area. ;)

What do you think, could you do better at reducing food waste in your home?  How?

~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.

Freakin’ Awesome Pumpkin Butter

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pumpkin butter recipe

Fall is in full force–which means I’m obsessed with pumpkin everything around here.  I decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin butter, and let me tell you, I am not lying when I say that this stuff is like crack/cocaine.  You will literally be combing the streets for this stuff long after it is gone.  I wanted to give it away as gifts, but I think instead, I might just hoard it all and eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

small pumpkins

Ingredients

4 cups pumpkin puree {make pumpkin puree from scratch}
3/4 cup apple juice
1- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Awesome Pumpkin Butter recipe

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until thickened {between 20-40 minutes}.  Stir frequently.  Transfer mixture to jars and chill. {I use Weck Jars}  Store in the fridge until ready to eat or freeze for later use.

* The USDA and the National Center for Home Food Preservation do not recommend canning pumpkin butter

pumpkin butter 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.

Mavis’ Remodel Blog Day 51- Nearing the Finish Line

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painting with puggle dogs

I am happy to announce.. . I am FINISHED painting all the trim work in the kitchen. Holy canolies people, I thought I was going to die of a panic attack there for a while and call it quits and hire a painter to do it instead.

But I didn’t. I think the reason I took so long to get the job done was because I was afraid of any sign of a visible brush stokes on the wood trim. But then I came to the conclusion that it was OKAY. After all, the house is 20+ years old and saving $3,500 by not having a painter come in and paint the walls and trim with his sprayer was worth a few brush stokes here and there on my part.

But still, it was kind of stressful. Especially when you have a little helper… ;)

roman shades from the home depot

Moving on….

What do you think about these fabric roman shades for the two kitchen windows? I think they’re cool, the HH says they’ll get dirty. {One would be placed behind the cook-top and the other behind the kitchen sink}. I tried to explain they would be “rolled up” during the day time and not down when I was cooking be he still thinks they are a bad idea.

Maybe white wood blinds wood be a safer {read:boring} bet. What do you think? It’s not like I’m a messy cook or anything so I am not concerned about them getting dirty. But still popular opinion is king, right?

emser tile white

Unless of course we are talking about my Bounty Paper Towel patterned tile that will be installed tomorrow. ;) I know 85% of you liked the dark brown tile… but I like the off white patterned tile better. {Let’s hope there won’t be a THIRD tile, Ha!}

*For those of you wondering… Cameron the carpenter took all the brown tile we peeled off the wall {and the extra pieces still in the box}. He and his wife just bought their first home together so it will come in handy since they will be remodeling their entire house.

outdoor laundry line

And last but not least…

Not that I thought  it was possible because they are so much fun, but I like my sweet 85 year old neighbors just a little bit more than I did yesterday. When I went out this morning to snap a picture of my potted cabbage, I spied a CLOTHESLINE just behind our trees. What a bunch of rebels!!!!

I love it.

Take that HOA!

Have an awesome 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.

Free Kindle Books, KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment, Half Off Learning Resources Toys, Coupons, and More

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ipet egg bed

Lucy spent the entire day yesterday napping on the couch and later in your egg bed… poor thing. I think she’s feeling a little better this morning though. We’ll see how she does later when I take her for her morning stroll… if she tries to chase after the squirrels it will be a good sign.

Have a great Thursday everyone, stay warm out there and SMILE. :) :) :)

Mavis

Kitchen aid ice cream maker

 Hurry on this one!!!

Amazon has the KitchenAid  2 Quart Ice Cream Maker Stand Mixer Attachment on sale for $59.99 shipped! Wowie Zowie that is a great deal. My mother gave me one a gazillion years ago fro Christmas and I use it all the time to make homemade ice cream for my family. It’s AWESOME. See my KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment in action HERE.

educational toys

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 50% Off Select Learning Resources Toys and Games

Some of my favorites:

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! :)

hills bros cappuccino

These Hills Bros Cappuccino Mixes are great to have on hand around the holidays…

Learn About Amazon Subscribe and Save

leapfrog medical kit

Attention Target Cartwheel Shoppers…

If you’re headed to Target today you can save 50% off the LeapFrog Mobile Medical Kit with the new Cartwheel Offer. {Log into your Target Cartwheel account to view the offer}  Limit 1 item per guest. Item availability varies by store.

Homemade-Soft-Scrub

Anytime you combine baking soda and vinegar, you know that cleaner means business and will work wonders! Find out How to Make Your Own Soft Scrub. Plus, see more homemade cleaner recipes and cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board.

botanical interests free shipping

My favorite seed company, Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on all online orders over $50 through December 23rd, 2014. Sweey diggety! I’ll have to review my seed order from last year and see what I need for 2015. I know artichokes are at the top of my must buy list.  Shop Botanical Interests.

polka dot scarf

These polka dot scarves would make a great last minute gift!!!

Martha Stewart Magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Magazine  for only $9.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 11/20/14 at midnight EST.

Butternut-Squash-Spinach-and-Pasta

One of my very favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Ever. Pretty please make this Butternut Squash with Spinach and Pasta. I bet your whole crew will gobble it up too {hee hee}. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

REI Stoke 29 Pack

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - REI Stoke 29 Pack $49.73 {was $99.50}

Fisher Price Little People Toys

Amazon has some great deals on Fisher-Price Little People Toys:

purex printable 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.

Grandmas Cherry Cola Jello Salad Recipe

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Cherry Cola Jell-O Salad

I grew up eating my grandmother’s jello salad creations at every holiday meal and they were awesome.  In fact I’m fairly certain she had stock in Kraft Foods because I don’t remember ever sitting down to a meal without some sort of jello salad on the table. This recipe for cherry cola jello salad is my all time favorite though and it’s perfect alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

Cherry Cola Jello Salad Recipe

Ingredients

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 can cherry pie filling
1 {20 oz} can crushed pineapple
1 large box cherry Jell-o
1 cup cherry cola {I used cherry Pepsi}

Cherry Cola Jello Salad Recipe

Directions

Pour cherry Jell-o into a large glass or ceramic serving dish and set aside.

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add pie filling, stir and bring back to a boil. Carefully pour hot liquid over gelatin and stir until it is all dissolved. Add pineapple and cola. Stir well. Refrigerate until set.

Serve alongside turkey instead of cranberry sauce or as a dessert with a little whipping cream.

Looking for more dessert recipes? Check out my Dessert Recipe Index or my Dessert Board on Pinterest.

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.

10 Tips For Teenage Babysitters

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10 Tips For Teenage Babysitters

When the kids were little, it seemed like just finding a teenager to babysit the kids for a couple of hours was a triumph.  First, you had to know their parents…and then feel comfortable about the kind of house they were coming from.  You also had to get a teenager who was actually available to watch the little critters on the weekends–because it seemed like they all had an endless list of obligations that made playing Monopoly with my kids on a Saturday night seem like an scheduling nightmare.  Once, I did score a sitter both the kids and I like, though, I tried reaaaaaallly hard to make sure they wanted to babysit for us.   I stocked the fridge, I had kids bathed and in jammies…and I paid well.

Flashfoward 10 years, and The Girl started babysitting.  I never really thought about the whole babysitting gig from the teenagers perspective until The Girl took her first job.  They are kind of walking into the unknown–other people’s houses, with their rules, their kids, their everything.  Over the years, she became one of those babysitters that the kids loved and the parents adored.  She was responsible and  reliable.  What more could you ask for?  {I might be biased :) }  I think that had a lot to do with her learning what to ask and what to expect.  So, if you have a teenager about to start babysitting, here are a couple of tips for them:

  1. Make sure to ask about food.  Not just for you own munching pleasure, but for the kids.  Are they allowed to have a snack?  Have they had dinner?  If not, what would they like you to cook?
  2. Even after the kids go to bed, it doesn’t mean it’s time to pop in a horror movie.  Air on the side of caution, out of the respect for the unknown expectation of the family you are sitting for, and keep all television watching light and airy.
  3. Get a very clear understanding of the kids’ routines.  What time should the kids go to bed?  What is the bedtime routine–do they get a story, snack, etc?
  4. It’s absolutely okay to ask what time you can expect Mom and Dad home.  In addition, once you know, let your own parents know what time they can expect you home.
  5. It’s best to talk money BEFORE you babysit.  It’s awkward and hard at first, but if you say it right away, it usually goes better.  Have a number in mind.  For example, when Mrs. Smith calls to ask if you would be interested in babysitting this Friday, you can say, “Yes.  I charge $5/hour per child.  Does that work for you?”  Believe me, most adults are not put-off by a kid who seems to have their ducks in a row.
  6. As a general rule of thumb, just don’t answer the door or phone while babysitting.  {I am assuming you will have a cell phone, otherwise, you may have to answer the phone.}  It’s airing on the side of caution, and a black and white rule just makes life easier.
  7. Bring a pen and paper.  Write down the address and cell phone numbers of the parents.  Ask the parents if their is a neighbor they trust home–in case you need help.  It’s just best to have all of the information written down because in the event of an emergency, it will be hard to remember.
  8. Bring activities with you.  It’s what sets the really great babysitters apart.  It can be a craft, a board game, etc.  Make it age appropriate for the kids you are watching.  Trust me, it will make the time go by much faster too.
  9. Let the parent know if they are having you do something you aren’t comfortable with…like administering medication, or adding additional children than you originally thought {i.e. little Tommy invited a friend to spend the night…surprise!}
  10. Stay with the kids at all times.  Put away your phone, and give the kids your full and undivided attention until after they are asleep.  Afterall, that’s what you are getting paid for.

The Girl got busy her last years of high school and didn’t babysit much, so I must confess, I am not sure what the going rate is for a good sitter right now…maybe some of you can chime in and let any potential new sitters know what a fair rate might be?

~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.

And Then Lucy the Puggle Dog Barfed on the New Sofa

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cleaning couch cushions

Having a dog is a lot like having a 3 year old.

They follow you everywhere, whine when they’re bored, hungry, or want to go outside and they also throw up everywhere. Your car, bed, carpet, your brand new couch.

A lot people would flip out if this happened. But really, it’s just a couch. Yes, it’s a brand spankin’ new only been in our house 18 hours kind of couch, but still, at the end of the day, it’s just an object.  And I love my dog more than any object I could buy in a store.

Plus, it can be cleaned. The joy that Lucy the trouble puggle brings me is worth so much more than the little hiccups that happen along the way.

lucy the puggle dog

Stuff happens. If you let an animal or a person into your home, BE KIND. We all have bad days, and nobody is perfect.

Just keep that in mind next week when your relatives come over for Thanksgiving and they  break one of your favorite wine glasses, or one of their kids runs through your home at top speed with a fistful of markers.

~Mavis

*As I rounded the corner and noticed Lucy’s mess on the couch, I immediately thought of the passage in the Last Lecture Dr Pausch at around 6:07 minutes.

I first heard the talk a few years ago and since then the talk has really put a lot of things in perspective for me. It’s a great talk, and you should listen to the whole thing when you have the chance.

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel