How to Plan an Affordable Girls’ Weekend Getaway

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I love going places with The Girl, Monkey Boy, and the HH, but every once in awhile, I love a good Girls’ Weekend too.  It’s a chance to laugh and be silly, without having to be “mom”.  For me, it doesn’t necessarily have to be far, it just needs to be a chance to get together and chat, share good food, and explore without any responsibilities.

I know, as a mom, it’s a luxury to get a weekend away–and planning it in a way that is affordable is key.  Also, planning together goes a long way to making sure each person gets what they need/want out of the trip.

Here’s a couple of tips/things to keep in mind if you are planning a Girls’ Getaway:

  • To keep things on the cheap, think of ways you can split costs.  Look for locations that you can drive to and share to the cost of gas.  Rent a condo and split the cost–plus, then you can cook, and save money too.  Somehow, cooking with girlfriends never seems like work.  {Better yet, it’s the perfect time to start fasting for clarity–it will save you tons.  Ha.}
  • Even just a night in a local hotel can seem like a getaway–make it a grown-up slumber party, complete with treats, movies, magazines, and judgment {kidding!}.  Make sure to freeze the bra of the first on to fall asleep–it’s a slumber party requirement.
  • Spend the afternoon sitting by the hotel pool, just in the name of catching up with no place else to go.  Plus, people-watching with girlfriends is always more amusing, I don’t know about you, but my friends are very insightful.
  • After you have decided on a destination, cost, date, etc. assign each person one task.  Someone can be in charge of hotel reservations, someone else can handle transportation, local restaurants or food plans, entertainment, etc. {I like to be in charge of assigning assignments.}
  • When choosing a location, think about all of those places/sites you might like to go, but your family would never be interested.  Girls’ trips are the perfect time to explore new places you might not get to go otherwise.  This might, in fact, be your chance to see the world’s biggest ball of yarn–don’t pass it up.
  • Book Club car rides.  {I know, I know, nerd alert}  Seriously, though, get a book on CD for long car rides–listen to it, and book club it afterwards.  It makes car rides go soooo much faster.  And it makes you feel quite intellectual and self-satisfied.
  • Be flexible.  If it really is just the company you want, check out what Groupon and Living Social have going.  You might be able to score an awesome deal to a place you never would have considered going.  {Mark be spontaneous and adventurous off your list.  Check and check.}

Do YOU do Girls’ Getaways?  What are some of the places you’ve gone?

~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.



Has Anyone Tried Using Hair to Keep Squirrels and Deer out of Your Garden?

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How to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

My friend Heather, who writes the East Coast Edition of gardening chores for me, recently posted about using hair to deter deer, bunnies, and squirrels from entering your garden.  While she combed {pun intended} the streets looking for salons that would slip her a little free human hair, I jumped onto professor google to see if this was a common pest control method and I’d just been living in a bubble.  Turns out, you can totally call me bubble girl.

Add hair to your garden to keep deer out of your yard.

Critters cannot stand the smell of human hair, so sprinkling a barrier of hair clippings around your garden, or lightly working it into the soil when you plant bulbs, apparently does have some merit.  The whole thing  kind of makes me laugh.  It never occurred to me that we are the ones that stink.

As I did a little more poking around, I found out that using hair in the garden can be pretty temporary, but no solid information on what temporary actually means.  (Hair apparently loses its smell after a bit–which is comforting to know that we get less smelly with time. :)

So, it made me wonder, do any of you use hair as pest control?  Does it work?  How often do you have to, um, well, reapply?  Will Monkey Boy and the HH have to commit to a buzz cut every summer?

~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.

Dumpster Driving Across Europe to Protest Food Waste

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food waste pictures

Have you heard of Baptiste Dubanchet?  I hadn’t until I found an article about him on treehugger.com.  He’s a French guy that has decided to ride his bike from Paris to Warsaw, Poland eating only what he can find by dumpster diving, eating local restaurant cast-offs, and what is given to him by strangers.  He’s doing it all in an effort to raise global awareness about food waste.  The food he’s eating isn’t what you’d think either, it’s perfectly good day old bread, packaged produce, etc.

food waste

What a cool idea to bring awareness to the global food waste program. Every year, it’s estimated that we throw 50% of our food away.  50%!  That means that all of the water, gas, and resources used to grow the food goes to waste too.  Dubanchet, a 25 year old educated in sustainable development, could no longer stand to see the food go to waste, particularly after a trip to South America, South East Asia, and Tahiti, where people do not have access to the over-abundance the 1st world countries do.

He wanted to show that we import food like rice from these countries, thereby driving the prices up for its own people, and then we end up throwing HALF of it away.  Dubanchet plans to stop at schools along the way to educate students on the ramifications of food waste.  If you are interested in following his journey, you can check out his website.  Remember to hit the translate button at the top right of the screen {unless they speak French ;) }

The European Parliament has named 2014 The European Year Against Food Waste.  The problem is totally a global one, though, so I think we should get on board. What do you think, have YOU ever eaten anything out of a dumpster {or something destined for the dumpster}? If not, would you?

~Mavis

Photos lafaimdumonde2014.com

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, Racer Back Tanks, Kashi Coupons, Rio Beach Sun Shelter and More

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canadian mounted police

We are back from Canada and man oh man did we have a great time. I can’t believe it took us so long to finally go there but WOW, what a beautiful city. There were flowers EVERYWHERE. I must have snapped at least 100 pictures of flower boxes alone. ;)

Have a great Tuesday everyone, it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day,

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 63% or More Off Schlage Camelot Keypad Deadbolt

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

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

bungee iPhone cords

Jane has these super cool 10 FOOT BUNGEE IPHONE CABLE-IPHONE 4 AND 5 Cords for just $3.99. Perfect for teens and hipsters.

deals on french toast uniformsIf your kids wear uniforms to school be sure and check out the big French Toast Uniform Sale going on over at Zulily today. Tons of styles for both boys and girls to choose from. New to Zulily? Go HERE to sign up then HERE to get this deal.

Hot-Water-Bath-Canning-Tutorial

New to canning? Be sure and check out my Hot Water Bath Canning Tutorial for all the tips and tricks you’ll need to can jams, jellies, and pickles this summer. workout tanks

Groupon has a 3-Pack of Women’s Performance Racerback Tops for $19.99 and there are several colors combinations to choose from.

Rio Beach Portable Sun Shelter

Headed to the beach this summer or looking for a little shelter from the sun while camping? Amazon has the Rio Beach Portable Sun Shelter on sale for $34.65 shipped and the reviews on it a great!

Cosco play yardHeaded to a baby shower soon? Amazon has the Cosco Juvenile Funsport Play Yard on sale for $39.37 shipped.

If you have little ones or if you’re looking for the perfect gift for an Elmo-obsessed child, check out this deal: score Elmo’s Learning Adventure  for only $3.99 SHIPPED!

The Elmo’s Learning Adventure Package will include 3 hardcover storybooks with Sesame Street characters, 3 Activity Books with fun activities, 18 Adventure Cards and a flip-top Storage Box! Plus get two added bonuses if you order today: FREE Shipping and the FREE Adventure Card Box perfect for keeping all your child’s Adventure Cards neatly organized. Head on over and get your Elmo Learning Adventure Pack HERE!

new balance baseball tees

6pm has New Balance Team L/S Raglan Tee (Big Kids) on sale for $6.99 shipped! These would be great for back to school.

automobile magazineDiscount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Automobile Magazine for only $4.50 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 7/8/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

how to bake a perfect cake

Need some tips on How to Bake the Perfect Cake to bring to your next BBQ or summer gathering? Get my tips HERE or Pin it for Later.

kashi cereal

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.

Fast and Easy Peach Freezer Jam

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easy peach freezer jam recipe

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you pretty much know I LOVE canning. Seriously, I could move to an island where all they did was can all day, and I would be totally happy.

Just give me  a little sugar, some fruit and a couple of jars and I’m good. But sometimes I don’t always have time to whip out the canner and go through the whole hot water bath canning process so I cheat and make freezer jam instead.

This peach freezer jam took all of about 10 minutes to make. It was that easy! I kid you not.

So what are you waiting for? Go find some peaches and make some jam.

fresh peaches

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 1/3 cups of sugar
4 tablespoons Ball Real Fruit Instant Pectin

peach freezer jam

Directions

Place your peeled, pitted and chopped peaches in a blender and puree {or with a potato masher} and set aside.

peach freezer jam recipe

In a separate bowl, stir the sugar and pectin together. Slowly add fruit and whisk together for 3 minutes until all the ingredients are incorporated.

easy peach freezer jam

Pour peach jam mixture in to freezable containers making sure to leave at least 1/2 inch headspace to allow for the liquid to expand once in the freezer. Let jam stand 30 minutes before placing containers in the freezer.

This recipe makes 8 cups of peach freezer jam.

blue jam cookbook
A few of my favorite canning books:

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook
Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Put ‘em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide
Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen

See More of my Canning Recipes HERE

Need a canner? I used the Granite Ware 11-1/2 Quart Covered Preserving Canner with Rack. And if you need a tool kit, I use one similar to this one.

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.

Monthly Garden Chores – July

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Monthly Garden Chores - July

Holy cannoli’s people… can you believe it’s July already? This year is flying by and the weather here in Western Washington has been perfect for gardening lately. Hot and muggy pretty much sums it up if you ask me. ;)

We are almost done harvesting strawberries for the season and are looking forward to the next best thing… RASPBERRIES. Wahooo! Gardening is rad, isn’t it?

cabbage seeds

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

  • Broccoli Raab {time to get ready for the fall garden!}
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cauliflower

See the full list of seeds I’ll be planting this year

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

Everything is already outside this month.  I plan on just watering and watching it all grow. :)

bucket of raspberries

What I plan to Harvest This Month

  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Beans
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Baby Red Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Sun Gold Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

sun gold tomatoes

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs should be pretty low maintenance this month, other than needing a bit more water.  All trees and shrubs benefit from deeper, less frequent waterings, rather than a daily light sprinkle.  Watch for pests, fungus, and diseases this month and stop them before they take hold.  Mulching is important this month.  It will help your plants deal with the stress of the heat.

slugs eating cabbage

Weed and Pest Control

Weeding is especially important this month, because weeds will compete in your garden beds for valuable nutrients.  Continue to keep an eye on pests, especially on the tomatoes.

lawn mowing tips

Lawn Care

Try raising the blade on your mower this month.  The longer cut grass will protect the roots of the grass from the heat.

These garden chores are based on my Zone 8a Seattle/Tacoma WA location. Find your garden zone HERE.

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

How to Dye a Comforter Set Using a Front Load Washing Machine and Rit Liquid Dye

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How to Dye a Comforter Set Using Rit Liquid Dye

About 9 years ago I picked up 2 comforter sets from Pottery Barn for a screaming bargain. One for our bedroom and one for The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird.

dyeing a comforter with rit liquid dyd

Fast forward to 9 years later and my daughter is no longer into the whole lime green and white color scheme anymore so I decided to try and dye it using Rit Liquid Dye rather than trying to sell it at our next garage sale for $20 bucks. I wasn’t totally convinced it was going to work but I took the plunge …. and I’m so glad I did.

Front Load Washing Machine and Rit Liquid Dye

For this experiment I used 6 bottles of Rit Liquid Dye and settled on Denim Blue Dye.   There was 1 queen sized comforter and 2 shams {the comforter weighed 7 pounds and the shams 1.5 pounds each}.  Rit does not recommend dying more than 8 pounds at a time, so I split it them all up.   I was nervous about if this was going to work or not, so I dyed 1 sham with 1 bottle of dye first and it worked brilliantly so I continued dyeing the rest of the pieces.  It was a total up-cycle.

Front Load Washing Machine and Rit Liquid Dye

To dye the set, first I washed the quilt and 2 shams thoroughly and let them dry.

Like I said, I started with one sham.  I followed the directions to a T, since I’d never done it before.  I started by wetting the sham in hot water and then put it in the machine, carefully laying it in there so that the fabric wasn’t wrinkled as best I could.  I set the water to hot and picked a cycle I knew would last longer than 30 minutes {if you don’t have that option, you’ll want to stay close by reset the wash cycle a couple of times}.

Dye a Comforter Set Using a Front Load Washing Machine and Rit Liquid Dye

Before pouring the dye, I shook the bottle to mix it well.  Then, I carefully poured the dye into the detergent dispenser.  The dye can potentially stain plastic parts of your washer, so RIT recommends flushing the dispenser with 4 cups of HOT water after adding the dye {I didn’t have any problems though}.

After about 10 minutes, I added a mixture of 1 cup dissolved salt and 4 cups HOT water into the dispenser.  That was the directions for dyeing cotton–if you are dying silk or nylon, you want to use vinegar instead of salt.  Again, I flushed the dispenser with another 4 cups of hot water.

Rit Dye Front Loader Quilt{Before going into the dryer}

Then, I just let the washing machine do all of the work.  After the cycle was over, I repeated the process for the other sham.  Then, I tackled the comforter, using the exact same method, only with the comforter, I used 4 bottles of Rit.

Front Load Washing Machine and Rit Liquid Dye quilt{All dry!}

When it was all said and done, I tossed everything into the dryer and worked on cleaning the washing machine by running 2 cups of bleach through the hottest cycle possible with a couple of old towels in the machine {just like the bottle suggested}.  It worked great and my washing machine looks none the worse for wear.

How to Dye a Comforter Set Using a Front Load Washing Machine and Rit Liquid Dye

The comforter set looks brand new!  And, the whole thing cost me under $25.  Now, I am combing my house looking for other items to dye.  It might become a problem. :)

Have you ever dyed anything with Rit Dye before?

Mavis wants to know!

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 I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 26 of 52

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QFC Shopping trip

QFC $13.11

QFC had some great deals this week including a Buy 6 and Save special so I went ahead and picked up pasta for $.49 a box, Ragu pasta sauce for $1.49 a jar and Minute Maid orange juice for just $1.99 a bottle. Those are some pretty good prices if you ask me.

I also snagged a whole chicken and made 2 dinners out of it. 1 roasted chicken dinner and a pot of homemade chicken soup the next night. :)

red cherries

Albertsons $6.63

Cherries! I couldn’t resist!! Luckily I won’t be shelling out too much money for fruit this summer because our raspberry and blueberry patches are loaded but cherries and peaches? Heck ya I’m going to grab them when I find a good deal.smith brothers farm

Smith Brother’s Milk Delivery – Sponsored

Milk. It does a body good. ;) Having milk delivered is AWESOME, there’s no doubt about it and luckily we are in an area where we can get it delivered to our doorstep once a week from a local farm. Pretty stinkin’ rad if you ask me.

How about you? How did you do at the stores this week?

Now that summer is in full swing, are you going to the grocery store less and less because of all the yummy fruits and vegetables you’re harvesting from you garden? If so, what are you harvesting this week?

Mavis wants to know.

Total Spent This Week $19.74
Total Spent This Year $930.62
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $38.98

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

Smith Brothers Farms Logo

One Hundred Dollars a Month is proudly sponsored by Smith Brother’s Farms, my family’s favorite milk. Check out their website HERE and learn about the over 100 top quality products Smith Brothers Farms can deliver to your porch box.

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, Kitchen Tools, Born Sandals, Coupons, Science Deals for Kids and More

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mavis butterfield sheila the rock

Good morning from Victoria B.C.! The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird, her bff Pocahontas and I got up at the crack of dawn to make the 2 hour drive to catch the Coho Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria yesterday and so far we are having a blast. We even brought our pet rock Shelia along. ;)

Yesterday day we logged almost 10 miles walking around the city and were headed off to do the same today. We LOVE this city!!!

Have a great day everyone and I’ll tell you all about it when we get back.

Mavis

deals on make up

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 45% Off Select Beauty Products

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

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

deals on kitchen toolsHere are a few deals on Kitchen Tools:

make-your-own-hummingbird-nectar

Did you know it’s super duper easy to make you’re own hummingbird nectar? Find out how to make this DIY Humming Bird Nectar HERE. Find more cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board.

Born Tai Sandals

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Woman’s Born Tai Sandals $46.73

tide-laundry-detergent-picIs your washing machine working overtime washing all those beach towels? Hurry and print a coupon good for  $1.50 off ONE (1) Tide Detergent before they run out.

science deals

Do your kiddos like science? Here are a few educational deals:

popular science magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Popular Science Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 7/7/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

How-to-Make-Homemade-Peanut-Butter2

This homemade peanut butter recipe is freakin amazing. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more recipes on my Pinterest Recipe Board.

keurig machine

Groupon has the Keurig Vue V600 Brewing System with 58 Assorted V-Cups on sale for $99.99 shipped right now. Amazon is selling the same machine without the cups for $115 shipped.

party favors

Having a party this summer? Here are a few deals on party favors:

angel soft

Get 48 Double Rolls of Angel Soft Toilet Paper for just $19.84 shipped when you clip the $1.00 off coupon and use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

international delight iced coffee

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.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 26 of 52

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menu plan ideas

Even though I don’t make a weekly menu plan, I still love the idea of having a bunch of recipes right in front of me to choose from. Here are a few recipes from my recipe collection I thought you might like:

Raisin-Bran-Muffins-recipe

Breakfast Ideas 

Raisin Bran Muffins - Regularity, my friends.  Regularity.  {Pin for Later}
Vanilla Pear Coffee Cake - Cake in the title.  What more could you want.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Scones – I like these because you can personalize them with your favorite jams.  {Pin for Later}
Chocolate Crepes with Bananas – If you have summer guests headed your directions, trust me, these will wow them.  {Pin for Later}

Slow Cooker Pear & Ginger ApplesauceSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Brown Sugar – Have kids on swim team or some other early morning summer activity?  This is the perfect solution to a healthy breakfast that is ready when you wake up.  {Pin for Later}
Chili Verde Soup - This is soooo yummy.  Throw some salty tortilla chips on the side and you will have a happy, happy belly.  {Pin for Later}
Slow Cooker Pear & Ginger Applesauce – This makes an awesome mid-day snack.  Let the kids put a dollop of whipping cream on the top and call it dessert.  {Pin for Later}
Freezer Meal Breakfast Burritos – These are awesome for camping.  Make ‘em at home and then throw them in the cooler to warm up in the mornings.  {Pin for Later}

Tuna Salad Recipe with Lemon, Cucumbers and CarrotsSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Tuna Salad w/Lemon, Cucumbers and Carrots – This is awesomely light and scrumptious on a hot day.  {Pin for Later}
Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Walnuts – If you don’t love beets, seriously, try this recipe.  It just might change your mind.  {Pin for Later}
Pasta Salad with Green Beans, Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers – This is another light weeknight meal that is sure to please.  {Pin for Later}
Butternut Squash with Spinach and Pasta – I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and it has quickly become a staple in our house as a yummy main dish.  {Pin for Later}

sun dried tomatoesCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp – Nothin’ more summer timey than apple crisp.  {Pin for Later}
Sun Dried Tomatoes – Tomatoes are starting showing up in the stores {ones that are actually ripe} and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to use up all of those you are growing :)  {Pin for Later}
Creme Brule – Creme Brule on a summer’s day.  It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?  {Pin for Later}
Grilled Peaches – These smell AMAZING on the BBQ, and they taste even better.  They are a dessert all by themselves.  {Pin for Later}

apricot jam recipeCanning Recipe of the Week

Apricot Jam – I love this jam–it’s sweet and delicious, and you don’t have to deal with any seeds.  {Pin for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Looking for more recipes? Check out my recipes boards on Pinterest

Also, be sure to check out:

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