How to Clean a BBQ Grill

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how to clean a BBQ

I love BBQ season.  The grill is like my summer crock pot.  I love it.  It doesn’t heat up the house, and it’s super simple to throw some marinated chicken and veggies onto the grill and have a meal in under 30 minutes.

I don’t know about you, but after a winter of sitting idle, my grill always needs a little cleaning.  If you have never really cleaned your grill before, here’s a couple of super simple steps to clean and maintain it and make sure your food doesn’t stick when you barbecue.

You’ll need:

  • Cooking Oil
  • A Small Bowl
  • Paper Towels {only 1 or 2}
  • Grill Brush
  • Long Tongs

First, heat the grill.  It’s way easier to clean this way, because it loosens all of those stuck on particles.  I usually let it warm up for 10-15 minutes before I start.

how to clean a grill

Once your grill is nice and hot, grab your grill brush and start scraping the burnt food from the grill.  {You can use wadded up aluminum foil if you don’t have a grill brush–but it doesn’t work quite as well.}  It’s best to scrape your grill each time you use it to avoid having to really put some elbow grease into it.

Now, put your cooking oil in your small bowl.  Dip a folded up paper towel into the bowl, using your tongs.  Allow the paper towel to become completely saturated with the oil.  Then, {still using the tongs} rub the oiled paper towel all over the grate, giving it  a really nice shine and nonstick coating.  Finally, allow the oil to sit under the heat for another 10 minutes or so before you add any food to the grill.

That’s it.  Easy, right?

Happy Barbecue Season,

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.



Maybe You Should Just Whip the Frosting Instead…

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frosting cupcakes

Yesterday was nuts. In fact, the next 24 hours are going to be nuts and there is nothing I can do about it. And that’s okay, because HOLY CANNOLI’S PEOPLE, we are heading down the homestretch. Only 20 more days to go until graduation, and it’s going to be an exhausting sprint to the finish line.

how to frost a lot of cupcakes

This is my friend Jennifer. {wink* wink} I’ve known her ever since our kids were in junior high and a few weeks ago during one of our volunteering sessions the conversation of cupcakes came up and she basically offered to help me bake and frost 600 cupcakes for a school function.

Obviously I said YES!!!

cupcakes

But after a few cupcakes it was decided that perhaps Jennifer’s true calling was whipping frosting. ;) Not that I do have OCD or anything, but some of us are just better and different things. Right?

mavis butterfield

Ahh Jennifer, if you are reading this I LOVE YOU. I think you are amazing person and I’m going to miss you next year when our kids graduate and I won’t get to hang out with you anymore. It’s been so much fun volunteering at the school these past few years with you. You are one fun lady.

Maybe we can take a cake decorating class together next fall or something. ;)

It’s sad isn’t it.

When our kids move on, so do we, and all those long hours spent helping out at our kids school and hanging out with other moms just sorta fades away.

Snif, Snif.

This whole moving on stuff is going to be harder than I thought.

~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.

Beautiful Raised Garden Bed Pictures from Austin, Texas

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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 this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out this story and pictures Jana from Austin, Texas sent in for a little garden inspiration:

rasied garden boxes backyard set up

Hi Mavis!

When I was first inspired by your gardening adventures, we lived in Hillsboro, OR. A year ago we moved to Austin, TX and one of my goals was to have a raised bed garden in the tiny backyard of our new house. My husband built this whole 20′ x 30′ “urban farm” in early March. I had started some plants from seed, some were bedding plants, some seeds were sown directly and we planted it all before St. Paddy’s Day. We have 21 tomatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, broccoli raab, snow peas, lettuce, corn, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, Blue Lake green beans, cilantro, basil and chives.

The growing season here is very different from the Pacific Northwest, some plants can be in the ground in January and the whole party is over by late June (too hot for most things by then). It is possible to squeeze in a second growing season starting in early fall, if you play your cards right.

Here is an overview of the six 4′ x 8′ beds and one 4′ x 4′ bed, all made from 2″x 6″ cedar with heavy duty landscape cloth on the bottom and a mixture of garden soil, compost, sand and riverbed soil. We are in a new neighborhood, so we recycled old survey stakes and built supports which can be used again next year for the tomatoes. I tied bamboo poles together to make teepees for the Oregon snow peas.

tomatoes growing in a garden box
These are Campari tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers and protective marigolds (I swear they and the ladybugs repelled a multitude of bugs). One day in March, on a whim, I took an egg carton, planted a tomato seed in potting soil in each cup (taken from my Costco Campari lunch tomato) just to see if they would grow. Lo and behold, they not only grew, they thrived and now we have 8 Campari’s with little tomatoes!

corn growing in a garden box
We have 27 white corn stalks. Today I saw the first corn silk on several plants, so we should have corn soon. The toughest thing about growing corn in a Texas spring was all the WIND. Several of the little corns were blown completely out of the ground and we’ve had to prop up some of the bigger plants after being blown over.

beans growing in a garden box
Jalapenos do very well in this hot, dry climate. This bed also has brussel sprouts (which I planted too late and will probably not get sprouts), Blue Lake green beans, which have tons of little beans on them and spinach, which has done well.

cabbage and onions growing in a garden box
This bed has cabbage, onions and carrots. You can see the 4″ x 4″ cedar posts my husband used in the corners of each raised bed for stability. He also screwed them together versus nailing as he wants them to last a long time!

huge tomato plants in garden boxes
These are the heirloom tomato plants. We have Ox Heart and Cherokee Purple. Also, there are 4 Italian Roma tomato plants, 1 Sun Gold and 1 Supersweet 100 cherry tomato, 4 New Girls, 2 Celebrity tomatoes and the 8 Campari’s. All of them are covered in flowers and there are mature tomatoes on each just turning red.
garden planter
Here is my garden craft project. I made this planter from the last bit of cement in the wheelbarrow when hubby was building something else. I used a shoebox, lining it with wet cement which I hollowed out, let cure and popped out of the cardboard after it had dried. Makes a nice, although rather shallow planter for English Daisies on the patio table.

Hope you find my garden interesting enough to use in your blog. Come visit Austin sometime. It is a blast and a world traveler like you would love it!

~ Jana

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

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.

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, Camping Deals, Dyson Vacuum, Fisher-Price Toys, Baby Legs and More

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orange flower varieties mornings with mavis

If you are a local, tune into A New Day Northwest on King 5 at 11am, I will will be sharing some cute DIY Garden Markers and a few staycation tips with Margaret Larson. I’ll post a video link on Facebook as soon as it’s available.

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

fisher price toy sale

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Save 40% on Select Mattel and Fisher-Price Toys

dyson vacuum

Groupon has the Dyson DC25 Multifloor Upright Ball Vacuum (Refurbished) on sale for $249 shipped {that’s half off the retail price} and check out all those cool colors there are to choose from!

10 Ways to Save Money on Camping Trips

Thinking about doing a little camping this summer? Be sure and check out my 10 Ways to Save On Camping post for some money saving tips. Get the tips HERE or Pin it for Later.

camping deals

Here are a few deals on Camping Essentials:

 

 

Peach Ginger Glazed Grilled Chicken

Thinking about grilling this weekend? Here’s my recipe for Peach Ginger Glazed Grilled Chicken. My son loves this recipe!

baby leggings

Free Baby Leggings - Just pay shipping

Click on “Shop Now” and select any 5 baby leggings you like!

Once you have made your selection, you’ll automatically be directed to the shopping bag. Enter the promo code “ENBABY” and 100% off the cost of your selected baby leggings – all you pay are the Shipping fees! {About $2.59 a pair}

FREEBIES-for-MomsDon’t forget to check out these other Freebies for Moms as well.

big-purse-organizerOrganize all your stuff with this Large Purse Organizer for just $3.40 shipped.

nine west heels

6pm has Nine West Heels on sale with savings up to 65% off plus FREE SHIPPING.

Simply Lemonade or Simply Limeade coupon

Print a coupon good for $0.75 off one Simply Lemonade or Simply Limeade

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.

Ground Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers

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Ground Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers

I made stuffed peppers with chicken once and the family gobbled them up, so I figured I would switch it up and try a different recipe. This one used ground beef instead, but it was just as big of a hit. I’m thinking we’re officially a stuffed pepper loving family. Now I’m off to think about what else I can shove into a pepper and call dinner…

green onions

Ingredients

1 cup cooked white rice
4 green onions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
1/2 pound ground beef {I used  Zaycon beef}
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 {4.5 oz} can chopped green chilies or 1 sweet pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup grated cheese {I used a blend of cheddar and mozzarella}
4 large sweet peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream {optional}

Ground Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers

Directions

Heat oven to 375 F.  In a large skillet, brown beef with scallion whites about 5 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Stir in rice, corn, beans, chilies, cumin, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and salt and pepper to taste

Place bell peppers, cut-side up, in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the dish. Scoop beef mixture evenly into the bell peppers and tightly cover the dish with foil. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until peppers are soft. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Top with sour cream and remaining green onions, and serve. Enjoy!

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.

Get Organized – Use Shower Curtain Rings to Store Scarves

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Use Shower Curtain Rings to Store Scarves

Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time for me to organize and put away some of the colder weather items.  Do you store your winter clothing completely from your summer clothing?

I don’t–but I do like to keep everything together, neat and tidy, so that when next winter rolls around, I can easily see and grab what I need.  I store all my scarves on a hanger using shower ring curtains.  Shower rings are super cheap, and then all of my scarves are lined up and off of the floor.

shower curtain rings

Just click the shower rings onto a hanger and then loop the scarf through.  Hang it up and secretly consider yourself more evolved than normal, unorganized humans.  Ha!

~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.

8 Garden Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android

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for iPhone, iPad and Android

Have you ever used apps to plan out your garden?  There are TONS out there, so it’s kind of hard to know which give  you the most bang for your buck.  I get questions all of the time about which app I prefer.

The truth is, I still like to plan it all out with a pencil and paper {and on days when I’m feeling really ambitious, I throw in a ruler}.

Still, I have friends who love their gardening apps.  They can pull it up and browse/plan while they are waiting at the doctor’s office or grab it right in the garden if they have questions.  I totally get the appeal of having a massive reference book all smooshed down into a handheld device, so I decided to do some surveys and research on which apps are worth looking into.

garden app pro

First, the Garden Plan Pro seems to get the best overall reviews.  It is a bit pricier at $7.99, but from what I can tell, it’s like the Holy Grail of gardening apps.  You can get it for iPhone, iPads, PC, or Mac.  You can set it up to give you planting reminders {which are tailored to your specific location}, design your garden, and choose your method {i.e. container, raised beds, etc.}.  It looks pretty darn cool, and it is the only one I found that the reviews seem overall really, really good.

mother earth news app

Mother Earth News has a gardening app that is FREE and seems to get pretty good reviews.  It is called Gardening Guide.  It is iPhone, iPad, and Android compatible.  It offers resources on crops like how and when to plant, how to prevent and/or treat pests and disease, etc.  Since you can’t beat the price, it seems like a pretty good bet, plus, it’s from a reputable resource.

The Landscaper’s Companion is another app that seems to show up over and over.  It is available on both iPhone and Android.  I like this one because it includes all types of gardening {not just edibles}.  Even if you are a vegetable gardener, incorporating flowers and other plants significantly improves the overall health of your garden.  This app is kind of like an encyclopedia.  You can look for plants with various search option {deer resistant, climate, water needs} and then find out everything you could possibly need to know to plant and grow them.  It even includes images of the plants, in case you are making decisions for purely aesthetic reasons.

For Android, the Garden Manager:  Plant Alarm gets pretty good reviews.  It allows you to set alarms for planting, watering, etc.  It also gets pretty good reviews on tracking houseplants.  I like that with this app, you can take pictures of your plants and compare them year to year, and as the season progresses.  Even after all of these years of gardening, sometimes my plants will start to brown or appear to be dying back, and I wonder, “Did this happen last year at this time?”  This app would help you essentially build a personal gardening picture journal.

garden tracker app

The Garden Tracker allows you to customize your planting/gardening to your size and location of plot.  It helps you track when to water, plant, harvest, and how to do it.  You can break up your garden into sections, like window boxes, patio planters, and raised beds.  It allows you to grid your garden, making sure you have the appropriate planting space, etc.  If only it could do the weeding too.

garden app

If you are looking for a simple app, that tells you when to plant, where to plant, and how to care for your veggie garden, go with the Vegetable Planting Calendar, it’s free for both iPad and iPhone users.  It’s a very basic reference guide, but comes in handy when you need a quick overview on how to care for your garden.

Gardenate is another option in the lower price points.  It allows you to schedule your planning around fully customized plant choices.  It tracks when you planted and gives a very general overview of each plant.

Finally, the Vegetable Gardening Guide, is more of a handheld reference book.  It is unique because it offers several reference pictures, general tips, and recipes for your harvested veggies.

How about you, do you use any must-have apps to plan your garden?

~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.

12 Goals for the New Year – Week 20 of 52

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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.

Home Office Organization Tips

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

1. Clean, de-clutter and organize my entire home in 30 days or less. – So far this year I have cleaned my closet, organized my kitchendecluttered my bathroom, organized my office, gutted the garage, and tackled the laundry room. Last week I pulled some weeds alongside the house and this week, well, we are so busy that just keeping up will be a challenge so I’m not going to worry about tackling any big projects.

cupcakes

2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house. – I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that when you have 600 cupcakes sitting on your kitchen counter, you’re probably going to eat a few {or nine}. :) All bets are off this week people. All bets are off.

Old Sturbridge Village New England Living History Museum

3. Travel.   So far this year The Girl and I have been to Boston, London, Paris and now Portland, OregonWe are thinking about heading to Maine for a week this summer. How cool would that be? So if you’ve ever been to Maine and you know of some good rentals or towns/ sites we should visit, let us know.

Fun Graduation Gift Idea, Water Bottle Full of Quarters

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing. – I’m keeping my mind off things by thinking up all sorts of fun gifts like this water bottle full of quarters for her for graduation. Stay tuned, I’m on a crafty streak. ;)

Mavis and the Case of the Crappy British Teeth Part 2

5. Get 3 new teeth. - I visited the oral surgeon last week and he says everything is coming along nicely. I’ve got one more appointment to go before I get the green light for teeth. :) Yee-Haw!

dog peeing in car

6. Pay off my car. Lucy was so excited on the car ride over to doggy daycare that see had a little accident. Leather seats, they’re the best, aren’t they?

primitive star hooked rug

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Hey Hey Hey, check it out. :) I’m almost done!! Maybe this week I’ll work on those two missing stars.

8. Family Day. Do one thing together as a family every Sunday. On mother’s day we all sort of lounged around {rested in our pj’s really} and then all came together for dinner around the kitchen table. :)

9.  Secret Plan #1 – Working on it. 

10. Secret Plan #2 Still plotting away. 

11. Secret Plan #3

red colonial home williamsburg

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. Oh happy day! I found a website with listings for Colonial Williamsburg. Checkout this one, ain’t she purty?

growing lettuce in containers

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. – Done! It’s pretty easy to spend an hour outside everyday when the weather is nice.

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. 

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, Freezer Pops, Nike Fuel Band, Slacklines, Freezer Pops, Recipes and More

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passion fruit flower

Happy Wednesday everyone. :) Here are a few deals I spotted for you during my morning cup of tea.

Have an AWESOME day!

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Roku LT Streaming Media Player

 

insulated lunch bag cooler

Amazon has this adorable Insulated Lunch Tote available for just $3.59 shipped.

chocolate fondue set

Amazon has the 3-Tier Chocolate Fondue Fountain on sale for just $29.59. This would be great for parties, graduation, and just plain fun!

amazon grocery deals

Here are a few Amazon Grocery Deals I spotted:

nike fuel band

Zulily has the Nike Fuel Band on sale today for only $78.99 shipped {sells for $93 on Amazon}. This is a fantastic deal and is available in black or white ice.

Nike+ FuelBand is the device that tracks your active life with NikeFuel— a universal way to measure movement for all kinds of activities, from walking to basketball to dance. Decide how active you want to be by setting a daily NikeFuel goal. Then, get moving and see your progress along the way. Nike+ helps you understand your activity patterns so you can do more!

New to Zulily? Go HERE to sign up. Already a Zulily member? Go HERE to get this deal.

perler beads

These bead kits are the perfect summer fun day activity:

 gibbon 90 geet slackline

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Gibbon Surfer Line Slackline Kit – 98 ft. / 30 meters $54.73 shipped

sneakers for little boys

6pm has PF Flyers Center Lo Sneakers {Little Kid/Big Kid} on sale for just $12.99 shipped.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Freezer Pops Recipe

With all the warm weather we’ve been having I think it’s time to start making freezer pops. This recipe for Strawberry Banana Smoothie Freezer Pops is one of my favorites! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

freezer pop molds PopsicleHere are a few of our favorite freezer pop molds:

Popsicle freezer pops recipesHere are a few recipe books to go along with the molds:

sports brasHere are a few deals on undergarments I spotted:

Chickpeas with Broccoli Raab and Bacon

I noticed broccoli raab at the store yesterday and I’ve been in the mood for Chickpeas with Broccoli Raab and Bacon ever since. This is a total knock your socks off kind of recipe so I hope you’ll try it. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

eating well magazine

Amazon has Eating Well Magazine on sale for just $5.00 a year.

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. 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.

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!

gas-x-chewables-coupon

Print a coupon good for $2.00 off Gas-X, Benefiber, ex-lax or Prevacid

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.

DIY Asian Five Spice Seasoning Recipe

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DIY Asian Five Spice Seasoning Recipe

I’ve recently become obsessed with five-spice powder. I use it constantly on vegetables and even when making spiced nuts. So of course I was going to try to figure out a way to make it myself! Here’s a simple way to make a great new spice! It’s a perfect addition.to any Asian recipe, or yummy over any roasted veggie {carrots are my fav!}

Ingredients

1 tablespoon ground fennel
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons anise powder
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt {can use regular salt}

Directions

Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.

How easy was that?

~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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel