The $20/$20 Challenge: Kaia’s Tiny House Will Blow Your Mind

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KaiaI’m not sure if you knew this, but I’m obsessed with the tiny house craze that is sweeping the nation! I want one. So I was THRILLED when Kaia sent in pictures of her tiny house as part of our $20/$20 Challenge. Here’s her story:

Hello Mavis!

I don’t really have a pantry, so I hope my “food storage in a tiny house” counts!  I wanted to point out my areas of food storage in the first photo but couldn’t figure out how to draw on it.  So, I’ll attempt to explain!  I have a couple jars of dry goods on the shelf below the toaster oven, some food on the shelf highest above the stove, the bottom drawer between the sink and stove, fridge, and loft.

Kaia1I have beans, rice, pasta, and honey above the stove.  The chickpeas I got from Azure Standard, but as I discovered one person doesn’t really need 5 lbs. of any certain food at a time, the rest of the dry goods are from the bulk bins at Fred Meyer or Winco. Kaia4 I’m an intern at a raw dairy farm, and I get raw honey (from Tacoma) through them.
Kaia5My drawer of food is a great big mixture of things.  Snacks, dried fruit, nuts, and even a bag of marshmallows from the time I was craving a s’more to go with my fresh milk ;)  Kaia2I guess the one thing I didn’t show is the rubbermaid of baking products I have that resides underneath my table or on the extra chair.
Kaia6Up in the loft on the left I have a couple boxes of cereal and a box of batteries.. I mean a battery box full of food.  Crackers, pasta, peanut butter, and the overstock of the dry goods in jars.  On the far right I have home canned tomatoes and applesauce.  Which I totally thought I knew how to do since I’ve helped my mom can forever, but learned there was a lot of things I didn’t know when it came time to can!  On the top of the fridge, I have a bunch of spices.  The ones I used most frequently are directly above the stove, so these are the rest.
Kaia7My fridge isn’t very exciting.  Raw milk (of course) for drinking, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, bread, and veggies are the staples there.  I used the other two jars of milk to make yogurt.
As far as meals, I’ve totally slacked since like Thanksgiving, but I think I’m getting back into it now!  I’ll usually make a meal and eat it once a day until I need to make another.  I will usually have a sandwich or a previous meal from the freezer for lunch.  And I make scones almost every Sunday morning!  We grew up on Dad’s waffles before church every Sunday, and I think with my future kids it’s gonna be scones–I love them!  I guess my point here being, I don’t really “meal plan,” or need to for that matter.  I go by what I have as far as meat, and try to make something out of that.
Thanks for helping out and doing this project!  I love to other people’s pictures and ideas.  And of course the most important, “food bombing” across country–that sounds so fun!
Kaia

pantry-pictures-ideasAre you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

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, Free Coffee, Free Gardening Classes, Free Basil Seeds and More

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postern

Word of the Day: Postern  Definition: Rear, private  Used in a sentence: All deliveries are to be made through the postern gate.

Happy Sunday everyone!

I spent yesterday gathering information to plan my next trip to the East Coast. The Girl and I are headed to one of my favorite places on earth… Maine. I hope. ;) The weather has been a wee bit crazy up there lately so I do have a plan B in place…. but I’m hopeful we will be able to hang out in Maine for a few days for a little R&R. Fingers crossed.

Do you live on the east coast? How have you been handling all the snow? Do you have any tips for us?

Mavis

Inversion Table with Back Pain Relief

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 Ltd Inversion Table

bike rack

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - Up to 60% Off Allen Sports Deluxe Bike Racks

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! :)

tampax radiant

Get a box of Tampax Radiant Compak Plastic Unscented Tampons, Regular Absorbency, 36 Count for just $3.32 shipped when you clip the $3 off coupon and use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

zaycon-chicken-breasts

Zaycon Foods is offering boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.99/lb and it’s great way to stock up on chicken when this deal comes around. The chicken is sold in 40 pound cases for $79.60. 40 pounds may sound like a lot of chicken {and it is!} but buying in bulk is such a great way to fill your freezer and you can always split a case with a neighbor. Go HERE to place your order.

How-to-Keep-Dough-from-Sticking-to-Your-Hands

Anyone baking on this lazy Sunday? This one simple tip on How to Keep Dough From Sticking to Your Hands will be a life saver! Find more helpful hints on my Easy Kitchen Tips Pinterest Board.

blue purple green canning jars

Amazon has the Blue, Green or Purple Ball Jar Ball Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands for $10.99. These ship for FREE with Amazon Prime.

Kitchen Houseware Organizer Pantry Rack

Amazon has the DecoBros Kitchen Houseware Organizer Pantry Rack on sale for $13.87 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. I need one of these!!

botanical interests

Still need to place your seed order for this years garden? Botanical Interests is offering FREE packet of Basil Seeds {though tonight} and FREE shipping on orders over $60. See what I’ll be growing in my 2015 garden HERE.

free gardening classes craftsy

Craftsy is currently offering a FREE Success with Container Gardening eDownload and 2 FREE gardening classes!

PLANTERS NUT•rition coupon

Print a coupon good for $1.00 off any ONE (1) PLANTERS NUT•rition

fleece jacket

Amazon has the Woman’s MJ Soffe Women’s Angel Fleece Jacket starting at just $10.04.

Gevalia ground coffee sample

Get a FREE one-pot ground Gevalia ground coffee sample just by filling out this form. I LOVE FREEBIES!!

cordless screwdriver

Amazon has the Black & Decker Cordless Screwdriver on sale for $9.73.

cabela sale

Score and extra 10% off + FREE SHIPPING from Cabela’s Bargain Cave when you use code 25BARGAIN at checkout.

SODIAL-Fashion-Leopard-Pattern-Shawl-Scarf-Wrap-for-Women

Looking for a great teachers gift? Amazon has this Leopard Print Scarf on sale right now for just $3.09 shipped! I have one of these and I wear it all the time with my black pea coat.

free prints

Get  99 FREE 4×6 prints from Shutterfly when you use code FREE4ME at checkout.  You do have to pay a shipping fee of $5.99 but that still works out to be $0.06 per print!! Cheaper than Costco. Good through Monday, February 23, 2015.

chocolate-crepes-with-bananas-recipe_opt

Chocolate Crepes with Bananas are what’s on the menu this morning. Heaven on a plate, that’s what they are. Get the recipe HERE or Pin for Later.

mountain hardware

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Women’s Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Rain Jacket $62.73 shipped {was $140}

magazine-sale Amazon $5 Magazine Deals - Now through February 24, 2015 find best-selling magazines for $5. Here are some of my favorites:

huggies printable coupons

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.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 2/21/2015

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hunter boots

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

mavis butterfield

Garden Updates

Homemade Chocolate Chip Brownies

Recipes

girl scout cookie giveaway

Giveaways

euphemism

Mornings with Mavis 

How to Divide and Transplant Daylilies

Tips and Tricks

monster energy drink

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

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.

Friday Night at the Movies – Remember the Titans

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If you are looking for a family movie {tweens and older} that everyone will enjoy, check out Remember the Titans.  It came out several years ago, but it is great movie, with a feel-good message.  The movie is pretty clean, minor cussing, I think is about it.  It’s about a high school football team that is being racially  integrated for the first time.  It’s based on a true story, and is really well done.

remember the titans

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details 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.

My Goals for This Year – Week of 8 of 52

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lucy the puggle dog1. Get Organized.

Did I tell you Mrs. Hillbilly said I would be out of here in a year? When I was at her house last week she said I’ll be crawling the walls pretty soon because there are only a limited number of projects for me to do here at our new house. Apparently Girl Girl agrees. What a bunch of meanies!!

2. Run, walk or crawl a Marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k race this year.

Besides taking Lucy for long walks, I haven’t done any additional exercise LOL. And I need too because I am feeling super sluggish lately {although that’s probably because I have been stuffing my face with sweets and sitting on the couch catching up on Grey’s Anatomy and rug hooking instead of exercising}.

3. Remodel our Master Bathroom, Master Closet and Monkey Boy’s Bathroom.

We start demoing this weekend!

sideboard

4. Finish Every Room in Our House.

My goal is to have all the rooms in the house furnished by the end of the year. I’m hoping to find  a coffee table and tv stand this summer at a yard sale so I can finish up the living room.

messy desk

5. Turn Spare Bedroom into a Cozy Home Office Space for myself.

I don’t see why I can’t just stay in the HH’s office and use the spare bedroom as my craft room. I mean really, it’s not like he needs his own office space. Right?

onion sets

6. Create a Vegetable Garden.

I’m hoping to get my onion sets planted this weekend. The Home Depot has them on sale 100 for $3.99 right now.

laurel hedge

7. Build a Path into the Hillside for Easy Access to the Upper Garden.

red vines

8. Limit my personal spending to $100 a month.

All I spent this past week was $1 on a box of Red Vines. :) I’m headed to the East Coast again soon so I’m trying to be good and save my money for something exciting.However… if I come across those delicious Russel Stover Pectin jelly beans they sell in the stores this time of year, all bets are off. ;)

Total spent so far this month $29.91 Still have $70.09

In January I Spent $84.33

thrift store donations

9. Purge… Weekly. Find 10 things each week to donate to the thrift store.

This week I got rid of:

  • 2 Coffee carafes
  • 1 box of crappy pens
  • 1 glass jars {the hinges hurt my hands when I open them}
  • 1 Good Dog Bell {It did not work for us}
  • 1 Cow Bell from the Race for a Solider 
  • 1 tube of cross stitch thread {I’ve decided cross stitch just isn’t for me}
  • 1 old Canon camera a battery charger
  • 1 Fossil watch the HH gave me 10 {?} years ago {I don’t wear a watch}

the last lecture

10. Read 1 book a week. – My goal is to read 52 books this year

This past week I read The Last Lecture. I knew I would love it’s message of living life without regrets.

primitive hooked rugs

11. Slow Down.

I cannot stop rug hooking. Seriously. It has become my new addiction. I may need an intervention soon.

raspberry jam in weck jars

12. Canning

We are out of raspberry jam so I think I’ll try and get some canned this week using the last bit of last summers raspberries I have tucked away in the freezer.

Did you set any goals for this year? If so, how are they coming along?

~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.

Giveaway – Enter to Win 1 of 3 Cases of Girl Scout Cookies

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girl scout cookie giveaway

Let’s start Friday off with a giveaway… shall we?

Last night my favorite Girl Scout dropped off my annual cookie order {because HELLO, Girl Scout cookies are a necessity people}.

I was a Girl Scout. I sold cookies, proudly wore my badge-filled sash and even had the most awesome time ever when I attended Girl Scout Camp during my middle school years.  I was a tween and it was the. best.summer of my life. I learned to sail, used an outhouse, got my head checked for lice, made tiki torches out of Kotex pads {it’s a lost skill I tell you}, made arts and crafts, slept in a cabin with no doors, and sang some really cool camp songs that I still remember to this day. It was the seriously the best summer ever!

girl scout cookies

So in honor of my Girl Scout heritage, I am giving away 3 cases of Girl Scout Cookies: 1 case of Thin Mints, 1 case of Samoas and 1 case of Tagalongs {check out all the Girl Scout cookie descriptions if you don’t already know what they are}.

3 lucky readers will win 1 case of cookies. And no, you aren’t even required to share with your spouse, cat, kids or neighbors. But, if you win and you don’t want that temptation anywhere near you, I am more than happy to ship your case to any military member anywhere overseas. :) :) :) :)

mavis butterfield one hundred dollars a month thin mint cookies

WHAT YOU WIN:

1 Case of Girl Scout Cookies

HOW YOU WIN IT:

Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here. You have FIVE ways to enter: 1 required and 4 bonus entries. That means you can leave a total of FIVE comments below for FIVE awesome chances to win.

girl scout cookies

1. *REQUIRED ENTRY* Of the 3 types of cookies I’m giving away {Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs,} what is your very favorite cookie? Oh, and what will you do with your 12 boxes of Girl Scout cookies if you win? Eat them all? Share them? Give them away? Shellac them for all eternity? I want to know! Leave a comment below letting me know your answer.

2. *BONUS ENTRY*  Do you like/friend/follow me yet? Pick one or all and like me/follow me/subscribe to me via one of these forms of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PinterestYouTube and/or Google+! Leave a comment below with the name of the site you followed, ie. “liked you on Facebook and Instagram.” Only 1 comment/entry regardless of if you follow me on all 6 sites. Which you totally should anyway. ;)

3. *BONUS ENTRY*  Start spreading the news. Share this giveaway with your peeps via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Google+! If you don’t do the social media thing, just send out an old fashioned email about this awesome giveaway. Leave a comment below letting me know how you shared it.

4. *BONUS ENTRY*  Head on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on one of the posts or pictures there. Come back here and leave a comment below letting me know which post or picture you commented on.

5. *BONUS ENTRY*  Subscribe to my daily emailed newsletter. It’s an easy peasy way to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Plus, I’m way too busy gardening to spam you, so your email address is safe with me. Leave a comment below letting me know you subscribed.

THE FINE PRINT:

5 entries per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This prize can be shipped anywhere on the planet earth. In previous years we sent cookies to someone’s daughter who was teaching English in Korea. So I mean it. I will ship these cookies anywhere. Girl Scout cookies rule!!!

This giveaway ends Sunday, March 8th, 2015 at 6pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Monday March 9th, 2015 edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. If you do not respond, the prize will be forfeited after 48 hours and donated to operation cookie drop.

Good Luck. I hope you win. :)

Peace Out Girl Scouts!

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 Sewing Classes, Singer Sewing Machine, Planters Peanuts, Ash Vacuum, Tuna Casserole Recipe and More

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abeyance

Word of the Day: Abeyance Definition: Held in waiting, pending, suspension Used in a sentence: The sentence was held in abeyance until more proof could be obtained.

Hellooooo Friday! This weekend the HH and I are going to get started on the bathroom remodel. To save money Chino the Handyman is having us demo the bathrooms ourselves. Yee-Haw I’m excited!!! I LOVE smashing walls and floors. ;)

Have a great weekend everyone,

Mavis

*This deal post will be updated throughout the day so be sure and check back for deals. 

singer stylist sewing machine

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Singer Stylist 7258 Award-Winning Sewing Machine

the sewing book

Here are a few more sewing deals:

free craftsy quilting classes
Don’t forget,  Craftsy is offering 9 different Free Quilting Classes. The best part is that you can watch anytime and there are printable instructions with step-by-step directions.

Not a member of Craftsy? Go HERE to sign up.

planters peanuts

Get the 3 Pack of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts, With Pure Sea Salt, 34.5-oz. Packages $11.20/$3.73 each shipped when you clip the 20% off coupon and use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

*Keep in mind you can cancel your Subscribe and Save membership at anytime. To cancel or change your items, simply click on “My Account” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can easy peasy modify or cancel any of your Subscribe and Save items at anytime, no obligation at all.*

honey-in-jars

It’s delicious and it’s useful! Look at these 10 Cool Uses for Honey. Find more cool tips on my Easy Tips Pinterest Board.

dremel accessories set

Attention Dremel Owners… Amazon has the 228-Piece Rotary Tool Accessories Set with Wooden Case on sale for just $17.58!!! And the reviews rock!

power smith ash vacuum

Amazon also has the PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum on sale for $89.99 shipped. Specifically designed to clean warm and cool ash out of fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and barbeque grills. Great reviews!!

lane bryant the perfect shirt

Lane Bryant has the very popular New Perfect Shirt on sale for $29.99 {was $49.95} and it is available in a bunch of different colors and sizes.

crazy 8 sale

Crazy 8 is offering crazy good markdowns starting at $2.88!

epson printer

If you are in need of a printer Amazon currently has the Epson XP-310 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier on sale for $56.79 shipped. This is the same one I own.

infinity scraves

Cents of Style has offering spring infinity scarves for $5.95 & FREE SHIPPING w/ the coupon code SPRING.

gymboree sale

Today Zulily has Gymboree on Sale with savings up to 60% off! Clothing, toys, shoes and more.

saveur magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Saveur Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 2/20/15 at midnight EST.

The-Best-Tuna-Casserole-Recipe-

This Tuna Casserole puts that junkity junk Tuna Helper to shame. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more recipes on my Casserole Pinterest Board.

granite wear backpack

The REI Outlet has Granite Gear Backpacks on sale starting at just $16.73. There are tons of colors and styles to choose from. Perfect for backpacking, camping or school.

magazine-sale Amazon $5 Magazine Deals - Now through February 24, 2015 find best-selling magazines for $5. Here are some of my favorites:

Russell Stover Easter Egg coupon

Fred Meyer Shoppers… Today only you can download an ecoupon for One FREE Russell Stover Easter Egg
Simply load the ecoupon to you Fred Meyer card and claim your freebie by 2/20/15. It’s that easy!

pruning a tree branch

If you live in the Tacoma/Puyallup area, this weekend Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery is hosting a FREE SEMINAR EARLY SPRING PRUNING on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21ST 10-11AM.

old spice 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.

The $20/$20 Challenge: Stephanie From Idaho Shares Her Pantry Storage Tips

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Stephanie Pantry Pictures 4I’m picking up great tips right and left from some of these awesome $20/$20 Challenge submissions. Stephanie’s story is no exception {I love her cardboard stacking idea!}:

Hi Mavis,

My name is Stephanie and I live in SW Idaho. My mom told me about the challenge you’re doing and prompted me to participate. She has done a lot of work organizing my pantry for me, but I have kept it up and love it.
Stephanie Pantry Pictures 1I cook mostly from scratch and go shopping about once a week. I do my best to make a menu plan and go shopping from there. I like to use in season produce. I like shopping Costco’s coupons and the dry bulk bins at WINCO to stock up on staples.
Stephanie Pantry Pictures 7Here are a few tricks to keeping my pantry in order. I keep flour and sugar in 5 gallon buckets. They have gamma seal lids which makes it easy to get into them frequently. I do some canning and I’ve learned that jars stack easier if you put a layer of cardboard between them. I cut up the Costco milk boxes! I actually use boxes for a lot of things. I cut them short and then use them to contain bags of beans, packets of hot chocolate, microwave popcorn, and an excessive amount of water bottles and reusable cups with straws. Stephanie Pantry Pictures 3I like to use my canning jars to store items I get from the bulk bins. Like steal cut oats, panko bread crumbs, wheat berries, etc. I have a little wire shelf I use where I keep chips, pretzels and the like. It helps use up the vertical space without squishing things.
Stephanie Pantry Pictures 2I keep appliances that I use often easily accessible and tuck away other items that I don’t need as often. I also find it very useful to label things. It is so easy to quickly forget what the white powder is.

Stephanie Pantry Pictures 9So my big freezer in the garage is kind of a beast and it’s hard to keep it organized. However, there is some organization that I keep up. I use the baskets to store containers. I freeze things like pie filling, jam, broth, apple sauce and those get to stay in the baskets. I make pizza weekly and I buy toppings in bulk and store them in a basket.

I like to use ice cube trays to freeze small portions of things like lemon juice, broth and homemade baby food. Once they have set in the tray I pop them out and put them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer in the house. Below the baskets the rest of the freezer is divided up. I try to keep like things together. Again, this makes it easy to know where to look to find what I need. I have a section of the freezer for the homegrown meat from my in-laws and other meat that I buy in bulk, portion and freeze. I have one whole section for home grown corn that we’ve bagged up and frozen. Other sections are for frozen treats and other homegrown stuff that has been frozen.

Stephanie Pantry Pictures 8It’s really nice to have a big freezer like this. It allows me to stock up when things are on sale and preserve veggies from my garden. I find it best when storing things in bags in the freezer to put them on a try to freeze flat and then they stack and stand nicely.

That’s my pantry. Thank you for donating!!
Have a great day!
Stephanie

pantry-pictures-ideasAre you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

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.

Dig For Your Dinner – Growing Heirloom Tomatoes From Seed

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heirloom tomatoes

It’s my favorite time of year.  Yesterday, I planted my heirloom tomato seeds.  I grow tons of stuff for the garden, but somehow, growing tomatoes makes me feel all warm and garden-y inside {garden-y is definitely a word}.  Maybe it’s that they kick off the warm season veggies, or that they produce pounds and pounds of produce, or maybe it’s just that it makes my nerdy little gardening heart happy–whatever.  All I know is that I love all things tomatoes…tomato sauce, salsa, pizza sauce {please read like Bubba from Forrest Gump}.

planting tomato seeds

If you have never grown Heirloom tomatoes, you are seriously in for a treat.  They each have a super unique flavor, and it’s near impossible to get them at the grocery store.

tomato seedlings

How to Grow Heirloom Tomatoes

If you are starting tomato seeds indoors, I really do recommend a grow light–otherwise, they get super leggy {spindly looking} and just don’t turn out as strong.  Plant seeds about 1/8″ deep.  Plant a couple of seeds in each pot to ensure germination.  when they are about 2″ tall, thin them down to one seedling per pot.  Tomatoes like the soil to be pretty darn warm, so make sure to keep them in a warmer spot in the house, and if you are using a window for light, make sure there isn’t a draft.

tomato seedlings under grow lights

If you do have a grow light, keep the light about 3″ inches from the top of the soil and maintain that spacing as the seedlings emerge.  Tomatoes will lose their first set of leaves, and then the true leaves will appear, so don’t be alarmed.  You will need to transplant them into larger pots before they are ready to go outside, then put them under the grow lights for a couple of weeks.  They will be ready to transplant outside in about 8 weeks {provided that the weather is warm enough}.

tomato plants organic gardening

To transplant them outdoors, make sure to harden them off first.  Choose a sunny, well-drained location.  When you  plant them, plant them and their lowest set of leaves in the dirt.  That will encourage better rooting.  I like to trim up the rest of the leaves so that when I water, it doesn’t splash up onto the leaves and cause disease.  Tomaters hate to have their leaves wet.  Put a tomato cage around the plant, being careful not to drive the wire into the roots.  You can also stake the plants, if you have lots of plants or don’t want to buy cages.

If space is an issue, you can grow your tomatoes upside down in hanging baskets or in a Topsy Turvy.

tomatoes

When Are Tomatoes Ready to Harvest?

Tomatoes are ready to harvest when they have developed a deep red, orange, purple {whatever the variety you are growing} color and are firm to the touch.  They may still have a little yellow around the stem.  Just pluck them off of the vine with your fingers.  Tomatoes that are ready to harvest will pull from the vine fairly easily–if you need to put your back into it, you may want to give it another day or two.

purple Cherokee heirloom tomato

My Favorite Tomato Recipes:

Heirloom Tomato Sauce RecipeHeirloom Tomato Sauce

baked-tomatoesBaked Tomatoes with Pine Nut and Basil

recipe-crock-pot-pizza-sauceHomemade Crock Pot Pizza Sauce

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.

Kids and Smart Phones

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Kids and Smart Phones

At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I am going to say, kids these days have a lot more distractions than we ever did.  Sometimes, that kind of makes me feel sorry for them.  More than them, though, I feel sorry for us as parents.  We have to navigate through so much crap.  Like, how much time is too much?  What is a good age for a child/teen to get a phone?  Do they get to keep it with them all of the time?  Striking a balance between the world we live in and the one we should is tough business–and everyone handles it DIFFERENTLY.

According to an article on NPR, children who have some sort of screen in their room {T.V., iPod, iPad, Smart Phone, etc.} get an average of 18 minutes less sleep than their screen-less peers.  So, sleeping with access to the screen seems to equal less actual sleep.  I have watched kids text each other while sitting right next to each other.  I’ve watched teens driving down the road, heads down, flipping through their phone {I’ve watched grown adults do the same}.   All of these distractions seem obviously detrimental, but how do we strike a balance?

What are YOUR rules on smart phones?  Do you let the kids take them into their bedrooms at night?  Do you restrict their use?  Or, do you let it ride?  No right answers, I am just kind of curious where we are headed?

~Mavis

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