Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures 6/21/15

cabbage

raised garden boxes

Garden box #1.

The weather here in Western Washington has been crazy good this year and as a result the vegetable garden is really taking off. In this bed we have cucumbers, radish, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, 2 rows of beets and 3 rows carrots. radish growing

The radishes will be ready to pick next week. Once we harvest those a row of beet seeds will get planted in their place. douglass fir garden boxes

Garden Bed #2

Patty pan squash, lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Weeeee!

lettuce

The romaine lettuce is going bonkers. I guess a Caesar salad is on the menu for today for Father’s Day.

raspberry canes

Last week I transplanted the 15 raspberry canes that I planted earlier this spring in a long row near the fence. Later this fall I plan on moving our blueberry bushes and strawberry plants to this area to create a berry patch. potato patch

The potato patch!meyer lemon buds

Lemon, our Meyer lemon tree has a lot of baby lemons right now. It will be interesting to see how many we end up with.

tomato container garden

In another 2 weeks I don’t think I’ll be able to see out the kitchen window! The tomato plants have gone bonkers. cabbage

Cabbage. strawberry

We are just now starting to get a few strawberries. There won’t be much to harvest this year {I don’t think so anyway} but I’m hoping we will get a bunch of runners this fall and so that next summer we will have a  full strawberry patch.
rainbow swiss chardAnd last but not least… Rainbow Swiss chard.

How is YOUR garden doing? What are you harvesting?

~Mavis

botanical interests

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2015 Garden Seed Catalogor see the seeds I’ll be growing in my garden this year HERE.

Up for a tour? Read about our behind the scenes tour of Botanical Interests Seed Company.

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The $20/$20 Challenge: Veronica Shows Off Her Pantry Alternative

Veronica pantry pics

Veronica pantry pics5What do you do when you buy a house with no pantry? Today’s $20/$20 Challenge submission from reader, Veronica, shows us just that. Here’s her story:

Hi Mavis,

My name is Veronica and I live in a suburb north of Seattle, Washington, with my husband and 3 kids – ages 5 and younger. I have been following your blog for a couple years now and have loved adapting my Texas (where I grew up) gardening skills to NW Washington! I wish I had your time to garden, but also know that your teenagers are a lot more helpful and self-sufficient than my young crew.

Veronica pantry picsLast November, my husband and I bought our first house!!! The previous owners had been gardeners (one of the reasons we bought the house) and they installed 4 raised garden beds, an apple tree, a strawberry patch, and a rotating barrel composter. There are also many beautiful perennial flowers (a flowering plum tree, irises, day lilies, roses, tulips, hyacinths, hydrangeas, crocuses, and a few rhododendrons). The year before we bought the house, it was a rental, so we are in the process of pulling all the weeds (I passionately dislike horsetail and dandelions!) and getting everything back in ship shape. After the gardening season is more progressed, I will send you garden photos. So far, though, we have added blueberry bushes and raspberry canes outside of a traditional vegetable garden. Next year we will add rhubarb and rosemary.

Veronica pantry pics1As for the food storage, the major downside of the house is that there is NO PANTRY! I have had to make do with cabinets, which I dislike storing food in, and shelving units. (We will redo the kitchen in a few years, after saving up some more money.) The one cute cabinet in the house is in the wall in the kitchen. It is built between the studs spaces and is only as deep as the wall is thick! I keep my small-containered open baking goods in the top and the kids’ dishes in the bottom of it.

Veronica pantry pics3When we lived in Utah (yes, we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the Mormons), our friend built us this awesome canned good shelving unit and we moved it with us after college graduation. We also brought our larger dry goods containers with us; they are re-purposed 3-gallon ice cream buckets from The Creamery on 9th at Brigham Young University (BYU). I store my rice, wheat (which I grind for baking), various dry beans, flour, sugar, milk powder, dry onions, old fashioned oats, etc. in them. I adore their easy to get on and off lids and the fact that I can lift them with a couple children clinging to my legs. I also have some outside, housing my container garden on the porch.

Veronica pantry pics8I love my spice rack. It is so big, but the real reason I love it is that my husband made it. He gave it to me for our first Christmas after we got married. It has moved homes with us five times since then.

Veronica pantry pics2My mother taught me to water bath can when I was a kid and I have since made and canned various jams, jellies, and butters, sliced fruits, tomato products, and everything apple you can think of. One of the neatest things Mom did was to require our significant others through high school to participate in apple processing week at our house. They picked, peeled, sliced, cored, boiled, mashed, sweetened, canned, and tasted apple everything with us. She would label jars with who helped can it. My husband and I are high school sweethearts, so we have jars with both our names on them from a decade and a half ago!

I now have a pressure canner and a friend of mine is going to teach me how to can chicken at the end of the month after we pick up our Zaycon chicken order! I am excited! We don’t eat jam as fast as I like to make it, so I have put a limit on myself to not make more jam until we finish the jam we have. It is so hard not to turn all these Washington berries into jam each summer! The first summer we were here, I canned 4 dozen or more jars of blackberry jam, jelly, syrup, and whole berries. It was a bit too much for our family of (then) 3.

Veronica pantry pics7We have 2 refrigerators: 1 in the kitchen for open and in-use items and 1 in the garage for extra and stocked-up food items. (I haven’t been to the store in a while and we just finished the leftovers, so the kitchen fridge picture is somewhat bare.) It is so nice to have extra space for dairy products, produce, and meat when they go on sale.Veronica pantry pics4 I buy 2 or 3 of a specific kind of meat at a time, so there is a ham, a couple pork loins (the 3-5 pound kind), 3 beef roasts, and a stack of sausage currently in the garage freezer. We also freeze extra berries from the U-pick farms we visit each year, but all those berries are gone now. I also occasionally double a recipe and freeze half of it for a later day.

Veronica pantry pics10Also in the garage is our water storage. I reuse the thicker plastic drink containers to store water in for use in emergencies. When we were in married student housing, we found out that plastic milk containers are not thick enough for water storage! I got the containers mainly from when I used to work as an engineer and the company would buy soft and juice drinks for the office parties. I think we have water for a week or two for our family of 5.

Veronica pantry pics6I shop the grocery sales at various stores, buy seasonal, buy certain items in bulk, and keep a rotating food supply of between 3 and 6 months for our family. I try to teach my kids something new each time we go to a store, so I don’t feel so bad schlepping them across town for a couple items in our shopping adventures. We try to visit 2 or 3 stores in an outing to save on time and gas.

Veronica pantry pics9I cook dinner every day from scratch and do all our baking from scratch. I am pleased to say that, so far, we have purchased 1 loaf of bread in our 8.5 years of marriage. We do need to replace our bread maker though… I am saving up for a Bosch mixer from Costco! We have outgrown the 2 pounds of dough I can make in the bread maker. I use the bread maker to mix, knead, and rise the bread dough. I shape the loaves after the dough cycle and bake them in loaf pans in the oven because I like the texture of it better than the bread baked in the machine. We sometimes make pasta from scratch, but that is an all afternoon activity with 3 young kids. Breakfasts tend to be some type of cereal and fruit so the kids can eat FAST after they wake up. Lunch is either leftovers or something quick, easy, and homemade. I try to do 2 meatless dinners a week. I do have a few convenience items in the freezer and pantry for when my husband cooks or when one of us is sick. Some of them are leftover from our baby’s birth in January.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my pantry-less kitchen. Thanks for putting this together; I have enjoyed reading about your other readers’ food habits.

Cheers,
Veronica

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!

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One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 6/20/2015

blue hydranga

blue hydranga
Mavis Butterfield on Instagram
Follow me as I share some random goodness

lucy the puggle dog

Garden Updates

20 Must-Try Strawberry Recipes

Recipes

feint

Mornings with Mavis 

Easy Jigsaw Puzzle Storage Idea

Tips and Tricks

sound to narrows

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

Videos

Friday Night at the Movies – Pleasantville

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.

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Friday Night at the Movies – Pleasantville

pleasantville

Have you ever seen Pleasantville?  It’s kind of an older movie that I like to re-watch every so often.  It’s about a boy and girl {living a kind of under-whelming life} who get sucked into an old television program from the 50’s  The program is set in a town called Pleasantville, where everything is “perfect” all of the time.  It’s kind of a sweet story about how nothing is as it seems, and sometimes a little bit of messiness in life is a good thing.

pleasantville

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

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!

 

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My Goals for This Year – Week 25 of 52

caning jars

dishes1. Get Organized. 

Our dishwasher sucks. So twice a day there is a pile of dishes drying on my kitchen counter. Oddly enough though it doesn’t make me crazy. I think the dishes make the space feel homier. I refuse to buy a new dishwasher because really, it’s not going to increase the value of our home when all is said and done. And, as a bonus, my  hands have never felt softer.

sound to narrows

2. Run, walk or crawl a Marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k race this year. Well, so I guess I’m doing this! I walked/ran a 5k last weekend with an old neighbor and had a blast. Even though my time wasn’t super great, I think I did okay considering the whole Living of a 30 day Emergency Food Supply Challenge I’m doing. I signed up for a local half marathon and I’m excited! :)

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

guest bedroom

4. Finish Every Room in Our House.

When we bought the house last fall my original plan was to turn the guest room into an office/craft room for myself. But in an effort to declutter and simplify, I turned it into a proper guest room this past week. I didn’t have to spend a dime either.

Gladys Kravitz is under the impression it’s HER room and now spends her morning hours upstairs peering out the window at all the people walking by.

She’s living the suburbia dream, what more can I say?

tissue paper pom poms

5. Turn Spare Bedroom into a Cozy Home Office Space for myself I stole my husbands office and decorated it all girly and stuff instead! :)

raised garden beds

6. Create a Vegetable Garden. Done!

staining fence

7. Build a Path into the Hillside for Easy Access to the Upper Garden. We built a fence instead.

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

So far this month I’ve only spent $1.00 out of my personal spending money. How crazy is that? It’s mostly because I’ve become a shut in. 😉

In May I spent $26.50.
In April I Spent $18.46.
In March I Spent $42.44.
In February I Spent $32.52
In January I Spent $84.33

garage sale stuff9. Purge… Weekly. Find 10 things each week to donate to the thrift store.

More crap for the garage sale.

a fine romance candice bergen10. Read 1 book a week. 

I never knew how cool Candice Bergen was until I read her book A Fine Romance. I seriously LOVED reading page after page and could not put her book down {just ask my husband!}. What a life she’s had so far.

primitive hooked rug11. Slow Down.

I’m still puttering along on my rug.

caning jars

12. Canning

So far this year I have canned blueberry, strawberry and raspberry jam. Yee-Haw! The pantry is filling up.

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

~Mavis

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Paper or Electronic? How do you Take Your Reading?

stack of books

How many actual bookstores does your town have left?  Other than Barnes and Noble {and our trip to Powells Books in Portland awhile back}, I don’t see many bookstores anymore.  I think they are a dying breed.  And, according to an article on NPR the other day, I think I might be right.  Small independent bookstores are hanging on by a thread.  People have moved to electronic sources for their reading.  Maybe it’s because they travel well {several books on one small device versus lugging heavy books around}, they are instantly available, and they allow for magazines, books, and newspapers all in one convenient place.

Now that I’ve totally made electronic devices for reading sound amazing, I am going to go on the record and say I prefer paper.  I love the smell, the feel of the paper, and best of all, there is no backlighting to hurt my eyes.  Not to mention, I am a HUGE supporter of the library, where electronic versions aren’t always available.

library

The most fascinating part of the NPR article, though, was that we may not retain information as well in electronic format as we do with the same paper version.  We are so used to “scanning” out emails, yahoo, Pinterest and Facebook headlines and tags, that we tend to allow that habit to bleed into our reading habits.  I’ve never really stopped to consider whether or not one being more effective than the other.  Do you think there’s any truth to the scanning theory?

So, how do YOU prefer to do your reading?  Paper, Kindle, iPad, or some other electronic device?

~Mavis

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Free Kindle Books, Amazon Subscribe and Save, Homemade Play Dough Recipe, Men’s Parka Deal, Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe and More

Tactical-Pen

recreantWord of the Day: Recreant Definition: Unfaithful, disloyal, cowardly  Used in a sentence: The recreant soldier was captured and court marshalled.

Thank goodness it’s Friday. 😉

I’m not sure if it rained last night but the clouds look awfully grey this morning. I was planning on continuing to stain the fence… yikes! Oh well, I guess I’ll just continue to clean out the storage closet for our upcoming garage sale.

What are YOUR plans for this weekend? Having a Father’s Day BBQ? Going clubbing?

Have a great weekend everyone,

Mavis

pyrex

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 55% Off a Pyrex 18-Piece Food Storage Set $22.99

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! :)

amazon subscribe and save deals

Amazon Subscribe and Save Deals:

bedding set

Macy’s.com has Reversible Bedding Ensembles for as low as $37.99. These are available in twin, full, queen, king and even California king. These would make a great gift for a collage student or for YOU! There are 12 styles to choose from

crocs sandals

6pm has all these Crocs Sandals and more priced at just $14.99 shipped!

Homemade Play Dough RecipeAnother fun {and crazy cheap} summer activity for kids: Homemade Play Dough Recipe! Find more cool projects on my Kid Stuff Pinterest Board.

the princess bride book

Amazon has The Princess Bride on DVD for just $4.75!!! Amazon also has As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride in stock for $16.05 {Hardcover}. Perfect for the Princess Bride fan.

White Sierra Alpine Anorak

REI Deal of the Day – Men’s White Sierra Alpine Anorak $21.73 {was $55}.

Tactical-Pen

A few years ago the HH gave everyone in our family tactical pens. I thought it was a little weird at first but they are actually great to carry in your purse for personal safety and right now the Vktech Tactical Pen aviation Aluminum Anti-skid is on sale for $4.83 with great reviews.

garage storage

The Home Depot Special Buy of the Day – UP TO 30% OFF SELECT GARAGE STORAGE ITEMS

checks

Out of checks? Right now you can order 2 boxes of personalized or regular single checks for just $8.95 shipped from 4Checks.com when you use code DWF140 when ordering. Yep, that’s right 250 checks for just $8.95 shipped {$5.05 for the checks and $3.90 for handling}! I LOVE this company. *This is for new customers only. 

butterfly wall decals stickers

One of my favorite deals is back!!! Get 24 {12 purple and 12 blue} 3D Butterfly Wall Stickers for $1.99 shipped. I ordered these for my daughter’s dorm room last year and she LOVED them. 

american flag bunting usa made

Amazon has Red, White and Blue bunting in stock! Get the Valley Forge 3-Foot x 6-Foot Pleated Full Fan Flag With Stars Bunting $23.29 shipped.

american flag

The U.S. Nylon US Flag 3X5 ft is just $7.71.amazon magazine deals

Get Dad a magazine subscription starting at just $5 for a 1 year subscription from Amazon.com.

fred meyer friday freebie

Attention Fred Meyer and Kroger Shoppers… Today only you can download an eCoupon to your Fred Meyer/Kroger card valid for a ONE FREE ICE BREAKERS Cool Blast Mint Chews 0.8 oz. Simply load the ecoupon to your Fred Meyer/Kroger shopper card and claim your Juicy Fruit Gum by 7/5/15.

Georgia-Pacific paper towels

Get a case of 30 Rolls of Georgia-Pacific Paper Towels for $23.98. These ship FREE with Amazon Prime. 

strawberry ice cream recipe

Looking for something awesome to make for dessert tonight? Check out my recipe for Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream. It rocks! Find more recipes on my Homemade Ice Cream Recipe Pinterest Board.

zaycon ground beef

Zaycon Fresh is now taking orders for their upcoming events. Below are their offerings and prices in my area.Go HERE to find out if this deal is available in your area.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.69/lb $67.60/case
  • Fresh Ground Beef, Lean {93/7} – 40 lbs $3.99/lb | $159.60/case
  •  Carvemaster Boneless Applewood Smoked Ham $3.79/lb | $83.38/case
  •  Meaty Back Ribs $3.79/lb | $136.44/case
  •  Bacon-Wrapped Pork Fillet $4.69/lb | $46.90/case
  •  USDA Choice or Higher Chuck Roast $5.79/lb | $208.44/case
  •  USDA Choice or Higher Patio Steaks $6.49/lb | $214.17/case
  •  Smoked Pulled Pork – 20lb $4.49/lb | $89.80/case

Check out the post on how we process so much Zaycon meat at one time.

wishbone salad dressing coupon

Print a coupon good for $1.00 off any TWO (2) Wish-Bone Salad Dressings

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Lawn Watering Conservation Tips

Lawn Watering Conservation Tips

Lawn Watering Conservation TipsAfter getting the utility costs down inside this year, I plan on heading off the rise in my water bill from lawn/garden maintenance pronto–no more learning the hard way for me.  Although I get quite a bit of rain in my area, I still have to water pretty regularly in the summer months {nothing like the hotter regions of the country, though}.  I have used these watering saving tips in the past with success, so I thought I would pass them onto you so you can use them as they apply to your area:

  1. Water early in the morning or late in the evening.  That will cut down on evaporation.
  2. Mulch your plants.  Give their roots a layer of cool insulation, that way, they can retain water.
  3. Plan a rainwater collection system.  That is FREE water {after initial investment costs}.  I love pretty much anything that is free.
  4. Group plants with the same watering requirements together.  That way, you don’t over-water/under-water any of them.
  5. If you plan on putting a walking path in your yard, use porous materials–like gravel or bark.  That way, any water run-off will soak back into the surrounding areas.
  6. Leave grass clippings on the lawn when you mow, instead of bagging them.  That way, it will shade the roots of the grass and retain moisture.
  7. Aerate your lawn in the spring.  It makes it easier for your lawn to pull in moisture.
  8. In the west, most varieties of grass only need about 2.5 cm of water per week.  You may be over-watering unintentionally.
  9. Dig a circular trench around plants so that water will stay where it needs to…it’s like a moat for the plant to draw on.
  10. Water slowly for a longer period of time, rather than blasting the spot with a hose for a couple of seconds.  That way, the soil can absorb the water without it just running off to places you don’t need to water.

How do YOU conserve water in your garden/yard the summertime?

~Mavis

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