12 Goals for the New Year – Week 34 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.

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

12 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

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.  Done!

old jeans

2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house.  I am giving myself until the end of September to fit into those stupid jeans. Then, if they still don’t fit, I’m throwing in the towel. Because HELLO…. the holidays are right around the corner!

mavis butterfield

3. Travel.   So far this year I have been to Boston, London, Paris, Portland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia and Victoria B.C

stack of reading books

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing.  Done! I am happy to report she is having fun! The HH keeps pestering me everyday though wanting to know what she’s up to. Who knew he would be the one having the daily melt down?

mavis butterfield

5. Get 3 new teeth. – Ahhh… Another week, another tip to the dentist. This time around I had FIVE CAVITIES filled. Seriously, at what point do people give up on their crappy British teeth and just knock ‘em all out? This is ridiculous people.  Oh and if you look closely, you’ll notice I have barely have any eyebrows.

Awesome. I guess that’s the next thing to go.

lucy the puggle dog

6. Pay off my car. Done!

primitive hooked star rug

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Finished! It took me 6 months but I’m done.

8. Do something together as a family ever Sunday. We cleaned out the attic. Well, actually Monkey Boy did and we supervised. Ha! ;) The HH and I are going to be so screwed when he’s gone next year. No.More.Free.Labor.

9.  Secret Plan #1 - Done! – I’ll tell you about it at the end August. 

10. Secret Plan #2 Making progress.

11. Secret Plan #3

bathroom renovations

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. Done! We didn’t buy a house in Colonial Williamsburg, but I did find us a house on the east coast and we LOVE it. This is a vacation home for us and let me tell you Bob, I can’t wait to start fixing up the place. Starting with the bathroom cabinets {which are a little on the short side}. ;)

hosta flower

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. 

This past week I worked like crazy and was able to get our fall garden planted at the new place. Now all I have to do is pray for rain. ;)

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.



How I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 33 of 52

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mavis butterfiled

Swimming upstream. That’s what this past week has felt like.

When I rolled out of bed on Sunday morning this is all I could find to wear.

I arrived home late Saturday night after being on the East Coast for 10 days to find hardly any food in our cupboards. Half a loaf of bread, some miscellaneous cans, a couple of boxes of pasta and a few drops of orange juice were all that was staring back at me in the fridge.

I also left my sneakers accidentally behind some 3,000 miles away. And now my only choice in footwear is a pair of garden boots or my favorite pair of brown leather Keen’s that have had the backside chewed out of them thanks to Lucy the Puggle Dog.

Cool beans.

Note to self: Wash all dirty laundry before going on vacation so that when you come home exhausted from 10 days of travelling, you’ll have something decent to wear. Because HELLO, all the clothing you bring home… will be dirty too.

fresh garden vegetables

Hulda’s daughter kept the garden watered while I was away and when I rolled out of bed on Sunday morning I was able to harvest some fresh veggies. Zucchini bats, and heirloom tomatoes. My favorite. ;)

But grocery shopping? Ha! I didn’t get to it.

Hopefully today.

smith brothers milk

Thank goodness for local milk delivery!

Ahh the crazy days of summer. I’m going to miss you. {Not!}

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $0
Total Spent This Year $ 1100.23
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.

12 Goals for the New Year – Week 33 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.

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

10 Tips for Cleaning Your Microwave

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. I don’t know about you but I sure love a clean microwave. ;)

old jeans

2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house. I lost the jeans! I was going to try them on yesterday but I couldn’t find them. Weird. Maybe it’s a sign. I found them. :(

black toms

3. Travel.   So far this year I have been to Boston, London, Paris, Portland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia and Victoria B.C

stack of reading books

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing.  Done! I am happy to report she and I are doing great. The HH on the other hand is having a hard time even though I keep reassuring him she is having a blast and loves her roommates.

xray of teeth

5. Get 3 new teeth. – If all goes well I should have all my teeth filled and in place before Christmas.

lucy the puggle dog

6. Pay off my car. Done!

primitive hooked star rug

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Finished! It took me 6 months but I’m done.

stop to pee alongside the road

8. Do something together as a family ever Sunday. That moment when you are on vacation and your husband decides to exit the highway because he’s certain there is a gas station “just up the road” {even though there are no signs present. ANYWHERE. 20 minutes after driving down winding roads into the middle of nowhere, he then decides to wee alongside the road. Only to get back on the highway and find a Mc Donald’s 30 seconds away. Bahhhh haha! I’m sure that has never happened to you, right?

9.  Secret Plan #1 - Done! – I’ll tell you about it at the end August. 

10. Secret Plan #2 Making progress.

11. Secret Plan #3

open road

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. Done! We didn’t buy a house in Colonial Williamsburg, but I did find us a house on the east coast and we LOVE it. This is a vacation home for us and as soon as I have the time to sort through all the pictures I’ve been taking, I’ll do a proper show and tell.

scooping up gravel

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. 

Someone has a new garden… and her name is Mavis. ;) I just have to scoop out about 5 yards of pea gravel before I can begin planting.

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.

How I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 32 of 52

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albertsons shopping trip

 Albertsons $19.39

I only made one trip to the grocery store this past week because the HH and The Girl were gone on their road trip across America and Monkey Boy was working practically every day. I did splurge on a few things like ricotta and feta cheese, whipping cream, hoisin sauce and dried chilies. Instead of shopping I spent my time whipping up yummy recipes and stuffing my face with food my family wouldn’t normally eat.

I also stopped my Smith Brothers Milk order last week as well since all the milk drinkers were gone.

How about you, did you buy a bunch of food this week?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $19.39
Total Spent This Year $ 1100.23
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.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 8/16/2014

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mavis butterfield instagram

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I try to share a picture a day in 2014.

picking blueberries

Garden Updates

jalapeno pepper jelly

Recipes

mornings with mavis

Mornings with Mavis 

Renting vs. Buying Textbooks for College

Tips and Tricks

heirloom tomatoes roadside stand

Weekly Shopping Trips and Stories

Videos

Friday Night at the Movies – Chocolat

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.

Canning 101 – How to Can Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Recipe

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If you have never tried jalapeno pepper jelly before and are not exactly sure what the heck you would do with it… I like to serve it with a block of softened cream cheese and fancy crackers.  It’s great to have on hand for entertaining for an easy peasy, no brainer appetizer.

This particular recipe made 3 1/2 pint jars of jalapeno pepper jelly.  If you want to make a few more jars, just double the batch.

Here is a picture tutorial for you.

Ingredients

6 oz jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 cup cider vinegar, divided
3 cups sugar
1 3-oz pouch liquid pectin
3 drops green food coloring {optional}
3 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions

Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Chop off the stems, remove the seeds and chop the jalapenos {wearing gloves of course}.  Once you’ve done that, toss the peppers in a blender with 1/2  cup cider vinegar and puree until smooth {I like mine to have little chunks}.

Next, combine the puree with remaining 1/2 cup cider vinegar and add sugar in a heavy pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add liquid pectin, and continue to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Add food coloring, and skim any foam.

Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}.

Looking for more canning recipes?  Check out Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  Amazon currently has it on sale for only $12.62.

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 33 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.

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

towels

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. We finally figured out where all our towels were hiding, The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird’s room!!! Yep, she had a dozen towels stuffed in that big ole’ closet of hers. What a stinker!

old jeans

2. Fit into the same jeans I wore 8 years ago when we moved into our house. I lost the jeans! I was going to try them on yesterday but I couldn’t find them. Weird. Maybe it’s a sign. I found them. :(

Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

3. Travel.   So far this year The Girl and I have been to Boston, London, Paris, Portland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia and Victoria B.C

Giant Head of Abraham Lincoln, Laramie, Wyoming{Random roadside attraction in Laramie, WY}

4. Send my daughter to college without having a nervous breakdown thus spending a week in bed sobbing.  Done!

The Girl and the HH left for their epic 3,000 mile road trip to college a and would you believe it, I have not cried yet. Seriously, how did that happen?  Maybe I’m tougher than I think I am or maybe I’ll lose it one day standing in line at the grocery store. Who knows, but I am so proud of her and excited for all that awaits her and her freshman year. Life is good.

mavis butterfield

5. Get 3 new teeth. – I like my new dentist. A lot. Sure, she found 5 cavities, and one of them was so big that I’m going to need a crown {good times}, but her staff is great and it’s really close to our house. If all goes well I should have all my teeth filled and in place before Christmas.

volvo wagon

6. Pay off my car. Done!

primitive hooked star rug

7. Finish this primitive folk art rug I started 4 years ago. Finished! It took me 6 months but I’m done.

8. Do something together as a family ever Sunday. Monkey Boy and I watched a documentary on JFK. Does that count?

9.  Secret Plan #1 - Done! – I’ll tell you about it at the end August. 

10. Secret Plan #2 Making progress.

11. Secret Plan #3

colonial willliamsburg

12. Convince the HH we should buy a Salt Box Style House in Colonial Williamsburg. Done! We didn’t buy a house in Colonial Williamsburg, but I did find us a house on the east coast. {I’ll share more about this in a few weeks}.

burpless cucumbers

13. Spend at least 1 hour a day working in my garden. 

The weather here has been really wacky lately. We had a very humid week with temps in the upper 80′s and the past 2 days there’s been rain and thunderstorms.  I’m not complaining though because the garden is happy, and I’m happy I’m not stuck out there watering it. :)

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.

Ask Mavis – You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers

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ask mavis

The questions keep on rolling in and so I’m going to, once again, pretend I’m smarter than I am and attempt to answer them. Keep in mind my answers are not scientific, are my own opinion and might, in fact, confuse you more. You’ve been warned.

Of course if you are an expert on any or all of the subjects covered in these questions, pretty please, for the love of Frank, pipe up in the comments below and share your knowledge with the masses. I’ve always said my I have smartie pants readers. Now’s your chance to prove it to me. And go…

omron-pedometer-1

Hi Mavis, I am interested in the pedometer that you use. How long does the battery last? I’ve searched Amazon to find an answer and I can’t find anything consistent. I thought I would ask the expert! Is there anyway I can give you credit when I purchase it through Amazon? I love your blog!

~ Julie

So I haven’t had my pedometer long enough to see how long a battery would last, but I read in the reviews before I bought it and many said about 2 years. As far as giving me credit, all you have to do is use my Amazon link HERE when you purchase and they’ll throw me a few cents for referring you! Easy peasy {and a huge thank you for asking. So kind of you!}.

how-to-freeze-shredded-zucchiniI have a question for you since you garden and can. I have a ton of zucchini and I am going to make some relish (when I can find the time). Can I chop up and freeze the zucchini for canning later? I thought it would probably be OK since it is going to be cooked down in the canning process, but just curious if you might have any info. I have looked online and can’t really find any info about freezing before canning.

~Robin

I freeze zucchini all the time {cubed, diced, sliced, shredded}! When it grows like crazy and I can’t keep up, my favorite way to use the excess is to shred it up in 2 cup packages and freeze in my extra freezer. When winter comes and snow covers the ground, I thaw it out and feed it to my chickens.  They love it.  Or if I get overly ambitious, I make zucchini bread.

organic-garden-pictures

Do you think it’s possible for a mother of 4 to leave an office job and survive solely from my suburban back garden (yes the property is paid for except for monthly taxes and municipal fees). I am dying at my desk – literally. I sit the whole bloody day, pushing around paper – creating more pollution which I’m totally against. No exercise – too tired when I get home, and/or I think of excuses not to exercise. I’m totally anti-materialism and anti-capitalism. I SO WISH I had a backyard-mentor.

~ Magda

This is such a loaded question. On the surface, yes I do think it is possible. Do I think it’s worth it? Hmmm. You see if you love love love gardening and you convert that hobby to a full-time gig, that love might be lost and it might begin to feel like an awful chore. If you are just trying to feed your kids with your garden by consuming and/or selling/bartering your produce to buy other staples {rice, oats, wheat, meat, etc.}, it’s certainly doable.

But if you are thinking of growing a garden large enough to sell your produce to make  a living, that’s another story. It would require a lot of work, and then I’m not even sure you’d be able to support your family by doing that. So I guess the answer is, what you want to do is commendable but I’d need more info to give you a more definite answer.blueberry jam with mint recipe

So about 4 years ago I planted two small mint plants that I got from the local farm store. One spearmint and one apple-mint, and now they have taken over the herb garden!  What can I do with all this mint!?  Can I dry it for recipes or am I just doomed for the mint to continue to take over?  Now that it has flowered and the bees are dropping seeds I am sure it will come back bigger and badder next year!

~Jen

Oh man, mint plants are such aggressive spreaders! They’ll totally take over unless you show them who is boss! As your new mint seedlings grow, you will need to thin them, removing the weaker plants and allowing only the strongest to remain.
The best time to thin mint plants is when they reach 6 inches tall. You’ll want about 18 inches between them to help keep them from spreading {although they will anyway, so you have to be vigilant!}. You will probably need to go in there and cut a bunch out if you want your other herbs to survive! Oh and mint can totally be dried.

can you mail a peanut butter jar

Hey Mavis, I sent you an unusually shaped piece of mail and a regular card (to determine how much longer, if any, the unusually shaped piece of mail takes). The card came back to me today, undeliverable. Hope the non-card makes it to you. A regular piece of 1st class mail from Wisconsin typically takes 4 days to Seattle.

~ Jann

I got the unusually shaped piece of mail and it totally made my day. All I could think about was how long it took you to clean out that peanut butter jar! Ha! I so wish the letter would have arrived as well, because that would have been fascinating to see the difference in delivery times. Thanks for the fun surprise!

broody-chicken

What is causing my hens to lay eggs out in the compost.  I do not have a rooster and just 2 hens.  All of a sudden they won’t lay in their hen house.   This is the second time I had to hunt down their nest.  How can I get them to lay in their box?

~Linda

I’ve heard this is fairly common. Try plastic eggs or golf balls, because those are really handy for encouraging hens to lay in certain places.

Also, keeping your hens closed into the coop for a few days to get them used to laying inside again can be the answer {if weather permits, etc}. From everything I’ve read, they’ll probably just go back to laying in their nest on their own, if you have the patience to wait it out!

carrot cake jam

I noticed an orange tint to the water when I poured it out that I had used to sanitize and then can your carrot cake jam in. Turns out it was rust from the canning rack. Do you know if the jam is still safe to eat after sanitizing in this water with rust in it? BTW the jam is very, very good! Thanks.

~ Diane

Rust is really just iron oxide, a rather benign substance in small quantities. You probably shouldn’t eat a pound of it though! ;) But your jam should be just fine.

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 31 of 52

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heirloom tomatoes roadside stand

Our schedule was a little weird last week and as a result I only made it to the store once. With the garden in full production right now there really isn’t too much to buy. I had more tomatoes than I could process so I set up a little veggie stand and the end of my driveway. Have you ever done that?

What would you charge for a quart of homegrown tomatoes? I never know what to charge.
albertsons essential everyday

Albertsons $6.56

I stopped by Albertsons to pick up some whipping cream for some homemade ice cream when I noticed they were selling cherries for only $.99 a pound and doughnut peaches 4/$1.00. What a find! I also swung by the day old bread section and grabbed a loaf of reduced garlic bread for only $0.99. {half price}. Not too shabby if you ask me.

smith brothers milk delivery

Smith Brothers Farms Home Delivery – Sponsored

Now that The Girl has headed off to college we no longer have a need to order whole milk. You know what that means right? Monkey Boy will get his 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk each week instead. :)

How did YOU do this week?

Are you buying less at the store these days because of the bounty from your garden?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $6.56
Total Spent This Year $ 1080.84
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.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 8/9/14

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mavis butterfield instagram

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I try and share a picture a day in 2014.

harvesting zucchini

Garden Updates

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Recipes

lucy the puggle dog

Mornings with Mavis 

DIY First Aid Kit for College Students

Tips and Tricks

What Makes Us Fat

Weekly Shopping Trips and Stories

Videos

Friday Night at the Movies – Dancing Nana

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel