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Family Life Blog Posts

A woman sits at a table which displays alternative Halloween treats.

October 11, 2021

Whether you are having a Halloween party with friends, sending treats to school, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, with a little creativity, you can find ways to add some healthy options into the mix.

Two girls coloring.

August 19, 2021

With the uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, it’s not uncommon to hear of loved ones and friends who have been infected or who are in quarantine due to exposure. Children, especially, may be confused, worried, and afraid about classmates, friends, and family members who are sick.

A dog lies on the grass in the shade.

July 23, 2021

Heat stress in dogs is just as serious and life-threatening as it is for humans. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), high temperatures can be dangerous for your dogs, even when it doesn’t seem that hot to you. So, I take steps to help make sure my dogs can stay cool when they are outdoors.

A child smiles at the dining table.

July 12, 2021

With my kids out of school for the summer, snacks are an important part of our routine. Check out three of my family's favorite nutritious and filling snacks.

Woman smiling at a table.

June 8, 2021

The kids are out of school, and for some of us, our schedule is a little bit out of routine. As a mom of four, I know how hard it can be to keep those summer bellies full, so I want to share some of my go-to tips to help.

Two dogs sit and look at the camera.

May 28, 2021

Although June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season, there can be many kinds of environmental disasters. Natural disasters, including straight-line winds, tornadoes, fires, and floods, are all uncontrollable events that can happen at any time. A comprehensive disaster plan along with a disaster kit can help you respond quickly and make it easier to recover from one of these events. But don’t forget your pets! They need a disaster plan and kit, too.

Close up of triangular watermelon slices on a plate.

May 24, 2021

Whether your summers are filled with activities or dedicated to relaxation, these recipes from The Food Factor can help you make meals and snacks a breeze.

A lady stands in a kitchen.

April 12, 2021

Growing up, I was always told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is essential.But all our meals count. Here are a few tips to help you get a nutrient-filled lunch.

Airtight jars of cereal, rice and flour sit in a cupboard.

March 24, 2021

We’ve experienced some spring-like weather, and that may have you thinking about refreshing some areas of your home. When you’re doing your spring cleaning, don’t overlook the kitchen pantry where stored-food pests can thrive.

A pen lies on top of a will.

February 4, 2021

Death isn’t something we like to think about. I personally would rather concentrate on living, but I learned something recently. Almost everyone needs an estate plan and a will. Spending the time and effort it takes to put your wishes in writing and having it legally declared will save your heirs money, time, and heartache.

A woman and man walk for exercise.

January 11, 2021

A new year often signals a new start or reboot, which is a great thing. For many, this means setting health and wellness goals like losing weight, eating healthier, and being more physically active.To be able to achieve your goals and make your resolutions a reality, your goals need to be realistic and measurable.

Graphic of disaster go box checklist

January 5, 2021

The New Year has arrived. Whether or not you make resolutions, putting together a disaster go box will help you be ready for all kinds of emergencies that may require you to leave home in a hurry.

Real Christmas trees piled with curbside garbage

December 18, 2020

If you celebrate with a real tree, you’ll have to decide how to dispose of it once the holiday is over. You have some good options for recycling the tree instead of sending it to the landfill.

A woman stands on the front steps of a home.

December 7, 2020

Because many families are celebrating this holiday season a little differently, we might feel a little stressed. One of the things that helps me stay grounded during this time is physical activity. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your health.

A white mask hanging on Christmas garland.

December 3, 2020

Looking for the top gift to give your loved ones this holiday season? Here’s an idea: a COVID-free celebration! The holidays are normally a time when we open our homes to friends and family and celebrate together. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us all to reimagine the way we enjoy the holidays. 

Just how do you celebrate this time of year, while limiting the spread of COVID-19?? It’s not an easy answer, but here are a few tips to help your holidays be as safe and festive as possible. Please note, this information is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease...

Closeup of ornaments and lights on a Christmas tree

November 11, 2020

Choosing, cutting, and bringing home a real Christmas tree is a fun, family tradition that makes memories to last a lifetime. If you plan to have a real tree this year, be sure to observe some safety rules.

Banana in aluminum foil

October 26, 2020

Do you ever feel like you have to trick your kids into trying new foods or eating healthier options? Sometimes all it takes is a different cooking method to turn a finicky eater into a fan!

Most people don’t think of fruit as a hot treat unless it’s a sugar- and fat-loaded pie or cobbler. These Banana Boats can be cooked on a grill, in the oven, or even over a campfire or fire pit! The best part is their versatility. The original recipe calls for a tropical combination of banana, pineapple, and coconut. But you can try other combinations, too: banana and strawberry, banana and blueberry, or even banana and peanut butter!

A white house with grand columns and two pumpkin displays on each side

October 22, 2020

Can we all take a moment to appreciate our county Extension agents? Llike everyone else, the way they did their job turned upside down due to COVID-19. They went from hosting events in their respective counties to using social media to share information and ideas with the public. 

Many Extension agents are starting to post ideas for fall projects. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough pumpkin posts in my social media feed! Whether you use a real pumpkin or one from different craft materials, you’re sure to find an easy DIY project that adds some fun fall flair to...

A black jack-o-lantern mask, bottle of sanitizer, and two pumpkins on a wooden backdrop.

October 16, 2020

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in everyone’s plans. Creating a sense of normalcy while keeping safety measures in mind can be challenging. Just because the holidays aren’t traditional this year doesn’t mean they can’t be fun and memorable.

A woman stands in front of a house as children with backpacks appear in the backgroud.

August 11, 2020

No matter how your children go back to school this year, healthy lunches and snacks will provide them with the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and build their immune systems.

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu

Recent Posts

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