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Family Life Blog Posts

A pile of gifts wrapped in various papers and ribbons.

December 15, 2023

When you think about the holidays, all the food, gifts, holiday décor, and gatherings with friends and family likely come to mind. What you may not think about is how much garbage we create during this season. Check out these tips that can help you recycle this holiday season.

a closeup of a person taking $20 dollar bills out of a wallet

November 13, 2023

If the gift-giving season is more stressful than cheerful for you, don’t panic. Get prepared! These tips can help you manage your spending this holiday season.

Students in green shirts posing for a picture.

October 6, 2023

One of the best kept secrets out there is 4-H!

A kale plant grows in a garden.

August 25, 2023

Fall is around the corner, but you don’t have to give up fresh produce from your garden.

Boy with blue backpack.

August 14, 2023

Now that school is back in session for many of us, everyone is getting back into the swing of things.

A man sits with his chin proped on his hand

May 11, 2023

Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and stress is a normal part of life. Too much unchecked stress can lead to physical and mental health challenges that must be addressed. Know the signs to watch for and learn what to do when you or someone you know needs help.

Close up view of a person ordering merchandise from a laptop computer in front of a Christmas tree.

November 28, 2022

‘Tis the season for giving and receiving. But beware of scammers who want to steal your holiday joy and money – and maybe even your identity. Watch out for these common scams during the holidays.

Close up of a space heater sitting on a hardwood floor

November 17, 2022

The temperatures have dropped drastically in the last week. If you’ve taken out your space heater or you’re using your fireplace, it’s important to use some safety precautions.

Heaters and fireplaces are nice ways to help keep you comfortable during cold weather. However, you should also be aware that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

So, make safety a priority and take precautions when you use any type of heating equipment. Whether you use a fireplace or an electric or...

Woman on an exercise machine

November 8, 2022

With all the upcoming holiday get-togethers around the corner, it can be easy to move less, sit more, and gain weight. This year, join our Walk with Extension 12 Days of FITMAS Challenge, which emphasizes moving more and eating more vegetables.

collage of cornucopia designs

October 31, 2022

The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, is most often associated with Thanksgiving. It is generally depicted with the fruits of harvest overflowing its horn-shaped form and serves as a reminder to be thankful and grateful. If you like do-it-yourself projects, making your own cornucopia is an easy project.

Campfire

October 6, 2022

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy fire pits and camping trips! Firewood is a necessity for both activities, so it’s important to know how to properly collect and manage it. Be sure to get your firewood within 50 miles of where you will burn it whether that’s in your backyard or at a campground several miles from home.

pot of boiling water

August 30, 2022

Do you know what is safe and unsafe when it comes to using water that is under a boil-water alert? Here's what to do and not do if you are under a boil water notice.

A child sleeping

August 18, 2022

As your child heads back to school this fall, you’ve made sure they have all the supplies, clothes, technology, and other items they need to be successful in the classroom. There’s just one thing missing from this list: Sleep. Consistent, quality sleep is just as important to a successful academic year as anything you can purchase.

A woman and two children slice vegetables

August 9, 2022

Most children tend to go through picky eating phases. There are many things that could cause a child to be selective about what they eat. Some of these tips may help entice your picky eater.

Fireworks explode in a night sky

July 1, 2022

We celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, and I dread holidays that include fireworks celebrations. The noises that accompany those light-filled sky displays absolutely terrify my dogs. However, there are a few things you can do to ease your pets’ fear and keep them safe.

Canned salsa in a basket with other produce

June 2, 2022

Canning is a precise process that must be done correctly to have a safe, edible product. Proper preparation ahead of time will make the entire process much easier. These steps will help you get started.

Red Generator

February 22, 2022

You never know when a weather emergency will happen and cause you to lose power. Whether it be from ice, tornadoes, or hurricanes, you could potentially find yourself without power for days. When severe weather hits, a generator is very beneficial to have handy. When using gas-powered generators, here are a few things to keep in mind:

A faucet drips water.

February 17, 2022

You probably know how dangerous lead is, especially for children. Even low levels can have long term effects on a child’s development. The most important thing you can do is lessen your exposure or avoid lead exposure altogether.

Coins stacked on a monthly budgeting form.

January 24, 2022

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get your finances in order, start with creating a budget. A comprehensive plan for your spending and saving benefits you now and for years to come. 

Think of your budget as a tool to help you plan how you spend your money and track how much you save. Before you sit down to make this plan, you should record your expenses for at least a week to see exactly how you are spending your money. A week will give you some insight; however, the longer you track your spending, the more accurate your budget will be. Try this...

People serve their plates at a buffet-style dinner.

November 23, 2021

If you always find yourself off track in the diet department this time of year, you’re not alone. But if we partake thoughtfully this holiday season, we can still enjoy our favorite things without the guilt.

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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

Person planting vegetables.
Knowing your planting zone and selecting the right plants for your zone puts you on the path for gardening success! (Photo by Canva Pro)
What are Plant Hardiness Zones?
A woman stands in a kitchen and holds a serving of Chicken with Peachy Ginger Sauce.
Slow Cooker Chicken with Peachy Ginger Sauce is an easy meal for those busy weeknights.
The Food Factor: Slow Cooker Chicken with Peachy Ginger Sauce
Blackberries growing.
Some of the blackberry cultivers are upright, while others have trailing tendencies that require trellising. (Photo by MSU Extension)
Tips for Planting Blackberries