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Family Life Blog Posts

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.

Graphic showing kids wearing masks with tips for parents.

July 28, 2020

If your children are headed back to the classroom, they may be required to wear a mask. We have some tips to help you and your children get ready for this new rule.

Frozen yogurt-dipped grapes sit on a baking sheet.

June 2, 2020

Do you need some quick and healthy snack ideas for the office or to pack the pantry and fridge for the kids this summer?

Hands typing on laptop keyboard

April 30, 2020

If social distancing measures and the shelter-in-place order have left you with reduced income or without a paycheck, we have some tips to help you take control of your finances.

A Christmas tree decorated with white lights.

December 10, 2019

If just the thought of the holidays sets off a sense of dread, consider approaching the season differently this year.
Dr. David Buys, Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist, has some simple, practical tips to help you. 
Photo credit: Michael Voroshnin – Unsplash

Wreath with Santa hat and white tulle shaped to look like a beard hanging on a wooden door.

December 3, 2019

Christmas is my favorite time of year! We wanted to share a fun DIY craft to make with your family this holiday season. Natalie Ray, Extension agent in Clay County, made the cutest Santa wreath with her 4-H’ers and we had to share the instructions!

Conversation cards. Complete description in link.

November 19, 2019

We all know the holidays can bring together family members with a wide variety of opinions. To keep the conversational train on the tracks, try out our conversation cards this holiday season.

A display of healthy treats for Halloween.

October 21, 2019

Trying to eat healthy during the Halloween season can be frightening and a little challenging. Here are a few tips to get your broomstick flying in the right direction.

 A mosquito sits on a person's arm.

September 10, 2019

September has arrived, and that has me thinking about all things fall. But the reality is it’s still sweltering outside, and we’ve got several more weeks of defending ourselves against mosquitoes.

Two walls of a kitchen that has been flooded show significant mold damage and damage to the drywall.

August 22, 2019

When you’re ready to hire a contractor to repair or rebuild property damaged by flooding, keep these tips in mind to help avoid being scammed.

A kitchen with white walls and cabinets shows severe flood damage, including mold damage, on floors and cabinets with doors and drawers removed.

August 21, 2019

Getting started on clean-up after a flood can seem overwhelming. Before you do any work, be sure you know what your insurance company needs to file a claim. Take photos and video of damage, inventory items damaged beyond repair, and keep track of expenses.

apple slices on cutting board.

August 12, 2019

As students and parents get back into the swing of school, it is time to start thinking about quick and easy snacks to refuel you or your kids throughout the day!

Today, I want to show you a quick and easy way to cut an apple!

A small, leashed dog walks on a sidewalk.

July 8, 2019

My pets are part of the family, and I want them to have a healthy diet. There are many choices when it comes to what to feed your pet, and I always discuss this with my veterinarian when I add a pet to the family and at each pet’s check-up.

A young woman with dark hair extends her palm forward with the Healthy Homes Initiative logo on her palm.

June 4, 2019

Maintaining a healthy home can be challenging, but it IS possible. Use the “right hand rule” to make your home a healthy one.

An African-American child wearing a blue helmet and neon yellow shirt extends his left hand to demonstrate a hand signal while riding a bicycle.

May 24, 2019

Warmer weather and summer vacation means many kids are pulling out their bikes and hitting the roads.  It’s a fun pastime and a great way to exercise!

Here are three tips to keep in mind to help avoid injuries and accidents while cycling:

A close up shows a drone hovering above an open field.

January 8, 2019

If you finally got that drone you’ve been wishing for, keep an eye on the federal regulations that govern their use to make sure you know what you can and can’t do with it. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A round peanut butter and jelly sandwich sits on a white plate. It is decorated to look like a turkey, with green, red, and yellow apple slices for feathers, chocolate chips for eyes, cheese for a nose and legs, and a small bit of bacon for a wattle. The plate sits on a multicolored floral placemat.

November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving season, while full of fun, laughter, and family, can also be hectic. Having small children can add to both the joy and the craziness. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

A close-up of a trail camera’s display window as it is being programmed.

October 30, 2018

Trail cameras aren’t just for hunters. They can be great additions to the backyard if you enjoy observing visiting wildlife. Trail cameras also capture what happens while you’re at work, school, or asleep. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Two children waiting at a well-lit door for Halloween treats.

October 16, 2018

Halloween is a fun time for all! Who doesn’t love dressing up as something or someone you could only be in your wildest dreams? And not to mention the candy! Oh, the candy. Kids of all ages look forward to a bucket full of treats! (Photo by Michaela Parker)

Three young people drive ATVs on a marked course in a field during a safety training.

September 18, 2018

Abbye Buchanan, of Florence, is the 2018 winner of the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H ATV Safety PSA Contest. Buchanan is 11 years old and has been a member of 4-H for 3 years. (File photo/MSU Extension Service)

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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

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Single-use items, such as masks, take-out containers and zip-top bags, end up in the watershed when not disposed of properly. (Photo courtesy of Janet Cass)
How to Reduce Pandemic Litter