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November 15, 2019

Roasted Brussels sprouts on a serving dish.

Eating seasonal vegetables helps you get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Brussels sprouts are wildly popular right now and are easy to prepare. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/MSU Extension)


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.

Bike Safety Tips

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:

Two red and orange marigolds in focus with several yellow, red and orange marigolds out of focus in the background.

What To Do in Your Garden in June

May 21, 2019

I love riding around town looking at everyone’s front yard landscapes. I know how much work goes into making it look top-notch! A lot has been done, but there’s plenty more to do in your yard and garden.

A 10-month-old baby eats homemade baby food.

Homemade Baby Food

May 17, 2019

Making your own baby food can be a great way to save money and capture fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak flavor. This means top nutrition and exciting new food experiences for your baby. (Besides, you know some of those baby food flavor combinations gross you out. When you make your own, you have full control!)

A farmers market vendor holds a bag for a customer shopping for fresh salad greens.

Farmers Market Tips

May 13, 2019

Visiting the local farmers market is one of my favorite summertime activities. I love getting to visit with vendors, sample homemade goods, and buy locally grown produce. My favorite items to buy are peaches, corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. My local farmers market has a flower stand, so I always leave with a bouquet!

Caramelized onions in a black cast iron skillet.

How to Caramelize Onions

May 10, 2019

Loads of recipes call for caramelized onions, but have you ever made them?

The good news is they add a lot of flavor to soups and meat dishes. (Liver and onions always go together for a reason!)

Several small and compact violet flowers on long stems with green foliage.

Mississippi Medallion Plants: Proven Performers

May 7, 2019

Do you want surefire performance in your landscape and vegetable garden, but don’t know what to look for when you go to the garden center?

 A mixture of small broccoli florets, diced carrots, eggs and cheese baked as a frittata in a large black cast-iron skillet.

The Food Factor: Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

May 3, 2019

Remember when you bought that head of broccoli on sale, but didn’t have a plan for it? Wash it, chop it, and let’s get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Frittatas are not just for fancy brunches! This nutritious, one-pan meal can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, though broccoli is one of my favorites. And it comes together so quickly, you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time!

A plant with variegated, triangular leaves.

What’s This Plant?: Client Q&A

April 30, 2019

Do you have a mysterious plant coming up in your yard and you’re not sure how it got there?

Extension has answers. Our experts can tell you what it is and the best ways to eradicate, control, or manage it.

A small clear glass bowl holds baked oatmeal with blueberries and a stainless steel spoon.

The Food Factor: Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

April 26, 2019

Some mornings, it’s hard for me to make healthy breakfast choices. Whether I’m running out of time or tempted by a hot breakfast sandwich from the local fast food restaurant drive-through, preparing ahead of time helps me stay on track. I may even start experimenting by adding bananas in the pan first or swapping honey for the brown sugar.

A group of tomato plants tied around a wooden stake in black plastic containers sitting on a shelf.

What to Do in Your Garden in May

April 23, 2019

I spent a lot of time working in my yard during April. I planted several pots, pruned my shrubs, and put down a fresh layer of mulch. It would be easy to sit back and admire my hard work, but with the warmer weather coming in, there’s still so much to do! 

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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