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October 7, 2022

Campfire

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.


Three birds on a bird feeder.

How to Create a Winter Habitat for Birds

January 28, 2022

If there’s one thing we southerners love, it’s our backyard birds. There’s something enjoyable about watching birds fly around and chirp with each other in the yard. However, as brutal as the winter months can be to us, it can be even more challenging to our feathered friends. Many trees and shrubs become bare during the cold weather, eliminating their primary sources of shelter and food. To help provide food, water, and shelter to your backyard buddies, consider creating a welcoming habitat that will prepare them for cold weather.

Coins stacked on a monthly budgeting form.

How to Make a Budget

January 25, 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...

How to Distinguish Termites from Ants

January 21, 2022

Can you tell the difference between a termite and an ant? Termites and ants share a number of similar physical characteristics, and it can be hard to distinguish between the two at first glance. Since termites can be active long before they are properly identified, mistaking them for ants could be a costly error!

Cooked pork chops on a plate.

The Food Factor: Air Fryer Pork Chops for Two

January 18, 2022

This pork chop recipe is ideal for just one or two people, and it comes together quickly with little mess.

A person uses lopers to prune a hydrangea plant.

When and How to Prune Landscape Plants: Winter/Early Spring

January 14, 2022

When, how, and if you should prune depends on the type of plant or tree you have and your goal for the plant. Check out this calendar for some of the pruning chores ideal for January through April in Mississippi.

A woman stands behind a kitchen counter with food items displayed.

4 Tips for a Healthier New You in the New Year

January 11, 2022

Every year millions of Americans vow to lose weight, eat healthier, and be more active. Qula has some tips to help you reach your goals.

A bowl of chili

The Food Factor: 15 Minute Chili

January 7, 2022

This simple homemade chili recipe features ground beef simmered with onion, tomatoes, beans, and seasonings. And it’s ready in 15 minutes!

Frozen plants.

How to Protect Plants During Winter

January 4, 2022

January and February often bring harsh winter temperatures to us in Mississippi. Sometimes cold snaps even come in March and early April! One sudden drop in the temperature can unfortunately damage many of your tender landscape plants. Make sure the freezing temperatures do not harm your plants by taking a few preventative measures: 

A bowl of applesauce.

The Food Factor: Cranberry Applesauce

December 21, 2021

Now that cranberries are in season, I like to use them in as many recipes as possible. This recipe features cranberries, apples, and cinnamon. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart with a beautiful color.

paperwhite narcissus

How to Grow Paperwhite Narcissus

December 17, 2021

When people think of holiday houseplants, poinsettias usually come to mind. Rightfully so! They’re one of the most popular plants on the market during the holidays. One plant many people overlook for decor during winter months is the paperwhite narcissus. 

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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.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Qula Madkin, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. 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