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November 29, 2022

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

‘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.


Pink roses on a bush.

Four Things to Consider When Planting Roses

February 11, 2022

Roses are wildly popular flowers – both for planting in your yard and for gifting to a special someone. Native to the northern hemisphere, roses come in a variety of different colors and types. With over 50 different rose cultivars that grow well in Mississippi, there’s a rose that is sure to meet all your needs and preferences. 

A woman at a counter.

Portion Size vs. Serving Size: Do You Know the Difference?

February 8, 2022

A key part of leading a healthier lifestyle is to integrate a variety of foods in the right amounts into your daily diet. When it comes to deciding how much to eat, serving size and portion size are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

crape myrtle blooms

3 Things to Know About Crape Myrtles

February 4, 2022

Are you updating your existing landscape or planting a brand new one this season? You may want to consider crape myrtles.

A bowl of potato corn chowder.

The Food Factor: Potato Corn Chowder

February 1, 2022

It may be cold outside, but you can help take the chill out of winter with a warm bowl of Potato Corn Chowder.

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.

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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