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May 17, 2022

a glass of lemonade

Lemonade is refreshing anytime of year! Try this version sweetened with honey.


A woman stands at a kitchen counter with whole-grain products.

What are Whole Grains?

November 9, 2021

Not all grains are created equal and figuring out the difference can be confusing. Grains are divided into two subgroups: whole grains and refined grains. Qula helps you sort through the diffences and understand how to shop for whole-grain products.

A roasted turkey surrounded by traditional side dishes.

4 Tips for Safely Handling and Cooking Your Thanksgiving Turkey

November 5, 2021

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year? My family loves turkey and dressing, and I’m getting the list of my favorite dishes to contribute ready. No matter what you plan to cook this holiday season, the first item on your checklist should be food safety.

A woman at a kitchen counter with ingredients for a pie.

The Food Factor: Crustless Pumpkin Pie

November 2, 2021

This Crustless Pumpkin Pie is great if you need a gluten-free option for your holiday meals and comes together quickly. It's easy to substitute Mississippi-grown sweet potatoes for the pumpkin. Natasha shows you how in the latest installment of The Food Factor.

Mouse in a field.

Critter of the Month: House Mouse

October 29, 2021

As cooler weather arrives, mice are looking for any source of heat and food they can find. Sometimes, they find their way into homes. You may notice the faint pitter-patter of small feet inside walls and attics. It’s just the mice looking for a warm place to stay!

Trees waiting to be planted.

November Garden Checklist

October 26, 2021

It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2021. With cooler weather arriving, that means there’s not as much to do in your garden besides constantly raking leaves to ensure they don’t take over your landscape. However, there are a few additional tasks you can complete to prep your space for spring! 

white oak acorns.

How to Identify Oak Trees Using Acorns

October 22, 2021

Mississippi has quite an extensive list of native oak trees. With 34 different species found in the state, you may wonder how to tell which is which. Although there are many ways you can identify each oak, the trees’ acorns are a great indication of species. By looking at the acorn’s shape, color, and size, you’ll be able to identify which oak species it came from. 

Here are five of the most common oak trees found in Mississippi and how to identify the species using its acorns:

  1. Live oak – Live oak acorns resemble the shape of a football
  2. ...
A woman stands at a kitchen counter with a latte.

The Food Factor: Pumpkin Spice Latte

October 19, 2021

Pumpkins are the star of fall. And so is pumpkin spice. If you love lattes and this quintessential fall flavor that has become all the rage, this recipe is for you!

colorful fall leaves

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

October 15, 2021

Autumn is the time of year when nature graces us with a perfect landscape of red, orange, and yellow leaves to enjoy. As you take in the beautiful scenery, you may wonder: What causes the leaves to change colors in the fall months? Many people believe frost is the reason, but that’s actually a myth! 

A woman sits at a table which displays alternative Halloween treats.

Trick, Treat, or Toy?: 4 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

October 12, 2021

Whether you are having a Halloween party with friends, sending treats to school, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, with a little creativity, you can find ways to add some healthy options into the mix.

Different colored pumpkins in a line.

How to Keep Pumpkin Decor Fresh

October 8, 2021

Pumpkins are a fall staple and a great way to add a bit of festive decor to your home. I’ve had a pumpkin display out at my home since mid-September. I’ll keep this fall arrangement up until after Thanksgiving and then replace it with Christmas lights and decor.

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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