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January 27, 2023

A crape myrtle in the landscape

Crape myrtles are popular for their low-maintenance beauty, but they can benefit from some light pruning this time of year.


A bowl of cooked sausage and apples.

The Food Factor: Sweet ’n’ Savory Skillet

January 24, 2023

This one-pan Sweet 'n' Savory Skillet recipe is a satifying meal that does not require a lot of cleanup.

Different color of onions.

Understanding the Different Types of Onions

January 20, 2023

Have you ever visited the grocery store to buy onions for a recipe, only to realize you don’t know which type of onion to buy? We’ve all been there!

A woman stands in a kitchen.

5 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

January 17, 2023

With food prices on the rise, my grocery bill has increased significantly. Healthy eating is a priority for me, but I want to make sure I stay within budget at the store. Check out some of my favorite budget-friendly tips.

A bee sits on a flower

How to Garden for Bees

January 13, 2023

Pssst…You know you don’t have to be a beekeeper to help support honey bees, right?

A variety of high-quality, nectar plants that bloom in your yard throughout the year can attract an abundance of bees and other pollinators like butterflies and moths. Winter is a great time to plan for the addition of more pollinator plants to your landscape this spring or to grow an entire pollinator garden this spring. These are the elements you need if you want to bring more bees to your yard.

A mug with tea in it.

The Food Factor: Tingly Herb Tea

January 10, 2023

I enjoy warm drinks during the winter months, but coffee just isn’t the ideal afternoon beverage for me. I prefer something without caffeine.

Person with teal gloves planting tree.

Landscape Checklist for January

January 6, 2023

Curb appeal is what everyone aims for, but how do you get that great looking yard? We all want a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine, and 2023 is the year to make it happen! Each month, we’ll put out a quick checklist of tasks to stay on top of yard maintenance. Here’s January’s list:

  • January is a great time to plan, audit, and assess what’s going on in your landscape. What do you want to plant in your landscape? What did you plant in the past that didn’t grow as planned? Think about what you’ve accomplished and what you want to see get done. You can
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Red northern cardinal.

Bird of the Month: Northern Cardinal

January 3, 2023

Northern cardinals are a commonly spotted bird during winter months. If you’re like me, you’ve seen cardinals featured on various holiday décor items. It’s almost like they’re the official bird of winter.

close up of cinnamon spice candied pecans

The Food Factor: Cinnamon Spice Candied Pecans

December 20, 2022

Candied pecans are one of those quintessential holiday goodies. They are great for parties, visitors, or just to snack on. Try these Cinnamon Spice Candied Pecans if you are looking for a candied nut recipe.

Red Nandina berries.

Are Nandina Berries Toxic to Birds?

December 16, 2022

Heavenly bamboo, commonly referred to as nandina, is a popular, evergreen landscape plant that produces vibrant red berries and resembles hollies. 

Qula Madkin

3 Wellness Tips for Holiday Travel

December 13, 2022

Don’t put your health and fitness goals on the backburner this holiday season just because you’re traveling. There are plenty of ways to practice wellness and keep your family and yourself on track. 

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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