How to Have Great Experiences by Preparing Your Kids for New Adventures

How to Have Great Experiences by Preparing Your Kids for New Adventures

Great Experiences Start with Preparation!

family adventure - white water rafting in VA - photo from

Kids love adventures. They love learning new things. But too often they can be easily disappointed by a failure that causes them to feel embarrassed or somehow silly, causing an unwillingness to try again. Or worse yet, that failure may cause them to never want to take on another adventure!

How do we really prepare our kids for adventures in life and do fun things? We think one of the biggest ways is to give them practical experiences, practical experiences including things like going to scouting events, having them take part in our day-to-day lives, and coping with the consequences when they don’t listen.

You can follow along with our transcript by CLICKING HERE!

Preparing for Failure Is as Important as Success!

No, we’re not being harsh here. We’re saying that failing is part of learning. We all know that a baby falls many times before they walk, or a youngster skins their knees while learning to ride their bicycle. But, oh boy, once learned, they’re off and running – or biking – in no time at all. To be confident adults, we need to prepare our children with the tools and experiences to succeed. But we also must help them to see the consequences of choices and to take responsibility. They must experience failure in order to know how to overcome their disappointments.

Join our discussion as we discuss some examples. Then reach out to us and let us know what you think.

NOTE: If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common-sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word. Visit and like our youtube channel and our Facebook page. Sign up for our newsletter  – the form’s on the HOME page. Share your thoughts with us on youtube or FB. And, please, share us with your friends. Here’s to your peace of mind because you’re prepared!

Between us, we have over 100-years of experience, and Sam’s only 40!
If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common-sense approaches to
sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word.


Thinking Spring – Peepers and Peeps!

Thinking Spring – Peepers and Peeps!

… the mushroom soil has been delivered!

As we growled about Punxsutawney Phil and springing ahead this weekend with the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, we also celebrated the signs of spring on this week’s Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie!

Peeps (Chicks) of many colors

Photo by Michael Anfang on Unsplash

Sam talks about her love of purchasing spring peeps – yes, she loves seeds and plants, too. But there’s just something about the fluffy butts of peeps that causes her family to want to tie her hands when she visits Tractor Supply.  Ellie, on the other hand, shares the anticipation of the first sounds of the peepers – the cheery music of those little tree frogs.

We discuss moving from winter to spring – what we love and what we won’t miss. We’ll debate spring trimming and pruning, and even the joys of having your children discover they love your gardening hobby almost as much as you do!

DISCLAIMER: Ellie made an incorrect statement re: trimming in the fall or winter vs spring. She shares the following: My memory is not exactly accurate. In western NY State Spring comes later than Maryland and usually fast. Most of the farms had acres of grapes and fruit trees. That’s why they often started trimming and pruning earlier.

If you want to enjoy reading along while you watch the video, CLICK HERE for the pdf file. (It will open in a new tab). In the meantime, enjoy a snack with us!

Peepers Announce Spring Is Here

Oh yeah, and speaking of those peepers, have a listen. These tiny little tree frogs are absolutely delightful. Along with fireflies in summer… well, just love the music and beauty of Mother Nature!

Between us, we have over 100-years of experience – and Sam’s only 39 40!

If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word. Visit and like our youtube channel and our Facebook page. And sign up for our newsletter  – the form’s on the HOME page.


Introducing Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie

Introducing Sunday Snacks with Sam and Ellie

Ellie and Sam Discuss the Use of the Word: Sustainability

We’ve started a new series to just share a bit of ourselves, our concerns and philosophies, and sometimes just plain silliness. Join us for


Sam loves the word sustainability! Ellie thinks it’s overused and often misunderstood. She likes the word “Nourish.” Listen to the video – or read the transcript below. Then check us out on Facebook or Youtube and leave a comment as to how YOU might define sustainability.


Hi, this is Sunday snacks with Sam N Ellie. Good morning. So we’re here to talk to you obviously about sustainability because that is one of the big things that BeyondTPandMilk is about. Now, Ellie, tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Ellie: I’m old, I’m 77 and I’m, I’m, Sam’s stand-in grandma, But you’re also like one of my best friends. Don’t don’t let her Nope. Nope. They’re my second family, her family. I’ve done lots of things in my life. Lots of years spent doing data entry, worked in corporations – admin person, published my own publications mostly in tourism.

Sam: So in short, you’ve had an adventurous life.


Sam: All right. And that’s, I mean, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She’s got lots of stories and they’re amazing to me. I’m 40. I have two kids. I’m married and I live in a house in the suburbs. I mean, it’s not a really exciting life, but it is definitely something that makes me happy and lights me up. And sustainability is a huge part of that for me.

Ellie: I would say your life is exciting, always on the go and always busy and your kids are always busy and everybody is always busy.

Sam: Although I don’t try to be so busy, but that’s, that’s part of being a stay at home, mom and entrepreneur, a spouse, an avid gardener, school or homeschool. I mean, the list just goes on and on, but do you do Friday game night? I do. I love game night. Our whole family loves gaming. We love having you over for game night. But that leads us to why we’re here. You know, one of the things that Ellie and I have noticed over the years is even though we have such a large age gap, we have similar and yet very different views on the world. And one of the things that I love to yabber on about is sustainability. And I don’t know that you would agree that that’s the best word.

Ellie: I just give her a hard time, because I think sustainability is one of those fad words today that means so many different things to different people.

Sam: So we’re going to try to find a way to make all the pieces fit together. Yeah. I mean, I definitely was using the word sustainability before it became popular, but you know, not everybody would agree. So how would you define sustainability?

Ellie: Well, I see it used in relation to lots of different things from, you know, our health and preserving our food and being ready for Armageddon and the apocalypse and the zombies. And we’ve certainly, you know, shared a lot of those ideas, but, but I think sustainability to me is, I guess if I were to pick a word, I would use nourish more than I would use sustain.

I just think people get it. You know, they know what your kids need to thrive. They know what your garden needs and what flowers need. We all need sunshine and water and good feelings and all those kinds of things. So I, I just think that sometimes using the latest catchword, we, we, it, it gets numb. People get numb to the phrasing and that’s, that’s really, I’m, I’m not anti-sustainability at all. I just think that sometimes in using the latest phrase we, we oftentimes will lose audience because they think we’re, oh, you know, you’re that eco person or that environmental person when I know for a fact that you’re more than that. Yeah. It’s much more complete.

Sam: Yeah. I mean, for me it does involve a lot of what you’re saying, nourishment. But sustainability does tie heavily into community, which you don’t really talk about other than the environmental nuts out there that are like, Hey, all, all of them, you know, I don’t know, kumbaya, loving together. I know don’t let me get her started Stealing my phrases. Well, let me get her started. But you know, there’s community and then,  obviously the environmental impact and there’s just so much for me, a lot of it is food. I mean, I think with my gut, right?

We call this Sunday Snacks, yeah, we already had. I had two cherry turnovers and you had a donut. I’m on like my fifth cup of coffee is fine. Water now. But like really we, you know, for me with sustainability, the crux of why I’ve always used that word has been we need as people to sustain ourselves. Like you, you even called me out on that earlier.

Ellie: You know, if we don’t sustain ourselves, we die. So why is this such a popular word? You know?

Sam: And rightly so, that’s a great point to make. And for me though, it’s not just about sustaining me to live. It’s just about sustaining every aspect of me because there’s the old concept that we inherit our land from our ancestors and that’s not exactly how I view it. I view it more along the line of the Indian proverb that we are borrowing the world from our children. And frankly, I don’t want to leave my children a crap hole. I want to make it better.

And one of the words that you brought up to me was steward. That was such an interesting concept. It’s not something I would think about. It’s an old word, but it goes along with the Indian story. Yeah. But like you said though, like, I, I wouldn’t, I want to raise my children as positive stewards of their community, of the environment of just life. So I don’t know, sustainability, I guess, holds true with the nourishment concept, but I don’t why we wouldn’t want to have a catchphrase, but yet I get so viscerally aggravated by catchphrases as well.

hands cupped, holding a flowering plant in dirt.

Ellie: Well, I, my problem isn’t with the word itself. It’s, It’s one of those catchphrases today that can mean 101 different things. And I think our audience is broader than those who just use sustainability in terms of ecology or environment. I think we think broader, for instance, when I mentioned steward in, in my growing up, even though we believe, you know, we inherited land from our predecessors, steward – being a good steward of that land for those who follow you, was the rest of that story. So that, that wasn’t just, you know, that we got it for us. It, our job was then to be good stewards to pass it on. So, so I guess that’s why I have problems with just phrases, you know, the latest popular thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I do believe knowing you as well as I do that, that you also think in much broader terms than that. And that’ why I think nourish whether it’s homeschooling or food or our community or each other you know, is, I think to me it’s a more human word, which is what we’re trying to accomplish with sustainability.

Sam: True.

Ellie: You know? So I think it’s a word that touches people differently, I guess maybe that is why I like that word better.

Sam: And by the way, folks, this is coming from a lady who has a bug-out bag in her back closet where I, the crazy one that uses the word sustainability, doesn’t have one.

Ellie: Yeah. Well, you know when I was younger, I was afraid that someday I would be homeless. And so a counselor told me to pack a bag with what I thought I needed. Cause I need, I knew I’d need like a couple of changes of clothes, so I could apply for jobs and look respectable and things like that. Then she said, just put it in the back of your closet and you’ll be prepared. So it’s part of our sustainability. Yeah. It is. It’s nourishing the soul, you know, when you’re, when you’re living in constant fear, you can’t function. Right. So she, she gave me an out for dealing with that. And it’s just been there ever since. And you know, I mean, Luckily I’ve made it this far without needing it

Sam: And that right there is a winner. That’s right. So we’ll leave you with that little nugget.

We would love to know what you believe is sustainability, right? I mean, you like the word nourish. I still haven’t found a better definition for the holistic manner in which I speak about sustainability, but I do like nourish. Not sure if I’m going to land there. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments? Perfect. Bye guys.

Ellie: Bye!

NOTE: Comment in our youtube channel or our facebook page.

Strawberries and the Power of ONE

Strawberries and the Power of ONE

So why am I coming at you from the ground?

I’m sitting on the ground inside my berry patch. Um, so why am I down here? I’ll show you.
During the height of the pandemic. I bought 40 – and I repeat 40 -strawberry plants. They were bare root strawberry plants and let’s be realistic, only one of them survived! One.
Now I have two 12-foot long sections of my garden that are two feet wide full of strawberries from ONE plant that survived.
Am I the best strawberry gardener? No, evidently I couldn’t keep 40 plants alive, and they were bare roots, strawberry plants, but one survived.
And now I’ve got a plethora of strawberries, to the point that I actually shared them with other people. So what does that have to do with sustainability and Beyond TP and Milk?
Handful of delicious red strawberries
Well, here it is. What I’ve done now with my strawberries is I thinned them out and I’ve now separated them into two full garden beds from ONE plant.
I let the ONE plant take over last year, send runners out everywhere. It looked like a hot disaster nodule in this spring when everything was still like, just waking up, and pretty cold. My husband and I spent an entire day breaking up this bed that was full of strawberries.
So the strawberries are an amazing source of just awesomeness for us and our family. Our kids love them. We love them. And you know, we’re not gonna probably jam as much or do any of those kinds of things with it, but we do eat them like crazy.
What makes this sustainable isn’t necessarily that I have lots and lots of strawberries and strawberry plants from one plant.  What makes us sustainable is that I was able to then share this with other people. I had so many strawberry plants when we spread them apart that I was able to give them to two other families who now have deck boxes and put them in their garden at their house.

And that ONE plant will become even more prolific and in sustainability and looking at just the reality of how our environment and how the political scene is, and how everything is going on with our economy, we need to start really thinking about ​the people around us.

Now, mind you, I live in a community with a lot of people who are much older than me.​ ​So instead of trying to ​barter with them, what we have done is just built-in goodwill.​ We give away a good portion of our produce that we don’t eat?

We save, we store it. We do all the things that we need for our family for full sustainability for our household.But​ ​we also share our bounty and we share our wealth and our abundance and in doing so, we’ve gotten it back 10 fold in just the three years of living here.

So when you think about sustainability and you think about everything with the pandemic and things like that, and you hear the term ​’​prepper​’​ and homesteader​, think of it​ n​ot necessarily in those context​s. ​Think of it more as you’re building community, when you start really stepping outside of your box and you realize, okay, I want a sense of preparedness.​ ​I want a sense of being safe.
You can’t do everything for yourself. You can try​, but you’re going to​ burnout​. ​But if you build a community of people around you that you support and that support you tenfold, you’ve got a wealth of abundance that you never even knew you had.
And I can say that ​hands down from truthful experiences, just living here in my own neighborhood and sharing eggs with people.
And my husband was at work before the pandemic even happened. And our pipe burst. And I didn’t know where the shutoff valve was in our house, but I knew my neighbors did because they had been in our house before​ ​we had even owned it.
So I sent my kids to get my neighbor. He came over and helped me find the shut-off valve. ​He actually started helping us with the piping, not because he had to, but because he was kind and what we were able to do then was just get brand new pipe and fix it​. And all was good in the world.

But all that came from saying​ hello

…and giving a smile and a dozen eggs that I had an abundance of that anyway, at the time.
So when you think about sustainability, don’t just think about what you can do. Think about what you can do to maximize yourself through your community. And you’ll be surprised at what you’ll get. It’s just like my strawberries. ​ONE little strawberry​ became​ this whole garden.
Enjoy yourself. Bye-bye.
Between us, we have over 100-years of experience and Sam’s only 39! If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word. 
Mutant Chard and Joy

Mutant Chard and Joy

What we're calling - our Mutant Chard!How old do you think this plant is?

It’s over a year old – yep, chard from last year. It’s in its second year of life. Heck. How does that happen?
I’ll tell you a little story. So for those of you who raise animals, you obviously know how to cull a herd. That’s normal. And people who have gardened before, know that you thin out your seeds or starts and things like that as you’re growing your plants.
Now you bring my husband into the mix. So it was super exciting. The neat part about this plant species is that it lived through the entire winter, which has been one of our coldest, in our compost bin! It sat there all winter and it was fine.
My husband pulled it out this spring when he was turning over the compost. He’s like, “Oh this thing has new roots and new shoots coming out of it.” Mind you, see the base of this coffee mug. That is the size of the massive center root of this plant. So to humor him, he’s like, oh, I’m going to plant it.

So now we have our Mutant Chard.

This probably means the plant is going to get tough. It’s going to be harder to eat, a lot more chewy, not the best flavor. But it’s his little pet in the garden and it’s super fun. He has a hard time letting go of this growth of freshness. You know, like a lot of us, we have had a massive amount of upheaval with the pandemic. So why take away the joy of the Mutant Chard when it just brings a little bit of happiness?
So what makes you happy? Like, think about it, Sustainability isn’t just about things and putting together your garden and having food on hand and stuff like that. It’s about a lifestyle.
I choose this lifestyle. It makes us happy as a family, you know, it makes our life richer. What makes your life richer? What can you do right now to make joy to your life?
Between us, we have over 100-years of experience, and Sam’s only 39! If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word.