Spring Cleaning Twitter Party

Spring Cleaning Supplies

Let’s celebrate the first day of spring with a spring cleaning Twitter party. I’ll be answering your spring cleaning questions live tonight, Thursday, May 20, from 5-6 p.m. ET. Use #AskErin to ask a question and #SpringCleaning to follow the conversation. I hope to see you there.

If you’re not following me on Twitter yet, you’ll find me at @ErinHuffstetler.

Party sponsored by @Ooma.

Soy Sauce Eggs

Soy Sauce Eggs

With five chickens, the eggs sometimes come in faster than I can use them. When that happens, I hop online and search for new recipes to try. On one such occasion, I discovered a recipe for soy sauce eggs (Shoyu Tamago in Japanese), which are a lovely and ridiculously tasty take on hard-boiled eggs. Basically, you cook hard-boiled eggs in soy sauce until the whites turn dark brown and the eggs take on that salty, savory soy sauce flavor. I’ve since made them a bunch of times, and devised my own recipe in the process. It’s super easy, and well worth a try.

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Repurpose Conference Name Tags

New Use for Conference Name Tags

I attend a couple conferences a year, and I’m always stumped as to what to do with those conference name tags when I get home. I mean, some of them are kinda nice. Maybe a little too nice to just toss in the trash. Which is why I’m happy to report that I finally found a use for them: luggage tags. Yes, luggage tags. I mean, think about it, they already have your name on them, so if you just stick your contact information on the back, you’ll be good to go. And if your name tag already has your e-mail address printed on it, you may not even have to do that.

Conference Name Tag Turned Luggage Tag

A clever repurpose and one less thing hanging around the house? That folks, is what we call a winner around here.

What We Accomplished in 2013

Before you get wrapped up in your resolutions for next year, set aside some time to reflect on everything that you accomplished this year.

Here’s a look at some of the things that my family accomplished over the last year:

My husband quit his job in February to come work with me. It’s been great to have the extra help and to have him home during the day, and I know he’s enjoyed having time to run our daughters to and from their after-school activities. My hope is that someday they’ll look back and realize how lucky they were to have both parents at home.

What We Accomplished in 2013

After thinking about getting chickens for years, we finally took the plunge and ordered five chicks. My husband turned a curb-shopped dog house into a coop, and we’ve been enjoying our hens and their eggs ever since.

Mason Bee House

With more control over how we spent our time, we built a bat house, a butterfly house and two mason bees houses for the garden. We also took our first ever two-week vacation – a road trip to New England to attend my sisters wedding and the July Brimfield Show. So much fun!

Damaged Window Screen

When things broke around the house, we learned how to fix them ourselves. That included two HVAC repairs, a dryer repair, replacing a bunch of hail-damaged window screens and probably several other fix-it projects that I’ve forgotten about (or blocked from my memory). I’m happy to report that we didn’t have to make a single service call all year.

Homemade Bug Repellent

And when we needed something, we rolled up our sleeves and made it ourselves whenever we could. This year, I made peppermint, orange and lemon extract for the first time, and I developed a recipe for bug repellent bars and homemade hair conditioner.

But best of all, we’re ending another year with a healthy family, all of our needs met and enough room in our budget for the occasional want, too. The fact that we’ve been able to achieve all of that, while working at a job that we love, makes me feel both accomplished and blessed. I hope you feel the same way, when you look back over your year.

2014 Tea Towel Calendars

2014 Tea Towel Calendars

2014 Tea Towel Calendar Design

Need a 2014 calendar for your kitchen? I just added these fun tea towel calendars to my Etsy shop. Order them on their own, or pair them with my kitchen conversions towel and get a discount on both:

Kitchen Conversions Tea Towel

Kitchen Conversions Towel