Top of Diffuser
How I Use Diffusers in My Home
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/29/2016 | 25 Comments
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I don’t like to spend money (big surprise, right?), but I recently purchased three essential oil diffusers, and I consider them to be a great investment. Here’s a look at how I’m using them in my home.

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Homemade Wax Melts
How to Make Wax Melts
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/26/2016 | 19 Comments
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I popped into Walmart the other day, and was surprised to discover almost an entire aisle dedicated to wax melts. Wow! I knew they were popular, but I had no idea they were that popular. And here’s the thing: most of the wax melts they were selling were made out of paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances. Those aren’t things I want my family breathing.

But I do like the idea of wax melts. So, I grabbed a cheapy electric warmer (less than $7), and I went home to make my own wax melts. My version cleans the air instead of polluting it, and can easily be tweaked to help with sinus and cold/flu symptoms. Check it out.

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8x8 Pan With Reusable Food Wrap
How to Make Reusable Food Wrap
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/22/2016 | 11 Comments
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Plastic food wrap is a hard product to have love for. It’s disposable, which means you’re buying it just so you can turn around and throw it away; it’s made out of plastic; and it always gets stuck to itself when you try to use it. Annoying!

Well, as of last week, this is one product that I’ve banished from my kitchen. Yep, I’m done with plastic wrap. From now on, I’ll be using reusable food wrap, made from beeswax-dipped cloth. Maybe you’ve seen this stuff, since it’s kind of “in” right now. It’s literally just a piece of fabric that’s been coated in beeswax. The wax makes the fabric waterproof and air-tight, and it gives it just enough body, so that when you press it around the edge of a bowl or casserole dish, it stays put. Pretty nifty. It even folds around a sandwich nicely.

There are actually several companies selling this product right now, but as easy as it is to make, I opted to make my own, which means I also got to pick the fabric.

Ask your grandmothers or your great-grandmothers how they covered food before plastic wrap came along, and you might just find that they used beeswax-dipped fabric. Yep, while beeswax food wrap is trendy right now, it’s far from a new idea.

Ready to banish plastic wrap from your kitchen? Here’s how to make your own reusable food wrap.

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Chocolate Cake Mix Recipe
Chocolate Cake Mix Recipe
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/20/2016 | 30 Comments
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Mix mania continues. This week I decided to work on a chocolate cake mix recipe … and well … I nailed it! To find out what my family really thought of my recipe, I made a chocolate cake from a box mix and one from my mix recipe. Then, I conducted a blind taste test (seriously, don’t you feel sorry for my family?). My husband and kids all picked my cake as the hands-down winner. But don’t take their word for it. Conduct your own taste test, and see what you think.

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Electric Stove
New Year’s Curb Finds
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/19/2016 | No Comments
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Normally the winter months are not good for curb shopping, but January is kind of the exception. People get busy on their New Year’s resolutions to clean out their homes and get organized, and suddenly good stuff starts to pile up at the curb. Really good stuff.

Like the stuff that my husband snagged on Friday while taking the kids to school. Here’s what I found waiting for me downstairs when I crawled out of bed.

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Yellow Cake Mix Recipe
Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/13/2016 | 19 Comments
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This year, I’m on a quest to make my own baking mixes. It’s been ages since I’ve used store-bought mixes, (probably at least 12 years), but I’m at a point in life where it would be really handy to have mixes sitting in my pantry ready to go. I developed a buttermilk pancake mix over Christmas break that we’re crazy about. This week I decided to work on a yellow cake mix.

After baking (and tasting) eight different cakes (tough job, I know), I’ve arrived at the winner. This mix makes a yellow cake that’s light, fluffy and flavorful. It smells amazing; and bakes up to the same size as a store-bought cake mix, which means when a recipe calls for a store-bought mix, you can grab this one instead. And major bonus: it doesn’t include any of the aluminum, food coloring or other questionable ingredients that you’ll find listed on the side of that store-bought cake mix.

I also happen to think this mix makes a tastier cake, but try it yourself, and see what you think. Here’s the recipe.

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Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
Homemade Pizza Dough
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/11/2016 | 2 Comments
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While enjoying a couple homemade pizzas with our friends Friday night, I realized I’d never shared our pizza dough recipe with you guys. Talk about a major oversight. I mean we’ve only been making pizza every Friday night for the past 14 years. It’s kind of a tradition in our house.

So, let’s set things right shall we? Without further ado, I give you my husband’s pizza dough recipe.

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Buttermilk Pancake Mix Recipe
Homemade Buttermilk Pancake Mix
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/08/2016 | 18 Comments
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Buttermilk pancakes are pretty much the gold standard in pancakes, but if you want to make a batch, you either have to buy a box of buttermilk pancake mix or have fresh buttermilk in the fridge, right? Nope.

There’s actually a third option: homemade buttermilk pancake mix. It has all of the convenience of a store-bought mix, and none of those mystery ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Here’s my recipe.

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Crocheted and Crossstitched Blanket
Christmas Break at the Huffstetler House
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/06/2016 | 3 Comments
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We’re back to work after a 17 day break. So what did we do while we were off? We enjoyed some downtime and caught up on things around the house. Here’s a look at what we did.

Frozen Beans

We were almost out of canned beans, so I cooked two big stockpots of dried beans – one of black beans and one of kidney beans – and added 20 jars of beans to the freezer. By doing big batches, I only have to soak and cook beans a few times a year, and it saves us a ton. The last time I ran the numbers, we were paying $.48 a can for our beans, vs. $1 for a store-bought can, and we get to skip all the sodium that comes with those store-bought cans. A big bonus.

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Printable Bill Pay Checklist
Printable Bill Pay Checklist
By Erin Huffstetler | 01/01/2016 | 94 Comments
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Use this printable bill pay checklist to check off your bills as you pay them each month. It’s an easy way to catch oversights before they result in late fees and added interest.

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