My Thoughts on Children’s Sleep Schedule

posted by Andrea | 04/21/2017 | 12 comments

It’s been just over a year now since we finally got all 3 of our kids on a relatively decent sleeping schedule… and since then, Dave and I have enjoyed hours of kid-free time every evening.

I’m often asked to share what exactly we did to get our kids to sleep better — and although I don’t have a specific 3-step or 5-step process, I hope that some of the thoughts I share in today’s post will help those of you in the thick of sleepless nights!

The 5-Minute Home Makeover

posted by Andrea | 04/20/2017 | 15 comments

I realize many of you might be thinking the title of this post is a joke… but I’m serious.

Yes, I know you can’t literally “make-over” your entire home in 5-minutes — but you CAN make-over one drawer, one shelf, one cubbie, or one small section of your house in 5 minutes.

6 Things I Dislike About Various Pots and Pans

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2017 | 25 comments

Over the last 10+ years, I have used many different pots and pans, and I think I’ve finally figured out what I want/need from my pans, as well as a handful of features I really dislike.

For those of you who share my enthusiasm for random product reviews (good and bad), I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few things I dislike about various pots and pans. I’d love it if you shared more in the comments!

How Much Is Too Much? (my 2-part formula)

posted by Andrea | 04/18/2017 | 9 comments

Over the years, I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been asked: How much is too much _______________________ (toys, clothes, shoes, bags, books, electronics, kitchen gadgets, tools, etc.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have the perfect answers for every situation… but I DO have a really simple 2-part “formula” that has worked well for my own home and life, and I have a feeling it just might work for you too!

My Minimalist Maternity Wardrobe

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2017 | 20 comments

After 4 pregnancies in crazy West Michigan weather (all during different seasons of the years), I’ve found that it has been fairly easy for me to wear a somewhat minimalistic maternity wardrobe.

Today I’m sharing everything in MY maternity wardrobe and why it works so well for me!

Self-Imposed Deadlines: My Time Managers and Life Simplifiers

posted by Andrea | 04/14/2017 | 22 comments

For as long as I can remember, I’ve set self-imposed deadlines for myself and my life — everything from school work and piano lessons as a child to blog work and home maintenance as an adult.

I do realize that self-imposed deadlines might not work perfectly for every personality type… but they sure do have a HUGELY positive impact on my own life… and today, I’m sharing a few reasons why.

How Blue Apron Helped Extend My Vacation

posted by Andrea | 04/13/2017 | 14 comments

I don’t know about you, but I always hate coming home from vacation to a messy home, piles of dirty laundry, and an empty refrigerator… so I took a few steps to make sure coming home would be a bit less depressing this time.

I cleaned the house before we left, did laundry the day before we came home, AND I scheduled a Blue Apron delivery the day after we got home, so I didn’t have to meal plan or worry about getting groceries! It was SO fabulous!

The Dekkers Go To Florida

posted by Andrea | 04/12/2017 | 26 comments

Last week, our family flew to Kissimmee, FL, with my entire side of the family for spring break… and even though I felt more tired when we got home than before we left, I’d have to say that the week was a success (considering we traveled with 3 children 5 and under!)

Today I’m sharing a bunch of pictures from our trip!

My 2017 View of “Homemaking”

posted by Andrea | 04/11/2017 | 18 comments

For me, “homemaking” in 2017 looks quite a bit different than it did years ago… and while I probably wouldn’t ever introduce myself as “Andrea Dekker, a homemaker” I’m also not ashamed to consider “homemaking” as a large and important part of what I do every day.

After reading this post, I still don’t expect you to love it as much as I do — but maybe you won’t hate it!

How We’re Preventing Pests This Year

posted by Andrea | 04/10/2017 | 9 comments

Over the past few years, Dave and I have dealt with our fair share of pest issues — everything from bats and bees to moles and mice. However, THIS year, we’re taking some preventative measures that will hopefully keep the pests out all spring and summer long.

I’m also sharing how the act of “prevention” has helped me to simplify and de-stress my life!

Save More: Buy What You Need Versus What You Can Afford

posted by Andrea | 04/7/2017 | 22 comments

We wouldn’t have very full lives if we ONLY allowed ourselves to buy exactly what we needed to survive and nothing more. It’s fun to splurge a little every now and then and it can be a special treat to do or buy something we might not normally do or buy.

But I do think we (myself included) could all save a lot of money if we simply stopped to ask “Do I NEED this?” versus “Can I AFFORD this?”

7 Bad (and Better) Responses for a Friend in Need

posted by Andrea | 04/6/2017 | 66 comments

Almost all of us have some sort of issue or problem we struggle with on a daily basis… and sometimes we just need to vent.

Inspired by a recent reader question, I decided to share 7 bad (and better) responses for when a friend (or spouse, or child, or other relative) comes to us to vent, to share a concern, or to ask for our advice.

Apple, Bacon, Pecan Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

posted by Andrea | 04/5/2017 | 14 comments

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite salad recipes — it has just the right combination of crunchy and chewy and savory and sweet.

If you love “non traditional” salads, you’ll want to give this recipe a try. It works for almost any occasion, any holiday, and any season of the year!

One Simple Way I Got My Kids to Listen Better

posted by Andrea | 04/4/2017 | 41 comments

Today I’m sharing one simple thing I’ve been doing with my kids that has helped them listen to me so much better.

Of course, they aren’t magically compelled to do everything I ask without moaning, groaning, whining, and complaining… but we are making progress, and that’s all I can ask for right now!

A Few of My Favorite Things {April, 2017}

posted by Andrea | 04/3/2017 | 11 comments

It’s a new month… and I’m sharing a few new favorite things. Everything on this month’s list has a very low price-point, but they all make a huge difference in my daily life.

Come see what my favorite things are, and share YOUR favorites in the comments!

I Have SO Many Photos… Where Should I Start?

posted by Andrea | 03/31/2017 | 12 comments

Since I often talk about our digital photo books and how I have chosen to organize our photos, it’s not a huge surprise that I get A LOT of questions and emails regarding photo storage and organization.

Today I’m sharing MY answer to the top question I get regarding photo organization… “I have SO many photos, where should I start?”

Can It Really Hurt To Try?

posted by Andrea | 03/30/2017 | 19 comments

Do you struggle to make simple decisions or constantly worry about making a mistake or failing? Do you regularly ask for other people’s opinions instead of just trusting your own gut instinct?

If so, I hope today’s post offers a bit of encouragement and motivation to “just give it a try” (whatever IT is). After all… can it really hurt to try?

The Gift of (Allergy Friendly) Food

posted by Andrea | 03/29/2017 | 53 comments

I’ve always been a huge fan of food gifts — both giving and receiving! However, over the past few years, I’ve had so many situations where the family I want to give a food gift to has food sensitivities or food allergies.

Because of this, I came up with 2 or 3 simple go-to meals I could make when people have some of the more common food sensitivities. I’m sharing the recipes today — and I’d love a few more ideas to add to my list!