Why We Didn’t Build A True “Master Bath”

posted by Andrea | 02/20/2017 | 4 comments

Over the past 6 years of sharing various home renovations, I have been asked SO many questions about Dave and my bathroom, and (more specifically) why we didn’t re-work our plans to create a true en suite with the master bath directly off our master bedroom.

Today, I’m sharing the main reasons we chose to keep our bathroom separate from our bedroom.

5 Ways We Simplify Mealtime with Young Children

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2017 | 15 comments

Mealtimes are some of the craziest, busiest, loudest, messiest times for our family — and they happen 3-5 time a day (if you include snacks).

However, there are a few things we do that seem to significantly simplify our crazy mealtimes… I’m sharing 5 of them today!

A Simple Way to Extend The Life of Your Furnace (Plus Free Filters!)

posted by Andrea | 02/16/2017 | 12 comments

After almost 11 years of being a homeowner, I have learned a thing or two about home maintenance. Namely, that a little bit of maintenance can go a LONG way in preventing big huge expenses…

Today I’m sharing one very simple maintenance task that can save you a bunch of money by extending the life of your furnace!

An Easier Twist on Our Favorite “Chicken Packets”

posted by Andrea | 02/15/2017 | 8 comments

Almost FIVE years ago, I shared one of our family’s favorite quick, simple, weeknight meals — Creamy Chicken Packets. However, since then, I’ve simplified this recipe even more… and can now have it oven-ready in about 10 minutes!

If you’re looking for a super quick weeknight meal your whole family will love, then give this cream chicken casserole a try!

14 Simple Ways to Show Yourself Some Love

posted by Andrea | 02/14/2017 | 24 comments

Happy Valentines Day!

Instead of sharing cute Valentine’s craft ideas, decorating ideas, gift ideas, recipe ideas, or other ideas that take time, effort, energy, money, and a decent amount of planning ahead, I thought I’d share 14 simple ways we can show OURSELVES a little extra love over the next few weeks, months, and even years!

Two “Secrets” to Being Productive AND Being a Present Parent

posted by Andrea | 02/13/2017 | 22 comments

I’m often asked for any “secrets” I have to being productive while also being a “present parent” who plays with their kids, shows interest in what they want to do, reads books with them, does crafts together, etc.

I realize there are MANY variables that could come into play here, but as I’ve thought about these questions over the past couple of years, 2 simple concepts (a.k.a “secrets”) came to mind…

If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

posted by Andrea | 02/10/2017 | 15 comments

I love thinking about better, more efficient ways to keep my home and life more organized — but I usually don’t start looking for a more efficient way until I start feeling like my current system isn’t working anymore.

If my current system isn’t broken… I don’t fix it (and I save a lot of time, money, and stress in the process!)

7 Simple Ways We Save A Little Bit More

posted by Andrea | 02/9/2017 | 19 comments

I’ve gotten lots of money-saving questions over the past few weeks… so today, I thought I’d share a handful of relatively small and simple ways we save quite a bit every month and every year.

Most of these simple ways to save won’t instantly change your financial situation, but (as with most things in life) the changes will come about more slowly. However, by starting small and sticking with your savings goals, you will be on your way to create the very valuable habit of SAVING!

How I Save Time on One of My Least Favorite Activities

posted by Andrea | 02/8/2017 | 38 comments

After many years of visiting 4-5 grocery stores each week, finding the BEST deals, playing the drugstore game, and sending in multiple rebates every week, I now do 97% of my grocery shopping at ONE store.

I know I’m spending more because of it… but the luxury of more time is a splurge I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for the past few years! I’d love to know how you handle your grocery shopping too!

Freezing, Defrosting, and Refreezing Meat (Safely)

posted by Andrea | 02/7/2017 | 11 comments

Over the past several years, I’ve shared much of my freezer-cooking journey here on my blog… and every time I do, I get countless questions about how to safely freeze (and refreeze) meat.

While I don’t claim to be an expert, I have done some research, and today I’m sharing MY answers to these “how to freeze meat” questions!

5 Decisions That Can Lead to More Clutter

posted by Andrea | 02/6/2017 | 23 comments

A clutter-free home and life is not always as simple as making a few wise choices… but I do think that if we get in the habit of making better choices on a regular basis, our efforts to declutter and simplify will be THAT much easier.

Today I’m sharing 5 decisions that could cause excess clutter in our homes… as well as a few better decisions to make instead.

Why I Don’t Stress about Kids and Chores

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2017 | 48 comments

As my kids get older, I get more and more questions about kids and chores… and while Dave and I definitely do expect our children to help out around the house in age-appropriate ways, we don’t go crazy or get stressed out forcing chore charts on our young children.

Today I’m sharing the reasons why I don’t worry too much about kids’ chores… and I’d love to know how you handle chores in your home!

Back to Basics: Meal Planning For Beginners

posted by Andrea | 02/2/2017 | 49 comments

I fully understand how overwhelming meal planning can seem if you’ve never done it before, if you’re not a natural planner, if you don’t particularly love cooking, if you’ve tried before and failed, if you have allergies or other picky eaters, if your spouse isn’t appreciative of your efforts, or if you are a perfectionist.

With that said, I hope today’s post will simplify the process SO much that anyone who has ever wanted to meal plan will be encouraged and motivated to try it… even if it’s just for one week!

A Few Of My Favorite Things {February 2017}

posted by Andrea | 02/1/2017 | 13 comments

It’s February — the month of love — so it only seems fitting that I should share a handful of things I LOVE!

One is a newer favorite, the other 4 have been favorites for years and years! And as always, be sure to check out some of my favorite things from past months and share your favorite things in the comments!

How I Became More Easy Going By Planning Ahead!

posted by Andrea | 01/31/2017 | 31 comments

This might sound like a crazy oxymoron… but it’s completely true for my life! Without faithfully planning ahead and incorporating structure into my daily routine, I would not be able to enjoy the benefits of a simpler, less stressful, more relaxing, more easy-going way of life.

Can anyone relate?

The Questions We Ask When Debating Whether to Save or Splurge

posted by Andrea | 01/30/2017 | 4 comments

Today I’m sharing a list of questions Dave and I ask when we’re contemplating saving or splurging.

Of course, there is no right or wrong way to save or splurge, but I’ve found that my mental checklist of questions helps put my purchase into perspective, resist impulsive spending, and still enjoy regular splurges and special treats for myself and my family (without feeling guilty!)

Creating Routine… When Every Day is Different

posted by Andrea | 01/27/2017 | 21 comments

As a self-employed, work-from-home mom of 3 energetic, non-school-age children, my days can be very VERY unpredictable… and this lack of structure starts to wear on me after a while!

Today I’m sharing a few basic routines I’ve implemented that allow our family to thrive, even when every day is different. I think the concepts could be implemented into many different family situations too.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes With Ham

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2017 | 11 comments

One of the things I love most about scalloped potatoes is that it’s a delicious MAKE-AHEAD side dish that can instantly be transformed into a MAKE-AHEAD main dish with the addition of some chopped ham!

If you’re looking for a hearty winter meal (or yummy potato side dish) this is the recipe for you!

5 Ways I Find Free (and Frugal) eBooks

posted by Andrea | 01/25/2017 | 14 comments

I realize there are literally hundreds and hundreds of online resources for free and frugal eBooks, but since I like to keep things super simple, I’m sharing MY top 5 today.

And of course, I’d love to know what your favorites are too!

Why Every Household Needs An Important Information Binder

posted by Andrea | 01/24/2017 | 30 comments

Several years ago, I put together a large binder filled with ALL our important documents and information — basically a handbook for anyone who might need to step in and “run our lives” if we were unable to, for whatever reason.

Today, I’m sharing how I put this binder together, how I keep it updated… AND a free printable worksheet so YOU can get your important papers in order too!