Clara’s Newborn Pictures!

posted by Andrea | 10/19/2017 | 35 comments

One of my favorite things about having a newborn is getting newborn pictures taken! I don’t often pay for professional photos of my kids, but I’ve always paid for professional newborn photos because I just love looking back on how tiny they were.

Today I’m sharing Clara’s newborn pictures (along with a handful of family shots… and even a few of the big kids!)

Easy Spots to Clean When You Physically Can’t Do As Much

posted by Andrea | 10/16/2017 | 9 comments

For the last 3 weeks since Clara was born, I’ve forced myself to take it easy as much as possible as I physically can’t (and shouldn’t) do as much while I recover.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you physically can’t do as much, I hope today’s posts offers a few very simple ideas of ways you can keep up with your house cleaning with minimal effort and energy.

Clara’s Birth Story

posted by Andrea | 10/12/2017 | 52 comments

After weeks of daily contractions, I woke up on Monday, September 25, completely unphased by the fact that I felt more contractions. No big deal, just another day of waiting… or so I thought!

Clara may have arrived a full week “late”, but her timing really couldn’t have been more perfect!

Grilled Cheese for a Crowd

posted by Andrea | 10/9/2017 | 17 comments

If you are looking for a super quick weeknight meal, a fun appetizer for an upcoming party, or just a really easy way to make grilled cheese for a crowd, this recipe should work well for you!

It’s so soft, cheesy, gooey, and delicious — not to mention it takes less than 30 minutes from the time I pull the ingredients out of the fridge until food is on the table! 

A New Nursery for Our New Little Miss

posted by Andrea | 10/5/2017 | 47 comments

I’ve been waiting (not so patiently) to share Clara’s mini nursery makeover on the blog… and today’s the day!

I’m thrilled with how this room turned out — especially since I only had to buy 2 things to pull it off! Everything else was reused or repurposed from somewhere else in our house!

A Few of My Favorite Things {October, 2017}

posted by Andrea | 10/2/2017 | 23 comments

Fall is (and always has been) my favorite season — seriously, if you live in West Michigan, you most likely understand why Fall is one of my favorite things. Another one of my favorite things is the fact that I’m no longer pregnant — Clara is 1 week old today! 

Keep reading for a few more of my favorite things…

Introducing Miss Clara Jo!

posted by Andrea | 09/27/2017 | 115 comments

She’s here! 

Meet the newest addition to the Dekker clan…Clara Jo!

6 Reasons Working from Home with Kids Works for Me (but might not work for you)

posted by Andrea | 09/26/2017 | 13 comments

If you’ve ever wondered how on earth I’m able to work from home with my kids, I hope these 6 reasons help to clear up any confusion.

I promise that I’m no “better” than any other working parent; I just have different skills and I’ve figured out a way to use those skills in a way that works best for me, for my personality, and for my family. 

3 Simple Self-Care Rituals That Make a HUGE Difference for Me

posted by Andrea | 09/25/2017 | 24 comments

I’m often asked if there are certain things I do on a regular basis that are little “treats” for myself — something to pamper myself or something to look forward to after the kids are in bed.

I suspect my answers are not what you’d expect, but… there are definitely 3 really simple (frugal) self-care rituals I do every single day that make a world of difference for me!

Pizza Stuffed Shells

posted by Andrea | 09/22/2017 | 11 comments

Pizza and pasta are 2 of our kids’ most favorite foods — so any time I can combine the ingredients from pizza and pasta, I know it will be a huge hit!

Today’s recipe for pizza stuffed shells is very basic, very tasty, and super easy to make ahead or freeze. It’s such a great weeknight meal when you just want to shove something in the oven and eat 20-30 minutes later! 

My Week In Review (Sep. 17-23)

posted by Andrea | 09/21/2017 | 23 comments

I am SO hoping this will be the last Week In Review post I write for a while as I said I would write them until the baby arrives… I figure she HAS to arrive before the end of NEXT week!

Honestly, though, I feel like I’m living in “the calm before the storm”… and I’m doing my best to just enjoy it instead of feeling anxious for the baby to arrive! 

I Did So Many Things “Wrong” and My Children Survived

posted by Andrea | 09/20/2017 | 34 comments

I get so many requests for parenting advice… but I often shy away from giving “advice” versus just sharing what works for me and my children.

So today, in hopes of offering encouragement to those of you who feel like you’re failing, I’m sharing many of the things I apparently did “wrong” (according to the experts and books) and how little those things actually mattered in the bigger scheme of my children’s lives!

What I Keep on My Kitchen Counters

posted by Andrea | 09/19/2017 | 45 comments

I was recently asked what I have sitting out on my kitchen counters — and I thought it would make a good blog post (especially since I’ve been asked this question many times over the years).

It’s Due Date Day!

posted by Andrea | 09/18/2017 | 36 comments

It’s my due date —  but if you are reading this post today, it means my little girl is still tucked safely inside.

Today, I’m sharing how I thought she was ALMOST going to make her debut last week Monday!

My Week In Review (Sep 10-16)

posted by Andrea | 09/15/2017 | 13 comments

I’m still here… the baby is still NOT here 🙂 All is well though, and I’m really not anxious for her to arrive sooner than she’s ready. I know labor and delivery will be so much easier when everyone is truly ready!

I hope to have some exciting baby news to share with you all soon… but in the meantime, here’s what I blogged about this week in previous years.

Our New Storage System for Games and Puzzles

posted by Andrea | 09/14/2017 | 10 comments

One of the mini projects we worked into our summer schedule was to transform the closet under our stairs into a much-needed storage space for our rapidly-growing collection of games, puzzles, DVD’s, CD’s, photo albums, and other things the kids want access to on a regular basis.

The space turned out so well, it provides so much useful storage, and it was essentially a freebie makeover since we used leftover materials we already had on hand!

Fiesta Chicken Salad

posted by Andrea | 09/13/2017 | 14 comments

I know the summer is quickly winding down, but with fresh produce still readily available… there’s still time to enjoy those delicious farm-fresh veggies (and yummy grilled chicken) in this fantastic Fiesta Chicken Salad! 

It’s one of those salads that has more “stuff” than lettuce — so it’s a real crowd-pleaser with TONS of color, flavor, and texture!

Stop Comparing – You Will Be So Much Happier

posted by Andrea | 09/12/2017 | 54 comments

While I truly do think it would be impossible to get through life (or even one day) without ever comparing yourself, your home, or your life to someone or something, I’m also convinced that so many people today are ruining their own lives by CONSTANTLY comparing themselves to other people’s lives — and only the parts of other’s lives they can see.

Today I’m sharing more about comparison and why I try really hard to be content with what I’m good at instead of stressing about improving the areas I’m not good at.