Our Pure Michigan Summer Vacation

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2014 | 7 comments
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Last year, Dave’s family rented a local cottage for a week of fun at the beach. We had such a good time that we thought we’d try it again this year.

Now that Nora is another year older, it was SO fun to watch her swim and play in the sand with her cousins — definitely the highlight of this year’s trip for me!

Car Seat Safety: Advice from the Allstate Experts

posted by Andrea | 07/24/2014 | 12 comments
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Over the last few years, I’ve gotten many questions about car seats — both about the seats we have for our kids and about car seat safety. I’ve never felt qualified to answer many of those questions — so instead, I got the folks at Allstate to answer them for me!

Today’s post shares all sorts of car seat safety tips and advice — definitely a must-read for anyone driving around with small children.

Cowboy Caviar

posted by Andrea | 07/23/2014 | 13 comments
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Several weeks ago, a reader emailed me this recipe — and even before I made it, I knew we would love it.

If you’re looking for a super simple summer side dish that doesn’t require any heat in your kitchen, THIS Cowboy Caviar is for you!

Our New Outhouse Garden Shed

posted by Andrea | 07/22/2014 | 16 comments
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After months of searching Craigslist, we finally broke down and built our own outhouse garden shed.

I’m SO happy with how it turned out — and there’s actually a really cool story behind the wood we used for the shed!

A Break-Down of My Blogging Break

posted by Andrea | 07/21/2014 | 29 comments
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I’m excited to be back from my two-week blogging break — of course it went by way too fast (as is evident by the many items still on my to-do list).

We packed a lot of work and a lot of play into my two weeks away… here’s the break-down.

A Summer Siesta

posted by Andrea | 07/7/2014 | 17 comments
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Over the past few summers, I’ve taken some sort of blogging break to rest, relax, and to take full advantage of Dave’s glorious summer break.

This summer, it works best for our schedule to go with a 2-week break, starting right… NOW!

Simon @ 4 Months – on 4th of July!

posted by Andrea | 07/4/2014 | 11 comments
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Happy Birthday America… and happy 4 months baby Simon. Be prepared for lots of cute pictures!

Our Deck Project: Out With The Old, In With the Trex!

posted by Andrea | 07/3/2014 | 13 comments
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We started working on our new Trex deck last week Friday… and as of today, we’re ALMOST finished!

I can’t show you the official before and after pictures yet as we’re not finished, but I will share some of the “progress” photos as well as a little more information about our old deck demo + the new deck installation.

A Few of My Favorite Things {July 2014}

posted by Andrea | 07/2/2014 | 14 comments
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Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite things for the month of July — there’s something for everyone this month!

Blueberry Buckle

posted by Andrea | 07/1/2014 | 15 comments
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Every time July rolls around, I immediately start thinking about blueberries and all the delicious ways I can incorporate them into our breakfasts, snacks, and desserts.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite blueberry recipes… perfect for this time of year!

8 Frugal (or Free) Date Ideas

posted by Andrea | 06/30/2014 | 15 comments
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Today is Dave and my 8-year anniversary!

So in honor of our 8 years together, I’m sharing 8 frugal (or free) date ideas — many of which won’t even require a babysitter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

posted by Andrea | 06/27/2014 | 5 comments
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Last week, I was on a mission to use up a bunch of the stock-pile in our freezer and pantry — and in the process, I came up with a new favorite dessert recipe involving 2 of Dave’s favorite ingredients: Chocolate and Peanut Butter!

The results were pretty darn good if you ask me — the perfect combination of smooth, crunchy, salty and sweet!

How The 80/20 Rule Helps Me Simplify My Home

posted by Andrea | 06/26/2014 | 13 comments
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The 80/20 rule states that we use and wear 20% of our things about 80% of the time — which means we rarely use and wear the other 80%. But don’t worry, I’m not going to persuade you to purge it all!

However, I do think there is A LOT we can learn by taking a closer look at the 20% of things we regularly use — and then utilize that information to help us declutter and simplify our lives.

9 Ways to Shop At Costco Without a Membership

posted by Andrea | 06/25/2014 | 27 comments
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Have you ever wondered if a Costco membership (or other wholesale store membership) was right for you?

Today, I’m sharing 9 different ways you can shop (and save) at Costco without a membership — which might give you the opportunity you need to test the waters and see if a membership is worth the price.

3 Space-Saving, Pan-Saving Freezer Cooking Tips

posted by Andrea | 06/24/2014 | 11 comments
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Whenever I do a post about freezer cooking, I usually get at least a few questions asking how I make room for all the food in my freezer and how I manage to have enough baking pans for all that food.

Surprisingly, my answers to both questions are exactly the same — and that’s what I’m talking about today!

DIY Laundry Detergent That Actually Works

posted by Andrea | 06/23/2014 | 70 comments
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Over the past 3+ years, I’ve shared a number of DIY cleaning products here on the blog; however, I’ve never shared a recipe for DIY laundry detergent because I couldn’t find a recipe I actually liked.

That all changed a couple months ago — so today, I’m sharing my new favorite DIY laundry detergent. It works fabulously, it’s really easy to make, it’s quite frugal, and it makes a huge batch!

A Clutter Challenge: What Will You Purge First?

posted by Andrea | 06/20/2014 | 19 comments
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Today’s post is short and to the point… but not because I don’t feel like writing. I’m hoping you take the extra few minutes you would have spent reading a longer blog post to purge a few items you don’t need, use, want, or love.

What better way to “celebrate” the first official weekend of summer than with a mini purge!

My 2014 Goals: Progress and Updates

posted by Andrea | 06/19/2014 | 20 comments
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Remember all those goals I set back in January? Well today, I’m sharing an update on my progress…

Why I’m a “do more at less than 100%” person

posted by Andrea | 06/18/2014 | 29 comments
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About a month ago, a blog reader emailed me asking for time management tips as she felt like she never had enough time to give 100% to everything she was doing. She admitted she had a lot on her plate, but like so many of us, she loved everything she did and didn’t want to give up any of it.

Today’s post shares my response along with my own thoughts on giving 100%.

Simple Meatless Meals… for people who love meat!

posted by Andrea | 06/17/2014 | 9 comments
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I’m sure that if anyone came up to Dave or to me and asked if we were vegetarians, we would chuckle a little while stating a resounding “no, definitely not”.

If you feel the same way, I’d like to encourage you to just consider how you might incorporate 1 or more meatless meals into your weekly meal plans. You might be surprised how easy it is to do — and how little you’ll actually miss the meat.