How I Organize Our Van

posted by Andrea | 01/16/2017 | 13 comments

I’ve officially been driving a minivan for a full year now — and yes, I still love it!

Since we’ve had a full year to use our van and assess our storage needs, I thought it might be a good time to share a bit more about how I’ve organized the interior of the van.

One Important Life Lesson I’ve Learned

posted by Andrea | 01/13/2017 | 48 comments

Tomorrow my sweet baby James will be 18 months old!!!

Today, I’m sharing one very important lesson I’ve learned after 5+ years of motherhood — one that has completely changed my outlook on these years when so many others share their personal suggestions, opinions, and advice. 🙂

Why I Have ZERO Meals In My Freezer!

posted by Andrea | 01/12/2017 | 26 comments

Freezer cooking has been a crucial part of my efforts to simplify my life for over 10 years now. I have saved myself countless hours in the kitchen, thousands of dollars at the grocery store, and bucket loads of stress due to planning ahead and having ready-made meals in the freezer ALL THE TIME.

However, aside from some leftover soup, we currently have ZERO full meals in our deep freezer right now! Today, I’m sharing why…

It Can’t Hurt to Ask

posted by Andrea | 01/11/2017 | 29 comments

Although I’m not nearly as frugal as I was 10 years ago, I still try to use our money wisely, get the best value, and save when it’s not too much of an inconvenience.

One of the ways I save quite a bit (without sacrificing much time, effort, or quality of product) is by simply asking the right questions to the right people.

Our Current Laundry System

posted by Andrea | 01/10/2017 | 44 comments

For the past year or so, I have felt like our laundry system could be simplified… but I wasn’t exactly sure how. I didn’t want to lock myself into a strict laundry routine or system… but I also didn’t want to constantly feel like I should throw another load in.

While I would never claim to be any sort of laundry expert, I am excited to share our current laundry system because I feel like I’m finally 100% on top of our laundry every week, with very little extra effort on my part.

Two More Healthier Habits

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2017 | 67 comments

As you might know already, I’m not a huge health nut. HOWEVER, over the past 5+ years, I’ve made a conscious effort to SLOWLY incorporate several healthier habits into my (and my family’s) daily routine.

Today I’m sharing 2 more super simple healthier habits for 2017!

Maybe Busyness Isn’t Always Bad

posted by Andrea | 01/6/2017 | 7 comments

Sometimes, I think we get sucked into thinking that all busyness is bad, unnecessary, and something that could or should be avoided — like if our lives are busy, we’re doing something wrong.

But in reality, busy times are often just part of life. They are not always avoidable, nor are they always bad…

My “Maintenance Mode” Business Goal

posted by Andrea | 01/5/2017 | 44 comments

So often, we talk about “maintenance mode” in a negative way — as in “I’m so busy, I have no time for anything. I’m simply in ‘maintenance mode’ trying hold the pieces together.”

That is NOT the type of maintenance mode I’m referring to today though — I’m speaking of it in a much more positive light, as a current goal for my business!

A New Planner for A New Year!

posted by Andrea | 01/4/2017 | 15 comments

As many of you know, I love my Personal Planner and have ordered that brand for the last several years.

Since my Personal Planner giveaway is always so popular, I’m back with another opportunity for you to win their newest A4 planner – perfect for those of you who want to get a little more organized in the New Year!

A Few of My Favorite Things {January 2017}

posted by Andrea | 01/3/2017 | 15 comments

Another new month and YEAR… which means I’m sharing a few more of my favorite things (not listed = a teacher-husband who is home all Christmas break!)

As always, be sure to check out some of my favorite things from past months and share your favorite things in the comments!

A Peek Into Our Christmas Break

posted by Andrea | 01/2/2017 | 23 comments

Happy New Year!

It was so nice to take a week off and enjoy a slower pace over the holidays — but I’m excited to be back! Come take a peek at what we did over our break!

Merry Christmas from the Dekkers

posted by Andrea | 12/23/2016 | 28 comments

As I’ve done for many years now, I’ll be taking the week between Christmas and New Years as a short blogging break. It’s such a nice time to step away from my computer and social media for a few days, and I always come back after the New Year with so many blog post topics and ideas!

Today I’m sharing our 2016 Christmas card, and a little bit about what I hope to do (and not do) over our Christmas break!

Embrace Our New Normal

posted by Andrea | 12/22/2016 | 18 comments

I’ve recently been asked (multiple times) for any tips or ideas I have to “get back to normal” after big life-changing events.

Unfortunately, based on my own experience, it’s often not possible to truly “get back to normal” — especially after a big change. Instead, I feel it’s more fitting to focus on EMBRACING A NEW NORMAL.

Kids In The Kitchen: Pretzel Candy Bites

posted by Andrea | 12/21/2016 | 11 comments

If you’re looking for an extremely simple, super delicious treat to bring to a holiday party, or just something fun to do with your children or grandchildren over Christmas break, I don’t think you can go wrong with these yummy pretzel candy bites!

The gooey caramel + crunchy pretzel + sweet chocolate + salty pretzel is one of the best combos I’ve had in a bite-sized snack in a long time!

Banish Unnecessary Guilt Once and For All

posted by Andrea | 12/20/2016 | 57 comments

Making assumptions without knowing all the facts has the potential to make us look like idiots… however, have you ever considered WE might be the ones who are negatively affected by falsely assuming our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and social media acquaintances are better or superior to us based on only half the story?

Today I’m sharing one fairly simple concept that could free you from lots of unnecessary guilt.

How We Manage and Organize Our Electronics

posted by Andrea | 12/19/2016 | 27 comments

I am often asked to share about how many electronics we have in our house, how we organize them, and how we handle our kids using electronics… but I’ve never felt like I had a lot to say about these topics since our kids are still relatively young and really have no idea how to use any of our electronics.

So today, I’m sharing a bit about how we manage our electronics, in hopes that those of you with older children (or no children) share what works for you too!

Live or Artificial? My Internal Christmas Tree Debate

posted by Andrea | 12/16/2016 | 45 comments

Although I was fairly certain we would get a live tree once we were living out on our own, Dave and I have been using a thrift store artificial Christmas tree for the past 11 Christmases 🙂

Every year I have some sort of internal debate about if we should keep using our artificial tree or go buy a real one…

Our “New” Indoor Play Space!

posted by Andrea | 12/15/2016 | 12 comments

One of the least favorite spaces in our home has always been the “blue bedroom” upstairs… however, we recently transformed this space into a “kiddie wonderland” complete with an elaborate road system for our Little People cars, a cubby for our baby dolls, and a fabulous walk-in closet devoted to our growing collection of dress-up clothes!

We didn’t spend one penny transforming our ugly spare bedroom into the perfect indoor play area for the upcoming winter months!

My Favorite “Me Time” Activities… and One Reason I’m so Productive

posted by Andrea | 12/14/2016 | 44 comments

A couple months ago, I read a book that encouraged me to think about what I do for myself (a.k.a. “me time”). And for the last 2 months, I’ve consciously considered what activities bring me joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

What I realized is that despite being home with 3 young children all day, I actually enjoy quite a bit of “me time”. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite me time activities… and why I’m able to be so productive as a result of these activities.

10 Ideas to USE UP Kid’s Artwork

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2016 | 24 comments

Although we are just in the beginning stages of dealing with kids art, I do feel like we have lots of simple systems in place to not only enjoy the artwork from our 3 budding artists, it but also USE IT UP (you know, so we don’t have to keep it forever and ever!)

I hope a few of our ideas work for you too — and I’d love to hear other ideas you use!