What Simple Living Means for Me

posted by Andrea | 02/27/2015 | 17 comments
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Small, scarce, serene, systems, schedules, storage solutions, and speaking up — what do all those “S-words” have to do with Simple Living?

Keep reading to find out :)

Why I’m Still “Doing It All Myself”

posted by Andrea | 02/26/2015 | 89 comments
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When it comes to my blog and business, I’m often asked why I haven’t hired anyone to take over part of what I do — or to do all that “boring stuff” like social media, email newsletters, proofreading, editing, etc.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a super simple answer for these questions… but today, I’m sharing approximately 1500 words as to why I’m still doing it all myself after almost 8 years!

How I Decide When to Save or Splurge

posted by Andrea | 02/25/2015 | 23 comments
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Most of you know that I am a very frugal person. When given a choice, I will almost always go with the less expensive item — even if the more expensive item is closer to what I want.

However, I’ve been working hard at “letting” myself splurge on more quality items here and there — and today, I’m sharing what items I’m more willing to splurge on, what items I still prefer to save on, and how I make my choice either way.

French Toast Sticks

posted by Andrea | 02/24/2015 | 11 comments
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I shared a picture of these French Toast Sticks on Facebook a couple weeks ago and immediately started getting questions about what they were, how I made them, if there was a recipe, etc. etc.

I honestly didn’t think French Toast Sticks would have been such a conversation topic, but since they are SO quick, simple, and easy, I figured it would be a good recipe to share here on the blog!

How Flickr Helps Me Organize My Photos

posted by Andrea | 02/23/2015 | 12 comments
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I realize that I’ve talked a lot about digital photo storage and organization — and I know I’ve mentioned Flickr before. But I don’t think I’ve ever gone into detail about how Flickr truly does make my photo organization SO much simpler and easier.

So that’s what I’m going to talk about today — and for the record Flickr offers tons of safe, online photo storage to everyone totally FREE!!

Baby #3 is Another…

posted by Andrea | 02/20/2015 | 34 comments
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In case you missed my first announcement (which it seems like many of you did) and the several more casual references to “baby #3″ here on my blog and social media, I’m pregnant — AND the baby is over half way “cooked”!

What do you think… is it a boy or a girl?

You Won’t Believe How We Finally Got Nora to Sleep!

posted by Andrea | 02/19/2015 | 60 comments
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I remember “way back when” Nora was just an infant and I hadn’t slept more than a couple hours in days. I was SO tired, SO exhausted, and SO frustrated. By her 2nd birthday, I started wondering if we’d ever sleep through the night again. I told myself that “someday, when she finally started sleeping through the night, I would write a blog post about everything we tried.” So today, I’m more than just a little excited to FINALLY be writing that blog post… and yes, she is sleeping through the night!!!!

My Semi-Homemade Bread “Secret”

posted by Andrea | 02/18/2015 | 20 comments
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I’ve always LOVED making my own bread… I love the feel of the dough between my fingers, I love the smell wafting from the oven, and of course, I love the taste of it. However, after Nora was born, I just stopped making the time for bread baking.

Since then, I have come up with a super quick, super easy, nearly fool-proof way to enjoy homemade bread with almost no effort… as of today, my “secret” is out!

9 Reasons We Use Credit Cards to Simplify our Lives

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2015 | 79 comments
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I’ve had a credit card since I was 16 — and Dave and I use credit cards to pay for almost everything we buy.

I definitely don’t think that credit cards are the best financial decision for everyone — and at the same time, I don’t think being restricted to a cash-only budget is the best financial decision for everyone. That said, here are just a few of the ways credit cards majorly simplify and organize my life.

Why I Do Much of My Canning in the Winter

posted by Andrea | 02/16/2015 | 28 comments
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I canned 36+ quarts of applesauce this weekend! Yes, you read that right… Valentines Day weekend.

It might sound crazy to be canning in the middle of winter IN MICHIGAN! But that’s usually how I do it because that’s when I have the time and that’s when I’m cooped up inside anyway! Am I the only “crazy” one??

Our Marriage Has No Romance… at Least Not by Hollywood’s Standards

posted by Andrea | 02/13/2015 | 54 comments
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I think marriage (and really any relationship) takes a lot of hard work — and good relationships don’t just happen because of one romantic gesture.

So while surprise, over-the-top romantic gestures are certainly welcome in almost any marriage, I think it’s often the every-day real life events that feel the most romantic when done day after day after day. Don’t you?

30-Minute Chicken Noodle Soup (From Scratch)

posted by Andrea | 02/12/2015 | 9 comments
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A couple weeks ago, I was in the mood for my favorite chicken and rice soup. The only problem was, I had about 2 Tablespoons of rice left with no back-up bag… and I realized this around 4:30pm.

So after quickly scrambling to come up with a new recipe, I decided on chicken noodle soup — and within 30 minutes, we had homemade, from scratch, chicken noodle soup on our table!

HOW I Plan Ahead

posted by Andrea | 02/11/2015 | 12 comments
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Over the past few years, I’ve written many posts about WHY I plan ahead — to save time, money, stress, etc. etc. However, if you think about it, the “WHY” of planning ahead is relatively obvious. It’s the “HOW” of planning ahead that is the road-block for so many people.

So while I know my methods won’t work for everyone, today I’m sharing HOW I plan ahead in many different areas of my business and personal life.

10 Non-Dish Uses for Dish Soap

posted by Andrea | 02/10/2015 | 22 comments
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Dish soap is one household cleaner that I have not been able to replace with a natural or DIY homemade cleaner — and I don’t think that will change for a while.

You see, along with washing our dishes, we use dish soap for SOOOO many different tasks in and around our house. If you’ve never tried using your dish soap for anything other than dishes, you’re totally missing out!

Don’t Be Ashamed To Do Your ‘One Thing’ Well

posted by Andrea | 02/9/2015 | 75 comments
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As a life-long lover of cleaning, organizing, and all things “home”, I’ve heard my share of negative comments geared at my “perfect home”. Sometimes, I’ve even felt ashamed of doing my ‘one thing’ really well.

If you’ve ever felt ashamed of doing your ‘one thing’ well (whatever that one thing is) read this post!

My 2015 Goals (finally!)

posted by Andrea | 02/6/2015 | 76 comments
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I know, I know… it’s already the first week of February and I’m just finally getting around to sharing my 2015 goals.

inSelly $75 Shop Credit Giveaway

posted by Andrea | 02/5/2015 | 13 comments
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I have another really fun giveaway today — just in time for a little Valentine’s Day treat for ourselves!

Also, if you’re a crafty person and have not heard of the inSelly Marketplace, you’ll definitely want to keep reading for more information… and of course, a chance to win free prizes :)

Simon @ 11 Months

posted by Andrea | 02/4/2015 | 17 comments
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Simon is 11 months old today…. and Nora is already busy planning his birthday party for next month :)

A Few of My Favorite Things {February 2015}

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2015 | 16 comments
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A few more of my favorite things for the month of February…

Back to Basics: Meal Planning For Beginners

posted by Andrea | 02/2/2015 | 30 comments
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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, if you are a perfectionist, etc.

With that said, I hope today’s post will simplify the process SO much that even YOU will be encouraged and motivated to try it… even if it’s just for one week!

The Essentials I Keep In My Car “Just In Case”

posted by Andrea | 01/30/2015 | 33 comments
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We live in Michigan… more specifically, West Michigan. This means we have pretty nasty winters, thanks to “lake effect” snow, sleet, and ice that blasts our area ALL winter long.

Because of this, I’ve come up with a pretty good list of “car essentials” that I keep in my vehicle at all times — and a few extra items for winter and summer. Today, I’m sharing that list!

BabyBjörn Bouncer Giveaway

posted by Andrea | 01/29/2015 | 23 comments
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In case you can’t tell by the title of this post — I’m super excited to be offering you yet another chance to win a BabyBjörn Bouncer (one of my most-loved baby essentials of all times!)

Even more exciting, this giveaway is for one of the brand new, exclusive Dots patterned bouncers that are just way too cute. This would be the perfect gift for any new parent, parent-to-be, or parent of young children!