Our Deck: The Official Before + After Pictures!

posted by Andrea | 07/31/2014 | 16 comments
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For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you probably saw that we FINALLY put the finishing touches on our new deck this past weekend… and today, I’m sharing ALL the before and after photos!

It’s a pretty amazing transformation, and I still can’t get over how much more use we’re getting out of our back yard because of it!

Reduce Procrastination by Making it Easy to Start

posted by Andrea | 07/30/2014 | 26 comments
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In previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned how using a timer gives me the motivation to work quickly and keep going. However, a timer doesn’t address the issue of “getting started”– which is often the hardest part.

Today, I’m sharing how I reduce my own procrastinating tendencies by making it really easy to get started.

Lasagna Pasta Bake

posted by Andrea | 07/29/2014 | 18 comments
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Our family loves lasagna — however, I don’t always love making lasagna because it makes such a big mess.

So in an effort to please the family and make life a little easier on myself, I came up with this “lasagna-like” recipe. It’s a simple, delicious recipe that tastes just like lasagna but without all the work!

What To Do When Your Stuff Doesn’t Sell

posted by Andrea | 07/28/2014 | 24 comments
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If you’ve ever struggled with holding onto items you weren’t able to sell at a garage sale, consignment store, Craigslist, Ebay, etc. etc. this post is a must-read.

Hopefully it will give you the motivation to get those unsold items out of your house ASAP!

Our Pure Michigan Summer Vacation

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2014 | 20 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 | 13 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 | 15 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!