Why I Don’t Always Listen to What “They” Say

posted by Andrea | 09/30/2016 | 11 comments
Street Chemnitz

As with almost every facet of my life, once I find my own way, I have a renewed confidence that propels me forward without worrying or stressing about what anyone else says I should be or could be doing, eating, wearing, saying, thinking, etc.

While I’m certainly not opposed to seeking out advice from others, I know my own life has been significantly improved by simply trusting my own instincts and not always listening to what “they” say.

Upgrading The Everyday: a simple, frugal way to make life more fun!

posted by Andrea | 09/29/2016 | 22 comments
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Dave and I both thrive on routine and structure — and for the most part, our children do too. However, there is just something about a special surprise or a fun change in plans that can instantly cheer up even the gloomiest of days.

These special surprises and change in plans are usually very simple, very easy to pull off, and they are almost always free. I call it “Upgrading the Everyday”… and I try to do it at least once every day.

Taco Casserole {Kids in the Kitchen}

posted by Andrea | 09/28/2016 | 12 comments
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Taco casserole is one of my favorite quick-meal options for busy weeknights, and the kids love that they can help.

Since I usually have taco meat ready to go in the freezer, I can easily have this entire meal ready for the oven in less than 10 minutes — which means I can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

My Morning Productivity is Making a Comeback!

posted by Andrea | 09/27/2016 | 12 comments
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Almost exactly 2 years ago, I wrote a post with 7 of my best tips for a more productive morning… but then went on to explain why I personally was NOT following most of those tips. At the time, I was already pregnant with my 3rd child and the other 2 still weren’t sleeping through the night yet.

Mornings were crazy in our house and there really wasn’t anything I could do about it… thank goodness things have changed a bit since then and my morning productivity is finally starting to make a comeback!

My 7-Day Housekeeping Guide

posted by Andrea | 09/26/2016 | 7 comments
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Over the past few months, as I thought more about how I could simplify and consolidate all the various things I do each day and each week to keep our house fairly organized and clutter-free, I realized that there are 6 main categories I try to focus my attention on each week.

I added in one day for extra projects (or for rest) and I came up with a 7-day Housekeeping Guide that encompases most of extra things I do every week. I hope some of my ideas will help you too!

My Meal Plan (5 years and 3 kids later)

posted by Andrea | 09/23/2016 | 25 comments
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Way back in September of 2011, I shared the brand new way of meal planning I had been using for only a few weeks at that time.

Now, 5 years and 3 children later, I’m sharing how one small modification has allowed this same basic meal planning method to continually work so well for us!

Back-to-School Shoe Giveaway!

posted by Andrea | 09/22/2016 | 6 comments
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Although I’ve never loved shopping and I’m not really into clothing all that much, one of my favorite things about back-to-school shopping is getting new shoes.

Our kiddos are loving their new “back-to-school shoes”… and I’m excited to be able to give away a couple pairs of pediped shoes for those of you who might still need to pick up a pair of back-to-school shoes for your kids!

Our Non-Toy Christmas

posted by Andrea | 09/21/2016 | 28 comments
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After shopping a local second-hand sale last week, I realized that I’m actually DONE with all the Christmas shopping for our kids (and I spent less than $50 total!) Also, I realized that out of everything I have for them, there are only 2 toys!

If you’re looking for a few non-toy gift ideas — or if you just want to know what our kids are getting for Christmas, check out today’s post (but don’t tell my kids!)

A Mudroom Update

posted by Andrea | 09/20/2016 | 12 comments
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It’s been just over 2 years since we finished our glorious mudroom addition between the back door of our house and our garage… and we have used and loved this tiny space every single day.

Since then, we have changed a few things and made a few tweaks to help the room function better for our growing family. Nothing too crazy or dramatic, but since I always love seeing how other people utilize their mudrooms, I figured it might be time for an update!

A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 09/19/2016 | 11 comments
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Last week was a very full week for our family. Believe it or not, I actually went out of the house with ALL 3 kids in tow at least once every single day… and it wasn’t horrible!

Nora officially started school, we put a new window in our living room, we got (another) new-to-us stroller, and so much more!

Fit. Feel. Flatter. My Wardrobe Simplifiers

posted by Andrea | 09/16/2016 | 10 comments
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Today I’m sharing how focusing on “fit, feel, and flatter” has helped me realize when I’m hanging onto clothing out of guilt and/or sentiment, or if I actually like the item and will wear it on a regular basis.

It’s a fairly simple concept that I think (or at least hope) will help pare down your closet so you’re left with only the things you love and feel great wearing!

A Simple Way To Think About Saving and Spending

posted by Andrea | 09/15/2016 | 27 comments
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As I looked through my blog archives, I was shocked I had never shared this money-saving tip here on my blog…

If you’re looking for a fairly simple and straightforward way to quickly decide if the cost of something is worth it for you, read this post!

Homemade Butter {Kids In The Kitchen}

posted by Andrea | 09/14/2016 | 17 comments
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After reading through most of the Little House on the Prairie books and the Kirsten American Girl books, Nora has been begging me to try making our own butter — “just like Laura and Kirsten did with their moms”.

So a couple weeks ago we made our own butter — and even I was shocked at how simple the whole process was. Plus, it was REALLY fun for the kids!

A Tour of our Shed… Finally!

posted by Andrea | 09/13/2016 | 20 comments
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Today’s post has been in my drafts for months and months, but I never took the time to snap all the photos I wanted to share (despite unending requests to see the shed!)

Now I have the photos, and I’m finally sharing a mini tour of our shed, almost ONE FULL YEAR after we actually built it — better late than never right? 🙂

My Monthly Photo Checklist

posted by Andrea | 09/12/2016 | 19 comments
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I’ve written at length about how I organize our photos, how I create our digital photo albums, how I edit our photos, and how I back up our digital photos… but I’ve never shared MY thought process for taking certain photos in the first place.

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by all your photos, or wished you would have taken more photos, I think my “monthly photo checklist” might be helpful for you!

Pre-Order and Pickup – My New Way to “Shop”

posted by Andrea | 09/9/2016 | 28 comments
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If you hate shopping, if you have lots of small children, if you struggle with impulse purchases while shopping, or if you don’t live extremely close to your local stores, I hope some of my pre-order and pickup (or pre-order and have it delivered) options will help you too!

This is quickly becoming my favorite way to “shop”!

5 Ways I Try to Promote a Healthier Lifestyle

posted by Andrea | 09/8/2016 | 36 comments
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As with all aspects of my life, when it comes to health, wellness, nutrition, exercise, and body image, I strive for “all things in moderation” and “gradual forward progress”.

Today, I’m sharing 5 ways I try to promote a healthier lifestyle… as well as a few thoughts on positive body image.

5 Reasons I Don’t Keep “What if I Need It Clutter”

posted by Andrea | 09/7/2016 | 49 comments
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As I’m sure you can imagine, I know so many people who hang onto boatloads of stuff because they worry they might need it again soon after they purge it… I call this “What If I Need It Clutter”.

If you’re looking for a little motivation to purge your “what if I need it clutter”, I hope today’s post will help!

A Peek Into Our Week (back to school)

posted by Andrea | 09/6/2016 | 24 comments
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We officially have one week of school under our belts for Dave — and it feels good to have more of a routine again! Nora goes to preschool in a week, Simon is officially sleeping in the big boy bed, and James is jabbering ALLLLL day long!

Come read what else we’ve been up to!

It’s Not Magic… It’s Maintenance

posted by Andrea | 09/2/2016 | 27 comments
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In a world of quick-fixes, diet pills, and DIY manuals that promise to solve all our problems, it’s easy to forget that the key to most of our problems is simply hard work, determination, and baby steps in the right direction.

It’s not magic… it’s maintenance!