July, 2013

Ending The Summer Quietly

posted by Andrea | 07/31/2013 | 31 comments

I know, I know — there’s still a whole month of Summer left — but I’ve decided to take a blogging break for most of the month of August.

So for me and for my blog, the last month of Summer should be pretty quiet (and yes, I’m super excited!)

Childbirth Choices

posted by Andrea | 07/30/2013 | 45 comments

I was actually planning to do a post about canning today, but over the past week since the big Royal Birth, I’ve read and heard more than a few snide comments about the use of pain medication and childbirth.

So while I never expected to write anything like this on my blog, I’m sharing my thoughts — from someone who did NOT use pain medication but has no issue with those who do.

Make More Time by Dropping Tasks

posted by Andrea | 07/29/2013 | 6 comments

In my experience, dropping a task that I don’t have the time or energy for can be SO freeing — and exactly what I need to simplify.

If we just stop and think about all the things we do each day, I’m guessing that there are at least a few things we can drop to open up a little more breathing room in our schedules.

My 7 Laundry Don’ts

posted by Andrea | 07/26/2013 | 98 comments

I’ve blogged a lot about laundry over the years — but never-the-less, it’s still one of the MOST common categories I receive questions about on a weekly basis.

And while I’m thrilled that you think I might be some sort of laundry guru, I must be honest and admit that laundry is one of the household chores I’m MOST relaxed about. In fact, when it comes to laundry, there are several things I DON’T do that have drastically helped me to simplify this otherwise time-consuming household chore!

Biscoff Scotcharoos = NO Peanut Butter!

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2013 | 23 comments

If Dave and I had our way, peanut butter and peanuts would be a food group all on their own. Seriously, we can’t get enough! So when I was contacted by Biscoff to try their peanut-free spread, I was a bit skeptical.

However, after thoroughly testing it on toast, sandwiches, with apple slices, and in a variety of baked goods, I can confidently say that Dave and I BOTH give it 2 thumbs up!

Behind Closed Doors

posted by Andrea | 07/24/2013 | 46 comments

What’s on the inside of your kitchen cabinet doors? If you answered “nothing”, my goal is to change that by the end of this post!

We use the inside of our kitchen (and laundry room) cabinet doors to store and organize all sorts of information — which means it’s always accessible and easy to find, but NEVER sitting out on the counters. Win-Win!

Our ‘cation at the Cotta

posted by Andrea | 07/23/2013 | 25 comments

For those of you who don’t understand Nora talk, the title of this post should read “Our Vacation at the Cottage”. We spent all of last week lounging and lazing around at a cottage on Lake Michigan with Dave’s immediate family — it was glorious!

Now we’re back to laundry, and cooking, and yard work, and grocery shopping — but we feel refreshed after a lovely week away from our routine (and I’m sharing pictures today!)

Allocating Our Resources at Different Stages of Life

posted by Andrea | 07/22/2013 | 11 comments

Most people I know have somewhat fixed amounts of time, money, energy, etc. — and it’s our job to then allocate these resources the best we can.

Sometimes, the decisions are no-brainers and easy to make. However, many times, it can be quite difficult to know the best way to allocate our many resources. And just when you think you’ve figured out the best solution, things change. You enter a new season of life and you need to figure things out all over again!

A Family Heirloom Repurposed for Daily Use

posted by Andrea | 07/19/2013 | 60 comments

A few months after Nora was born, I was given the highchair my great-grandma used as a baby. I didn’t want to use it as Nora’s actual highchair, but I had a few ideas for what I could do with the chair, so I hung onto it.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I brought the chair up from the basement and decided it was time to transform it into a useable, functional piece of furniture for our home — what a transformation it was!

Super Simple Grilled Corn on the Cob

posted by Andrea | 07/18/2013 | 11 comments

Corn on the cob is one of my favorite things about summer — and although the Michigan-grown corn isn’t quite ready yet, there’s been plenty of great deals on “fresh” corn on the cob at our local grocery stores.

Today, I’m sharing my super simple “recipe” for grilled corn on the cob!

4 Reasons I Purged Almost All Our Baby Clothes

posted by Andrea | 07/17/2013 | 77 comments

Back before I was pregnant with Nora, I would frequently organize for families with young children — and often times, a huge source of clutter for these families was all their out-grown baby clothing.

After seeing this time and time again, I decided that I would purge the majority of my out-grown baby clothing unless I had another baby who could wear it immediately after. Today, I’m sharing 4 reasons why.

How to Start a Business… Today!

posted by Andrea | 07/16/2013 | 9 comments

Over the years, I’ve answered many “how do I start a business?” questions; and although I definitely don’t have all the answers, I’m always surprised by how shocked people are when I explain how simple the beginning stages can be.

In fact, you could literally wake up tomorrow and legally go into business for yourself — it’s THAT easy.

Our Potential Vegetable Garden Locations

posted by Andrea | 07/15/2013 | 60 comments

As many of you know, Dave and I are doing a lot of yard work this summer — however, we STILL haven’t had a chance to work on our vegetable garden — mainly because we don’t know exactly where we want to put our garden.

Today, I’m sharing 2 of our potential garden locations and asking you to weigh in with your thoughts.

A Vicious Cycle

posted by Andrea | 07/12/2013 | 74 comments

Today’s post is a little heavy for a summer weekend, but a recent Sunday sermon (along with a few emails and previous blog posts) got me thinking about an idea for another blog post… today, I’m sharing the thoughts and words that transpired!

How We Save Money with Google and YouTube

posted by Andrea | 07/11/2013 | 26 comments

Both Google and YouTube have dramatically changed the way we find information, the speed at which we find information, the amount of information we find… and (if you’re like Dave and me) the amount of money we can save by learning how to do things ourselves!

I know I’m amazed how much we’ve learned and how much money we’ve saved thanks to Google and YouTube — and if WE can do it, YOU can too!

Let’s Talk Lint

posted by Andrea | 07/10/2013 | 23 comments

When was the last time you checked your dryer for lint? And I mean more than just clean the lint on the removable lint trap.

If you want to see some really gross pictures of all the lint that was piled up in our dryer (and read how I cleaned it up), keep reading!

My Time-Saving, Sanity-Saving, Jam-Making Tip

posted by Andrea | 07/9/2013 | 27 comments

Last week, I picked over 17 pounds of strawberries for making jam, smoothies, pies, and just for eating. However, since we were very busy over the holiday weekend and are busy this week getting ready for our upcoming vacation, I’m freezing my smashed berries and will make jam when I get back.

Today, I’m sharing a few tips and resource to help simplify the process of canning jam!

My ‘Don’t-Do List’

posted by Andrea | 07/8/2013 | 47 comments

You know how much I love lists… right? Well, I don’t literally have a “don’t-do list”, but I do have a mental list of things that I’ve specifically chosen NOT to spend my time on — and I think everyone would benefit from making some sort of don’t-do list.

Obviously your list will be different than mine, but if you’re wondering what activities I DON’T make time for… keep reading.