February, 2016

The True Cost of Our Stuff

posted by Andrea | 02/29/2016 | 35 comments

Have you ever stopped to think about the true “cost” of something before you buy it and bring it back into your home?

I love “free” stuff as much as anyone, but I also know that even inexpensive (or free) items usually come with hidden costs that might end up being a burden later on.

My Simple Tip to Eliminate Lone Socks

posted by Andrea | 02/26/2016 | 14 comments

With all the teeny, tiny infant and toddler socks I’ve washed over the past few years, it might seem miraculous that (to the best of my knowledge) I have never lost one of them!

Today, I’m sharing my super simple (and frugal) laundry tip that has the potential to completely eliminate any lone socks around your home as well!

A Complete List of Plants in Our Landscape

posted by Andrea | 02/25/2016 | 8 comments

I’ve been asked over and over and OVER again if I would share a “Master List” of all the trees, shrubs, and perennials we planted… and since that would actually be really helpful for me to look back on as well, I figured it was time I compiled a list.

So, since spring is practically just around the corner (wishful thinking, maybe!) I’ve decided to share that list today!

Freezer Cooking FAQ’s

posted by Andrea | 02/24/2016 | 67 comments

Almost exactly 5 years ago, I shared a post about various different foods that I freeze, and over the past 5 years, that post has consistently been one of the most popular posts on my site. It has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and Pinterest and rarely a week goes by that I don’t get more comments and questions regarding that blog post.

Today I’m answering some of the most commonly asked freezer questions I’ve received.

10 Very Normal Things I’ve Never Done

posted by Andrea | 02/23/2016 | 50 comments

The other day, after a ridiculously long conversation with Nora, filled with lots of “whys?”, I started thinking about all the things I’ve NEVER done.

Today, I’m sharing 10 very normal things that, for whatever reason, I’ve never done!

How I Use Templates To Simplify My Digital Photo Books

posted by Andrea | 02/22/2016 | 31 comments

Since many people know that I make digital photo books, I get lots and lots of questions about how I do it, how long it takes me, if I think I’ll be able to keep it up as we continue to have more children, etc. etc.

So, I thought it might be time for a blog post detailing exactly how I’m able to simplify the often overwhelming project of organizing photos into a book by using a few templates.

A Different Perspective on ALL Our Stuff

posted by Andrea | 02/19/2016 | 53 comments

Consider how you might feel with less stuff to store, less stuff to organize, less stuff to clean around, less stuff to buy, and less stuff to think/worry about. Then consider how much of your stuff you truly NEED.

Today I’m sharing a different perspective on all our STUFF… and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Chicken and Wild Rice Stew

posted by Andrea | 02/18/2016 | 2 comments

Since my kids LOVE rice, I’m always searching for new rice recipes to try. In a recent search, I learned that wild rice is very nutritious and packed with protein! I experimented with a few different recipes and am excited to share this chicken and wild rice stew with you today.

If you’re looking for an excuse to eat wild rice, a new recipe to add to your winter menu rotation, or a delicious way to get your kids to eat a few more veggies, this recipe is for you.

Things I’m Glad I Had For My First Baby

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2016 | 19 comments

Last week, I shared a handful of baby items we had with Simon and James… but wished we would have had with Nora.

After writing that post, I started thinking more about the things we DID have with Nora that we have used over and over and over again with all 3 of our children… and I’m sharing a few of those today!

Cleaning With Vinegar… Without the Smell!

posted by Andrea | 02/16/2016 | 24 comments

Over the last 5+ years, I have really embraced the cleaning power of vinegar — plain white vinegar. Not only is it extremely inexpensive, it’s also SO versatile — it can practically clean anything!

Today, I’m back with another vinegar-cleaning tip… and it might just offer those of you who don’t love the smell of vinegar a less-smelly alternative!

The Thing To Do When You Get Off Track

posted by Andrea | 02/15/2016 | 17 comments

Have you lost steam and gotten off track with any of your current goals, projects, or tasks?

If so, today’s posts offers a VERY simple solution (and hopefully a little motivation) to push forward and move on!

Our Expectations Matter

posted by Andrea | 02/12/2016 | 37 comments

It’s very easy to quickly develop unrealistic expectations for our own homes, lives, bodies, spouses, children, and abilities… and in my experience, having unrealistic expectations is just another step towards an unhappy life.

If nothing else, I hope today’s post encourages you to be more mindful of your expectations and not let them be the cause of your unhappiness.

10 Things that Should NOT Be in Your Closet

posted by Andrea | 02/11/2016 | 47 comments

In my own experience, having a neat and organized closet not only makes it MUCH more fun and enjoyable to get dressed each day, it also saves me time searching for items I can’t find, and it keeps my clothing looking nicer because it’s not all jammed in and wrinkly.

If your closet could use a little makeover, I’d recommend removing all the many things that should NOT be in your closet!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

posted by Andrea | 02/10/2016 | 17 comments

Our entire family loves the frozen, pre-packaged Chicken Cordon Bleu entrees. However, since one of the “healthier habits” I’m working on in 2016 is to eat less processed meats, I’ve been making this extremely simple Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole instead.

The results are 2 thumbs up from Dave, a voluntary compliment about how yummy my food is from Nora, and a cheesy grin from Simon — I’d say that’s a winning recipe!

Things I Wish I Had With My First Baby

posted by Andrea | 02/9/2016 | 30 comments

A recent conversation with a friend who is expecting her first baby sparked the idea for this post…

After having 3 children with VERY different personalities, all in different seasons of the year, and experiencing both genders, here are a handful of items I wish I would have had from the very beginning.

A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 02/8/2016 | 26 comments

Last week was a pretty low-key week for us… and although the kids were a little under the weather for parts of the week, we enjoyed building snowmen, making Valentine’s Day treats, lots of fun playing at home, and a little Culver’s custard!

Oh, and I ‘caved’ and finally got a Costco membership 🙂

10 Things I DON’T Do

posted by Andrea | 02/5/2016 | 45 comments

The purpose of my blog is to share what I DO do. Because of this, I get many emails from people saying “I don’t know how you do everything you do.” However, what they often fail to consider are ALLLLLLLL the things I DON’T do.

Today, I’m sharing 10 of those “DON’Ts”

5 Habits of Organized People

posted by Andrea | 02/4/2016 | 48 comments

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t necessarily love cleaning and organizing… but still wants a neat and organized home, you’ll definitely want to read these 5 simple habits that help prevent clutter build-up in my home.

It might not seem like much now, but these simple habits have completely transformed the way I live my life and how I feel about my space.

How I Manage to Only Cook 2-3 Meals a Week

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2016 | 45 comments

Although I do enjoy being in the kitchen, there is no way I want to be in the kitchen for hours every single afternoon just to make dinner for my family each night. However, I’m also not willing to order takeout or eat sandwiches every night either.

Instead, over the past 3+ years, I’ve settled into a rough routine that allows us to eat homemade meals almost every night of the week — while I only need to fully prepare 2-3 of those meals.

How We Use Vertical Space to Maximize Storage

posted by Andrea | 02/2/2016 | 8 comments

Although purging is the BEST way to maximize your space… I also know that many of you live in very small spaces or share space with lots of other people.

So, I figured it might be fun to share how we maximize our space (and in a sense, make more space) by utilizing as much vertical space as we can!