December, 2016

Merry Christmas from the Dekkers

posted by Andrea | 12/23/2016 | 28 comments

As I’ve done for many years now, I’ll be taking the week between Christmas and New Years as a short blogging break. It’s such a nice time to step away from my computer and social media for a few days, and I always come back after the New Year with so many blog post topics and ideas!

Today I’m sharing our 2016 Christmas card, and a little bit about what I hope to do (and not do) over our Christmas break!

Embrace Our New Normal

posted by Andrea | 12/22/2016 | 18 comments

I’ve recently been asked (multiple times) for any tips or ideas I have to “get back to normal” after big life-changing events.

Unfortunately, based on my own experience, it’s often not possible to truly “get back to normal” — especially after a big change. Instead, I feel it’s more fitting to focus on EMBRACING A NEW NORMAL.

Kids In The Kitchen: Pretzel Candy Bites

posted by Andrea | 12/21/2016 | 12 comments

If you’re looking for an extremely simple, super delicious treat to bring to a holiday party, or just something fun to do with your children or grandchildren over Christmas break, I don’t think you can go wrong with these yummy pretzel candy bites!

The gooey caramel + crunchy pretzel + sweet chocolate + salty pretzel is one of the best combos I’ve had in a bite-sized snack in a long time!

Banish Unnecessary Guilt Once and For All

posted by Andrea | 12/20/2016 | 57 comments

Making assumptions without knowing all the facts has the potential to make us look like idiots… however, have you ever considered WE might be the ones who are negatively affected by falsely assuming our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and social media acquaintances are better or superior to us based on only half the story?

Today I’m sharing one fairly simple concept that could free you from lots of unnecessary guilt.

How We Manage and Organize Our Electronics

posted by Andrea | 12/19/2016 | 27 comments

I am often asked to share about how many electronics we have in our house, how we organize them, and how we handle our kids using electronics… but I’ve never felt like I had a lot to say about these topics since our kids are still relatively young and really have no idea how to use any of our electronics.

So today, I’m sharing a bit about how we manage our electronics, in hopes that those of you with older children (or no children) share what works for you too!

Live or Artificial? My Internal Christmas Tree Debate

posted by Andrea | 12/16/2016 | 46 comments

Although I was fairly certain we would get a live tree once we were living out on our own, Dave and I have been using a thrift store artificial Christmas tree for the past 11 Christmases 🙂

Every year I have some sort of internal debate about if we should keep using our artificial tree or go buy a real one…

Our “New” Indoor Play Space!

posted by Andrea | 12/15/2016 | 14 comments

One of the least favorite spaces in our home has always been the “blue bedroom” upstairs… however, we recently transformed this space into a “kiddie wonderland” complete with an elaborate road system for our Little People cars, a cubby for our baby dolls, and a fabulous walk-in closet devoted to our growing collection of dress-up clothes!

We didn’t spend one penny transforming our ugly spare bedroom into the perfect indoor play area for the upcoming winter months!

My Favorite “Me Time” Activities… and One Reason I’m so Productive

posted by Andrea | 12/14/2016 | 44 comments

A couple months ago, I read a book that encouraged me to think about what I do for myself (a.k.a. “me time”). And for the last 2 months, I’ve consciously considered what activities bring me joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

What I realized is that despite being home with 3 young children all day, I actually enjoy quite a bit of “me time”. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite me time activities… and why I’m able to be so productive as a result of these activities.

10 Ideas to USE UP Kid’s Artwork

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2016 | 24 comments

Although we are just in the beginning stages of dealing with kids art, I do feel like we have lots of simple systems in place to not only enjoy the artwork from our 3 budding artists, it but also USE IT UP (you know, so we don’t have to keep it forever and ever!)

I hope a few of our ideas work for you too — and I’d love to hear other ideas you use!

A Simple Twist on the Classic Cheesburger

posted by Andrea | 12/12/2016 | 6 comments

One food our entire family devours without a single complaint is cheeseburgers — even better when they are accompanied by Culver’s fries or our favorite baked herbed potato wedges!

Today I’m sharing one very simple tweak that adds lots of flavor and a sort-of grownup gourmet taste to our homemade burgers!

3 Steps To Organize Digital Photos

posted by Andrea | 12/9/2016 | 38 comments

Since I get SO many questions about how I store and organize my digital photos, and since most people take a bazillion photos over the holiday season, I figured it was time for a blog post dedicated to digital photo organization.

Today, I’m sharing my relatively quick and simple 3-step process to store, organize, and backup all my digital photos.

How I Store and Organize my Scarves

posted by Andrea | 12/8/2016 | 17 comments

Scarves are my most favorite accessory… and over the past 5+ years of wearing scarves almost every day, I’ve come up with a fairly simple system to keep them neat and organized.

It takes up very little space in my closet, it costs almost nothing, and it requires very little (if any) tools to put into place!

Our Favorite Mess-Free Soap Pump (plus a giveaway!)

posted by Andrea | 12/7/2016 | 390 comments

Today is Dave’s birthday, and I thought we’d celebrate on the blog by doing a fun giveaway!

I also have a super cute video of Nora and Simon trying out our new simplehuman soap pump 🙂

Are We Giving To Satisfy Ourselves?

posted by Andrea | 12/6/2016 | 40 comments

There are so many times when we (myself included) have our own agendas for giving — we want to give what WE want to give, whether it is useful or needed or appreciated by the recipient.

I hope today’s post reminds all of us to take few minutes to think how our gifts might best be used — not only for family and friends but also donations and other charitable giving!

5 Ways We Simplify Christmas… with small children

posted by Andrea | 12/5/2016 | 41 comments

I wasn’t planning to do a post about “simplifying Christmas”, but after receiving an astonishing number of emails, comments, and Facebook messages requesting this post, I decided to share 5 things we do (or rather DON’T do) to simplify our holiday season.

Free Christmas Cards from Minted

posted by Andrea | 12/2/2016 | 10 comments

Yesterday, I shared a few of my favorite things; and today, I get to GIVE AWAY a bunch of my favorite things… Christmas Cards!!

Minted.com is giving away $300 worth of Christmas cards to my readers… and their cards are AMAZING!

A Few of My Favorite Things {December 2016}

posted by Andrea | 12/1/2016 | 27 comments

Last week I was telling Dave how I couldn’t believe I have been doing these Favorite Things posts for almost 4 years now — and I don’t think I’ve repeated anything!

I have a few more goodies to share this month… as always, be sure to check out some of my favorite things from past months and share your favorite things in the comments!