July, 2017

What Simple Living Means for Me

posted by Andrea | 07/31/2017 | 19 comments

Small, scarce, serene, systems, schedules, storage solutions, and speaking up — what do all those “S-words” have to do with Simple Living?

Keep reading to find out 🙂

The Boys’ $5 Shared Bedroom Makeover

posted by Andrea | 07/28/2017 | 29 comments

Simon and James have officially been sharing a bedroom for almost a month now — and it’s going really well.

Today I’m sharing a tour of their “new” bedroom — and I’m extra excited because I made this transformation happen for less than $5!! Everything in this room was either repainted, repurposed from something we already had in the house, or simply rearranged — and I honestly feel like the room looks and feels so different.

My Week In Review (July 23-29)

posted by Andrea | 07/27/2017 | 8 comments

The kids (and Dave and I) have enjoyed much cooler temperatures this week — after super hot, humid weather the past few weeks.

I’m sharing a few pictures from this past week, plus lots of yummy recipes and practical organizing tips in today’s Week In Review Post!

My Favorite 5-Part Foolproof Appetizer

posted by Andrea | 07/26/2017 | 22 comments

In an effort to simplify entertaining EVEN MORE, I have a favorite go-to appetizer platter that I can whip up in minutes if we have last-minute guests OR make well in advance if I have the time.

This 5-part foolproof appetizer is perfect any time of year, for any type of party, and can accommodate almost any dietary restrictions or food allergies. Plus, it’s super simple and uses many ingredients you can buy ahead so you always have them in the house.

Christmas in July… How Do You Handle Gifts?

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2017 | 11 comments

After several requests to share more about how our family handles Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and other gifts throughout the year, I figured today was a great day to finally share (after all, it’s exactly 5 months until Christmas!)

I’d also love to know how you handle gift-giving throughout the year. Happy Christmas in July!

How I Get and Keep My Kids Organized With Simple Systems

posted by Andrea | 07/24/2017 | 28 comments

I’m convinced our home is more user-friendly, more functional, and (best of all) STAYS more organized if I simply put a little extra thought into how I set up my kids’ closets, toys, crafts, and anything else they access on a regular basis.

If you currently struggle to get your children to stay somewhat neat and organized, I’m confident some of the ideas in today’s post will be helpful for you! And yes, these ideas work for teens and adults too!

Why We DON’T Budget for House Projects

posted by Andrea | 07/21/2017 | 27 comments

Over the last 6.5 years, Dave and I have spent a considerable amount of money fixing up, renovating, remodeling, and decorating our home… and since I share the renovations on my blog, I’m regularly asked how we budget and plan for all our home projects.

I’m guessing many of you would be shocked to know that Dave and I actually DON’T budget for house projects… that’s what I’m talking about today!

My Week In Review (July 16-22)

posted by Andrea | 07/20/2017 | 14 comments

We’re nearing the end of July already… but that still means a full month of summer vacation left for Dave, and about 2 full months to prepare for this next baby.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite posts from previous years, and a bunch of photos from our recent vacation with Dave’s family!

4 Steps to a Clutter-Free Closet

posted by Andrea | 07/19/2017 | 11 comments

If you’re the type of person who struggles to purge your clothing, I hope today’s post will be just the motivation you need to finally clear the clutter from your closet, lighten your load, and speed up your morning routine!

Doesn’t that all sound amazing!

Easy Chocolate Covered Banana “Popsicles”

posted by Andrea | 07/18/2017 | 15 comments

My kids love any type of frozen treat (especially during hot summer months). And while we do have some popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, and freeze pops, I also freeze gogurts, we make our own juice and pudding pops, AND I’ve started making chocolate covered banana pops (and bites) — which the kids think are so fantastic.

If you’re looking for a frugal, simple, delicious summer treat — give these a try!!!

A Super Simple Way to Dye Fabric

posted by Andrea | 07/17/2017 | 13 comments

Last week, I shared Nora’s bedroom makeover — along with her super cute loft bed with “secret” play area underneath.

Today, I’m sharing how I dyed the curtains for her secret play area — and if you’ve ever been intimidated by using fabric dye (like I was), I hope this post will lay it all out step-by-step to show you how simple it really can be. Just think of all the things you could refresh with a little fabric dye!

James is TWO!

posted by Andrea | 07/14/2017 | 20 comments

I know… I can hardly believe it either! Our sweet little baby James turns TWO today!

Prepare yourself for cuteness overload — James loves the camera!

My Week In Review (July 9-15)

posted by Andrea | 07/13/2017 | 13 comments

In current “Dekker news” — Nora lost her first tooth, Simon loves having crazy hair, James turns TWO, we welcomed a new baby cousin, Dave has 5 more weeks of summer break, and I’m telling myself that 9-10 weeks isn’t really that much longer to be pregnant 🙂

And of course, I’m also sharing what I blogged about this week in previous years, in today’s Week In Review Post!

A Tour of Nora’s New Bedroom

posted by Andrea | 07/12/2017 | 26 comments

Yay — I’m so excited to finally share the full tour of Nora’s brand new bedroom!!

This room was a labor of love. It was such a huge project that started with a complete gut job — new electrical, new insulation, new drywall, new doors and windows, new… EVERYTHING!

Dave and My Favorite At-Home Date Night

posted by Andrea | 07/11/2017 | 24 comments

At-home date nights are one of Dave and my favorite ways to celebrate special occasions (like our recent anniversary).

I know they might not be enjoyable for every couple, but if you’re the type who prefers a night at home versus going out, I have a feeling you’ll also enjoy Dave and my most favorite at-home date night!

Home Renovations and Newborns

posted by Andrea | 07/10/2017 | 17 comments

After 6.5 years of continual house projects, pregnancies, and newborns, Dave and I will both say that all our house projects and all our babies have required more work, time, patience, and energy than we originally envisioned… but both the house projects AND the babies have most definitely been worth it all!

In fact, as I thought more about it, I realized that home renovations and newborns surprisingly have many similarities!

Our Favorite Inside Toys

posted by Andrea | 07/7/2017 | 21 comments

I know it might seem weird to do a post about inside toys in the middle of the summer, but here in West Michigan, it can get REALLY hot and humid in the summers, so we often play outside in the morning and inside in the afternoon, where the air conditioning keeps things very pleasant!

The toys listed in today’s post are things ALL 3 of our kids (ages 5, 3, 2) play with and enjoy almost every single day!

My 2-Minute Tip for Gourmet-Looking Cookies

posted by Andrea | 07/6/2017 | 25 comments

As many of you know, I’m not normally one for “gourmet” cooking or baking. That said, I’ve always had somewhat of a weakness for gourmet cookies (like the ones at Panera Bread).

So today, I’m sharing how I make gourmet-looking cookies at home with just a couple extra minutes!